Didn't I tell you I love maps? If you're still here with me, maybe you do too. Welcome.
The famous (for Wilmette) Roemer Little League Park is home to countless memories of family fun. I've shown you their old farm and farmhouse. Let's go one farm east and show you the farm of J. J. Rangel.
The great thing about this property is that it is sort of still there. In the map above from 1886, the vertical red line is where Locust Road is today. The horizontal one is today's Old Glenview Road. Locust doesn't extend all the way south to Old Glenview Road. Know why? Because the original (I'm pretty sure) Rangel home is still standing there! How cool is that?
The home and it's garage and a lot of land are all for sale now as a package. Here is the photo and link to the MLS listing.
Here's the collaborative part - who knows something interesting about the Rangel or Roemer farms? Please - nothing personal or gossipy. I am just interested in hearing about what they grew, how life was like as a farmer at that time, etc.
8/4/2015 10:31:26 am
My mother (now passed) grew up in east Wilmette in the 1930s. When I was growing up in Kenilworth in the 1970s, a trip to Rangel's was a biweekly event in the summer. Sweet corn and beefsteak tomatoes are what I remember. I'm sure mom had been going there her whole life by the time I came around.
8/4/2015 02:21:34 pm
I used to ride my bicycle to Rangel's to pick up the sweet corn. Brought is home in the saddle bags. My mom bought so many grapes there they called her the grape lady!
8/4/2015 11:57:45 pm
I worked at Rengel's in the early 70's. Mr. Ross (Joel) and Mr. Rengel (Roman) hired summer help to unload trucks, set up produce and help customers. Hard work and great memories. I'd tally your sale on a brown paper bag with a black grease pen and then ring you up on an old fashion cash register. Made change without the register doing the math for you. Then unload a truck full of melons, without dropping any. I recall spending everything I made that summer at Versino's on a new Schwinn Collegiate.
8/5/2015 02:11:12 am
Dave - I had forgotten about the marker and the brown bag. I can see it clearly, almost 50 years later. Wonderful. So sorry the place is gone.
8/5/2015 02:08:44 am
I can still hear the sound of the gravel as we would drive into the Rangel's parking lot on a hot summer day to get corn, tomatoes, melons and cucumbers. The smell of the place is still in my nostrils, and I taste the place still when I eat good cantaloupe.
8/5/2015 02:25:06 am
My mom used to send me to Rengle's to pick up fruits and veggies--but I think I went just as often for myself. (We lived on Sunset.) I can still remember the cool shade of the big garage; the aromas of hay and slightly damp wood; the gorgeous reds, yellows, greens, and oranges of the produce; and my slight pang of fear that I would arrive too late to get what I came for--especially when I'd been sent back up the block on a mission to "get some more because those [fill in the blank] were sooo good!" I mourned privately when what I thought of as "Rangles" closed down. I think I may have even knocked on their front door to ask when they'd be opening. Thanks for conjuring up so many good memories!
8/17/2015 07:38:06 am
Early 70s…worked at Rangals, first as menial labor…hated those pumpkins..then in the store, finally at the counter. Joel Ross was a good guy, so was a guy named Phil, but Roman was awe inspiring with his unique form of humour and wit. He was always fun….I lived at Hibbard and 41 (Chalet Gardens Townhomes), so naturally also worked at Hammond Gardens…now long gone too. I loved Hammonds and Rangals. Remember the outhouse at Hammonds?…all the guy employees had to use it and it stunk badly…
9/4/2018 01:03:26 pm
Hi! I just got a note on Facebook correcting the name to Rengels--and he knows as it was his family. His note: Eric Ross No it was Rengels, a German name. My grandmother and grandfather started it back in the 50's. We were the second oldest farm in Wilmette.
5/18/2022 04:39:51 pm
I worked at the stand might have 1956 or 57.
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Sarah Rothschild, Realtor & Architectural History Nerd.