Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS: DISTRICT 53

May 14, 2017

The District 53 School was located on about an acre  of land on the east side of Meacham Road north of the creek and south of old East Schaumburg Road.  Because the school was on the Fasse farm, many of the meetings were held at the Fasse farmhouse [and the school was often referred to as the Fasse School.]

In 2010 the daughter of Rev. John Sternberg presented a record book for School District 53 to the library.  The information for District 53 begins with the minutes from a meeting in 1860.  The school was built and was used for 26 years prior to the [nearby] opening of St. Peter East District School [which was located on Schaumburg Road at Rohlwing Road.]

Because the 8th graders of St. Peter East School District had to attend public school to be granted their 8th grade diploma, the [local Lutheran] children went to Schaumburg Township School 53 to complete the requirements for their 8th grade diploma.  The students needed to prove their proficiency in the basic skills of reading, math, English and whatever the local public school teacher deemed necessary.  The Lutheran schools were not accredited by the Cook County Superintendent of Schools and were not allowed to grant 8th grade diplomas.

The District 53 school was of simple, white clapboard construction.  The school faced the road and it had three windows on the north side and three windows on the south side.  There was a window on either side of the door for the coat room which gave light to this area.  All of the windows had shutters that could be opened and closed.  The chimney for the wood/coal burning stove was on the east wall of the school.  There was a small stoop at the door, which by the 1900s, was made of concrete.  The school did not have a bell tower.  In the Cook County Biennial Report of the County Superintendent of School from July 1, 1894 to June 30, 1896, it was reported that two of the five one-room schools in Schaumburg Township were new.  Was the District 53 School one of the two?

Since the school building was set on a hill with fields surrounding it, lightning rods were installed on the roof.  Was this installation for lightning protection done by the District 53 directors?  The picture shows two lightning rods, but pictures of the four other Schaumburg Township schools do not show rods.  …it is hard to say if the school had these rods from the time it was built or if they were installed when the area farmers placed the rods on their barns.

While talking about attending the District 53 School from 1904 to 1912, Carrie Gathman Ohlmann recalled walking from the family farm at the northwest corner of Rohlwing and Nerge Roads.  Born April 7, 1898, Carrie was the eighth of the nine Gathman children to attend this school.  The children walked through the fields following the fence lines and hedges.  It was a two-mile walk if they went through the fields, but it was three miles when they followed the roads–Rohlwing south to Nerge, Nerge west to Meacham, Meacham north to the school.  When the weather was especially bad, the children were taken to school by horse and wagon–the milk wagon.

In the spring the Gathman children liked to walk home through the fields.  When they came to the creek, they crossed it by jumping from stone to stone.  Many times they got wet or fell into the water.  Some farmers had stiles over the pasture fences, but the children always knew where the bulls were kept.  They avoided crossing through a pasture where a bull was grazing as they knew that was flirting with danger.

Carrie Ohlmann remembered two of the teachers she had in her eight years at the school.  The teachers were Miss Amelia Blix and Miss Budlong.  She stated that the teachers boarded at the Pfingsten farm on Meacham Road.

Water for the school was carried in a pail from the nearby Fasse farm well or from the creek which was south of the school.  She also mentioned getting water from a nearby spring.  Since she didn’t elaborate on the spring, the exact location is unknown.  There were several springs on the farms in that area.

The pail of water from the well was for drinking but part of it was poured into a basin, which was used for washing hands.  This water in the washbasin was kept until the end of the school day.  At that time it was thrown out.

The outhouse for the school was located to the east of the school.  There was a side for the boys and a side for the girls.  One of the chores assigned to the children was to wash down the interior of the outhouses with water and a broom.  The water for this chore came from the spring or the creek.

Carrie stated that all of the classes at the District 53 school were taught in English.  The school had a pump organ that was instrumental in Carrie’s love of music.  The teachers gave lessons to students after school and Carrie was one of those who participated.  This teacher, at the turn of the century, gave Carrie a gift that lasted her entire life.

