A glance at yesteryear

When the families of Jesse Newman and Joseph Russell staked separate claims on the eastern bank of the Fox River in 1835, they unknowingly began the modern history of the Cardunal area. Their claims were made at the site of what is now East Dundee.

However, East and West Dundee owe their existence to the Oatmans, Elder John and Nancy Oatman, who lived in Indiana before settling in Illinois. Elder John Oatman had a town laid out on the west bank of the Fox. His son-in-law, Tom Deweese, had a second town laid out on the east bank. Thus, East Dundee and West Dundee came into being. Soon afterward, Oatman built a tavern and a store. Deweese constructed a grist mill. In 1839, the first bridge was built to connect the two communities. West Dundee was incorporated in 1867 and East Dundee incorporated in 1871.

In the years since, both communities have grown and prospered. East Dundee and West Dundee have an extensive number of historic homes that bear white plaques displaying the date of construction. Both East and West DundeeÕs original business centers on River Street and Main Street maintain their historical charm.

Algonquin was a fording place for wagons carrying settlers from the east in the early 1800s. As such, it was also a collecting point for farm and dairy products enroute to Chicago markets. Incorporated in 1890, Algonquin later became a popular summer vacation area for Chicago businessmen and their families. It retains much of the charm of those bygone years. In the first decade of the 20th century, Algonquin became nationally famous for its annual Hill Climbs, a race in which production automobiles of the day raced up Algonquin Hill to earn the coveted Algonquin Cup. The car that successfully met the challenge of the climb gained widespread public approval.

Two brothers, Charles and Daniel Carpenter, were the first settlers of Carpentersville, arriving in 1837. They made camp on the east side of the Fox River to wait out spring flooding, planning to continue on to the Rock River. Like other pioneer settlers before them, the brothers changed their plans as the beauty of the Fox enthralled them. They stayed to settle and develop a community called CarpenterÕs Grove. The name was changed to Carpentersville in 1851.

In the 1920s, Judge Walter J. LaBuy took a fancy to the Lake In The Hills area. He bought nearly 500 acres and built homes for himself and each of his four children. Judge LaBuy is credited with damming Woods Creek to create a small lake for which Lake In The Hills was named. The village incorporated in 1975 and has grown at a fast pace in recent years.

Sleepy Hollow has purposely retained its character as a residential community since it was founded in 1958 by Floyd Falese. Nestled in rolling hills to the west of Dundee and adjacent to Spring Hill Mall, the community brings to life familiar names from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, offering such streets and locations as Crane Drive and Lake Ichabod.

Founded in 1852, the Village of Gilberts is located west of Dundee on Illinois 72, once an Indian trail and stagecoach route. In 1882, the village became the site of the largest brick and tile factory in Illinois. Nearly a century later, GilbertsÕ first industrial park was developed, as were three residential subdivisions. Today, there are three industrial parks and a fourth housing development.

The Cardunal communities are proud of their rich heritage and strive to preserve and protect the tradition of quality in the area. Through efforts of the Dundee Township Historical Society, 65 historic homes and buildings in East and West Dundee and Carpentersville are included in the Dundee Township Historic District and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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