Long Grove Historical Society http://LongGroveHistory.org Save The Bridge! Thu, 13 Jun 2019 04:03:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/lghsmedia/lghs/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/12155205/cropped-lghsLogo512Square-1-32x32.png Long Grove Historical Society http://LongGroveHistory.org 32 32 Long Grove’s National Historic Bridge is Saved! http://LongGroveHistory.org/long-groves-national-historic-bridge-saved/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 03:52:29 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1015 The Long Grove Village Board votes to accept a bid to rebuild the Bridge’s foundation and refurbish the iron infrastructure.

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After more than two years of fund raising and public advocacy for preservation, the Long Grove Historical Society is happy to report a significant milestone has been reached. Last night the Long Grove Village Board voted to accept a bid to rebuild the Bridge’s foundation and refurbish the iron infrastructure, which should extend the iconic one lane covered bridge’s life another half a century. The vote was 4 to 2, with Trustees Borawski, O’Reilly, Kritzmire, and Nora voting yes, and Trustees Sarlitto and O’Connor voting no. The work has been designed in collaboration with the State Historic Preservation Agency so that the Bridge will retain the National Historic Register designation. Work is planned for completion late this year – perhaps, a nice Christmas present for Long Grove residents. A proper celebration will be in order, and we’ll let you know when that gets scheduled, but it may have to wait until next year considering the weather and the unpredictability of construction schedules.

To the many bridge lovers far and wide who donated time, talents and treasure, a hearty thank you for a job well done!

Originally constructed in 1906 by the Joliet Bridge and Iron Company, the bridge is one of only two remaining of its kind in the greater Chicagoland area. Grass roots efforts for historic preservation and national recognition were rekindled early in 2017 when some local officials questioned the historic value of the one-lane bridge and favored a plan that would require removal of the current structure and increase truck and auto traffic through the pedestrian friendly downtown. In April of 2017, Landmarks Illinois, named the bridge to their annual “List of Endangered Historic Places.” A change.org petition urging local officials to save the historic bridge gathered over 5,000 signatures/testimonials and a fund-raising campaign raised over $50,000 in monetary donations and pledges. An application was researched and prepared for the National Park Service, and in June of 2018 it was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That same month, the bridge was severely damaged by an oversize truck.

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Annual Report and Meeting for 2019/20 http://LongGroveHistory.org/annual-report-meeting-201920/ Fri, 03 May 2019 22:20:09 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1007 The Long Grove Historical Society celebrates the accomplishments of the past year and the creation of a new board for the 2019/20 season.

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The Long Grove Historical Society held it’s annual meeting at Harbor Chase on May 1st, 2019. The annual report presented by President Angie Underwood follows:

It was a milestone year for the Long Grove Historical Society as our group saw a long term goal achieved—placement of the Covered Bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. Becoming the first property in our Village to receive this notable designation, it was a joyous high point amidst a year of success for our organization.

Installation of new officers was held at Enzo and Lucia’s on April 25, 2018. Our Covered Bridge Children’s Art Contest was well underway with entries from several area schools. Under the leadership of Diane Trickey, a group of Long Grove artists selected the winning drawings which were displayed at Covered Bridge Creamery in the month of May, and featured in Long Grove Living magazine. Candy prizes for the participants were generously donated by our downtown merchants.

Spring and summer saw several improvements to our Farmhouse property under the direction of Chris Campbell. A new security system was installed, and work was done to repair several windows with rotting wood trim. Repairs were made to the sump pump drain at Archer School, and later in the season tree removal and trimming was done at the farmhouse property. Many thanks to Angela Searcy and Jesse Visocnik for their donations towards getting the new security system installed at a lower cost to the society.

To celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial, a series of four musical programs was held on the Farmhouse Back Porch under the direction of Mike Dvorak. Held on the first Fridays of the month in June, July, August, and September, they featured guest performers doing “Spoon River Anthology” and “Songs of the Prairie State,” among others. John Kopecky was instrumental in organizing informal potluck gatherings on the lawn prior to the evening shows, for fun and fellowship within the community. Mike produced additional programs for Chocolate, Strawberry, and Apple Fests for the back porch stage, featuring local students acting and singing.

On June 15, the Historical Society was informed by the National Park Service that the covered bridge had been officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A press release was sent and the happy news was widely covered in papers locally and even nationally as it was picked up by the Associated Press. A community celebration for later in July was being planned. In late June, just two weeks after the National Register announcement, tragically the bridge was struck by an oversized truck and severely damaged. Shock, sadness and disbelief was felt not only in Long Grove, but from across the country. Our Historical Society received several emails from history buffs in places such as California and Pennsylvania, sharing in our sorrow. Angie and Aaron Underwood and Ryan Messner appeared on two separate television news features in the aftermath of the accident. Fortunately, the most historic parts of the bridge were not damaged in the accident, but the wooden cover had to be completely removed. The Long Grove Village Board is in the process of securing engineering specifications and restoration work bids, in the hopes that work can be completed in 2019 to fully restore the covered bridge. Our Covered Bridge Fund received several additional donations from individuals and one very large donation of $25,000 from a single donor this year, and we look forward to transferring these funds to the Village when the restoration work is finally approved and contracted.

In other sad news, two former officers and long time members of the Historical Society passed away this summer, Betty Coffin and Lee Bassett. Society members assisted with the memorial service held for Lee at Reed-Turner, and many members donated food items to be shared.

Vintage Days in August were a time for fun and frolic. Angie and Aaron assisted with historical narration on the tractor & hay wagon rides throughout the downtown. Our Penny Carnival was a rousing success entertaining loads of young kids and their families, with the help of an enthusiastic crew of teen volunteers. Many thanks go to Jane Primack and Marie Roth for heading up this activity. A highlight of the weekend was the performance of an original show written and produced by Mike Dvorak entitled “Good Times with the Gridleys.” Local students entertained us through drama and song with a synopsis of the history of Long Grove, told through the personas of the early pioneer citizens. This lively back porch performance was a hit!

In September we hosted a class of senior citizens from National Louis University for a tour of our barn and schoolhouse, and talk about our local history. Board members took a field trip to Gridley Cemetery on October 10th, for some light maintenance and so that many of our group could see it for the first time. This was followed by a surprise baby shower for our curator, Meghan Potempa. Plans for our annual Ghost Walk event had to be cancelled due to the construction and road closures in the downtown historical district. An alternate event, “A Spooky Night at the Farmhouse” was held on the back porch stage, featuring songs and scary stories. In December, Mike Dvorak held his final production of the year with a “Yuletide Sing” at the farmhouse.

A gathering in late fall was held at Buffalo Creek Brewery to say farewell to long time Historical Society members Georgia Cawley and Joe Barry who have moved to Hawaii. Volunteer labor was recruited at the event to stuff envelopes for a larger-than-usual outreach for our annual membership drive. Under the direction of Aaron Underwood, we were able to raise $10,000 in donations to the Society this year, a huge increase from recent years past. This is especially helpful as our major fundraiser, the Ghost Walk, had to be cancelled.

The winter months were slow for our Society as everyone either hibernated away from the severe weather and “Polar Vortex” or escaped to a warmer climate. However, one big and notable project was accomplished with the cleaning, purging, and organizing of our farmhouse basement and closets, thanks to the efficient efforts of Jane Primack and her crew of volunteers. Old appliances, chairs, and a rusted out hot water heater were removed and new storage space opened up so that our meeting room is now void of clutter. Thanks to all who helped with this needed spruce-up! Several members of the Society also assisted in organizing and helping with the Candidates Night in March, sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

It was a year for the history books, and one that I will never forget. This coming year will be one focused on working with the community to see the covered bridge repaired. We will all look forward to the upcoming celebration when the bridge is once again restored, maybe a year later than we had planned but perhaps all the more joyous for the wait.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Angie Underwood
Long Grove Historical Society President

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Maple Syrup Season http://LongGroveHistory.org/maple-syrup-season/ Sun, 10 Mar 2019 17:06:49 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1000 In a video from 1984, long time Long Grove mayor Bob Coffin and his wife Betty show how they tap and make maple syrup.

