November 25, 2020
Dear Village Resident,
I had the privilege to host three groups of Brownie Girl Scouts this past month. And what fun it was! Because of COVID-19 we had to be very creative. Troop 1888's visit was done virtually on Skype and the other two troops, 1933 and 1935 were done in-person, practicing social distancing inside and outside. The Brownies were working towards their democracy badge. It was great to talk to them about our type of government structure with trustees and a village president vs alderman and a mayor. They asked a lot of questions about how their local government works. I enjoyed my conversations with these second and third graders who are very interested in learning about their world.

Working with the kids of our community is one of the favorite parts of my job as Village President. As we get together for the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to thank everyone who serves and helps others.

May God bless your families during this difficult time.

Mark Eisenberg
Village President
Types of Local Government
Many times, as Village President, I’m asked what is the difference between a mayor and a village president, an alderman and a trustee? After meeting with the Brownies, I thought this would be a good time to explain.

Normally a mayor presides over a larger populated area called a city. A village president is the same, but presides over a smaller community called a village. They both share the same responsibility as CEO of their community and elected at large.

The difference starts with the trustee vs. alderman. The best way to explain this is with subdivisions. With an alderman, it’s like voting for someone that represents your subdivision. Aldermen would be voted on by only the residents of that subdivision. They have an interest in you and your subdivision and the city. Village trustees are elected at large, which means they represent the whole village and are elected by all residents. Trustees have an interest in representing all of the residents. This is good because they have to work for everyone and not just a subdivision. One downside of this is if all the representatives (trustees) came from the same area.

In the Village of Spring Grove we do not have a village manager. This helps save the village around $150,000 a year with benefits. But this means the village trustees and staff have a lot more duties to do. As Village President, I have a responsibility to all the residents and also the day to day operations of the village and employees. The list of responsibilities is large.

Village trustees take on large tasks also; most chair a committee and are appointed members of other committees. For example the Parks Committee chair is responsible for the day to day operations of all our parks. The Public Works Committee chair oversees the Public Works Department and the water and sewer operations for the business district. Economic Development Trustees continue to meet with our future and current business community. Our newest committee is the Event Planning Committee, which will start once the pandemic is over. The list goes on with the responsibilities of our trustees and village staff. We are very fortunate to have dedicated staff and elected officials that serve our community and I thank them.

I hope this gives you a better idea of our type of government and responsibilities.

Mark Eisenberg
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The Municipal Centre will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, November 26, and Friday, November 27, for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Holiday Drive-thru and Letters to Santa Saturday, December 5!
In lieu of the annual Tree Lighting Festival, we will be hosting a Holiday Drive-thru and Letters to Santa on Saturday, December 5, from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. at Horse Fair Park! Bring your letters for Santa's elves to place in the mailbox, then wave to Santa who will be sitting at a distance in the pavilion. This is a free event. You can choose a Santa letter here, here or here, or make your own! (Vehicles only please, no walk-ups.) View the flyer here!
Three Charged after Undercover Sting
Police on Wednesday raided the Spring Spa at 2020 Route 12 after a months long investigation. Charged in connection with conducting a business where sexual services were exchanged for money were 57-year-old Un Hui Wilcox, 59-year-old Hyun J. Nam and Jial Lee. After the arrests, multiple workers removed from the massage parlor were offered services including housing and psychological treatment. This investigation is the culmination of weeks of work by law enforcement, which included surveillance and undercover operations, and involved investigators, service providers, and interpreters. View the press release here.
T's Toffee 6th Annual Open House
This year Theresa & Lance will be offering curbside service for their Open House on Saturday, December 5 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m! You may place your order on their website at www.ts-toffee.com or call in your order to 847-274-9969. Your package will be waiting for you when you arrive and they will deliver it to your car. An Open House will also be set up outside in the garage if you'd like to browse their products. Located at 8818 Hidden Trail. View the flyer .
Thanksgiving Centerpieces
Order your Thanksgiving centerpiece from Birds of Paradise Flowers and Gifts. Custom orders welcome. They deliver. Located at 2404 Spring Ridge Drive or call 815-363-8568. Visit them here.
Photo of the Week
This grey tree frog acts like a chameleon, changing colors from vivid green when in a tree to shades of grey to nearly black. It seems pretty proud of itself on how well it blended into the concrete floor of Katie Dennsion's porch in the English Prairie Estates subdivision. Don't blend in too well, or you may get stepped on! If you have a photo of Spring Grove you would like to share, email it here.
Toys for Tots Drop Off
Eclipse Hair Studio is once again collecting for Toys for Tots at their salon. Our community has always been generous to this program and although they know this year has been difficult for many, they hope to still be able to make a lot of children happy this Christmas. Located at 2020 Route 12, Suite U. Open at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday thru Saturday. Closing times vary. Visit them here.
Operation Feed 33 Update!
The Jake Vinyard Foundation Operation Feed 33 will be providing meals to those in need this Christmas. A new drop off location is at Nature's Feed located at 2440 Westward Drive. Donations are accepted thru December 12. View donation suggestions and more on the flyer here. The drive through pick up date is Saturday, December 19 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Platinum Terrain located at 7701 Blivin. Contact Randy Vinyard if you or someone you know is in need to make sure they have enough for everyone. Contact information is listed on the flyer. Visit jakevinyardfoundation.com.
West Solon Bridge
The Richmond Township Road District is happy to announce that the West Solon bridge is now open. It's been out for some time so this is great news.
COVID-19 Update
Face Mask 2
The new Tier 3 mitigation requirements aims to limit gatherings and encourages people to stay home to the greatest extent possible, while permitting some businesses and industries to remain open at significantly reduced capacities with proper safety measures in place.

