About The Carpentersville Area

Carpentersville is a village in Kane County, Illinois

Carpentersville was first settled by Charles Valentine Carpenter and his brother, Daniel.  In 1837, the two brothers, en route to the Rock River, made camp along the east bank of the Fox River to wait out the spring floods that made continuing their oxcart journey impossible.  They ended up staying in the area to settle what was then called Carpenters' Grove.  In 1851 Charles's son, Angelo, platted the land and renamed the town Carpentersville, which was incorporated in 1887.   He acquired a dam and then a mill, which he converted into a yarn and flannel factory.

In 1864 Carpenter established an iron foundry and blacksmith shop called the Illinois Iron & Bolt Company.  The company later acquired the Star Manufacturing Company, which produced agricultural machinery.  During the 1870s and 1880s German, Swedish, and Polish immigrants came to work in the factories.  Carpenter housed the workers, built a church, and held cultural events.  Although he moved to Elgin in 1875, Carpenter continued his business interests in Carpentersville.  He persuaded the Chicago & North Western Railroad to extend its tracks from East Dundee to the area and built an iron bridge with his own funds to accommodate the rail line. By 1912 Carpenter's two companies employed 2,000 people.  Star Manufacturing remained in Carpentersville until 1977.

For the next hundred years, Carpentersville did not grow as rapidly as other Fox River communities which had more direct rail connections to Chicago.  The electric interurban railroad came to Carpentersville in 1896.  The line was built by the Carpentersville, Elgin and Aurora Railway from a connection with the streetcar system in Elgin, Illinois and ran for four miles, terminating at the Illinois Iron and Bolt foundry on Main Street.  This company changed ownership several times, including the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railway.  It ended up being owned by the Aurora, Elgin and Fox River Electric Company in 1924.  This line was always operated separately from the rest of the system, which included all traction lines between Carpentersville and Yorkville.  This was a great convenience to factory workers who traveled to Elgin and for Elgin workers to come to Carpentersville.  The line was used by everyone to enjoy Elgin's Trout Park and to enjoy the "summer cars" for a cool ride.  The line started to fail with the onset of the Great Depression and the establishment and paving of Illinois Route 31, which encouraged automobile use and the creation of a bus route.  The final blow came in 1933, when a tornado destroyed the bridge over the Fox River just south of West Dundee.

Until the 1950s, Carpentersville consisted of a street grid along the Fox River centered around Main Street, which was the only highway bridge across the Fox River between Algonquin and Dundee.  In the mid-1950s, Leonard W. Besinger began a subdivision named Meadowdale north of Carpentersville.  By 1956 Besinger had accumulated more than 2,600 acres (11 km2) along Illinois Route 25 between Bolz Rd and Illinois Route 68. Other area residents thwarted his attempts to incorporate Meadowdale as an independent town.  So Besinger had Carpentersville annex the property.  The Meadowdale Shopping Center, which was anchored by Wieboldt's, Carson Pirie Scott, Cook's and W.T. Grant; it also featured an indoor ice skating rink, overshadowed the commercial district along the River.  A large section of the shopping mall on the north side was torn down in the 1990s and a new post office building was built.

In 1956, to reflect this population shift, Dundee Community High School relocated from its former site on Illinois Route 31 to Cleveland Avenue (now Carpentersville Middle School). In 1964, a second high school, named for Irving Crown, opened on Kings Road on the northern edge of Meadowdale.  The two schools have now merged.  DeLacy (one of the schools built on Kings Road) was closed and made into offices of Dundee-Crown High School(the other school built there) and was remade on Cleveland Ave.

From 1958 to 1969, Carpentersville was home to the Meadowdale International Raceway, a 3.27 miles (5.26 km) long automobile race track located west of Illinois Route 31 which was also started by Besinger.  The site is now a Township Park and County Forest Preserve.

Carpentersville Wiki Page

Here are a few pictures from days gone by...

snowy streets in Carpentersville history of the 60's abd 70's
Snow On Amarillo Court in the Late 60's

a view of Carpentersville in 1898
Carpentersville in 1898