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Harvesting of maple syrup is a Long Grove tradition that dates back many years. Please enjoy a video clip from our archives of former Long Grove mayor Bob Coffin and his late wife Betty, as they walk you through how it’s done…

 

 

 

The film cassette from our archives is dated Spring, 1984 and includes the following notes:

This short documentary film entitled Maple Syrup Time in Long Grove features long time Long Grove residents Bob & Betty Coffin. The Coffins have been tapping sugar Maple trees for the past 30 years. You’ll see them demonstrate procedures for tapping the trees and converting the sap into waffle ready syrup. Produced and filmed by Jack Schaum and narrated by David McCartny.

If you fancy watching some trees being tapped live, head on over to the Lake County Forest Preserves website, and sign up for one of their Maple Syrup Hikes that are offered in the latter half of March.

If you’re more in the mood for some armchair sleuthing, check out this article about a massive theft of syrup that occurred in Quebec. After pondering how on earth you would profit/fence/resell that much syrup without getting caught, you can check out this article to read what really happened. If you have access to Netflix, you can also watch the whole story on Dirty Money – Episode 6 – “The Maple Syrup Heist”. It’s also the subject of the plot for Elementary – Season 5 – Episode 13 – “Over A Barrel”. Who knew Maple Syrup could be such a hot commodity?

 

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2019 Membership Drive http://LongGroveHistory.org/2019-membership-drive/ Wed, 28 Nov 2018 14:31:28 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=990 Join the Long Grove Historical Society and help get the Long Grove Covered Bridge restored.

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Click here for information on how to make a donation and join our ranks.

Please consider a membership in the Long Grove Historical Society for the year 2019.As you have likely heard, the Historical Society, partnering with the State of Illinois and the downtown merchants, was successful in getting our covered bridge placed on the National Historic Register. Only a few days later, the Bridge Covering was badly damaged by a wayward truck. Efforts to rebuild the bridge will be ongoing into the next year. The Historical Society will continue our work of advocating for preservation of our historical icon.

Our volunteer organization also owns and maintains three properties as a reminder of our heritage: the 1850’s Farmhouse Museum, the historic one room Archer School, and the 1850’s restored Ruth Barn. We have an ongoing relationship with the community and the members of the Historic Downtown Business Association, and strive to provide educational opportunities through our activities and programs. New for this year was a remodeled patio at our Farmhouse which functioned as a stage for several family friendly programs over the summer.

While membership dues have always been a major part of our annual revenues, they’re especially critical this year. In addition to the time and effort that has gone into advocacy and fundraising to preserve the Covered Bridge, our buildings have also needed major repairs, such as new windows and a new security system. This coming year we will need to repaint. Due to the construction in the downtown this fall, our major annual fund raiser, the Ghost Walk, had to be cancelled. We continue to be dependent on the support of friends and neighbors such as yourself. The Long Grove Historical Society is a registered 501C3 charity and receives no public funding. We hope you’ll consider a membership for 2019 so that we may continue to provide this advocacy and these wonderful programs to the community. If you’re interested in volunteering, we can always use a hand. Contact Angie@LongGroveHistory.org, for more information.

Click here for information on how to make a donation and join our ranks.

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2018 Long Grove Ghost Walk – Our Sixth Annual Event http://LongGroveHistory.org/sixth-annual-ghost-walk/ Tue, 11 Sep 2018 12:35:02 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=972 Fancy a creepy historical walk around the coolest downtown in Lake County? Join the Long Grove Historical Society for their sixth annual Long Grove Ghost Walk! The ghosts will be there... will you?

