Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category

AUTUMN HERITAGE FESTIVAL

October 1, 2016

What:  The Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary is sponsoring their annual Autumn Heritage Festival.  Step back in time and watch history come to life at Spring Valley’s most popular event! Experience life on an 1880s farm by helping with the harvest, cooking over the woodstove or squeezing fresh apple cider. Relive the adventure of the Illinois frontier at an authentic pioneer encampment near the log cabin. The day will include historical demonstrations, children’s crafts, haywagon shuttle, live music and a variety of tasty fall foods.

When:  Sunday, October 2, 2016 Noon to 5 p.m.

Where:  Volkening Heritage Farm.  Parking is available at the Nature Center on Schaumburg Road and off Plum Grove Road across from Heritage Farm.
Charge:  Cost is $4 per person and $16 per family. Children 3 and under are free.

Info:  Call (847) 985-2100 for more information.

THE HUNT FOR THE BOEGER/REDEKER FARMHOUSE

March 23, 2014

The Volkening Heritage Farm is on the hunt.  They are trying to track down a good photo of the Boeger/Redeker family farmhouse that used to exist on their property.  They don’t know that it exists but it’s entirely possible.  Maybe someone can help, because the story goes something like this…

After Johann Boeger came to the United States from Germany, he made his way to what would be Schaumburg Township and purchased his parcels of land from the United States government between the years 1845 and 1848.  The property is located on the southeast corner of Plum Grove and Schaumburg Roads.

He couldn’t have known that, almost 170 years later, the bulk of his property would remain true to its roots.  The original prairie he encountered is now a nature sanctuary and the farm he built is now a working, living farm.  Today, we know the farm as the Volkening Heritage Farm and it is located on the Spring Valley property.  Both entities are part of the Schaumburg Park District.

In the years after Mr. Boeger arrived, he built two homes for his family.  House #1 was built in the 1850s and is the small farmhouse that is there today.  House #2, the house that we are looking for, was built in the 1860s.  One photo of House #2 in its heyday exists but it is faded and, as you can see, the house is somewhat hidden in a copse of trees.Redeker house 1

This house stood for over a hundred years.  It is thought that a separate wing was added on at one point.  Eventually, though, the house was handed down to Mr. Boeger’s great-grandson, Herman Redeker.  As Spring Valley was being formed and land was being purchased in the late 1970s, Mr. Redeker was concerned about the well-being of the house, even though it had fallen into serious disrepair.  That is evident in this photo from the July 26, 1974 issue of The Herald.  Redeker house 2

Mr.Redeker eventually negotiated a deal in 1976 with the Arlington Heights Park District.  They dismantled the house piece by piece with the intent to rebuild it at Pioneer Park.  Unfortunately, that plan never came to fruition.

Today, the Heritage Farm would love to have a good, working photo of this missing house.  Maybe it’s a picture of the house all by itself.  Or, maybe it’s like a number of photos of this period where the Boegers had a picture of their family taken in front of the house.  If you can help, please contact Patricia Kennedy at the Volkening Heritage Farm.  It would be most appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

SPRING VALLEY AND THE MERKLE FAMILY WHO LIVED THERE; PART THREE

November 18, 2012

Continued from last week, this is a portion of a biography, written by William Merkle.  The book is about his parents and is titled Frank and Leona.  It is a portion from the chapter he wrote about their family’s ownership of an 80-acre parcel in Schaumburg Township.  That parcel is now part of the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary.

“Mom was like Killer Joe Garson behind the wheel.  We would race against the clock to get from Leicester Road to the farm.  The roads were not great, mostly two lanes, but not cluttered with traffic or stoplights.  Mom took a slide-through approach to stop signs and barely skipped a beat.  Our best time was twenty-two minutes, and we rarely needed more than a half hour.  Today, even with a network of throughways and four lanes, it takes more than forty-five minutes.

I was eager to learn to drive.  Dad taught me and let me practice on the farm lanes.  He let me lean in front of him and steer to begin with.  My driving had a practical side; it became possible for me to operate the tractor.  I soon became the undisputed master of the lawn cutting operation using the big sicklebar attachment on the side.  Though big for my age, it was all I could do to pull up the bar to avoid rocks and stumps.  At the ripe old age of eleven, Mom would let me drive her to Schaumburg on errands.

