Archive for the ‘Roads’ Category

SHOE FACTORY ROAD IN HOFFMAN ESTATES

October 28, 2018

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

One of the Citizen’s readers recently inquired about Shoe Factory Road. He reads the Historian’s Notebook column and asked if there was really a shoe factory on that road. He’s not the only person to ask about this. Others have wondered about the same thing. It’s an interesting story and the road has history up and down its length from Elgin to Hoffman Estates.

There certainly was a shoe factory on Shoe Factory Road. It was a large building built in 1891. It was owned by George Ludlow & Company and stood at the northeast corner of Shoe Factory Road (later renamed Congdon Ave.) and Dundee Roads. The factory employed 370 employees who made women’s shoes. Later the business was sold to Selz-Schwab & Company of Chicago. During its peak year of 1920, 300 employees manufactured 2,000 pair of shoes a day.

The business was again sold–not to shoe manufacturers, but to clothing manufacturers. Besides clothing, the building was used as the Tiny Tim indoor miniature golf and the State of Illinois Sign Shop before it closed in 1990. The building still stands and has been converted into apartment s & condos.

As Shoe Factory Road travels east through Hoffman Estates several stories about our history linger on with only memories of what was once located along the road.

The Charles Lindbergh one room schoolhouse was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It’s unique flagstone design and concrete construction was built to never burn as the two previous schools dating back to the late 1840s had. It didn’t survive the efforts to save it and the Village of Hoffman Estates decided to tear it down in September of 2007. It was located on the south side of Shoe Factory Road near the intersection of Essex Drive. Only memories remain.

The Earl and Elizabeth Teets Farm was the site of one of the most gruesome unsolved murders in Cook County history. Their farm was on the north side of Shoe Factory Road just west of where the road dead ends into Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. Earl and his wife Elizabeth, along with their son Gary and 4 guard dogs, were shot to death in their farm house. Their bodies were discovered on the night of Jan. 11, 1979. The murders have remained unsolved. Only memories remain.

A drive down Shoe Factory Road will bring you to the Poplar Creek Model Air Plane Flying Field, a fun place to watch the maneuvers of the planes as their owners put them through their loops and great flying skills.

Just east of Route 59 you’ll find the wonderful Great Egret Family Picnic area. The drive down Shoe Factory Road heading west takes you through the Arthur L. Janura Forest Preserves. There’s so much more to the Shoe Factory road than the answer to the question,” Was there really a shoe factory on Shoe Factory Road. “

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

Photo credit:  Selz Shoe Factory from Postcards From The Past: A Brief History of Elgin, Illinois.

WHO WAS MEACHAM ANYWAY?

October 7, 2018

We drive on them every day but do you know who the main roads of Schaumburg Township are named for?

Here is a list of some of the roads with an explanation of their names. (This is an update of the first blog posting that appeared back in December 2009.)

Barrington Road: Named for the town of Barrington, Illinois that is north of Schaumburg Township. The name was taken from Great Barrington, MA.

Biesterfield Road:  This is misspelled and is named for Conrad Biesterfeld, a local farmer who was also Township Highway Commissioner.

Bode Road:  Named for the Bode family that operated a tavern in early Hanover Township.

Fenz Road: Named for the Fenz family that owned the J. Fenz & Son General Merchandise store on the southwest corner of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.

Gannon Drive:  Named for Hoffman Estates Trustee James F. Gannon Jr. who served on the first Village Board.

Golf Road:  Named for the tiny village that lies between Glenview & Morton Grove.

Groen Lane and Groen Court:  Named for the Groen family who lived in a farmhouse that Fred Groen bought on the future Groen Lane in Schaumburg.

Harmon Boulevard:  Named for Hoffman Estates Trustee John Harmon who served on the first Village Board.

Hartmann Drive:  Named for landowner, Fred Hartmann, and family who owned a farm in the vicinity.

Hassell Road:  Named for Paul Hassell, a Chicago lawyer,  who was a gentleman farmer in the northwestern part of the township.

Higgins Road:  May have been named for F. Higgins who owned land along the road.

Irving Park Road:  Earlier sections of the road, closer to Chicago, were a plank road at one time. Named for author, Washington Irving.

