Long Grove Historical Society https://longgrovehistory.org Save The Bridge! Wed, 27 Apr 2022 19:30:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/lghsmedia/lghs/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/12155205/cropped-lghsLogo512Square-1-32x32.png Long Grove Historical Society https://longgrovehistory.org 32 32 2021 Long Grove Ghostwalk https://longgrovehistory.org/2021-long-grove-ghostwalk/ Fri, 01 Oct 2021 17:45:43 +0000 https://longgrovehistory.org/?p=1544 Fancy a creepy historical walk around the coolest downtown in Lake County? Join the Long Grove Historical Society for their annual Long Grove Ghost Walk! The ghosts will be there... will you?

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The Long Grove Historical Society’s Annual Ghost Walk will be held Friday night, October 29th, 2021 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 tickets for the 2021 Ghost Walk are sold out and the waiting list is full.

Tickets may be purchased at:  


Tickets typically will be sold out a week or two prior to the event.



How long is the walk? Around an hour.  

How does the walk work? You will be one of a dozen or so victims, that will be 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. New this year – a portion of the walk will be a “hay ride” behind a tractor.

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. Not even if he’s the mayor.

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.  Be aware that Stempel may be under construction, and regardless occasionally fills up, so allow enough time to get yourself parked and still make your tour time.

You limit the group sizes to a dozen, but I have a few friends that want to join me and there’s not enough tickets left for that. Can I just sorta kinda have them slip into our group when we start the walk? We’re willing to pay for the tickets if asked to do so…  Seriously? Many reasons why this would not be appropriate… not the least being we think you’d find it super awkward when not everyone fits onto the hay wagon.

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? Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Buffalo Creek Brewing, 342 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove, IL will get you real close to the check-in and the parking lot. The check-in will be at Brothers Field, which is next to the dance studio, across from Chatterbox. 

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 coordinator 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 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. Most years, no shows are minimal… so your odds of just showing up and going are not good. However, if the weather is rotten, yeah, there’s be some no shows.

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. We don’t make any guarantees, but we try to give our members first crack at tickets.

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 Elects First Ever Dog Mayor https://longgrovehistory.org/long-grove-elects-first-ever-dog-mayor/ Fri, 06 Aug 2021 19:32:17 +0000 https://longgrovehistory.org/?p=1534 Abe Lincoln may never have visited Long Grove, but his namesake is set to rule the town this coming year.

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Our election committee met today to certify the votes, and the Historical Society is excited to announce that LINCOLN will serve as our official Dog Mayor! Congratulations to the new mayor and his family. We are looking forward to having some further fun with this in the year ahead.



We are also pleased to announce our Honorary Dog Mayor Cabinet Positions:

Deputy Dog Mayor:  Holly

Minister of Covered Bridge Defense:  Yogi

No Local Tax Commissioner:  Oliver

Party Animal Control Officer (PACO):  Bella

Bureau Chief of Squirrel Affairs:  Nala

Czar of Open Spaces:  Tucker

Roadkill Superintendent:  Lucky

Guardian of Historical Preservation:  Charlee

Secretary of Border Control:  Yani

Director of Canine Intelligence Agency (CIA):  Costanza

Congratulations to everyone!! Deputy Dog Mayor Holly will assume the role of Dog Mayor if we have an unexpected vacancy. All other cabinet positions are honorary, bragging-rights only for the next year.

We hope to see all of our candidates at the swearing-in ceremony tomorrow, even those without titles. There will be winning prizes awarded and dog treats for all. If you can join us, please be at the main stage in front of the covered bridge by 3:15. The “indoguration” will start at 3:30 and should only take 20 minutes. We would love to thank you all in person for your generous participation in our first-time fundraiser. Because of you, your adorable dogs, and your enthusiasm, and the hundreds of people that voted, the Historical Society was able to raise $7,412.00 for our community. We are all winners here!!

For full results and some background on the 2021 Long Grove Dog Mayor election, see this page.

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Destiny Awaits… https://longgrovehistory.org/destiny-awaits/ Wed, 28 Jul 2021 03:39:50 +0000 https://longgrovehistory.org/?p=1521 Twenty dogs in the hunt for top dog, but only one can rule the town. Join us to meet all the top dogs - Sunday, August 1st, 3pm at Brother's Field in Long Grove.