Because no one lived full time at the farm during those early years, we kept no animals there.  However, a set of three white geese were purchased and they lived independently on the large pond and gave a lovely smooth paddling touch to the place.  We learned quickly that they were not pets, rather that they could chase after us and snap.  To be admired from a distance.  On the other hand, Leona loved them and brought them corn to eat at the edge of the pond.  When they saw her coming, they’d skim over to her, honk happily, and get to work on the corn.

One year while burning off the peony fields in the Fall, a strong wind came up, and started blowing sparks to threaten nearby fields.  Dad raced into the house, called the Roselle Fire Department, and within an amazingly few minutes, about fifteen men showed up in cars and a firetruck.  The Chief approached Dad with a clipboard and offered on of the most convincing sales pitches we ever heard.  With the fire tearing through a nearby oat field, and the embers heating the soles of our shoes, Dad was asked:  “Would you like to join the Fireman’s Association?  We can’t offer our help unless you sign this application form.”  Dad couldn’t grab that pen fast enough.  After a hasty signature, the Chief nodded and those mostly volunteer firement unbundled from their vehicles and began beating the flames with thirty inch square rubber flaps mounted on broomsticks.  Working systematically and a bit furiously, they had the fire out in just a few minutes.  Sheer relief after imagining the whole county going up in the Great Merkle Fire.

Mom and Dad wanted to live full time at the farm.  They hired an architect friend to draw up plans to add wings onto the cabin–one for bedrooms and baths, and one for kitchen, utilities, and garage.  The design was creative and charming, very much in keeping with the cabin and its setting.  Sadly, these hopes were destined not to be fulfilled.  In 1946, Dad built the bare boned kitchen and bath brick addition, which served his needs but was a far cry from what they had planned together.

The eighty acre farm was taken by eminent domain by the Town of Schaumburg and is now the largest section, over 60%, of the new ‘Spring Valley Nature Center.’  It was a real loss to the family, which might have, for example, developed the land into fifteen 4 acres luxury building lots.  For the family it will remain a great Memorial to Frank and Leona Merkle.”

Excerpted from Frank and Leona by William Merkle.  2012.  Reprinted here with his gracious permission.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

SPRING VALLEY AND THE MERKLE FAMILY WHO LIVED THERE; PART TWO

November 11, 2012

Continued from last week, this is a portion of a biography, written by William Merkle.  The book is about his parents and is titled Frank and Leona.  It is a portion from the chapter he wrote about their family’s ownership of an 80-acre parcel in Schaumburg Township.  That parcel is now part of the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary.

“We planted a large vegetable garden and worked hard at it.  We eventually learned that a smaller garden was more likely to be cared for.  We just couldn’t keep up with the weeds and thinning out.  We’d make the rows long enough to use all the seeds in a seed envelope (nothing wasted).  We had some marvelous vegetables and an abundance to be shared with the neighbors.  But it was hard, hot work and we didn’t stand in line eager to do it.

The peonies required cultivating, so Dad bought an inexpensive hand directed machine for us to walk behind.  Peter and I wound up doing the repairs and keeping it going.  The worst part of the farm was debudding the peonies.  In the full heat of summer, with no shade for relief, we kids had to pick off the extra buds from each stem so that only the central flower remained to grow large and full.  Aside from the sun, the real problem was the large brown-black ants.  They crawled all over the buds to eat the sugary sap, and didn’t take kindly to our intrusion.  By the end of our day, our hands were red and swollen from their bites.  When the flowers were nearing maturity, Mom or Dad would arrange with a wholesale florist to come out and harvest the crop.  Then we could forget them until Fall when they needed to be mowed and the fields cleared and cultivated again.

Other than the garden, the peonies, and the grass trimming along the fir trees and in the orchard and the yard, the farm work was done by neighbors who rented the land.

