Long Grove Historical Society http://LongGroveHistory.org Save The Bridge! Wed, 03 Feb 2021 23:21:01 +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 Bridge Protection http://LongGroveHistory.org/bridge-protection/ Wed, 03 Feb 2021 20:26:02 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1086 Protecting Long Grove's Iconic Covered Bridge from Truck crashes

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The Long Grove Historical Society has gotten a few queries over the past day or two regarding the recent bridge vs truck incident:




I, Aaron Underwood, Historian, Long Grove Historical Society, thought perhaps some background on the situation would be helpful.

It may not be common knowledge, but the Long Grove Covered bridge has always fought an ongoing battle with trucks. Every month or two for as long as I can remember, a truck would illegally cruise through and break a few boards. A nearby shopkeeper would often rather quickly mount his ladder, replace the boards, and life went on. If you google pictures of the bridge over the years, you’ll find lots of them with nicks and dings, and you’ll notice various shades of paint on the wood around the opening.

The offending truck in these old incidents, was, of course, long gone, unscathed with it’s encounter with a few bits of wood. This rhythm changed in 2018, when shortly after being added to the National Historic Register, the bridge had it’s entire cover destroyed by a giant truck. And that truck would have vanished also, had not a police officer happen to be taking a break within eyesight of the bridge. Suddenly, it seemed the whole country was aware of the issue.

With the reopening of the newly refurbished, more robust bridge, came a return of the age old problem. Bridge fans could worry a little less about it, though, as the refurbishment included a steel “barrier bar” designed to absorb impacts and protect the  historic bits of the bridge.  For those not familiar with the refurbishment design, I’ll elaborate… the traditional solution to protecting a historic bridge is to place a steel “barrier bar” some distance from the bridge to physically block “too tall” traffic from getting to the bridge. With downtown Long Grove being so compact, there isn’t really a good place to locate such a “barrier bar” without it being an eyesore and without it also blocking trucks from getting to local merchants near the bridge. So… the refurbishment design was to extend the cover a few feet, making the bridge longer, and to place this “barrier bar” (e.g. steel beams anchored deep into the ground), just behind the cover opening. So while the bridge may look the same, it’s actually a bit longer and it has the same “barrier bar” you’d expect to find in front of a historical bridge.

Experience from the first several incidents showed the design was working well. Only cosmetic damage – a substantial improvement to what we had been living with the past twenty years. But we still had that age old problem of trucks continuing to ignore all the laws and signage and challenge the bridge, even though now they were going to lose. So a group of those residents and merchants most familiar with the bridge, convened in the fall of 2020 to brainstorm and prioritize further improvements to the situation. For fun, we dubbed ourselves “The Bridge Protection League”. The Village, who owns the bridge and designed the refurbishment, welcomed the input.

There is a different dynamic to these new bridge incidents. The offending trucks could no longer escape detection, because the “barrier bar” was literally stopping them from vanishing  into the night. For better or worse, visibility of the issue greatly increased as the incidents were more easily “caught” by cell phones. With more knowledge of the incidents and the drivers, there was an opportunity to better understand why this was happening. Some common themes emerged… to generalize, the drivers were not from the area, were blindly following a consumer GPS system (not one designed for trucks), and weren’t aware of the weight or height of their vehicle.

The Bridge Protection League met a few times, and organized their ideas into phases. Here’s a link to the final document and a link to some working papers from our first discussion. The Village has taken several actions to date, with more things in process, and, of course, ongoing monitoring of the situation for potential  further actions. Chief among the actions:

  • signage around the bridge was reviewed and revised
  • the opening profile was made “less arched”, so it would be taller through the center
  • a steel “lip” was placed on the edge of the opening to better protect the wood upon impact
  • RPC around the bridge was officially designated “local use only” which will cause GPS systems to route traffic around the bridge rather than through it

The GPS change has the greatest promise to “fix” the problem. 90% of the incidents we know about would have been avoided had GPS systems been reflecting this new routing restriction. Unfortunately, it can take ages for GPS systems to pick up and implement these type of restrictions, so we’ll need to be patient to see the impact…


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Downtown Haunts http://LongGroveHistory.org/downtown-haunts/ Tue, 15 Sep 2020 00:37:28 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1070 Update on the Long Grove Historical Society's 2020 Ghost Walk.

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After much deliberation regarding how the pandemic would impact our ghost walk audience and volunteers, we have decided not to attempt it this year. We are going to try something smaller scale, by augmenting downtown Long Grove’s annual Trick or Treating with a few skits here and there. So if you have little ones, or maybe even medium one’s, bring them downtown to enjoy the trick or treating and look for a couple of entertaining little experiences scattered around our historic crossroads.

