March 31, 2021
Dear Village Resident,
Welcome New Businesses!

I’m happy to report that Casey’s General Store has been working with the Village on a location across from Jewel at Route 12 and Finch street. Casey's offers self-service gasoline, a wide selection of grocery items and an array of freshly prepared food items. Among the most popular of Casey's prepared foods are their made-from-scratch pizzas, donuts, subs and sandwiches. Casey's is looking to start construction in the fall. 

BB.Q Chicken (Best of the Best Quality), a national chain, is now open at 2020 Route 12, in the former Tommy’s location. BB.Q Chicken is No. 1 Korean Premium Chicken. Last Friday they opened their doors for a soft opening and all the reports from our community have been very good. They have many different varieties of chicken flavors. Please stop by and give BB.Q Chicken a try. Hope to see you their soon!

I want to thank everyone for attending our Easter Bunny drive-thru car parade last Saturday at Horse Fair Park. It was well attended! Thank you Easter Bunny for hopping through to see all the kids!

The weather is getting warmer and I hope everyone can get outside and enjoy. 
 
Mark Eisenberg
Village President
Tulip Festival Coming this Spring!
Five acres of 300,000 tulips in 30 different varieties will be blooming at Richardson Adventure Farm this spring! 70,000 will be in a pick-your-own area by the lakefront on the farm. There will also be food truck, beer and wine, free games and more, which can be viewed on their website here. Anticipated dates of bloom are mid-April through mid May.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
During April, you will see increased law enforcement efforts as officers stop and ticket anyone who violates distracted driving and other Illinois motor vehicle laws. The Spring Grove Police Department is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies around Illinois the entire month of April. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 26,004 people died in U.S. crashes involving a distracted driver between 2012 and 2019. Administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation with federal traffic safety funds. View the press release.
Additional Blood Drive Scheduled
The turnout for the March 25 Blood Drive was so great, the Spring Grove Fire District is sponsoring an additional blood drive on Wednesday, April 28, from 1:30 - 6:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call Carrie at 815-271-2910 or visit www.versiti.org/IL. View the flyer here with additional information. Make sure to eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water prior to your donation!
2021 Mighty Mites T-ball Information
Mighty Mites t-ball is an exciting five-week program for boys and girls. Children hit off the tee, run the bases and play different positions, not including catcher. No scores are kept as the goal is to just have fun while learning the fundamentals of the game. Team t-shirt and hat included in the fee. Volunteer coaches are needed for this league. View the registration form.
Consolidated Election Next Week
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Early voting goes through Monday, April 5 for the April 6 Consolidated Election. View early voting locations and hours here. If you're voting on Election Day, Burton Township Districts are now voting at the River Ridge Church, located at 7664 Wilmot Road in Spring Grove, Richmond Township District 2 & 4 vote at the Village Municipal Center, and Richmond Township Districts 1 & 3 vote at the Nippersink District Library located at 5418 Hill Road in Richmond. Find your polling place and sample ballet by entering your address here.
Photo of the Week
A few more frosty photos before we start with springtime images! If you have a photo of Spring Grove you would like to share, email it here.
A frosty moon-set morning from Paul Fionda.
Sara Bialachowski took this charming picture of Richardson Farms off English Prairie Road
Cayla Sarcia and her pup Riley love their early morning jogs in Oak Valley Estates
Lois Petska found this calming brook behind
St. Peter Church
17-year Cicadas are Coming
In a few weeks, the 17-year cicadas will emerge from underground. For about four weeks, wooded and suburban areas will ring with cicadas’ whistling and buzzing mating calls. After mating, each female will lay hundreds of eggs in pencil-sized tree branches. Then the adult cicadas will die. Once the eggs hatch, new cicada nymphs fall from the trees and burrow back underground, starting the cycle again. Periodical cicadas are a crucial part of the ecosystem. The nymphs are food for animals living underground, and the adults feed every carnivore in the area. Cicadas are very gentle; they don't bite or sting and are not attracted to people.
Coyotes on the Move
Coyotes are on the move as their mating and birthing season is underway until the end of May. You may see them more often as the are staking out places to give birth. During this time the population may double, but goes back down to normal afterwards.
Here is some good advice for pet owners:
  • Keep your cats indoors, especially at night and in heavily wooded areas
  • Supervise small dogs in the backyard at all times (also, barking attracts the attention of coyotes)
  • Switch up your dog-walking routines to throw off coyotes who learn your schedules, and walk your dogs on a short leash
  • Carry a whistle, bell or horn on walks to make yourself large and loud
COVID-19 Vaccine - New Information
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If you work in manufacturing, the restaurant business or the construction trades, you're now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
 
There are multiple ways you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including Regional Healthcare Systems, Retail Pharmacies, Mass Vaccination Sites, and Local Community Health Centers. View links to all of these options here: https://bit.ly/MCDHCOVIDVaxLoc.

