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.
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.
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!
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library