Jones Road:  Originally named Jahns Road for the Jahn family who lived along the road.  Jahns Road is mentioned in a 1956 precinct list of registered voters.  Some time after that an error or change was made and it was renamed Jones.

Lengl Drive:  Name for Frank Lengl, the longtime owner of Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn that later became the Easy Street Pub.

Lunt Avenue:  This street is in an unincorporated development on the west side of Roselle Road at Nerge Road. It was subdivided into lots before 1940 and the street was later extended into the Centex Industrial Park in the southern part of Schaumburg. It refers to the same Lunt Avenue in the Rogers Park Neighborhood of Chicago. This was named for Stephen P. Lunt who was a member of the Rogers Park Building and Land Company, founded in 1873, which developed the community of Rogers Park. See also Pratt and Morse that are in the same neighborhood.

McConnor Parkway:  Named for W.S. McConnor, a Vice-President of Refining and Marketing for Union Oil in the 1970s. Union Oil’s headquarters was in the current Roosevelt University building.

Meacham Road:  Named for brothers Lyman, Harvey, Daniel and Dr. Silas Meacham who came from VT and settled near Medinah on the Cook/DuPage County line.

Mercury Drive: Named for the Mercury Products Corporation that is located on the street.

Meyer Road:  Named for Ben Meyer whose farm was in the vicinity.

Morse Avenue: This street is in an unincorporated development on the west side of Roselle Road at Nerge Road. It was subdivided into lots before 1940 and the street was later extended into the Centex Industrial Park in the southern part of Schaumburg. It refers to the same Morse Avenue in the Rogers Park Neighborhood of Chicago. It is named for Charles H. Morse who was a member of the Rogers Park Building and Land Company, founded in 1873, which developed the community of Rogers Park. See also Pratt and Lunt that are in the same neighborhood.

Nerge Road:  Named for Frederick Nerge, a German landowner, who insisted the township be named Schaumburg at an early government meeting.

Odlum Drive: Named for Gertrude and William Odlum who owned the large farm that was on the NW and SE corners of the intersection of Barrington and Schaumburg Roads.

Plum Grove Road:  The road led to Plum Grove, one of the original settlements of Palatine Township.

Pratt Boulevard: This street is in an unincorporated development on the west side of Roselle Road at Nerge Road which was subdivided into lots before 1940. The street was later extended into the Centex Industrial Park in the southern part of Schaumburg. It refers to the same Pratt Boulevard in the Rogers Park Neighborhood of Chicago. It is named for Paul and George Pratt who were members of the Rogers Park Building and Land Company, founded in 1873, which developed the community of Rogers Park. See also Morse and Lunt that are in the same neighborhood.

Quindel Avenue:  Named for H.E. Quindel who owned the Hardware Store on the SE corner of the intersection of Roselle and Schaumburg Roads that is currently Lou Malnatis. He also built the inn and hotel that later became Lengl’s Schaumburg Inn and the Easy Street Pub.

Rodenburg Road:  A town in the district of Schaumburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany, where a number of early Schaumburg Township residents were from.

Rohlwing Road:  Named for H. Rohlwing, a local farmer, businessman and former Highway Commissioner.

Roselle Road:  Named for Roselle Hough who founded the village of Roselle.

Sarah’s Grove Lane:  Named for the grove of trees that covers both sides of Schaumburg Road near Friendship Village.

Schaumburg Road:  Named for the area in Germany where many of the early German residents were from.

Scully Drive: Named for underground water and sewage contractors, Scully, Hunter & Scully. Neal Hunter was also the president of Lancer Development Corporation.

Seaver Lane:  Named for Hoffman Estates Trustee George Seaver who served on the Village Board in the 1960s.

Slingerland Drive: Named for Walter Slingerland who was one of the first village trustees elected in 1956. He also served as the Building Commissioner, a position that oversaw the entire building process from permit to construction to signing off on the completed structure.

Small Drive: Named for Tom Small, president of Sundance Homes.

Springinsguth Road:  Named for the Springinsguth family who had farms on both sides of Springinsguth Road.

Tower Road: Named for the longtime village water tower that is along Wiley Road that intersects Tower Road.