The interior of the District 53 school was simple.  …The plain wooden pine floor was swept clean.  There was wainscoting on the walls below the windows.  The desks were mounted on wooden strips so that the strips could be moved to one side for cleaning and activities.  There was a raised platform at the front of the classroom which became a stage for plays, poetry recitations and musical programs for parents and neighborhood families.  This platform was about six inches higher than the floor.  The ceiling was covered with textured tin.

…Because the majority of the farmers in the District 53 school attendance area were Lutheran, the greater number of the children attended St. Peter East District School after it was built.  The population of the District 53 school declined to the extent that the school was closed in 1925, and the children began attending District 54 School in Schaumburg Center.  When the school was closed, William Thies bought the schoolhouse at auction for $117.

The Thies brothers moved the school from the Fasse farm site to their farm south on Meacham Road… The school desks were put in the attic, the windows were replaced with a transparent film that would let in the beneficial rays of the sun, nests were added, and a roosting area was built.  The school was painted red to match the other farm buildings and it officially became the main chicken house for the Thies family until they sold the farm and moved in 1960.  The school remained on the farm until later in the 1960s when it was demolished by Centex to make way for Elk Grove houses.

The text for this blog posting is an excerpt from Schaumburg of My Ancestors by LaVonne Thies Presley, published in 2012.  The book is an in-depth look at Schaumburg Township around the turn of the nineteenth century.  

Her particular focus was the farm off of Meacham Road where her father grew up.  However, LaVonne also took the opportunity in the text to create a detailed examination of the formation of the public one-room schools of Schaumburg Township.  In the upcoming months a posting will be shared on each of those five schools.  But, first, an introduction to the formation of Schaumburg Township public schools

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

 

 

 

YEARGIN CREEK: A SPECIAL LITTLE STREAM

May 29, 2016

 

 

Yeargin Creek 3

If you’re driving on Plum Grove Road, just south of Schaumburg Road, you can see this sign on the west side of the road, just before a small creek crosses beneath the road.

Yeargin Creek is a branch of the Salt Creek that feeds into the Des Plaines River.  It is formed by the confluence of three small streams that originate on the west side of Roselle Road.  You can see the streams more clearly on this 1961 Palatine Quadrangle topographical map before development obscured the origins.

Topographical map 3

The first, most northerly stream has its head waters on the Friendship Village property, crossing Pleasant Drive behind the old library that is now the Bethel Baptist Church Preschool.  It then crosses Roselle Road, running through the Schaumburg Golf Club property, skirting the back of the St. Peter Lutheran Church property and curving its way towards Schaumburg Road where it crosses into the pond at the Municipal Center.

The other two streams begin south of Schaumburg Road, with the first one starting in the southern part of Town Square and crossing Roselle Road near the shopping center’s traffic light.

4975

The other starts south of the Town Square Condominiums and crosses Roselle Road at that point.  The middle branch eventually flows into the pond on the Municipal Center grounds.  The third, most southerly branch, enters the property south of the Municipal Center parking lot.

Granted, the three tributaries are largely buried underground for most of their length but all of the forks converge in the wooded area east of the Prairie Center For The Arts and become Yeargin Creek, an above ground, flowing stream.  The creek runs to Plum Grove Road where it then crosses into the Spring Valley property.  Plum Grove Road is where Yeargin Creek officially ends.

As the sign says above, the creek was named for Herman “Hy” Yeargin who served with the Schaumburg Civil Defense unit, as a Schaumburg reserve patrolman overseeing the Bicycle Court program and as license inspector for the village.  He passed away in 1976 and the creek was named for him soon after at the suggestion of Mayor Al Larson who was a village trustee at the time.  According to the mayor, Mr. Yeargin was a dedicated public servant who took his duties very seriously–all with a good sense of humor.