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As the Long Grove Dog Mayor election draws to a close, it’s time to make a decision…

Please join us on Sunday, August 1st, at 3pm at Brothers’ Field in Long Grove for our first “Meet the Candidates” event.

The winning dog will be formally “indogurated”  at a ceremony that will be held at Vintage Days on Saturday, August 7th at 3:30pm, on the “main stage” in front of the covered bridge.

Voting is now open – click here for the ballot and to review the candidates. Voting ends on Thursday, August 5th at midnight.

Click here for complete details on this Historical Society Fundraiser.

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Tony Berg Stories https://longgrovehistory.org/tony-berg-stories/ Mon, 12 Jul 2021 14:03:45 +0000 https://longgrovehistory.org/?p=1487 Long time Long Grove resident Tony Berg remembered.

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Bob Coffin, Betty Coffin, and Tony Berg at a Kildeer Player’s show in the 1960’s

Tony’s legacy lives large in Long Grove. Born in 1918 in Des Moines, Iowa and weighing in at a whopping 13 pounds, Tony would eventually reach an adult height of 6 feet 5 inches. He was the first employee of the Village of Long Grove, and togther with his wife Gwen, seemingly took on leadership roles in most every civic and community group in the Village (Church, School, Historical Society, Fire Department, Library, etc.). He recently passed away at age 102, and kindly left part of his estate to the Long Grove Historical Society.   In 1994, he penned an autobiography – here are a few stories of his life, paraphrased from that work…


“Dutch” – I had trouble with Algebra in the ninth grade, and eventually worked with a tutor, a Mrs. Stevens, who lived on Bell Avenue, a block from the school. The man who lived across the street from Mrs. Stevens was a radio announcer who broadcast the Cubs games by teletype. Sometimes I would see him working in his yard and would occasionally say hello to him. His name was “Dutch” Reagan and would eventually go into national politics.

“Depression Impact” – After completing the first semester of my senior year in January of 1936, the school board announced that because of the depression, extreme cold, and lack of funds to buy coal, the school would be closed for six weeks. To help pass the time, I worked for my father’s construction business. After experiencing the difference of work life vs. school life, I decided not to return to school.

“Tug of War” – I volunteered to serve in World War II in April of 1941, when a good friend was drafted, as we thought we’d serve together. On the second or third day of processing, I was separated from the group and assigned KP duty for a couple of days. Turns out there were some upcoming athletic games vs. the navy, and my assignment delayed so I could be in the tug of war (at 6’5″, no doubt Tony kinda stood out). So much for staying together with my friend. On my first day of KP, the mess sergeant pointed to me and said “Open up some of these windows. It’s too damn hot in here.” It was a new mess hall and the windows were painted shut. In banging on them trying to loosen them up I broke a window. With a great deal of apprehension I went in to the kitchen and told the sergeant I had broken a window. His response was “When I tell you to open the damn window I don’t care how you open it just get the damn thing open” and walked off.

“Patton” – One day while we were in Trabia, we were informed General Patton was going to inspect us. He gave a rousing speech, gave out a few medals and then inspected the ranks. He stopped in front of me, looked me up and down, asked my name, how tall I was, and my home town, then moved on. His parting words to the battalion were “just keep on killing those sons-of-bitches”.

“Bombed” – A few days after coming ashore during D-Day, we stopped in a wooded area and had just finished digging foxholes when three ME-109’s strafed us. I didn’t make it to my foxhole so lay as flat as possible. I turned my head enough to see them coming right over me at tree top level, their twenty millimeter guns hitting about every twenty feet and exploding. The last one dropped what I thought was a five hundred pound bomb and it was going to land awfully close. I put my face in the dirt and my arms along side of my head and there was a kind of “bong” noise. I looked over that way and there lay an auxiliary gas tank. It had bounced on top of two of my buddies who, luckily, only sustained cuts and bruises. They were the only casualties and later both were given Purple Hearts. I’m sure they were the only soldiers in World War II who were hit bya falling gas tank.

“Black Leather” – South of Munster, Germany, I saw many dead SS troops, dressed in black leather lying in a field. In a small town, the infantry went house to house checking the occupants. Suddenly sniper fire from one house erupted and two infantry men were hit. They stormed the house and came out with two Germans in civilian clothes. They made them take off their shirts. Sure enough, both had SS tattoo serial numbers. They were lined up and shot.