The artesian well flowed constantly and was full of iron and sulphur.  It smelled and tasted strongly, and there was always a rust colored scum developing in the bucket.  The well was made from a six inch pipe Dad estimated was probably one hundred feet deep and which rose six feet above the surface.  It had a horizontal half inch pipe connected about two feet up from the ground and that is where the ice cold water poured constantly.  Dad placed a large wooden bucket under the spout and kept bottles of beer ice cold in there, along with jars of butter and things for the kitchen.  The runoff came down the side of the bucket and into a little rivulet which ran into the pond immediately to the west.  At the age of eight I was faced with the choice between that water and a beer and it wasn’t an easy decision:  stinky versus bitter.  I was ambivalent, taking beer about half the time.  This well and the artesian springs supplying the lakes functioned beautifully for years, and then suddenly stopped flowing.  Dad felt it was the result of a huge gravel pit that was dug a mile or so south of the property, and which somehow ruined the dynamics of the aquifer.  It was a great loss, not only because of the absence of fresh water for drinking, cooking and washing, but because then the ponds pretty well dried up.

The ponds had been vital–full of snapping turtles (one was a full fourteen inches across), crabs, fish, and in the Spring and Fall, the migrating ducks and geese would use the ponds adjoining fields as a stopover resting and feeding spot.  Sometimes the birds were so numerous that they virtually covered the large pond.  Watching them swoop in during the Fall and Spring, and then sensing the explosion when they took flight all at once was a moving experience for us.  We used the ponds for our first little boats with jury rigged sails.  The bottom was mucky and that, combined with the slithery green/gold algae, kept us from walking or swimming in the lake.

Leona had been keenly interested in dredging the larger pond deep enough to swim in (6 to 8 feet), and to minimize the drop in water level during the dry summers.  In March of 1940 she contacted the College of Agriculture at the University of Illinois, and then in April sent them soil samples from the lake bottom.  They advised her on the dredging, but other priorities came along, and with the failure of the aquifer, the project was shelved.”

To be continued next week…

From Frank and Leona by William Merkle.  2012.  Used with his gracious permission.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

SPRING VALLEY AND THE MERKLE FAMILY WHO LIVED THERE; PART ONE

November 4, 2012

In 1942 Frank and Leona Merkle purchased an 80-acre parcel of property in rural Schaumburg Township.  The property they purchased is now part of the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary.  Their son, William Merkle, recently published a book about their lives called Frank and Leona.  He has graciously allowed me to reprint the portion of that book that details their life here in Schaumburg Township.  The first segment appears here…

“As a salesman for the JP Seeburg Corporation, Frank traveled a route selling juke boxes and eventually became the Midwest Region Sales Manager.  Willaim writes:  “The[ir] new found wealth permitted Frank and Leona to buy the farm they had been most interested in.  The eighty acres were located in the town of Schaumburg, fronting on Schaumburg Road, about twenty miles west of Evanston, and only a few miles west of the Douglas Aircraft manufacturing plant, which after World War II became O’Hare airport.  They paid “about $12,000” for the farm and the purchase was complicated because it was an estate sale and back taxes and strong family feelings were involved.  There was some hassling and cajoling in getting title to the property.  The mortgage was released on 4/23/42.

The farm was a dream come true for Frank, Leona and me.  Bobby was sometimes bored and Pete occasionally missed his friends and activities in town.  For me it was full of secrets to be discovered and new adventures to be lived.  The place was beautifiul:  gently rolling, with water flowing between the three interconnected  ponds, which were artesian spring fed and full of water year round.  Rows of stately fir trees bordered the lane and property lines and distinguished our place from the neighboring farms.  With these trees, the peony fields, the apple orchards west of the cabin, the ancient willows encircling the small poin adjacent to the cabin, the fresh air and the quiet, we were enjoying paradise.

One of the former owners was a specialist in peonies and he planted seven acres with over a thousand varieties, all carefully laid out and recorded in detailed booklets, the one for the ‘East Field’ was sent by one E. Long to Leona, who had done research on the property.  The west lane led back a quarter of a mile to a knoll upon which had been built the magnificent log cabin with matched cypress logs and a huge fieldstone fireplace.  With the cattails and rushes, the view of the cabin from across the pond was stunning.  Visitors exclaimed how it seemed like they had traveled all the way to the North Woods of Wisconsin.  A beautiful, unspoiled and natural setting just twenty-five miles west of Chicago.

