Buffalo Grove is located 26 miles northwest of the Chicago Loop and is another of those communities covering parts of both Cook and Lake counties. New Englanders established the first farms in the area, followed in the 1840’s by Melchior Raupp and other European immigrants. These farmers hauled their harvest in wagons over 34 miles of dirt roads to Chicago to sell. Dairy farming was also extensive, and at one point J.B. Weidner established a local cheese factory, until the rising cost of milk drove him out of business.These settlers, who were mainly Roman Catholic, raised money and donated land to establish Saint Mary’s Church in 1852. Although destroyed by fire several years later, it was rebuilt in 1899 at the corner of Lake-Cook Road and Buffalo Grove Road. In 1899, Little Mike’s Place, located across from Saint Mary’s church, was a well known establishment with a bar, dining room, dance hall, sleeping rooms and a place for horses. A century later, the establishment is in operation with the original bar intact as the local Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.
In the 1930’s, Dundee Road became the first state concrete road in northern Illinois, improving automobile access. Development began in earnest in 1957, and incorporation took place in 1958. Populations escalated with the appearance of large subdivisions, such as Strathmore and Woodlands of Fiore. On the commercial side, the Buffalo Grove Commerce Center was developed in 1981, followed by the Corporate Grove industrial park and Buffalo Grove business park in the mid-1980’s. Expansion continued into the 1990’s with Arbor Creek Business Centre and Covington Corporate Center. Most of these business centers are located at or near the junctions of Milwaukee Avenue with Busch Road and Aptakisic Road, to the east of the main residential areas. By the end of the twentieth century, the village had grown from 67 acres at incorporation to approximately 5000 acres. Population in 2000 stood at 42,909.
Present day Buffalo Grove offers multiple amenities to its residents. There are two libraries servicing the village: Indian Trails Public Library District towards the south end of the village, and the Vernon Area Public Library District in the north. During the summer months Buffalo Grove hosts two festivals: the Buffalo Grove Fine Arts Festival is held in mid-July, with an average of over 30,000 attendees, and in September, Buffalo Grove hosts the multi-day Buffalo Grove Days, attracting residents from neighboring communities as well as locals. Additionally, throughout the summer, Buffalo Grove hosts a weekly Farmers Market on Sunday mornings, held near the Buffalo Grove Fitness Center.
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