The McHenry County Department of Health is now using the state's COVID-19 vaccine registration page at https://covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov. You may have to try several time as slots fill up quickly, but new appointment options are posted regularly. You must have an email address (or you can use a friend's email address) when you call. Call 833-621-1284 and press 2 at the prompt; press 2 at the next prompt and you will be connected with a live person.

If you received your first vaccine through MCDH you will receive an email on how to schedule your second appointment when it is due.

The Illinois Department of Health has FAQs regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. View information about getting tested here. View more information here.
COVID-19 Update
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Once 50% of residents 16 and older have been vaccinated and stable or declining COVID-19 metrics are recorded during a 28-day monitoring period, Phase 5 will be implemented. As regulations are rolled back gradually, continue following public health guidelines that have kept us safe during the pandemic.
 
Community events, festivals and parades will be allowed to resume as soon as May if the state keeps on pace with vaccinations. This could change if vaccination progress slows or if a resurgence of the virus occurs.

A map and information of the status of every Illinois county can be found on the IDPH website here. Areas with increased risk of COVID-19 are based on case rates. If you have health questions, call the COVID-19 hotline at 800-889-3931 or email questions here.
Blast from the Past - Mystery Photo
Mystery couple most likely Frances Elizabeth Haldeman and husband Andrew Neish
Neish boys Bernard (bottom left), Chester (top middle) Paul & Linn seated (bottom right)
Originally the Haldeman Neish Palace Store built in 1884
The top sketch is a chalk drawing of a couple which was found in the basement rafters of 1928 Main Street by the current owner Dennis Melchiorre, who donated it to the village. There are no identifying marks or names, but after doing some research it is believed to be a drawing of Frances Elizabeth Haldeman and Andrew Neish, who married December 28, 1881 in Spring Grove. (Frances' mother, Mary Elizabeth Hoffman, was two years old when she came with her parents as one of the first settlers in Burton Township in 1836.)

The building was built in 1884 and called "The Palace Store, of which Messrs. Haldeman & Neish are proprietors." according to the local newspaper. They added, "It is nearly completed and when done will be the finest building in town. It will make an immense improvement to the looks of the place". (It is unclear if Andrew's partner was his brother-in-law or father-in-law).

Almost twenty years later it was reported, "A. Neish has raised his large store and is putting a new front in with large glass windows, adding much to the appearance and utility of his building." This "raised his former building so that he has now two complete floors in the main building...and has his store lighted with Acetylene lights."

Andrew bought newly subdivided lots being sold by Lewis Hatch and built homes on Blivin Street and at least one on East Court. He became school treasurer, started a banking business in his store and was postmaster. In addition, he was appointed Trustee for the newly incorporated Spring Grove, Illinois on October 6, 1902! That was also the year he went to Chicago to purchase the instruments for the new Spring Grove Cornet Band in which his four boys played as seen above.

In 1904, Andrew left with his family to start life anew in Mitchell, South Dakota. In 1910 he was still in the dry goods business, but in 1920 his occupation was listed as "Real Estate" in the census. Andrew died in 1925 in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 68 and Frances died in 1937.

Son Linn died at age 27 in France during WWI, a victim of the flu pandemic of 1919. His body was brought back and buried in Sioux Falls.

Son Bernie registered for the WWI draft at the age of 21 in 1917 and listed his employment as a clerk in the Golden Rule Grocery Story in Mitchell, SD. He died there in 1945 at the age of 49.

Paul was born in 1887 and registered for the WWII draft in 1942 when he lived in Galva, IL. He lived until 1950.

Chester, who was born in 1884, lived the longest and died in 1966 at the age of 82 - long enough that he may have heard the Beatles on TV.

It's interesting the things you can still find in walls and rafters. Maybe one day the Spring Grove Cornet Band drum will be pulled out of the rafters of an old basement or barn in town.
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