The surrounding area was all farmland–no high rise buildings other than silos, no shopping malls, no commercial development.  Most nearby roads were gravel and not paved.  The farms were typical midwestern diversified farms, many of half a section, i.e. 320 acres.  This size seemed ideal for the type of farming and the fertility of the soil.  A larger farm couldn’t be comfortably handled by one family, and a much smaller one (say 80 acres) was too small unless it was specialized rather than diversified.  Crops included corn, oats and wheat, and later on, soy beans; there were dairy, and later, beef herds, chickens and geese running in the farmyard.  One family managed each farm and in our area most [of] the names were German:  Schmidt, Redeker, Miller.  They worked hard and prospered though there were no signs of wealth.

The soil was very rich and fertile, and each year more of it was lost to agriculture through housing, driveways, and later after the War, by high rise office and apartment buildings, parking lots, streets, and malls.  In twenty years a way of life in our area was wiped out.  I’ll never forget when Ernie Redeker, who owned the farm just east of ours, corner of Meacham and Schaumburg Roads, sold and the developer put up several high rise apartment buildings with a central pond.  Ernie must have been laughing all the way to the bank.  Another neighbhor sold and moved to southern Florida and purchased a bare stretch of Atlantic oceanfront property.  It is now named after him:  the Galt Mile.  In 1958, when I returned from the Army (Korean War) and six years in Europe I drove out to the farm and went right past it.  Everything had changed so much that I couldn’t recognize it.

Originally, the cabin, which measured about twenty feet square, was partitioned into three rooms, with a tiny sleeping room at the northeast corner containing the trap door to the basement, a kitchen, and a living room.  These partitions were removed separately after we took over the farm.  The cabin had been built in 1928, and the brick addition was constructed in 1946.  The first year or two, there was no electric power or phone, and water was run by gravity from the well across the small pond into the basement (summer only).  An outhouse was located in the apple orchard just west of the cabin.  It was all very charming and rustic and we began by going out there weekends during the summer, and ‘camping’ in the cabin.  We cleared the brush and weed trees from around the cabin and the grass leading down to the water of the two nearby ponds.  We kept it mowed down with a gas powered hand pushed mower, and in a few years with a John Deere tractor with a lifting sickle bar on the side.  The grass became a very credible lawn.

Reminding us of the ‘bundle of sticks’ and the need to stick together, Dad planted three foot high Blue Spruce:  the Bobby, Peter, and Billy trees, close together in the largest lawn between the lane and the pond.  They were still there intertwined in full maturity during the memorial dedication of the ‘MERKLE’ rock in front of the cabin in the early 1980’s.”

To be continued next week…

Reprinted from Frank and Leona by William Merkle, 2012.  Used with his gracious permission.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

TRACKING DOWN THE HISTORY OF OAK HOLLOW FARM

June 17, 2012

At the beginning of May, Bob Vinnedge, president of the Schaumburg Township Historical Society, passed on an email that he had recently received.  A former resident of Schaumburg had a 50 pound sign made of oak that was square in shape and 43 ½ inches wide, 37 ½ inches tall and 3 ½ inches thick—and it was heavy.  Written on the sign were the words OAK HOLLOW FARM.

According to the former resident, the sign had originally hung on a white metal pole along Schaumburg Road, approximately 300 yards east of Salem.  It was at the entrance of what used to be Oak Hollow Farm.  This was before Campanelli developed the property and built what is now platted as Weathersfield Unit 20.  According to the ex-resident, the lane of the farm was gravel and went through current-day Squanto Court.  Another former resident of the area confirmed that a brick house was on the property and the farm itself was a grain farm.

This farm/plat is bordered by Schaumburg Road on the north, Salem Drive on the west, Kemah Lane on the south and a combination of Timbercrest, the Woods and an unincorporated parcel on the east.  The sign was given to the resident around 1973 after the development of that portion of Weathersfield was already well under way.  Mr. Vinnedge was happy to accept the sign and asked me to look into the history of Oak Hollow Farm.

This is not one of those properties that was owned by the same German farm family for generations.  Based on Schaumburg Township Land Patents by Bonnie Cernosek, the parcel was originally purchased as a land grant by George Green.  It passed through many hands over the years and was broken up into parcels and then put back together again.  In 1926 it was owned by the Bajeanes family who lived in a house at the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads and ran a truck farm on a few parcels in the vicinity.