Volid Drive:  Named for Peter Volid who purchased the Sunderlage Farm from Lila Harrell in 1952 and used it as a country retreat until he sold it to the Robin Construction Co. in the mid 1960s.

Wiley Farm Court and Wiley Road: Named for the Frank and Loie Wiley family who bought a farm in 1944 at Plum Grove Road and the current Wiley Road that runs along I-90. Mr. Wiley served as a trustee on both the first boards of District 54 and the Village of Schaumburg.

Wilkening Road: Named for the Wilkening family who were the longtime German farmers who owned much of the property where the road is today. Siblings Walter and Sarah were the last Wilkenings to reside on the farm along Roselle Road.

Wise (Wiese) Road:  Originally named  for the Wiese family who lived along the road.  During an improvement of the road, the original sign was taken down and, upon completion of the work, the new sign was installed with the incorrect spelling.  It continues to go by the name Wise.

Withaegar Drive:  Named for the William Withaegar farm that was located where the road is today.

There are other streets in the industrial park in the southern part of the township that are clearly named for someone–specifically Estes, Albion, Wright and Mitchell. I ran these names past Mayor Larson to see if he had any clues. It was his thought that Wright Boulevard and Mitchell Boulevard were possibly named as an homage to the Wright brothers and Billy Mitchell who Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee is named for. Because the southern terminus of both streets is at the Schaumburg Regional Airport, I would say this is a distinct possibility. Thank you, Mayor!

If you know the reason behind the names of any others, please let me know!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

Streetwise Chicago by Don Hayner and Tom McNamee was used to write this blog posting. Thank you to them!

SCHAUMBURG ROAD IN THE 1950’S

March 12, 2017

Many talk about how much Schaumburg Township has changed over the years but until you see the pictures it’s really hard to grasp.

Take a look at these photos from Tom Helsper.  Check out Schaumburg Road looking west from Plum Grove.   Tom’s grandparents, Walter and Maybelle Ellis, bought property in 1954 from Dr. Paul and Sara Meginnis on the southwest corner of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Roads.  Earlier that year, the Meginnis’s had purchased property from Palmer and Marjorie Carlson that straddled Plum Grove Road on the south side of Schaumburg Road.   Having bought their parcel, the Ellis’s shared it with the families of their two daughters.  Their sons-in-law subsequently built homes on the corner for all three families.

johnson-house

In this photo you see a simple, paved Schaumburg Road with no striping or individual lanes.  Notice that the area is still being used for farming and that telephone poles line the road.  The house that is slightly to the left is the Lennart and Ann Johnson house, which was the eventual location of Random Acres and has since been torn down.  The Johnsons also purchased their property from Paul and Sara Meginnis.  Now, take note of how the house is so far set back from the road.  Below, is the same view today.

random-acres-2See the white fence far in the middle background?  The Johnson house was on the other side of it.  Notice how close the fence is to Schaumburg Road.  Schaumburg Road with its four lanes and sidewalks certainly took up a fair amount of the Johnson’s front yard didn’t they?

The scene is also filled with houses and trees that have sprung up in the interim.  Isn’t it interesting to think that the trees are less than 60 years old?

schaumburg-road

This is the same scene in the winter with a slightly more northern view.  The Johnson house is in plain view.  (Who knew a Commonwealth substation would be added behind the house at some point?)  We can also see the St. Peter Church steeple in the background, as well as Schaumburg School with its stone tower that is still there today.

You can also see the red Landmeier barn behind the house on Schaumburg Road.  The Landmeiers not only owned horses but a carriage as well that they would periodically ride up and down Schaumburg Road.

schaumburg-schoolThis is an interesting photo in that it does NOT show the Johnson house but it does show the St. Peter Church steeple and Schaumburg School.  The School looks as if it might still be in the building process.  This building opened in January 1954 and, I suspect this is the fall of 1953 leading up to the opening.

meginnis-farmThis photo looks in the opposite direction towards the east at the Paul and Sara Meginnis farm that they purchased from Palmer and Marjorie Carlson.  A rather basic Plum Grove Road runs along the fence line in the foreground.  Schaumburg Road is the white “line” that runs to the left of the barn.  Paul Meginnis was a veterinarian at Arlington Park racetrack and Sara Meginnis was Schaumburg’s first village clerk.  You can read more about the couple here.

