By the City’s 35th anniversary, it had issued three times as many business licenses, building permits and liquor licenses since that first year of incorporation. More than 40 restaurants and taverns, dozens of professional services, 16 auto dealerships and several hotels and motels lined the streets, which together brought in a sales tax revenue of more than $4 million by the 1990s.
Flagg Creek Golf Course
While Flagg Creek Golf Course opened for play on July 2, 1993, its history extends all the way back to the early 1920s. It was during this time that the Robert Henry family developed the 18-hole Maple Crest Golf Course. The course was minimized to 12 holes with the construction of the Tri-State Tollway in the mid-1960s, and by the late 1980s, growth in the area led to developers pushing to transform the course into a mixed-use residential and retail destination.
The property was saved, though, thanks to the diligence of the Pleasant Dale Park District and the City of Countryside, which together formed the “I Helped Save Maple Crest Golf Course” committee. Course designer Greg Martin completely redesigned the golf experience here, turning it into a challenging nine-hole course ideal for golfers of all skill levels. Accompanying the new course was a putting green and a lighted range.
Shortly after its opening as Flagg Creek Golf Course in 1993, the Chicago Tribune rated it among the top 10 nine-hole courses in Illinois. Plus, in 1995 and again in 2006, Flagg Creek garnered the Chicagoland Golf Readers Choice Award, which designated it as the number one nine-hole golf course in this area.
Our Memories: The Vondrak Family
January 11, 1995 was a day the Vondrak family will always remember. That day, Countryside residents Ross and Roberta, accompanied by their two children, Sandy and Christi, and a number of fellow community members, played host to John Records Landecker’s award-winning morning drive show on Oldies 104.3.
Landecker and the station promoted the Cul de Sac of Life road show contest, which would allow the morning show to broadcast live from someone’s home located in a secluded cul de sac or a dead end road. After hearing about the contest, Ross and Roberta, who live at the dead end intersection of 57th and Ashland, set to work on securing that prize.
While Ross wrote a letter boasting of the community and its members—and also offering a nice massage session during the broadcast—Roberta created a petition that was signed by neighbors who encouraged Landecker and his morning show to come to Countryside. Not only would this be a wonderful experience for the Vondraks, but it would also help put the City of Countryside on the map. After submitting their plea, the Vondraks were chosen to host the remote broadcast.
John Records Landecker, his co-host Vicki Truax and their intern arrived bright and early on that cold January day. Joining the Vondraks and the DJs were the mayor, aldermen, the principal from Ideal Elementary School and dozens of neighbors, who all enjoyed the show while feasting on an exquisite catered breakfast featuring made-to-order omelettes.
In between the funny bits and the music, Landecker asked the Vondrak daughters to show off their musical prowess: the younger daughter playing “This Old Man” on her flute for the principal and the eldest playing the “Chicken Dance” on her clarinet. As for the aforementioned massage, Ross, a massage therapist, made good on his promise, providing a little relaxation for the intern.
The exciting day lasted from 5:30 until 10 a.m. and was officially dubbed John Records Landecker and Oldies 104.3 Radio Day in the City of Countryside by Mayor Carl LeGant.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: The New Countryside Women’s Club
Countryside has always been a place of pride—a characteristic which is evident in the number of civic and social organizations that have been established here. Among the notable groups are the Salt Creek Camera Club (1955); Lions Club (1961); Seniors Club (1973); Rotary Club of Countryside (1987); and one of the oldest: the LaGrange Terrace Garden Club.
Not long after the first subdivision, LaGrange Terrace, was developed in 1948, a young resident, Mrs. Pat Blakesley, established the LaGrange Terrace Garden Club in order to encourage the beautification of this emerging town. The club changed its name to the LaGrange Terrace Women’s Club by the fall of 1956, expanding its purpose to include contributions to the cultural development and charitable needs in Countryside. Once again the club changed its name to the Countryside Women’s Club in 1960, and from then on welcomed all residents to participate.
The active women of the club regularly gathered for such events as dances, theatrical productions, fashion shows and various social activities, while also volunteering their time for other causes. By the late 1990s, the club needed revitalization. In October of 1998, Club President Catherine Fajdich helped breathe new life into the organization, renaming it the New Countryside Women’s Club.
Today, membership in the reinvigorated club continues to increase, and women of all ages are invited to join. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month between September and May at the City of Countryside headquarters (5550 East Avenue, second floor).