“Road Kill” – As we rolled through the small towns only very young and very old people were visible. The first thing we would do in a town was have the civilians bring their guns, cameras, and binoculars outside. The soldiers picked what they wanted. The rest was dumped in the streets and run over with tanks. One old man came to me one day carrying a shotgun wrapped in newspaper. It was absolutely gorgeous, a beautiful stock with ducks and pheasants carved on it. The barrel was etched with scrollwork. He did not want it destroyed. He would give it to me. I told him to take it home and hide it.

“Long Gove” – In the mid-1950’s Gwen and I decided to seek our fortunes elsewhere and I started working construction in Arlington Heights, Illinois. It was a subdivision called Windsor Heights where Kimball Hill was building a house. Kimball Hill’s masonry superintendent was an elderly little Irishman named Denny Walsh. He spoke extremely fast and with his Irish brogue was difficult to understand. They worked differently than what I was accustomed to and union rules were strictly obeyed.  Houses cost twice as much in Chicago compared to Des Moines, so we decided to rent. I saw an ad for a one bedroom summer cottage on a twenty acre estate in Long Grove with tennis court and swimming pool privileges, owned by Leslie and Katharine Schauffler. It was a beautiful country setting but nothing fancy. After some discussion, Mrs. Schauffler said she had only one more question – what was my opinion on the Army-McCarthy Hearings then heavily the topic on radio and television. I told her I was very much opposed to the tactics of Senator McCarthy. She told me that was the answer she hoped I would give. I was then told a nephew of Aldai Stevenson was also interested in renting the cottage and they would make a decision and call me the next evening. Lo and behold they called and said we could move in June 1.

“Church and School” – In September after our move, our son Steve started first grade at Kildeer Countryside School. His teacher was Mrs. Gosswiller. We soon discovered that Long Grove centered around the school and the church, so on Sunday we got all dressed up and went to church. We were greeted very warmly and afterward Hal and Rosie Wilder invited us to their home for coffee. We attended church regularly and quickly made many friends.

“Making the List” – One day I was asked to contact Mr. Frank Ferry, a member of our church. I went to his home on Oakwood Road. He informed me that he had been given some land on Route 83 as a wedding present, and he had subdivided it into four lots. He had made up a list of four families he would like to see live permanently in Long Grove and Gwen and I were on the list. We bought a three acre lot from him. The other families who were on the list were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hurley, Mr. and Mrs. Robert McNitt, and Mr. and Mrs. David McCartney.


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Big Dogs Looking To Rule Long Grove https://longgrovehistory.org/big-dogs-looking-torule-long-grove-grove/ Tue, 06 Jul 2021 14:00:19 +0000 https://longgrovehistory.org/?p=1354 In the quest to determine which dog will rule Long Grove, 100+ pounders Yogi and Lincoln are leading the pack so far.

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Be prepared to run with the big dogs if you place your pooch on the ballot! 100+ pounders Yogi and Lincoln are the early leaders in the quest to determine which canine will preside over Long Grove. Twenty dogs comprise the pack so far. And, really, with voting continuing through August 5th, it’s anybody’s guess if size really matters.





2021 Long Grove Dog Mayor Candidates

Vote by clicking on your favorite dog below.

Bella Starburst

Charlee Trickey

Oliver Ebeling


Tucker Winter



Maya VanDyke

Beauregard “Bo” Casazza Compton

Yogi Fisher


Maisey Mae


Elaine Clark

Costanza Clark


Ari Barkovich

Willie Bear Mower



Your Dog Here

– vote totals updated hourly –

– vote totals updated hourly –

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Long Grove Dog Mayor Election – 2021 https://longgrovehistory.org/long-grove-dog-mayor-election-2021/ Sun, 06 Jun 2021 14:01:44 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1107 One dog to rule the town of Long Grove! Declare your dog a candidate or vote for the most capable dog to take Long Grove to the next level.