Dr. Meginnis also later opened a small veterinary building on the property which you can see in the photo below.  It is the white building with the gray roof that is behind Tom’s grandmother.

helsper-1

Isn’t it amazing what Schaumburg Township has seen in these past 60 years?  Thank you to Tom Helsper for taking the time and effort to bring the photos to my attention!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

 

THE ROADS OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

December 13, 2015

 

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

golf roadWith the fall season upon us, it’s hoped that road construction will soon be over.  Our roads grow wider with more stop signs and stop lights. Years ago there were few stop lights.  Even the stop signs were few and far between.

Over the years since the first Hoffman Estates residents moved in in Dec. 1956, one of the most dramatically changed roads has been Roselle Road.   Originally opened in 1851, it only went from Central Road to Bode Road but over the years it would continue north and south for travel to Palatine and Roselle.

In 1956 there were no stop lights in town.  Stop signs were used at major intersections with Golf and Higgins Roads.  Higgins Road traffic didn’t stop at Roselle Road.  If you traveled south on Roselle Road from Algonquin Road, you had no lights or stop signs.  It worked well when you had to get up a good head of steam to get up the hill on a snowy day.  In 1965 when I moved here, coming up that hill from Hillcrest Blvd. was always a challenge in the winter.  Now we have stop lights at Central, Hillcrest and State Parkway.  On bad snowy days you still slip and slide as you start up from each light. Once up the hill to Golf Road and Higgins Road and Bode Road you find more stop lights.  Scooting around town is a little slower in 2015.Old Higgins Road  (Old Higgins Road as it looks today is to the right.)

The horse and buggy days are over but sometimes the time it takes to travel from one place to another is equal to the days of the 1840s.  Recently, improvements to Bode Road (correctly pronounced Bow Dee) have been most welcome.  This is the oldest road in the area, being built in 1840.  Its original name was the Chicago-Elgin Road.  This information was found in the “Early Schaumburg Township Roadways from maps 1842-1970 and comments” at the Schaumburg Township District Library Local History collection.  It’s very interesting reading.  Irving Park Road or Rt. 19 was also known as the Chicago & Elgin Road but that was on a 1904 map.  Bode Road was laid out in the early 1840s as the original Chicago-Elgin Road.  How could it have gone to either town when it now ends at Roselle Rd at the east end and Route 59 at the west end?

On early 1850s road maps in the library’s collection, you can make out the road extending beyond what is now the end of Bode Road at Rt. 59.  This would have been the connection to Elgin.  At the east end of Bode Road at Higgins Road,  early aerial photos of Hoffman Estates under development show the east end of Bode Road slightly turning north as it intersects with Roselle Road.  That early 1850s map shows a road that connects to Higgins Road but does not show the road names.  This would be the connection to Chicago by traveling along Higgins to the city.

Those who traveled these roads back in the 1850s with horse-drawn wagons filled with farm produce and supplies for their farms could never imagine that their farms would disappear to be replaced by what are now known at the “Burbs”.  We travel these roads today hoping that additional widening, paving and repairing will only improve the commute to a faster pace than the horse and buggy days.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
Eagle2064@comcast.net

SNOWING *SOMEWHERE* IN HOFFMAN ESTATES

June 14, 2015

4314

On March 26, 1970, the northwest suburbs were hit by a 12-inch blanket of wet snow.  And it didn’t go well for some of the drivers.

This picture was recently acquired and the back of it says, “Spring Snowstorm Clobbers Chicago Suburb–Scene in Hoffman Estates, ILL.”  Can anyone say where this photo was taken?  It’s clearly a gently rolling terrain with young trees and either a fence or barricade in the background.  There look to be a number of spinouts and apparently the snow made things slippery enough that a police car couldn’t maneuver the hill either.  Or a truck for that matter.

I’d be curious to see if anyone recognizes the location.  Please leave a comment if you have a clue!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

GOLF AND ROSELLE ROADS: ANOTHER VIEW

December 28, 2014

A few weeks ago I highlighted some photos contributed to us by Keith Wiener.  After such a great response, he graciously passed on more photos that he found in his father, Gus’s, collection.  These photos were taken with a Minolta 35 mm camera that he special ordered from Japan.  (Remember those days?)  Take a look below at these nice surprises.