In 2004 the Village of Schaumburg won the Conservation and Native Landscaping Award issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness for their restoration of Yeargin Creek.  The project replaced storm culverts with bridges, stabilized and regraded stream banks and preserved native plants to promote aeration and slower water flow.

 

Yeargin Creek 1

 

Yeargin Creek 1

This is one of the bridges crossing the southern tributary that runs along the edge of the Municipal Center parking lot.

Yeargin Creek 2

Today a walking/biking trail runs alongside Yeargin Creek and is highlighted by international sculptures from The Chicago Athenaeum.

Yeargin Creek 4

Hy Yeargin has been gone for 40 years but we honor him still with this beautiful bit of nature in the middle of our township.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

 

NEWS TIDBITS FROM “THE RECORD” — A NEWSPAPER FROM EARLY HOFFMAN ESTATES

June 28, 2015

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

It’s always fun to look back at what was happening in earlier years and what food and household items cost then. I went through the old Record newspapers to find some interesting stories. Some you may remember, if you’ve lived here a while.

Some of the shops and restaurants in the area were the Lual Shop, a ladies dress shop, in the Higgins Golf Shopping Center. Irene’s Dining Room on the SW corner of Higgins & Roselle Rd. This would have been where the Rainbow Inn was located. Maybe it took over that location, I don’t know, do you? They had a Sunday special “All the Chicken You Can Eat, $1.25”.

Walgreen’s, in the Higgins Golf Shopping Center, had these items on sale:  Anacin 100 tablets for .86 cents, Wyler’s Lemonade Mix 2 /.19 cents, Diet-Rite Cola 6 pak .49 cents and Nice ‘N Easy Hair Color $1.27.

National Food Stores had center cut rib pork chops for .79 cents a lb., cans of sweet peas or beans 8/$1. Avocadoes, cucumbers, green peppers or artichokes were .10 cents each. If you shopped at National you got S & H Green Stamps. I think everyone saved those stamps.

Used cars weren’t available locally like they are now. The auto dealers were in Elgin, Oak Park and Palatine. In 1966, a 1965 “Olds 88” was selling for $1995. A 1964 Pontiac Convertible “fully equipped” was selling for $1795.

Of course we were making a lot less money then but it’s fun to see what things were selling for in the mid 60’s.

Some of the interesting stories from 1966 were; “H.E. Is Expected to Call Off Township Library Annexation” Cook County had been encouraging local municipalities to annex small parcels of unincorporated land to better serve their need for police and fire protection. Hoffman Estates’ efforts were dropped after the residents along Pleasant Acres subdivision petitioned to remain unincorporated.

With construction booming in Schaumburg Township in 1966, a crippling strike began on April 11th that halted all construction for Hoffman-Rosner Corp. in Hoffman Estates and Campanelli Bros. in Schaumburg. The strike affected the building of the Thunderbird Movie Theater in the Golf Rose Shopping Center and work that was being done on Motorola.

Plans for William Rainey Harper junior college were discussed at the Hoffman Estates village board meeting in anticipation of the planned June 4, 1966 referendum. The college name was chosen to honor William Rainey Harper, first president of the University of Chicago and founder of the first junior college in Illinois.

A news essay in The Record dated May 11, 1966 gave high praise for Hoffman Estates Mayor Roy Jenkins. “Roy Jenkins is sincerely and unswayingly determined to go down in local history as a good mayor and a leader who got things done.” The article went on to say “He has, at the very least, learned the significance of the words of Thomas Payne: ‘For heaven’s sake, satisfy SOMEBODY!’”.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian, eagle2064@comcast.net

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

January 18, 2015

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

As I drive around town or back and forth to work, I notice that the police cars keep changing.  Some are the 4 door sedans, but many are SUV’s of all types.  It’s nice for our officers to have enough room in their squads to pick up a bike that’s been abandoned on the roadside after being stolen or damaged.  They probably like having the extra room for other everyday work.  Over the years the colors have changed along with the newer makes and models.

