Arlington Heights' celebration of its 125th anniversary has put a spotlight on the "wonders" of the village.
A class project for Mary Goumas' fourth-graders at Patton School had the students looking at the seven wonders of the ancient world. They expanded it to include personal "Wonders" -- like a signed baseball and a bottle of sand from the Sahara. Then, they started looking at Arlington Heights.
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The Arlington Heights Historical Museum supplied a list of 10 suggestions. One student, Seth Heidkamp, consulted his grandfather, John Glueckert, founder of Glueckert Funeral Home.
In the end, the class researched the possibilities and settled on seven final wonders of Arlington Heights -- the classic number in the ancient world. Parents drove the youngsters around town to photograph themselves with the winners.
"My family has been here for a pretty long time," said Seth Heidkamp. "And I plan on staying here, there's no point in leaving. I think it's a really big deal to learn what happened in your town. We could be in the coolest town in the world and not even know it. We might even have more history than Las Vegas."
"I live two blocks away, and I learned so many facts about it. The racetrack survived the Great Depression and it put us on the map," said Taylor Kalata. "It's the most important place in Arlington Heights."
Wheeling Township Cemetery
It's on Euclid Avenue west of Rand Road. "We found where William Dunton and his family are buried," said Natalia Lesak.
Statue of William Dunton
The statue, created by local artist Fran Volz is at Northwest Highway and Arlington Heights Road. "That's the original map of the village in his hand," said Alexandra La Quaglia.
At 1 N. Vail Ave. "President Nixon gave a speech there," said Alex Kaburov. "An actual president had been in that place." The students also learned that the building housed a general store long ago. And they saw where a now-blocked tunnel left the building, said Maciej Brzezicki, although the research is unclear on who might have needed a "secret" tunnel to escape the building.
Asa Dunton house
On Arlington Heights Road, just north of Euclid Avenue. The students were impressed that this house, built about 1847, is the oldest still standing in Arlington Heights and was one of the first with indoor plumbing, said Goumas. And they love the Dunton house stories such as the fact that William Dunton moved his to make way for the railroad.
The first block of North Dunton Avenue at Davis Street. "I never knew there was such a thing as a Brick Block," said Michael Zolna. "I thought it was one big store, but different stores like a butcher shop were there." Mitchell's Jewelers is in the building now.
Austrian pine at Campbell and Ridge
"It's been here for a long time, and I never knew that because I just moved here from California," said Bianca Teves. Other students chimed in that this specimen was planted in 1861, 151 years ago.