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This photo shows a couple of rows of construction equipment parked along Golf Road.  The upcoming project must have been a big one.

4272

In this photo Woodfield Lanes is nearing completion in 1979.  The construction trailer is still there and the new sign is up.

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This is the newly completed Carlos Murphy’s in 1984.  It looks so big!  And it’s fairly close to Golf Road–before the third lane was added.

4275

In the last posting reader Dan commented that a Zayre helped anchor the Schaumburg Corners shopping center on the NE corner of Golf and Roselle Roads.  They opened as the 200th store in the chain on May 7, 1972.  [Daily Herald, May 11, 1972]  In later issues I found an ad from May 13, 1974 that refers to the development as the Zayre Shopping Center.  Another ad from October 24, 1975 mentioned the La Bussola Restaurant that was also located in the center.  Their specialty was something new–pizza in the pan.  Does this restaurant ring a bell with anyone?

4271

By 1974 Zayre was struggling at this location and they approached K Mart about the possibility of taking their place.  According to Pat Gerlach’s column in the June 18, 1974 issue of the Daily Herald, K Mart initially refused because of the close proximity to Woodfield Mall.  When they finally agreed to move into the Zayre location, the shopping center was then renamed the K Mart Plaza.  While this photo was part of Mr. Weiner’s collection, it is not positive this was the same K Mart that was in this location.  The K Mart in K Mart Plaza kept the same appearance of the Zayre with its two-story look and mostly brick facade.  This one has more of a one-story look and an all windowed front facade.   [Commenter Dan mentions below that K Mart opened at this location on July 15, 1976.]

According to Dan, K Mart stayed in this location until 1994 and I think he’s got this right.  [Commenter Dan agrees with both of us and said that it closed January 30, 1994.]  The last time I could find them in a phone book was in the edition that was issued in September 1993.  [Commenter Dan also mentions that Baby Superstore opened in the west half of the building in 1996.]   Office Depot later took possession of the east half of the store and first appeared in a phone book in the December 1998 issue.  So the spot had its vacancies off and on over a four year time span.

4270

Lastly there was the Walgreens and Dominicks–and I’m not sure when they hit town in this spot.  They were both in the 1982 phone book and I found an ad for Walgreens in a 1977 Daily Herald.  Dominicks left around 1996 and Walgreens left in 2004 when a brand new store opened on the northwest corner of the intersection of Higgins and Roselle.

Time passes fast and these stores come and go but it’s nice to revisit them through great old photos.  Thanks again Keith for passing them on!  They’ve been a delight for many.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

P.S.  Thank you to commenter Dan for helping me add details to this posting.  It’s always nice to have this communal knowledge to add to our overall history!

 

 

 

GOLF ROAD PHOTOS OVER THE YEARS

November 30, 2014

 

Sometimes you never know what will wind up in your mailbox.  About a month ago I received these four photos from Keith Wiener, one of the blog’s followers.  The photos were taken over a period of time by Gus Wiener, his father, who lived on Aster Lane in Hoffman Estates.  What a wonderful surprise!  And Mr. Wiener has graciously allowed me to share them with you.

They show many buildings and businesses that are no longer around.  Here’s what I see in each photo.  If you see something I don’t, please feel free to post a comment!

Keith 2

 

This photo is looking south at the intersection of Golf and Roselle Roads.  Roselle Road appears to be four lanes at this point.  From left to right I can see the Standard station that was on the northeast corner of the intersection.  Across Golf Road is the Robert Hall Village store with its large sign of bright orange neon lettering.   Robert Hall was at this location until late 1973/early 1974 when it relocated to Barrington Square.  That is a good indication that this photo was taken in the early 1970s.

Further south is the back of a square white building with a slightly gabled roof.  This is Rogner’s Shell Station that was on the northeast corner of Higgins and Roselle Roads.

Across Roselle Road is Suburban Bank with its green neon sign.  This brown, fortress-style building is still near the corner and has gone through a number of name changes in the intervening years.   Today it is a branch of BMO/Harris Bank.

Finally, across Golf Road and on the front right portion of the photo is a Citgo gas station.  This corner is now vacant but prior to the building’s tear down, it contained a Shell station.

