One hundred and twenty nine years ago this map was drawn showing the landowners in what today is West Wilmette. Street names as we know them don't really appear but you can see the Northwestern tracks along Green Bay Rd to the right heading up the map towards the northwest. You can see the path today's Wilmette Avenue takes west from them and then the split that is Illinois Rd heading northwest and the split at Old Glenview Road today. Glenview Road east of Skokie Boulevard doesn't exist on this map.
I love maps. Can you tell?
Let's take a look at names of landowners and think about my past posts about the Hoffmann family's farm and store still seen today on Ridge as well as the Thalman family of Chalet Nursery and Gross Point.
Down in the bottom of the map you see a bunch of tall skinny family farms running north from what is today Old Glenview Rd. There near the center is P. Roemer's farm. Today that is home to our beloved Roemer Ball Park. Another Roemer family member, C. Roemer, owned a much larger parcel where I estimate today's homes that are between the Wilmette Rec Center and Beth Hillel are today.
You see looking further north that B. Thalman owned the land that basically today Illinois Rd between Hibbard and the Edens. The Sculley, Kloepfer, Reinwald, Alles and Bohnen families seemed to own what is today's Indian Hill neighborhood.
It is interesting to see that there was once an angle in Old Glenview Road (probably just called Glenview Road then) that ran from basically Baker's Square today northwest through Thelin, Valley View and Kilptrick Streets meeting up with where Glenview Road and Hibbard are today. My complete guess in the dark was that when the 1950's developers came to suburbanize west Wilmette, they removed that angle, created Glenview Road and Old Glenview Road to build the most amount of homes in a suburban style.
Next post - we'll look more into the Roemer family farm.
Sarah Rothschild, Realtor & Architectural History Nerd.