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Vote For Your Favorite Dog

Declare Your Dog as a Candidate

Long Grove to Elect Top Dog

Ever wonder what your dog is dreaming when tussling about during naps? The Long Grove Historical Society figured it out – it’s the fame and fortune that will ensue from being elected as Long Grove’s Dog Mayor. As Dog Mayor, your dog will have the honor to preside over events and perform important duties throughout their one year term of office. We’re imagining things like opening a festival, chewing through a ribbon to christen a new business, chasing after a too tall truck approaching the covered bridge, promoting strawberry fest by downing a strawberry shaped dog treat on live tv, etc. We promise it will be fun, filled with humor, not very time consuming, and of course safe for you and your dog. And you’ll be raising funds for the Long Grove Historical Society, so it’s a win-win. Thanks to our kindred spirits at the Rabbit Hash, Kentucky Historical Society for the quirky inspiration – they’ve been holding an annual Dog Mayor Election Fundraiser since 2016.

Here’s how your dog can toss a hat collar in the ring:

Read the FAQ below to confirm your dog is up for it, then use the form at the bottom of this page, below the FAQ.  to give us your dog’s campaign name (could be their real name, or something even cuter – your call), and that will link you to a secure payment site to pay the $20 entry fee. We’ll then email you back in a day or so to get your dog’s official campaign photo and get you set you up on the ballot. The filing deadline to get on the ballot is July 25th. No last minute candidates.

Here’s how you can vote:

To cast your vote for dog mayor, review the candidates on this page, and click on the dog of your choice. You’ll find a form where you can “buy” as many votes as you like ($1 per vote), crediting to the team/candidate of your choice.

Long Grove Dog Mayor FAQ

This is so cool. Who is doing this?  The Long Grove Dog Mayor election is being organized by and for the benefit of the Long Grove Historical Society, a 501C3 charity.

Doesn’t Long Grove already have a Mayor?  Actually, no. The chief elected human in Long Grove holds the title of Village President. It’s like our founding fathers said… no… let’s not call it Mayor, save that for a time in the future when dogs have evolved enough to hold the title of mayor.

What are the duties of Long Grove’s Dog Mayor?  Be the spokesdog for the town. Attend a few events. Meet and greet people. Issue proclamations. Protect the bridge. Maybe open a festival? Maybe chew through a ribbon to open a new business? Maybe have a beer named after you? ( note for Buffalo Creek Brewing… hint… hint… ) We’ll work with the dog’s owner to create some fun moments throughout the year.

Who is eligible?  Any social, people loving, not prone to biting dog whose owner lives or works in Long Grove may throw their collar into the ring. The swearing in ceremony will be August 7th at Vintage Days, so you may want to check with your dog and make sure he/she will be in town that day.

How do I officially declare my dog as a candidate?  Use the form below the FAQ to give us your dog’s campaign name (could be there real name, or something even cuter – your call), and that will link you to a secure payment site to pay the $20 entry fee. We’ll then email you back in a day or so to get your dog’s official campaign photo and get you set you up on the ballot. The filing deadline to get on the ballot is July 25th, after that, you can still file, but the entry fee goes up to $30.

I have two dogs, can each of them be a candidate?  Sure, but we’ve heard of humans doing this, where a husband and a wife will run against each other for an office. It usually doesn’t end well.

How and when do I vote?  To cast your vote for dog mayor, review the candidates on this page, and click on the dog of your choice. You’ll find a form where you can “buy” as many votes as you like ($1 per vote), crediting to the team/candidate of your choice.

Can I vote at the last minute, just enough to make my dog the winner?  While we don’t anticipate any issue around the final results, we thought it might be prudent to be clear about how we would handle any last minute issues. The voting ends Thursday night, August 5th at the stroke of midnight, as it becomes Friday, Long Grove time. That will give us Friday to sort everything out for Saturday’s indoguration. This is a charity fundraiser – make sure you stay with the spirit of the event, and only donate what you’re comfortable giving to support the Long Grove Historical Society. The official vote total will be kept by the fundraising site we are using – GiveButter.com, though even those results will be considered preliminary until certified by the Historical Society’s Dog Mayor Election Board Friday morning. Only donations made with a completed timestamp before midnight, Long Grove time will be valid. In the waning hours of the event, only unmanipulated donations through that site or that site’s mechanisms we provide at LongGroveHistory.org will be considered valid and proper. An example of a manipulated vote would be some clever way of voting after midnight, but in a way that records the time as before midnight. We don’t know how that could be done, but won’t allow it.  There is no guarantee donations will be able to be placed up to the last second – there will be no extension of the donation deadline due to unavailability of the systems involved. (e.g. can’t place a vote because the GiveButter.com site is unavailable, power went out in Long Grove, my dog ate my homework, etc.). In the event of anything questionable, the Historical Society’s Dog Mayor Election Board (e.g. the fundraising committee) will rule and their decision will be final.