Keith 3

 

This photo also shows a building that is no longer in existence.  It is Woodfield Lanes bowling alley that was on the north side of Golf Road between Plum Grove and Roselle Roads.  It was built in 1979 and torn down in 2001 to make way for the Woodfield Lexus dealership.  Because the trees and shrubbery near the building look fairly small, this photo must have been taken in 1979 or, possibly, 1980.  Mr. Weiner lived nearby so he may have taken the photo BECAUSE it was new.

Keith 4

 

This photo is the most intriguing to me.  According to Keith, the photo was taken from his father’s backyard on Aster Lane.  It looks west down Golf Road and it is only by looking closely that I noticed in the background to the right there are some high-rise buildings.  That would mean those buildings are the Towers of Schaumburg which opened in 1975.  (It was later XXI Kristin Place and is now known as The XXI.)  The other buildings to the left of the grove of trees are Village in the Park apartments that began construction in 1970 and opened in the spring of 1971.

Then there’s the farm off to the right in the foreground of the photo. I am told this was the Wilkening Farm–which makes sense since Wilkening Road now bisects Golf Road at this point.  It’s nice when things come together like this.

Obviously, this photo was taken in the mid to late 1970s or early 1980s after the Towers of Schaumburg were developed.

Keith 1We are again back to Golf Road.  In the background of the center of the photo is the Motorola tower.  And, to the right is the sign for Carlos Murphy’s.  Remember that restaurant?  It opened around 1984 and was quite a hotspot until 2001.  It is now the site for the Bahama Breeze restaurant.  My only question?  Is that the restaurant off to the left in mid-construction?

If you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to comment here or pass them onto me by email.   Just trying to get this history correct with your help!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

CAN YOU HELP IDENTIFY THIS ROAD?

February 16, 2014

3872Can anyone help identify the location of this photo?  It is part of a collection of 1970s era slides that the library recently obtained.  Most of the slides center around the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.  I think this might be a view looking south down Roselle Road.

Why do I think that?  Many people have mentioned that before Roselle Road was widened and curb and gutter were installed, the ditches on Roselle Road were quite deep.  Also, that building at the top of the hill on the left hand side looks like it might be the old Schaumburg Bank building that also served as Hoffman Estates Realty Co. around this time.

Am I way off the mark?  Do you have a suggestion?  Help me out!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

DRIVING THE ROADS OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

September 8, 2013

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Shell StationOver the years since the incorporation of our village in 1959, we’ve grown to become a very special place to live.  The quiet highways have become bustling highways with many stop lights to direct use left, right, straight ahead, stop, go and wait…and wait.  When I moved to Hoffman Estates in 1965, there were not many stop lights. I recall Mr. Rogner, who owned the Shell Gas Station on the northeast corner of Higgins and Roselle Rd, telling of how he could never pull out onto Higgins Rd. from the station because there was only a stop sign for Roselle Rd. and Higgins traffic didn’t stop at all.  As the population grew,  traffic increased.  He said you’d take your life in your hands to try to cross Higgins Rd in the morning and evening rush hours.  Now, these many years later, it is one of the busiest intersections in the area controlled by lights that tell you how to do everything.

If you drove down Roselle Rd. between Algonquin and Golf Rd. back in the 60s, you had not one stop light. But in winter there was always a problem with the slippery hill to climb just south of Hillcrest up to Golf Rd. Salting and plowing wasn’t that great back then.

Higgins Rd is especially beautiful now that we have the median planted with beautiful flowers and trees. The blossoming trees along Higgins Rd. east of Roselle Rd were especially beautiful this spring.  Back in 1851 when it opened, it was known as the Chicago-Dundee Rd. and later in 1904 it was called Dundee Rd., not to be confused with the present day Route 68.