On a 1959 map by Paul Baldwin & Son, the property is broken up with the portion that borders Salem Drive being owned by H. Scherholz [sic] and a smaller portion to the east simply stipulated as “Small Tracts.”  In the 1958 and 1959 Cook County Personal Property Assessment lists, the taxpayers are listed as Robert E. Lovett and Mrs. Gordon Lovett.  According to Bob and Pat Lovett, the son and daughter-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Lovett, the elder Lovetts moved to the area in 1948 or 1949 and managed the farm for Mr. Harry G. Schierholz, a gentleman farmer from Chicago.  The farm raised registered Guernsey cows.  The crops raised on the farm sustained the Guernseys.

[Bob and Pat Lovett said there was a small portion of property notched out from the Schierholz property that bordered Schaumburg Road.  It was owned by Tom Borthwick.  The Lovetts and I suspect it is the same small parcel of property that is listed on the tax rolls as “Small Tracts” and is across from the Schaumburg Township building.  At this writing it is unincorporated and undeveloped.]

The Robert and Patricia Lovett family (including Brian and daughter, Kim) also lived there after Robert returned from his service in the Air Force.  Interestingly enough, Brian’s parents met because his maternal grandfather managed the poultry operation of another farm in the area.  It was the large Odlum Farm called Rosewood Farm on Central Road in DuPage County.  [The other local Odlum Farm, Rolling Acres, was at the corner of Schaumburg and Barrington Roads in Schaumburg.]

By 1964, the name Oak Hollow Farm is actually used in the Personal Property Assessment list and it had obviously been sold because the owner is listed as Rowmen Co Inc. They were a developer and were based in Northbrook.  They were active in the area, building Hillcrest School in Hoffman Estates.  [Brian Lovett confirmed that when the farm was sold to Rowmen, the Schierholz farming operations moved to Genoa City, WI where that farm was also called Oak Hollow and where his grandparents continued to be the farm managers.]

In a contradiction to the Rowmen Co. info, a 1963 plat map stipulates that the Clerics of St. Viator owned the west 80 acres and the east acreage continued to be listed as “Small Tracts.”  Somewhere around that time, though, the Catholic Church did obtain the property.  The signholder said it was donated to the Catholic Church and they held the acreage, obviously renting it out to be farmed.  Mayor Al Larson confirmed for me that it was owned by the Viatorian Brothers, a Catholic order out of Arlington Heights.  He said when his family moved to Schaumburg, Oak Hollow Farm “had one last crop before it turned into just a field with an occasional stray corn plant left over from last year’s crop.”

Turning to our aerial photos, it was obvious in 1970 that the property was still farmland.  The Catholic Church sold it to the Campanelli Brothers about this time.  A classified ad from the October 14, 1971 issue of the Daily Herald, says, “October 15, 16, 9 to dark, garage—antique sale, housewares, clothing, antiques, ½ mile west of Roselle Road on Schaumburg Rd., Oak Hollow Farm.  Unfortunately, the next article from the Daily Herald on March 12, 1973 has a picture with a caption that reads, “Schaumburg firemen Friday fought a blaze that destroyed an abandoned farmhouse and shed at the Oak Hollow Farm on Schaumburg Road near Washington Boulevard.  Firemen had to return to the scene Saturday to fight several reburns.  Cause of the fire is unknown.”

By December, 1974, the property was mostly built up.  It was on the 16th of that month that a Daily Herald article mentions that the Schaumburg Park District board “voted to accept a nearby Campanelli donation known as Oak Hollow Farm.”

Looking at the property today, it’s obvious where the name Oak Hollow Farm comes from.  Farming the entire property would have been a bit of a challenge.  According to one of the former residents, there was always an unusable, low, marshy area at the back that was abutted by an oak savanna.  It was impossible acreage even for Campanelli.  But their loss is our gain because today it is a beautiful, peaceful park known  as the Kay Wojcik Conservation Area at Oak Hollow.  You wouldn’t even know it is in Schaumburg if you didn’t live near it or go looking for it like I did.  