Trick or Treating in downtown Long Grove runs from 2pm to 5pm on Friday, October 25th. We’ll have our little haunts running by 4pm and keep them going for a couple of hours until we run out of victims. No fees or reservations necessary, though, of course, donations are always appreciated.


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The Bridge is Back http://LongGroveHistory.org/the-bridge-is-back/ Sat, 15 Aug 2020 00:23:21 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1074 Long Grove's Bridge is re-opened with a new foundation and covering.

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I have been involved with efforts to restore the covered bridge for over 9 years now, and it’s been an unbelievable journey with many highs and lows. To finally see the bridge restored and reopened today brings pride and joy for me and for everyone in the Historical Society. In addition to the covered bridge’s historical significance, it has great charm and sentimental value for our Long Grove community and those the world over who have expressed their love for our efforts to see the bridge restored. Preserving a piece of history is never easy, but everyone who signed a petition, made a financial donation, advocated at a village board meeting, or otherwise cared about the bridge should be elated!

– Angie Underwood, President, Long Grove Historical Society

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Bridge Restoration Nears Completion http://LongGroveHistory.org/bridge-restoration-nears-completion/ Mon, 20 Jul 2020 01:41:15 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1057 Fundraising efforts successfully conclude as the refurbishment of Long Grove's Historic Covered Bridge nears completion.

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As Long Grove’s Historic Bridge nears completion, we presented the Village with a large check capping our “Save the Bridge” fundraising efforts. Please find below, our press release and the articles that appeared in the Daily Herald, and the Chicago Tribune:



July 13, 2020
Community Raises $53,496.98 to Help Restore Long Grove Covered Bridge

LONG GROVE – July 13, 2020 – With restoration of Long Grove’s Iconic Covered Bridge nearing
completion, the Long Grove Historical Society will present a check to the Village of Long Grove on
Wednesday, July 15th. The check represents the proceeds of efforts by Long Grove area residents and
businesses to see the National Historic Register Bridge restored. The Historical Society
established the Covered Bridge Fund with a gift of $1000 in March of 2017, as a response to
community desires to advocate for restoration.

The Historical Society, together with the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, had
advocated for preserving the 1906 structure and was successful in getting it listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in June 2018. While restoration discussions were underway, only days
after being placed on the National Register, the bridge was severely damaged by a large truck.
Concerned with losing something so integral to the town’s historic charm, local residents rallied
to raise awareness and money. Grass roots efforts from local businesses and individual residents
included cash contributions, lemonade stands, art and craft sales, donation jars, and online
donation drives. A Long Grove artist donated an original water color of the bridge for a raffle.
Downtown merchants donated proceeds from one of their festivals towards the effort. A local trust
donated a portion of their annual endowment to the fund.

Long Grove Historical Society President Angie Underwood observed, “This donation is an example of
the good we can accomplish when we all work together. The Historical Society provided the spark,
but it took many caring individuals and groups to collaborate to raise these funds. The community
support behind our newly restored covered bridge represents the best kind of small town passion.’’
Society President Underwood will present the check for $53,496.98 to Long Grove Village President,
Bill Jacob, at the Long Grove Historical Society Farmhouse at 5:30pm on July 15. The Farmhouse is
located on Historical Lane in the Stempel Parking Lot.

The Long Grove Historical Society is a 501C3 charitable organization dedicated to the preservation
and dissemination of Long Grove area history.



Campaign brings in nearly $53,500 for Long Grove bridge renovation (by Bob Susnjara)

Private fundraising through lemonade stands, donation jars, large contributions and other means resulted in a hefty check for Long Grove to help pay for restoration of a 114-year-old bridge that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Long Grove Historical Society President Angie Underwood presented Village President Bill Jacob with a check for $53,496.98 at a gathering under a tent Wednesday adjacent to Buffalo Creek Brewing. The nonprofit historical society started a covered bridge fundraising campaign with a $1,000 donation in March 2017,

“Our downtown looks fantastic and I can’t wait for that bridge to open up,” Jacob said in thanking the historical society for the donation.

The Robert Parker Coffin Road bridge in the village’s downtown was lowered back into place over Buffalo Creek after part of the renovations were completed last month. It awaits its signature wooden cover before making a full comeback — possibly by Aug. 14 — from damage caused by a truck crash two years ago.

Crews removed the historic bridge in March and placed it on a flatbed truck parked off Coffin Road to accommodate concrete abutment replacement and a painting of the span. A steel skeleton has been installed on the bridge and is supporting the start of the wooden cover

Two weeks after becoming a national landmark, the one-lane covered bridge was hit by a box truck on June 27, 2018. It was closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic for more than two months as a result.