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Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the 2018 Long Grove Historical Society Ghost Walk, due to road and sidewalk closures in the downtown.

So…

Instead this year, we will do a smaller scale, bring your own chair because we ain’t walkin’ around anywhere “variety” show at our Farmhouse back porch stage, which we’re calling:

“A Scary Night at the Farmhouse”

See our Facebook event listing for all the details. Email our event chair persons at ghostbusters@longGroveHistory.org if you have further questions.

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Good Times with the Gridleys http://LongGroveHistory.org/good-times-gridleys/ Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:50:04 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=966 Video from the 2018 Vintage Days performance of Good TImes with the Gridleys. The home town show covers retells some significant events in Long Grove History.

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An enthusiastic crowd got a treat this past Saturday and Sunday with the performance of the original musical “Good Times with the Gridleys”. The show covers some significant events in Long Grove History. The first clip below is a bit over 5 minutes and hits just the hightlights, while the second clip contains the entire 30 minute show. Enjoy!

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Bridge Damaged http://LongGroveHistory.org/bridge-damaged/ Fri, 29 Jun 2018 06:00:06 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=947 Only days after being placed on the nation's National Historic Register, Long Grove's iconic bridge was severely damaged by an over-size, over-weight truck.

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Unbelievable. Only days after being placed on the nation’s National Historic Register, the bridge was severely damaged by an over-size, over-weight truck. Hopefully, the damage was limited to the covering, which has been the case in previous run-ins with trucks that disregard all the signage.

Below is a clip from ABC 7 that aired on August 24th (scroll further down for items that aired in the immediate aftermath of the accident):

Below is a clip from CBS Chicago’s evening newscast on Thursday, June 28:


Below is the article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, June 29. (click here or on the newspaper below for the full article):


Below is the article that appeared in the Daily Herald on Friday, June 29. (click here or on the newspaper below for the full article):


Below is a picture taken shortly after the incident which shows the size and type of truck:

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Family History Research http://LongGroveHistory.org/family-history-research/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:47:18 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=937 Indexes for Family History Researchers

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As an all volunteer, privately funded (well… underfunded… 🙂 ) group, we lack the resources to perform family history research or consulting. We have no public archives, aside from what’s on this website. We do not have any original records for the Long Grove area – those are held in other institutions.

We love getting pictures and old stories of old Long Grove, so if you have some to share – please send them our way. We do occasionally collaborate with a family history researcher on research and document items of significance.

The definitive history of Long Grove area families is called Long Grove Lore and Legend. New copies may be purchased at the Long Grove Information Center and used copies can often be found on eBay. Copies can also be found in local Long Grove area libraries, of course. Here’s a link to an index we put together of the book:

Index to Long Grove Lore and Leged

Additionally, we are always posting old newsletters and historical articles on this site – use google to search your interest with the following link:

LongGroveHistory.org Google Site Search Link

So if you’re tempted to drop us an email to inquire if we know anything about your great-great-uncle Bob… there’s no need. We’ll just refer you to this page, where you can check the above indexes. However, if you’ve been told that your great-great-uncle Bob wrote the Army Air Corps theme song while visiting his sister in Long Grove… by all means let’s talk!

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Bridge Listed on National Register http://LongGroveHistory.org/bridge-listed-national-register/ Fri, 15 Jun 2018 20:43:49 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=930 Long Grove's Buffalo Creek Bridge, more commonly known as the Long Grove Covered Bridge, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service of the United Stated of America.

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We received notification today from the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office that Long Grove’s Buffalo Creek Bridge was formally listed on the National Historic Register, June 11, 2018!

The Register is maintained by the US National Park Service, and is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.

This is Long Grove’s first listing on the prestigious register and only the second one in Vernon Township (the Adlai Stevenson home is the other listed property).

The celebration originally planned for July 12th has been postponed to give the bridge time to recover from it’s recent bout with an over-size truck. When the bridge is back in good health, we’ll announce plans for an event to properly celebrate the designation.

