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McHenry collecting photographs, stories about older neighborhoods

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 5:03 p.m. CDT

McHENRY – A project to document the history of McHenry's older neighborhoods and subdivisions will start with Lakeland Park, Orchard Beach, Woodlawn Park, Edgebrook Heights and Cooney Heights.

The McHenry Landmark Commission has begun collecting old photographs, personal memoirs, memorabilia, anecdotes and other information on McHenry's neighborhoods and the families that lived there.

The project was proposed by Nancy Fike, a former commission member who served as the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum's administrator from 1986 to 2012.

Fike is a longtime resident of the Country Club subdivision, a neighborhood that dates back to the 1920s.

County atlases from 1876 and 1908 show some of the city's oldest neighborhoods, which then made up the two side-by-side villages of McHenry and West McHenry, Landmark Commission Chairman Pat Wirtz said.

At the time, the subdivision on the northeast side of the Fox River, now called Woodlawn Park, was made up of subdivided lots called Rosedale, River Park and Maplewood Park, he said. Other river subdivisions included Orchard Beach, Mineral Springs, Emerald Park and Schroeder's Estates.

Cooney Heights and Lakeland Park were developed in the 1940s during the post World War II housing boom and continued to grow into the 1970s, Wirtz said. Edgebrook Heights, Country Club Estates and Eastwood Manor began growing around 1950.

Those looking to submit information related to the five neighborhoods identified as the project's first year focus as well as other neighborhoods can contact Wirtz at 815-385-0191.

Historical material and photographs will be returned after being scanned.

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