he-village-hall

I began to do some research into how our police force has changed over the years.  My first memory of the police department dates back to 1965 when I first moved to Hoffman Estates. The police department had a small area on the north end of the old Gieseke/Hammerstein farmhouse (now the Children’s Advocacy Center) that served as the first sales office for F & S Construction but later became home to our first village hall, public works and police departments. The north end of the upper floor was used for police offices.  The slanted ceiling always required walking about in a slightly stooped position for police chief Mark Orlick who had his office upstairs.  A small addition was added to the back of the farmhouse to serve as a small jail.  Our population in the 1960 census was 8,296.HE Police

The Daily Record newspaper had a 1962 story about the police department.  At that time, the force consisted of the Chief Orlick, Lt. John O’Connell, Sgt. Willard Anderson and six patrolmen; Norm Kalovsky, Robert Manning, Ray Schneider, George Eckart, Rod Schwartz and Richard Hecker. The training for the officers was given at the Chicago Police Academy.

There were only 3 squad cars to patrol the neighborhoods.  Two squads were on duty at all times with all three on duty during the “rush hour”. Other duties of the police officers were to take accident victims to area hospitals (Arlington Heights or Elgin) when they didn’t need an ambulance.  They served as armed guards for large monetary deposits from businesses or large organizations to Roselle or Palatine banks since there was no bank in town. They also served as marriage counselors for domestic disputes.  During 1961 they handled 2,662 calls from residents. The most common were dog bites, prowlers and suspicious persons or vehicles.

Since the early 60s, our village has grown from a population of 8,500 to 53,000 in 2014.  Our village borders now reach west to Elgin and north to Inverness. There are 22 square miles for our police force to cover in their efforts to keep us safe.

We now have 93 sworn officers, 31 marked cars, with 8 patrol cars on the streets at all times.  Our police department took 19,339 calls from the community in 2013.  Their 12 weeks of training is done with the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at College of Du Page.   They continue with 14 weeks of on–the-job training.

The present day police force still helps us deal with domestic disputes, dog bites; traffic accidents, prowlers and suspicious persons, but they do it on a much larger scale.  With modern communication tools, we dial 911 and they arrive on the scene or at our doors in a matter of minutes.  It’s reassuring to know someone is there to help us.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
Eagle2064@comcast.net

(Photo of the Hoffman Estates police force is compliments of the Village of Hoffman Estates’ website.)

CAN YOU HELP WITH THESE LOCAL HISTORY QUESTIONS?

September 26, 2014

Question markRecently there have been a few questions posed both to this blog and to our Reference Desk concerning local history in Schaumburg Township where we have not been able to track down an answer.  I’m hoping the greater, local history-loving brain out there can provide some assistance!

Question #1:  A reader of the blog is looking for the name of a guy’s clothing store that was on the first level of Woodfield Mall near the center court.  It was darkly lit and featured a lot of zippered clothing.  The reader also remembers the clothes being kind of pricey and trendy, as well as borderline Goth in style.  It was there in the mid to late 80’s and the patron thinks it had Street in the name…

Question #2:  Another reader of the blog is looking for a Woodfield Mall store she used to go to as a child for birthday parties in the high 1990s.  It was for little girls and, as part of the party, they would do your hair.  Plus, there was glitter everywhere! Then you could pick out certain make-up you wanted. Does anyone remember?

Question #3:  One of our library patrons is trying to track down any information on a young man who delivered newspapers for a short time in Hoffman Estates by horse and buggy.  The patron feels the time period would be around 1969 and that he was probably delivering the Hoffman Herald.  It did not last long because of the mess[es] caused by the horse but it was an interesting endeavor!

If you know any of the answers, please respond to this blog posting or email me.  Any clues are also appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
jrozek@stdl.org

TREASURES OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

September 14, 2014

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

There are many interesting locations in the village that you may not be aware of.  Some of them have been written about before, others may not be known to many of you.