How often can I vote? You should vote often and in large amounts. Check back occasionally to see where the vote totals are – if a neighbors evil dog is out in front, perhaps you should vote again.

Any tips on how to get my dog elected? Yes, click on this link for a page of ideas. Unless you have big pockets and plan on just buying your victory (hey, it works with humans), you’ll probably want to work on a social media presence with some witty campaign promises and eye catching photos. We’ll give you direct links that allow people to vote for your dog – try to use those on your social posts so your audience can express their likes by immediate making a donation/casting a vote. You might consider a cute alias name to get attention, just for the election – in other towns, dog mayor candidates have used names like Charles Barkley, Jack Rabbit, Wilber-Beast, etc. Also, remember that the covered bridge is an absolute social media darling, so consider a cute creative photo of your candidate pooch that also includes the bridge.

Where is the bridge located? It’s on Robert Barker Coffin Road.

I have a Labrador that can do magic tricks, do you have a suggestion for a cute election alias name for her? Labracadabra.

What behavioral traits make for an excellent Dog Mayor? Not biting constituents would be a good start. We imagine an event or two where the dog would be interacting with lots of people. If that sounds like something your dog would love, then they’d be perfect for the job.

Can I nominate my cat? No, cats are way too independent for this role. If we allow cats, then what next? Goats? Ducks? Gerbils? Someone’s pet snake? Actually, now that we think about it, that could be pretty fun… okay, only dogs this year, but maybe next year we should open it up.

When is the in”dog”uration? Saturday, August 7th at Vintage Days.

How will the funds raised by used? The Long Grove Historical Society is a registered 501C3 charity dedicated to the preservation of Long Grove Area History. The funds raised will be used to help maintain our historic properties, and fund activities and events, such as our annual Vintage Days Penny Carnival and Halloween Ghost Walk. We are all volunteer, have no paid employees and receive no government funding. Interested in getting more involved with us? Find more info at this link.

How long is the term? One year. We envision this as an annual election.

How did you come up with this idea?  Somewhere in the depths of COVID isolation, we read about the Rabbit Hash, KY Historical Society doing this, and it seemed to fit perfectly with quirky little Long Grove.

You sound like a fun bunch. Can I join your group? Of course, we’re all just resident volunteers – become one of us using  our membership page.

Declare Your Pooch a Candidate


  1. Give us your dog’s candidate name (could be what you actually call your dog, or a fun pseudonym) below. Also give us an email for the human campaign manager we should set up with powers to edit your dogs candidate page. When you press the “pay your fee” button, you’ll be taken to Paypal to complete the transaction. Paypal will notify us that you’ve paid and then we’ll set your dog up on the voting website. You’ll probably want to send us a photo of your dog to use on the voting website – you can email that to aaron@LongGroveHistory.org We’ll credit your filing fee as your first official votes. We’ll send you an email when your dog is up on the voting site – it may take a day or two to get everything set up.

2021 Long Grove Dog Mayor Entry Form


July 25, 2021 was the filing deadline for the 2021 election. We hope you’ll consider running next year. Check back next summer for the 2022 election entry form.

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Annual Report (2020/21) https://longgrovehistory.org/annual-report-202021/ Thu, 20 May 2021 01:05:23 +0000 http://LongGroveHistory.org/?p=1100 The Long Grove Historical Society concludes another successful year, in spite of Covid-19.

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Annual Meeting and Report
May 19, 2021

This past year has been historic not only for Long Grove, but across the globe as the world has adjusted and endured throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Historical Society has persevered, holding meetings and events outdoors during the summer months. Virtual Zoom meetings were held over the winter months as virus cases spiked. Today, we are grateful to be once again meeting face to face as most of our board members have now been vaccinated. Despite the challenges, we have enjoyed a successful, if somewhat unusual and more low-key year.

Installation of new officers was held virtually on May 1, 2020 over Zoom. Later in June the Book Discussion group met in person, socially distanced, at a local park. Under the direction of Tina Mall, they selected the titles to be read for the coming year. The group continued to meet outside at Heron Creek Forest Preserve until winter set in and Zoom gatherings took over. The pandemic has had little effect on our intrepid book enthusiasts!

