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Barrington Hills circa 1940

Barrington Hills circa 1940

In the years since The Observer began, we’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate some information on the rich history that occurred before and after Barrington Hills was officially incorporated in 1957.  Today seemed to be an appropriate time to share what we’ve discovered with our readers in advance of the third annual Barrington Hills Heritage Fest taking place tomorrow.

Some time ago, a reader shared a map with us depicting what life was like in this area in 1940, and it’s quite a unique contrast from the village we now live in today.

1940As one might imagine, Barrington Hills was once a large farm community.  Some were hobby farms owned by Chicago business people for weekend getaways.  Other properties were working farms supporting the livelihood of families providing food to people who worked in the city, and there was a surprising diversity in what people raised at the time.

For example, Orville Caesar built a dairy farm known as Dorvillee Dairy.  He had 100 cows and a poultry roost of 1,000 chickens where people now live off of Brinker Road.

Arthur Haeger, on the other hand, raised poultry for a different purpose on his 240 acres near the Fox River according to one historian.  He raised fighting cocks, which he sold at a high price at cock fights held around Cook County and on the south side of Chicago.

Others raised, bred and sometimes showed animals such as dairy and beef cattle, pedigreed pigs, dairy goats, polo ponies, wild game or dogs at that time.

Despite all the work involved in running these farms, many residents found time to relax and socialize with neighbors at that time.  The Barrington Hills Country Club was established in 1921, and today, it’s about the only landmark still recognizable on the 1940 map.  There were also two picnic grounds for neighbors to gather and children to play.

To view the 1940 map to discover what your property was used for or who owned it back then, click here.

Another resource we’ve found which dates back over 100 years into the history of Barrington Hills came from the Barrington Area Library.  The “Barrington Area Historical Street Atlas” provided a narrative of how roads came to be named in the area.

Notable names of residents from a century or more ago that are now remembered through road names such as Bateman, Bell, Caesar, Hart, Otis etc., and this atlas provided background accounts of how most roads we now live on in Barrington Hills came to be named.

A copy of the history of the naming of Barrington Hills roads can be downloaded by clicking here, or to view the entire atlas for the greater Barrington area, click here.

-The Observer

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Heritage Fest 2015

Once again this year we have a favorable weather forecast for Saturday’s 3rd annual “The Hills Are Alive Heritage Fest.”  No rain is predicted and temperatures will end up around 66 degrees when the fest opens at 1:00 PM at the Barrington Hills Park District Riding Center , located at 361 Bateman Rd.

There promises to be a lot of entertainment for everyone of all ages, including an animal show beginning at 1:30, featuring animals chosen by residents.  The varieties of animals that will be participating in the show were chosen by Village residents through their votes prior to the fest.

In addition, the first 300 residents to arrive after opening will get free food.  There will also be pony rides, a photo both for group or family pictures, hay rides, balloon creations, local organization displays and live entertainment by Mark Domanico.

The Heritage Fest runs from 1:00 – 5:00 PM.  There is no admission fee, and all entertainment is free.

Sponsorship for this year’s Heritage Fest is generously provided by the following service providers to Barrington Hills and residents:

Fest Sponsors

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