The Village of Hoffman Estates is a blend of what’s left of the rural history and what has become our sprawling suburban town.

It’s like a “did you know” list of trivia that everyone seems to enjoy.

Shoe FactorySo, did you know that on the south side of Shoe Factory Rd., about a mile east of Bartlett Rd., you can find a model airplane flying field?  When the weather permits, model airplane enthusiasts will be busy flying their planes, sometimes having races, or just showing off their latest upgrades to the others who will do the same.  It’s open to the public and the owners of the planes always seem happy to answer questions and show you their prized models. As seen from the air the planes look small but once you see them on the ground they’re really quite big.  It’s a great place for everyone in the family, especially the kids.

hoffman estates village hallDid you know that the old village hall that was located on the corner of Gannon and Golf Rd. held a special distinction?  It was the first building in the country to be built and designed for those with handicaps.  The building, that became our second village hall in 1972, was completely accessible to anyone with handicaps.  I believed that it was the first building of its kind in the state but have since learned that it was the first in the nation.  It’s gone now, with an Audi dealership at that location.

SAMSUNGDid you know that the village has won many Governors’ Home Town awards over the years?  The one that really brought the community together was won in 1993 for the work done to renovate our first village hall that was a farmhouse built in the mid 1840s.  Rather than tear the old building down, the village brought together the local trade’s people and other local community organizations to remodel, furnish and paint the old village hall.  It became the Children’s’ Advocacy Center.  Today it still has many of those early tradesmen actively keeping the building in shape.

Sunderlage SmokehouseDid you know that the only building in the village of Hoffman Estates that’s on the National Register of Historic Places is a small smokehouse? It’s believed to have been built in the 1840s.  It’s located behind the Sunderlage Farmhouse that was built in 1856.  The smokehouse was built before the house since preserving food for the family was so necessary.  The large house came later.  It is quite unusual for such a small building to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places but it represented a unique design for such a necessary building.

Lion BridgeDid you know that the Lion Bridge, built in 1906 over Poplar Creek at Rt. 59 and Rt. 58, isn’t on the National Register of Historic Places but is considered an historic bridge by Bridgehunter.com listing historic & notable bridges of the U.S.  It is listed as the Old Sutton Rd. Bridge.  It was built in 1906 by Cook County and Hanover Township.  Much research has been done, but it is not known who designed and built the bridge.  When you are at the intersection of 59 and 58, look at the southeast corner to see this bridge that is still used by horses, bikes and pedestrians.

Please don’t forget to come to our Museum program on Saturday, Sept. 27th from 1 to 2:30 pm.  We’ll celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Village of Hoffman Estates.  Our program is titled “Growing Up in Hoffman Estates or What I Didn’t Tell my Mom”.  Contact me at Eagle2064@comcast.net if you can join a panel of “kids” who will spill everything about growing up in Hoffman Estates.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian

HOFFMAN ESTATES IN 1963

April 6, 2014

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

In doing research about our grocery stores that opened in the early years of our village, I discovered that the year 1963 was quite eventful.  That was the year that the newest downtown shopping center opened at Golf and Roselle Rd.  It was across Roselle Rd. from the Hoffman Plaza Shopping Center that opened in 1959.  At that time it was called Golf-Rose Shopping Center. The name was changed to Golf Center and over the past 50 years the shopping center has seen many changes.Golf shopping

The first store to open in August of 1963 was the Golf Paint Glass & Wallpaper store.  It was located about were Dress Barn is now.  The grand opening offered a chance to win one of 2 picnic tables or 10 transistor radios.  Tri-County latex wall finish was $3.95 a gallon.  Balas Carpeting and Furniture opened next to the paint store in October.  Grants Department Store opened on October 17th at the far south end of the shopping center were T.J. Maxx is.  They had the “New Grant’s Opening Sale” in October with the sale of (your choice) a 15.1 Cu. Ft. chest freezer, a full size 10 lb. automatic washer or an automatic defrost refrigerator for $188. The National Food store opened on October 15th at the north end of the shopping center were Petland is now located. National Food

Several other small businesses were in between.  Hoffman Liquors, a Laundromat and a bakery that was there for many years and remembered by many of the early residents.  The bakery was Little John’s Butter Bakery.  Later the name changed to the Golf-Rose Butter Bakery that had wonderful German bakery goods.