Long Grove officials were considering a bridge renovation well before the crash, but officials voiced financial concerns. That led to the historical society’s fundraising drive involving Long Grove-area businesses, residents and others who were passionate about saving the 114-year-old bridge.

Underwood, a former Long Grove village president, said the largest donation came from a former Barrington resident’s family foundation. Underwood said the woman, now living on the East Coast, donated to the bridge fund to honor many great childhood memories of visiting Long Grove with her grandmother.

“We had kids have lemonade stands,” she said. “We had merchants have lemonade stands. Merchants put ‘Pennies for the Bridge’ jars out at their stores. We had Scout troops make donations. Kids in middle school sold cookie dough to do a fundraiser for the bridge. We had an artist, Tony Stencel, paint an original watercolor of the bridge and we sold hundreds and hundreds of raffle tickets and that resulted in quite a bit of donations for us, too.”

Jacob said the village’s out-of-pocket cost should be $589,000 for the bridge work. However, a $250,000 state grant, about $195,000 from an insurance claim related to the crash and the roughly $53,500 historical society donation will be pooled to cover the rest of the tab.

Constructed in 1906 by the Joliet Bridge and Iron Co., the span is a rare surviving example of a pin-connected pony truss bridge built for an urban setting, according to documents submitted for the national landmark process.

The cover was added in 1972 to help preserve the bridge and limit traffic from trucks and other heavy vehicles.




Reconstruction of Long Grove’s historic covered bridge, damaged by a truck in 2018, is almost complete
(By Emily K. Coleman)

Two years after a delivery truck severely damaged Long Grove’s iconic covered bridge, a steel-reinforced reconstruction is nearing completion.

The project, which carries a total price tag of about $1 million between engineering and the actual construction, is on track to be completely wrapped up by Aug. 14, Village President Bill Jacob said. Crews are installing the roof rafters this week.

The work is in the “homestretch,” Jacob said, adding that he will be excited to see the completed bridge along with all the other work that has been done in the village’s historic downtown.

The Long Grove Historical Society donated about $53,000 to the village Wednesday to help cover the restoration, said Angie Underwood, the historical society’s president. The money, donated by Long Grove-area residents and businesses, was collected starting in March 2017, an effort designed to show the community’s desire to see the bridge restored.

The fundraising drive included lemonade stands, art and craft sales, donation jars and online donation drives, along with a Long Grove artist providing an original water color of the bridge for a raffle, downtown merchants dedicating the proceeds from one of their festivals toward the effort and a local trust allocating a portion of its annual endowment, according to a news release.

“This donation is an example of the good we can accomplish when we all work together,” Underwood said. “The Historical Society provided the spark, but it took many caring individuals and groups to collaborate to raise these funds. The community support behind our newly restored covered bridge represents the best kind of small town passion.”

The village also received a $250,000 state grant to help cover the project’s cost, and about $190,000 in insurance reimbursement, Jacob said.

The cost to the village likely wouldn’t have been as high had the village pursued federal dollars and replaced it with a two-lane bridge, but that would have meant losing the iconic one-lane, covered bridge for which the village is known.

“It is our logo,” Jacob said. “It’s part of our town. The fact that we were able to save this is really good for the town, and the community and our future. It’s keeping the history of our downtown.”

The bridge, which dates back to 1906, had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 2018, just 16 days before a box truck plowed into it, severely damaging the structure.

The situation ended up working out, Jacob said. Repairs would have been necessary at some point — perhaps about 10 years down the road — but with the covering needing to be replaced anyways, the village made the decision to renovate the entire bridge.

“Everything aligned,” Jacob said. “A bad situation turned out to be a good situation.”




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Our First Annual Trivia Night http://LongGroveHistory.org/first-annual-trivia-night/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:32:20 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1038 The post Our First Annual Trivia Night appeared first on Long Grove Historical Society.


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Trivia Night at the Tavern

The Long Grove Historical Society’s First Annual Trivia Night will be held Thursday night, January 30th, 2020 at the Historic Long Grove Village Tavern, 135 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. Trivia starts at 7pm, and you can
reserve a seat for the event by clicking here or using the link below
. Space is limited and the event may sell out, so claim your spot today.

If you’d like to also have dinner, you can make a separate reservation with The Long Grove Village Tavern, and we’d suggest making that at 6pm so you’ll be done eating when the trivia starts at 7pm.