To ease congestion on our local roads, our village has made the streets and highways bike friendly.  That would have been so welcome for us Moms who rode our Schwinn bikes down the narrow dirt paths along Golf, Higgins, Roselle and Algonquin Roads.  There weren’t any sidewalks along the highways then but now we have bike paths and walkways to offer us a wonderful choice…leaving the car at home.  The 10 ft. wide walking and biking path along Higgins Rd from Hoffman Lanes to Plum Grove Rd. was just finished, thanks to grant funding.  18 miles of on-street bicycle signs can be found throughout the village on our residential streets and the bike trails on Higgins Rd. connect with the Poplar Creek Trail at Shoe Factory Rd. that is a 9 mile paved loop through the forest and prairie.Poplar Creek trail

Our village is a very special place to live.  We began as a small village surrounded by farms and corn fields.  We are now one of the few villages that have 4,000 acres of parks and forest preserve within our boundaries. Plans for the future will include more bike & pedestrian trails that will interconnect to Schaumburg’s bike paths and the 7.75 mile paved loop in the Busse Woods.

There are no more two lane highways, no more dirt paths to navigate just busy 4 lane traffic filled roads.  But you can hop on your bike, set off with the stroller or just walk; you have the choice to leave the car at home.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
Eagle2064@comcast.net

FRED VOLKENING’S MEMORIES OF SCHAUMBURG CENTRE–PART 2

May 19, 2013

Continued here from May 5 are the contents of a Daily Herald article that ran on April 25, 1974 and reported some of the memories of Fred Volkening who lived in Schaumburg Township from 1903 until his death in 1993.

“Next to the general store, Fred and Herman Nerge ran a blacksmith shop and wagon shop. [When Mr. Volkening says “next to,” he is saying that the blacksmith shop was to the south of the Fenz Store along Roselle Road. Fred and Herman were sons of Heinrich and Marie Nerge.]

In back of the Schaumrose Inn building was an ice-storage shed, where pond ice was stacked and stored in sawdust and hay for summer use. There once was a pond by what is now the Bethel Baptist Church, north of the intersection. Residents went out in freezing weather to cut large chunks of ice and load them onto sleighs. [We have now ventured to the east side of Roselle Road. When Mr. Volkening mentions the Schaumrose Inn, he is referring to what is now Lou Malnati’s.   The pond that is mentioned was on property that was once owned by John Fenz according to the 1898 William Mitchell map of Schaumburg Township.  From a January 21, 1916 issue of the Daily Herald, it is mentioned that “Fenz and Krueger filled their ice houses Thursday and Friday.” It is possible that the building Mr. Volkening is referring to was owned by either Fenz or Krueger.  Mr. Krueger was the original owner of what is now the Easy Street Pub. He would have needed a certain amount of ice. Mr. Fenz owned John Fenz & Son across the street. Therefore, the proximity is perfect for both men.]

lenglsBetween the barn and another building was the firehouse where the hand pumper was stored. The building housed a tavern, which was later to become Lengl’s. [The firehouse is pictured here with a bell tower.   It is between the barn and the brick building which is the aforementioned tavern owned by Mr. Krueger. It was purchased by Frank Lengl sometime around 1924.  The pumper is shown below.  Photo is compliments of Bud Napier.]fire pumper

There was a special hall in the tavern where all the township meetings were conducted.  [This was on the second floor of Lengl’s/Easy Street Pub.]100_0202

Automobiles did not make their way into the area until about 1910.  Volkening’s family was one of the first three in the area to have a horseless carriage.  Use of the horse did not start to die until the 1930’s.  [According to Genesis of a Township, ‘the first automobile drove through town’ in 1901.  Another article from 1905 mentions a local gentleman owning an automobile.  The Volkenings would have had to purchase theirs sometime between their arrival in Schaumburg Township in 1903 and the aforementioned date.]

Schaumburg Centre had a small railroad line to Roselle, where the main lines were.  Materials to pave Roselle Road were transported on the tiny rail line.  [This was done in 1917. A small, narrow gauge railroad track was laid to carry supplies as the workers moved their way from the village of Roselle into Schaumburg Township.]

Volkening worked on the construction, supplying a team of horses to grade the roadway for about $5 a day.  The pavement, when completed extended from just north of the village of Roselle to Higgins Road.

Volkening said cars could not be used in winter because of road conditions.  The horse remained the surest way of transportation for a while.

A person could tell who was driving down the street by the certain sound made by their team of horses and wagon.

The 74-year-old Volkening, a member of the village police and fire commission shrugged his shoulders in reaction to the massive growth of the area.

“I’ve seen it all,” he said.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org