On October 31 the dedication of the new shopping center would bring residents a fun and exciting Halloween celebration.  There would be a pumpkin carving competition, costume judging, and a sky high bonfire in the evening.  Residents were encouraged to “bring their junk” to fuel the huge bonfire.

In addition to the new shopping center, other building projects were getting underway.  In the spring of 63, plans for the community pool, were announced, with completion by June. In September, the Robert Hall clothing store was under construction at the southeast corner of Roselle & Golf Rd.  The 8400 square foot building would be ready for business in the fall.

The circus came to town in June to the Hoffman Plaza to help the Lions Club raise money for the new community pool.  Lions, llamas, chimpanzees, aerial acts and a dancing elephant were featured.

presbyterianThe United Presbyterian Church (to the right) and Bethel Baptist Church had their ground breakings in the summer and fall of 1963.  Bethel Baptist Church had been meeting in the Blackhawk School at Illinois Blvd. and Schaumburg Rd.  Due to the growing population, St. Hubert Catholic School added additional classrooms in 1963.

But the most exciting event of 1963 wouldn’t be in new shopping centers or new buildings and churches going up around town but the partial eclipse of the sun on July 20th.  Everyone was talking about it and everyone, especially the children, was given instructions on the importance of protecting their eyes during this awesome event.

The village was growing by leaps and bounds and 1963 was a banner years for the development of our downtown area.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

JAHNS ROAD AT LAST

January 26, 2014

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.Jahns Road sign

A very historic moment happened on the rainy morning of October 17, 2013.  It was a very happy day for the Jahn family since the historic moment was the installation of the “Historic Jahns Road” sign on Jones Road at the intersection of Hillcrest Blvd.

It had taken 5 years of research to find evidence that the road had been originally named Jahns Road.  Although the family knew that it was Jahns Road, the Village couldn’t approve the historic sign until there was documentation to that effect.

The first piece of evidence came unexpectedly when Sharon Kimble, Deputy Clerk for Schaumburg Township, passed along some folders with old papers that she felt should be in our museum.  What I found was a precinct list of registered voters dated October, 1956 from the office of Edward J. Barrett,  County Clerk of Cook County, Illinois.  One of the streets listed was Jahns Road with 3 registered voters, Charlotte G. Jahn, Edwin Jahn and Carl Meier.  Needless to say, I was so happy to find proof of the roads name.  The other documentation came from the Schaumburg Township Road Books.  Historic Sites Commission member Marilyn Lind directed me to an entry that she remembered reading about the request of William Jahn and Fred Jahn for a road to be put in on their at a cost of $1.  The entry was dated “the 28th day of May A.D. 1906”.

Thanks to the Historic Sites Commission and Paul Petrenko, the request for the Jahns Rd. sign was officially presented to and approved by the Hoffman Estates Village Board on August 26, 2013.

As we gathered around the corner of (Jahns) Jones and Hillcrest in the pouring rain, Dorothy Jahn Schult recalled that Hillcrest Blvd. would have been very close to the original road that lead to her parents farmhouse.  Dorothy’s granddaughter Caitlin Larson and her cousins Ralph Heine and Vernon Frost were also huddled under the umbrellas as Ric Signorella videotaped the installation of the historic sign for the Village.