Travel for the holiday is discouraged, and state and federal health experts are advising that holiday meals be limited to members within the same households to avoid exposure to COVID-19. 

Keep practicing the 3 Ws: Watch your distance, wear a mask properly (covering your mouth AND nose) and wash your hands frequently.

A map and information of the status of every Illinois county can be found on the IDPH website here. View a map of the United States and other countries to view potential risks associated with traveling. Areas with increased risk of COVID-19 are based on case rates.

If you have health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 800-889-3931 or email questions here.
Blast from the Past
Marvel Pierce and Shabonee
Native Pottawatomie, Chippewa and Ottawa called this area home until soon after the Black Hawk War when, in 1834, they were removed to Iowa and Kansas after a treaty was signed. Wilmot Road is an old Native American trading trail which went from DeKalb County, passed near Woodstock and came north, headed to Wisconsin near Wilmot and then on to Milwaukee.

Small bands of Native Americans were still here when the first settlers came in 1836. They were peaceful, and traded blankets and furs for potatoes and other food and goods with the pioneers.

M.R. Cole, a descendant of early pioneers wrote, "When the young white men around here went to visit the Indians, they would split a stick and slip a penny (not a cent... but the larger coin called a penny) into it, standing the stick upright in the ground. They got the little Indians out to shoot the pennies with their arrows. The penny was given to the one who hit it. One little fellow shot his arrow up in a tree out of reach. Aaron Hoffman (who lived from 1824-1893) took his rifle and shot the arrow down for the boy. This was in Silas Pierce’s boyhood days.”

Silas Pierce was the son of Marvel Pierce, who settled in an area off Wilmot Road. Marvel was a farmer and also cobbled shoes. Marvel was born in 1814 and came here from Pennsylvania in 1838 with his wife, Eleanor White. Eleanor's parents settled in DeKalb County and had a farm near Shabonnee's Grove. Shabonee was a famous Native American Chief. He was born in Ottawa and through marriage became a Pottawatomie chief. He is credited with saving many white settlers from death by warning them of an imminent raid during the Black Hawk War of 1832.

Marvel would visit Shabonee on occasion. Once, he found Shabonee stamping the ground because a white man had stolen his otter. He said, "Smoke man is a bad man. Go down to Hell". The last time Marvel saw Shabonee, he told him he wanted him to stop at his house the next time he went through Spring Grove to Milwaukee. Marvel said, "Shabonee cleared and smoothed off a place on the ground about five feet square and took his cane and drew as pretty a map as anyone ever saw on paper and put in the Nippersink Creek and our Chain of Lakes - traced the Fox River from Wilmot to McHenry and then he said: 'Pistakee Lake and Neposuck (Nippersink) Creek. Now where's your wigwam?" When he showed him, Shabonee said, "I'm an old man now, past 75 and I may never go again, but if I do I'll stop by your wigwam."

Marvel served in a volunteer infantry regiment during the Civil War, signing up when he was 44 years old. He came back to his farm afterward and died on his farm in 1878 from injuries sustained in the war. Eleanor continued to live there until her death in 1887.
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