According to the Schaumburg Park District’s website, it consists of “a 17 ½ acre remnant of the original oak grove that first attracted settlers to the area.  One of Schaumburg’s finest natural areas, the site contains 100+ year old oak and hickory trees, many rare and beautiful native wildflowers, wetlands, a restored prairie, and a ½ mile trail system that is accessible via Spruce Drive, Samoset Lane or Juniper Lane.”

So, take a walk and explore a part of Schaumburg you may not realize existed.  The email I received from Bob Vinnedge definitely evolved into a treasure hunt—in more ways than one.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

(My thanks to Brian Lovett and his parents, Bob and Pat, for filling in some of the details of the farm during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s time period.  Contributing to our local history is exactly what this blog is for and, as a result, this posting has been updated.)

SLEDDING HILLS IN SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

January 22, 2012

Every year at this time people come across this blog while looking for sledding hills in Schaumburg Township.  It’s because Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates historian, wrote an article for the Hoffman Estates Citizen about winter activities in the village once upon a time. 

I know it’s not historical but it looks like it might be nice to fulfill an obvious need by giving a list of places to sled in Schaumburg Township.  So, here goes:

Seascape Aquatic Center
1300 Moon Lake Blvd.
Hoffman Estates

Pine Park
750 Charleston
Hoffman Estates

Freedom Park
800 S. Pinehurst Lane
Schaumburg

Meineke Park
220 E. Weathersfield Way
Schaumburg

Maybe you grew up in Schaumburg Township and had a great hill that you used?  Tell us about it and let us reminisce with you.


CHRISTMAS IN THE VALLEY

November 28, 2010

What:  The Schaumburg Park District offers a unique recreation of how 19th-century German-American families in Schaumburg experienced Christmas.
When:  Saturday and Sunday, December 4 & 5, from 1-5 p.m.
Where:  Volkening Heritage Farm.  1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg.
Details:  Cost is $2 per person and $8 per family. Children 3 and under are free.
Info:   Call (847) 985-2100.  See their website here.

FOREST PRESERVES AND PARKS OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

January 10, 2010

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates!

As a young girl I enjoyed sledding and ice skating.  My brother and I couldn’t wait for the snow and cold weather so we could get out the sled, wax up the runners and head for the sledding hill.  I still enjoy winter, I know it seems strange to say that but I still have those pleasant memories of fun in the snow as a child.

The January weather usually keeps us in the house with little opportunity to get outdoors and since we can’t escape the snow and ice we may try to enjoy some of the winter sports.

Hoffman Estates is fortunate to have more that 3,000 acres of forest preserves within the village limits.  Much of the land was acquired from surrounding farms in the late 60’s & early 70’s and the collapse of the planned “Leisure World” prompted the Cook County Forest Preserve District to take over that land preventing a development that would have brought 50,000 residents to the area just west of Rt. 59 and north of Rt. 58. At the time many farmers were sad to see their farming life come to an end.  Many of the farmers did continue farming out west with the purchase of new farms.

Since that time, picnic groves, biking trails and lakes provide great summer recreation for our families. Many of you don’t know that winter recreation is also offered by the forest preserve district.  Winter fun is just a mile or two away.

When the snow starts flying and measures 4 inches, you’ll be able to go snowmobiling in the Ned Brown Meadow on the south side of Golf Rd. and east of I-290. You’ll need to register your sled with the forest preserve district at http://www.fpdcc.com.

You can ice fish on Bode Lake South as long as the ice is 4 inches thick.  Fishing hours are between 8 am and sunset.  The parking area is off Bode Rd. 1 mile west of Barrington Rd. of course you’ll need your Illinois fishing license.  All the biking trails in the Poplar Creek Forest Preserve are open for cross country skiing as well as winter hiking.

Our own Hoffman Estates Park District offers sledding at your neighborhood park and outdoor ice skating, when weather permits and the green flag is up at your local lake. With the right weather conditions the Pine Park parking lot is turned into and outdoor skating rink.  Indoor ice skating is always offered year round at the Hoffman Estates Park District Community Center and Ice Arena at Higgins and Huntington Blvd.  When the snow is deep enough, the sledding hill at the Poplar Creek Country Club & Golf Course opens for great outdoor fun.  Get more info at http://www.heparks.org.

So get out those sleds, wax the runners (old candles or a bar of soap work well) and have the ice skates sharpened.  It’s time to have some fun in the snow.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian
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