As we watched the sign going up, Vern remembered how he took the milk wagon down Jahns Rd. to the Sunderlage Gas Station at Higgins and Jahns Rd. for the dairy pick up. Dorothy told of how her and her sisters Marilyn and Carol walked to the one room Highland School on Ela and Central Rd. by taking Jahns Rd and cutting across the fields.  The girls frequently road their horses, Tony and Pepper down Jahns Rd. to the Sunderlage Gas Station for candy or a cold soda in the summer.

How the road’s name was changed to Jones was probably due to poor hand writing.  When the toll way went through, Jones (Jahns) road ended at the Hassell Road no longer going through to Cental Road.

Thanks to John Nebel, Director of Public Works and Joe Vopie of traffic control for presenting signs to the Jahn family members.  They’ll always have special memories of their historic day.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian
Eagle2064@comcast.net

(The photo is taken from the YouTube video that the Village of Hoffman Estates posted.  You can view the entire ceremony here.) 

THE SCHAUMBURG SONG

November 10, 2013

RMusic notesolling hills and flowing meadows where Indians once roamed,
Is the place that the German settlers came and decided to make their home.
They built their farms, worked the land, toiled hard and long,
That’s how Schaumburg got its start and we’re still going strong.”

Sound familiar? Most probably not. This is the start of Schaumburg’s theme song commissioned by the Schaumburg Sister City Committee in 1983 to honor the 27-year old village. Eager to get their group off and running, they financed the writing and production of “Schaumburg, We’re Proud to Call You Our Home.”

Home grown from the beginning to the end of the process, the song has a folk/country sound. The lyrics and music were written by local ladies, Barbara Tracy and Chris Portuese. As a professional singer and guitar player, Ms. Tracy recorded the song on Sunday, June 19, 1983 with No Limit, a three member rock band from Schaumburg. And, you guessed it, it was produced in a Schaumburg studio.

One thousand copies of the single were recorded on a 45-rpm style record. (The library has one in our Reference collection.) On the B-side of the record is a song from Schaumburg-Lippe that is sung in German. According to a June 16, 1983 article from the Daily Herald, Ms. Tracy says, “A soccer team that was here (from Germany) first sang the song and then the Buckeburger Jager orchestra and dancing troupe sang it while they were here and gave me a copy of the music.”

The lyrics to “Schaumburg, We’re Proud to Call You Our Home” are as follows…

“Rolling hills and flowing meadows where Indians once roamed,
Is the place that the German settler came and decided to make their home.
They built their farms, worked the land, toiled hard and long,
That’s how Schaumburg got its start and we’re still going strong.

Schaumburg—from a sleepy little hollow,
Schaumburg—to a city with a dream,
Schaumburg—we’re proud to call you our home.

They built the schools, built the churches, became a prosperous town,
Where a tailor, cobbler, wagon maker and blacksmith could be found,
Always there to help each other as they went along,
That’s how Schaumburg got its start and we’re still going strong.

They called it Schaumburg—from a sleepy little hollow,
Schaumburg—to a city with a dream,
Schaumburg—we’re proud to call you our home.

A village built with love and pride and a spirit that lives on and on,
With farms and high-rises side by side, Schaumburg’s a special town,
It’s a place to raise your family, a place you can belong,
Schaumburg had a humble start and we’re still going strong.

Schaumburg—from a sleepy little hollow,
Schaumburg—to a city with a dream,
Schaumburg—we’re proud to call you our home.”

Efforts were made to gain the rights to put the song on this blog. Ms. Portuese has since passed away and Ms. Tracy was unable to be reached. If, at some point, we are able to make contact, it would be neat to share the recording!

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

HOFFMAN LANES: THE 1ST BOWLING ALLEY OF SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

September 29, 2013

When Hoffman Lanes opened on the northwest corner of Higgins and Roselle Roads in 1961, a whole new avenue of entertainment rolled into Schaumburg Township with the bowling balls.Hoffman Lanes

The bowling alley, now owned by AMF Bowling Centers, Inc., was originally the work of A & L Bowling Centers of Chicago.  Joseph J. Abbell and Leonard Lamensdorf, for whom A & L was named, were local real estate investors and developers of shopping centers as well as bowling alleys.  This was their sixth venture into the bowling business in the Chicago area.