Here’s a link to the notice put out by the National Park Service:

https://www.nps.gov/nr/listings/20180615.htm

The following joint press release (Long Grove Historical Society & Historical Downtown Long Grove Business Association) was issued yesterday when we got the news:


PRESS RELEASE June 15, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:

Angie Underwood, President, Long Grove Historical Society
847-478-5140; angie@longGroveHistory.org
http://savethebridge.net/

Ryan Messner,Vice-President, Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association
847-793-0041
rmessner@visitlonggrove.com

Long Grove’s Iconic Covered Bridge listed in National Register of Historic Places

The National Park Service has announced today that the Buffalo Creek Bridge, more commonly known as the Long Grove Covered Bridge, is being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the first property in Long Grove to receive this prestigious designation.

Originally constructed in 1906 by the Joliet Bridge and Iron Company, the bridge is one of only two remaining of its kind in the greater Chicagoland area. Grass roots efforts for historic preservation and national recognition were rekindled early in 2017 when some local officials questioned the historic value of the one-lane bridge and favored a plan that would require removal of the current structure and increase truck and auto traffic through the pedestrian friendly downtown. In April of 2017, Landmarks Illinois, named the bridge to their annual “List of Endangered Historic Places.” A change.org petition urging local officials to save the historic bridge gathered over 4,900 signatures/testimonials and a fund-raising campaign has raised over $50,000 in monetary donations and pledges. Despite these efforts, local officials remain undecided on a long term course of action to restore or replace the bridge.

“For many years, the Long Grove Historical Society has been at the forefront of efforts to receive this designation, and we are thrilled to hear the news. Achieving National Register status confirms our belief in the bridge’s historical value as well as the sentimental value we know it holds for our community. This is a source of pride for all of Long Grove and we will continue to advocate for preservation of our beloved covered bridge,” noted Historical Society President Angie Underwood.

Ryan Messner, Vice-President of the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association added, “It’s our icon and our brand. For decades, Long Grove was a destination, and now the general feeling is that with the recent new business openings we’ve turned the corner and are solidly on our way back. It’d be foolish to destroy this treasure that has now been recognized with national historical status, and open up the quaint downtown to cut through traffic.”

An impromptu public celebration will be held in the coming weeks. Please check the Long Grove Historical Society website at LongGroveHistory.org for updated details. More information about the bridge and the efforts to save it can be found online at SaveTheBridge.net

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Long Grove Times – #39 Summer, 2018 http://LongGroveHistory.org/long-grove-times-39-summer-2018/ Tue, 15 May 2018 23:28:58 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=861 Join us this weekend to kick off our summer events at Long Grove's Historical Farmhouse. Fun family events are planned all summer long - see the complete listing of dates and times below. Also, learn about a few old things that turned up around town, meet our new board members for the upcoming year, and find out who won the recently completed Covered Bridge Art Contest.

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#39 – Summer 2018

In this issue… Join us this weekend to kick off our summer events at Long Grove’s Historical Farmhouse. Fun family events are planned all summer long – see the complete listing of dates and times below. Also, learn about a few old things that turned up around town, meet our new board members for the upcoming year, and find out who won the recently completed Covered Bridge Art Contest.

Bridge Damaged

Only days after being placed on the nation’s National Historic Register, Long Grove’s iconic bridge was severely damaged by an over-size, over-weight truck.

Bridge Listed on National Register

Long Grove’s Buffalo Creek Bridge, more commonly known as the Long Grove Covered Bridge, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service of the United Stated of America.

Long Grove Times – #39 Summer, 2018

Join us this weekend to kick off our summer events at Long Grove’s Historical Farmhouse. Fun family events are planned all summer long – see the complete listing of dates and times below. Also, learn about a few old things that turned up around town, meet our new board members for the upcoming year, and find out who won the recently completed Covered Bridge Art Contest.

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