The theme is Roaring Twenties/Prohibition, so we’ll be featuring questions about that era, but we’ll throw in some other topics as well. Prizes will be awarded for top scores. Those attendees sporting a Twenties era costume will receive a free dessert, and a prize will go to the best costume as well.


Click Here To Make A Reservation

Long Grove Historical Society’s
Trivia Contest
Thursday January 30, 2020
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Long Grove Village Tavern
135 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove, IL



Reservations required prior to the event as space is limited. $25 Donation per person
Register as an individual or as teams of 4 or 6 with prizes for the winners.
Theme: Roaring Twenties/Prohibition. Costumed participants receive a complementary dessert
Other topic questions, including local history, will be included
Contact the Tavern at 847-634-3117 for dinner reservations at 6:00 PM prior to the contest.


Click Here To Make A Reservation



Contact event chairperson Marie Roth at mswaycool@aol.com

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2019 Long Grove Ghost Walk – Our Sixth Annual http://LongGroveHistory.org/2019-long-grove-ghost-walk-sixth-annual/ Mon, 16 Sep 2019 15:36:06 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1021 Fancy a creepy historical walk around the coolest downtown in Lake County? Join the Long Grove Historical Society for their fifth annual Long Grove Ghost Walk! The ghosts will be there... will you?

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The Long Grove Historical Society’s Sixth Annual Ghost Walk will be held Friday night, October 25th, 2019 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. The event is family friendly and involves a haunted hour long walk through the historic downtown. Required donation of $10/adult and $5/children(Grades K-8). Reservations are required and space is limited – the event has always sold out a week or two prior to Ghost Walk.

The event for 2019 is sold out and are not taking any more names for the waitlist. At this time, we are now clearing the waitlist and if we’ve contacted you with an access code, you may use the link below to get your tickets:

Click Here For 2019 Long Grove Ghost Walk Reservations


How long is the walk? Around an hour.  

How does the walk work? You and 15 or so other victims, are led on a walk around the historic downtown by a costumed guide. At about a half a dozen locations you’ll stop for a few minutes to meet some characters from Long Grove’s past. Some of their tales seem to jive pretty closely with real history, but other parts seem like they’re lavishly embellished. They’re old and dead so we cut them some slack. 

What does WAA mean – e.g. FAQ  (WAA)? FAQ With An Attitude 🙂 

Is it appropriate for kids? Yes, it’s family appropriate. We advise performers to keep it PG-13. You will be scared at times, and maybe creeped out a little, but in a fun way. 

Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers? No, they eat the fingers separately. 

Can I bring my dog on the walk? Seriously? No. 

What if it rains? That’s why you bring an umbrella… the event will happen regardless of weather.

Where do I park? The two big village lots, the Archer Parking Lot, and the Stempel Parking Lot in downtown Long Grove will be your best bet.  

Do I have to pay for my two year old? Anyone below Kindergarten is free. So unless your two year old is super advanced, they would be free. 

My kid is a sophomore in high school, but he’s really small, so doesn’t take up much room. Do I have to pay the adult or kid price? Adult – high school age and up are considered adults in our ghost walk. 

Do you have an address for my GPS? Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove, IL will get you real close to the walk check-in and the parking lot. 

I bought a non-refundable ticket, but now can’t come – can I get a refund on my non-refundable ticket? No, but we appreciate the donation. 

Is the walk handicap accessible? No. 

I have a group of a dozen people – there’s no reservation slot with enough space left for us… what do I do? If you don’t want to split up across two times, email event coordinators Angela Searcy (angsgr8@gmail.com) or Amy Gayton (ajglg7@gmail.com) and we’ll see if we can work something out. 

I have a question that’s not listed here? Email Angela Searcy (angsgr8@gmail.com) or Amy Gayton (ajglg7@gmail.com) and we’ll get you an answer. 

Is FAQWAA a real thing or did you just make it up? Just made it up. The internet has lots of monkeys with typewriters, so we might not be the first… 

Why do I need a reservation? We don’t want everyone to have to wait around in the weather in a queue for an hour awaiting an open spot. Last year no shows were minimal… so your odds of just showing up and going are not good. 

Every year I try to get a reservations, but it’s always sold out. What gives? We’re an all volunteer group that receives no public funding. We simply don’t have enough volunteers to put on the walk for more than one evening. If you would like to join the Long Grove Historical Society, you can do so on our membership page.

What do you call a ghost with a broken leg? A hoblin goblin. 

If I just show up without a reservation, can I go on the walk? Maybe. We’ll try to work you in when we have no-shows. 

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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.

The post 2019 Membership Drive appeared first on Long Grove Historical Society.