The building was begun in January of 1961 with the promise of “a cocktail lounge, possibly a piano bar, restaurant, snack bar, pro-shop and nursery for toddlers.”  (Daily Herald, 2/2/1961)  They expected to employ a babysitter for the nursery in the afternoon and evenings at no charge to the customers.  Two meeting rooms were also available to leagues and their organizations who were affiliated with Hoffman Lanes.  The restaurant and snack bar would be under the supervision of brothers, Kanellas “Nello” and George Cafcules.

It was also expected that employees would come from the Hoffman Estates area.  There would be positions available for “machine maintenance men, concourse and lounge waitresses and the control counter.”  (Daily Herald, 2/2/1961)

The interesting thing is that A & L hired Hoffman Lanes neighbor, B & K Realtor Co. at Roselle and Higgins, to begin registering leagues and individuals.  Obviously, there were only so many local establishments in town who could offer such a service!

Free bowling instruction would be offered every morning to adults.   The 8-14 year old crowd would be instructed on the first four Saturdays the lanes were open.  It was also stipulated that children under 16 would be asked to leave the bowling alley by 9:00 every weeknight unless accompanied by their parents.  This would change to midnight on Saturday night, per Hoffman Estates curfew hours.

By March the building was on its way with F. & S. Construction in charge.  (F & S built most of early Hoffman Estates so they would seem to be a logical choice as a contractor.)  Many bowling leagues from Hoffman Estates and nearby communities had already signed up for the lanes.  It was expected to house 48 lanes and now included a billiard room.  Needless to say, there was a demand for entertainment.

In June, A & L hired Leslie Zikes, Sr. to be general manager of the bowling alley.  He was expected to “supervise all phases of construction, internal operations and promotion of the 32,000 sq. ft. ultra-modern building.”  (Daily Herald, June 1, 1961)  Zikes was also expected to hire 20-25 employees very shortly.

It was at this time Zikes announced that the Lanes would feature 24 Brunswick “Gold Crown” Lanes, including automatic pinsetters (Brunswick called them “the pinsetters with the magic brain”), pinfinders and telescores.  The telescore tables were special pedestal tables made by Brunswick that had a built in overhead projector designed to be used for scoring.  It would be interesting if someone would comment on whether this bowling alley used the projection part for scoring or used a paper score sheet.Hoffman Lanes

When the plans were discussed early on, you may have noticed there was to be 48 lanes.   By June, they were down to 24 lanes and by August, when they opened, they were up to 32 alleys.  Plus, it was air-conditioned!  This was a real bonus in the early 1960s when central air was not a part of the early homes of Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg.

According to former local resident Jay Campbell, four other bowling alleys were built around 1961 with the same type of building and outdoor sign, as well as 32 or 36 lanes.  They were:  Meadowdale Lanes in Carpentersville, now called Liberty Lanes; Park Lanes in Loves Park; Town and Country Lanes in Springfield, now called Spillway Lanes.

Hoffman LanesTo this day, Hoffman Lanes has been a successful entertainment venue in Schaumburg Township.  They gained even more notoriety in May 1994 when they began holding the Petersen Classic tournament each year on 16 of their 32 lanes.  The Petersen is privately-sponsored, open to any male or female bowler and runs over a period of months beginning in May and ending in August.  The Hoffman Lanes sign, in fact, bears the moniker of  “Home of the Petersen Classic.”

Hoffman Lanes is one of only three existing bowling alleys in Schaumburg Township and is by far and away the longest lasting.  You can visit them at 80 W. Higgins Road or online here.   Bowl a game or two and have a quick bite to eat.  It was fun in 1961 and still is over 50 years later!

It was reported in the Daily Herald on July 3, 2015 that Hoffman Lanes had closed.  Our regrets.

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