Spring and summer once again saw maintenance work on the herb garden near Village Hall, and to our flower beds at our Farmhouse property. Many thanks go to Tina and Diane Trickey for keeping these areas tidy and pleasant. Maintenance director Chris Campbell spent the early summer doing some “spruce-up” work at Archer School and Ruth Barn. Boards and latches were replaced on the barn, and the front of the schoolhouse was scraped and painted. Chris bought a replacement wooden door, which he primed and painted in addition to the trim. Later in the summer, the sump pump was replaced at the schoolhouse.  A big thank you goes to Chris and all that he does to keep our buildings repaired and looking good.

Our farmhouse outdoor patio was used in both June and July for outdoor board meetings in the fresh air. Several committees also met on the patio as well this year. It gave us a chance to really enjoy and admire Tina & Diane’s flowers! Under the direction of Jane Primack, we held our annual Penny Carnival on August 2nd. Everyone wore masks, hand sanitizer was available at each station, games were spread out and distanced on the lawn, in keeping with the rules for Covid-19 safety. We had a smaller crowd than usual but those who attended were grateful that we were doing this for the kids, as they had so little organized activities this summer. The Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association  also appreciated our efforts supporting the Vintage Days weekend.

On July 15th, our Historical Society presented a check to Village President Bill Jacob from the Covered Bridge Fund, in the amount of $53,496.98. Many members of our Society gathered in a tent behind Buffalo Creek Brewery for the check presentation, and we received some great publicity in the local media. This was the culmination of three years of fundraising and was a true community effort. We gathered again on August 14th for a champagne toast as the fully renovated and restored covered bridge was opened once again to fanfare. Unfortunately, the very next day the bridge was hit by an oversized school bus and has sustained 13 hits since then. The bridge was rebuilt with steel reinforcements under the wooden covering, so it is withstanding all the abuse from the idiot drivers. Aaron and Angie Underwood organized a group of concerned citizens, merchants, and neighbors dubbed the “Bridge Protection League.” The group brainstormed a series of possible solutions that were given to the Long Grove Village Board, in hopes that implementing some of the ideas would help lessen the bridge strikes. Several changes have been put into place, with the greatest chance of success being those that cause the GPS navigation systems to stop routing vehicles over the bridge if not local traffic.

In September and October, a committee of Tina, Jane and Angie met weekly at the farmhouse to lend a hand to curator Meghan Potempa (who was otherwise occupied with newborn Ozzie and big sister Olive!) Several boxes of photos and other documents had been recently donated by local families and needed to be organized and sorted. Additionally, Angie and Jane met several times to identify revisions to the By-Laws, which were voted on and accepted in November.

October was the kick-off of our 2020-2021 Membership drive headed up by Membership director Pam Brown. With assistance from committee members Diane, Marie Roth and Aaron, our board raised nearly $8,000. in membership donations this year. We feel this was a particular success considering all the challenges the pandemic has brought to not only our organization but to our community members as well.

Due to the circumstances and health guidelines, it was not possible to hold our annual Ghost Walk event this year. Instead, we teamed up with the HDLGBA organization and crafted several “scary scenes” that we manned in costume during the Trick-or-Treat hours. Doug Primack put his electrical skills to ghastly-good use making coffins open and corpses come alive. Amy Gayton organized the creepy crew consisting of: Moanna Mower, John Kopecky, Jane, Marie, Angie & Aaron, and even the Ghost of Cuba Road, who made an appearance. Or should I say “apparition?”

The winter months of 2021 were quiet for our Society as we all stayed indoors during the second wave of the pandemic. Zoom meetings were held in November, January and March, to keep the momentum going. New officers were elected and new ideas were hatched, such as our upcoming Dog Mayor fundraiser, which is already in the works with a committee headed up by Diane. Chris has been busy getting the farmhouse ready for a recent fire inspection, and Aaron has been keeping up authoring his series of history articles for Long Grove Living.

It has been a year like no other, and one that I will never forget. Thank you for the pleasure and honor of serving as your President these last four years. All of our Historical Society accomplishments have truly been a team effort, and I know we can look forward to many more in the coming year with our new President Jane Primack at the helm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Angie Underwood
Long Grove Historical Society President
2017 through 2021


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Bridge Protection https://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 https://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 https://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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