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posted: 1/18/2013 5:00 AM

Gaslight Terrace is a hidden gem

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  • These homes along Surrey Lane in Gaslight Terrace show the large lots and rolling hills for which the area is known.

       These homes along Surrey Lane in Gaslight Terrace show the large lots and rolling hills for which the area is known.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Gaslight Terrace includes several neighborhoods that surround Gaslight Park in Algonquin.

       Gaslight Terrace includes several neighborhoods that surround Gaslight Park in Algonquin.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Homes along Harper Drive show the mature trees and secluded atmosphere that makes Gaslight Terrace such a desirable neighborhood.

       Homes along Harper Drive show the mature trees and secluded atmosphere that makes Gaslight Terrace such a desirable neighborhood.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • These homes on Zange Drive are in the Gaslight Terrace neighborhood in Algonquin.

       These homes on Zange Drive are in the Gaslight Terrace neighborhood in Algonquin.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
By Sherry Giewald
Daily Herald Correspondent

With rolling hills, wooded half-acre lots and spacious homes, the Gaslight Terrace subdivision in Algonquin offers a great place to settle and raise a family.

"It's the best kept secret in Algonquin," said Sharon Gidley, real estate broker with RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest. "People drive through Gaslight and say 'I never knew this was here.' "

The large homes and half-acre lots attracted Jack and Kathie Thacker to the subdivision almost 30 years ago. "We had an acre of ground in Ohio, but when we looked at houses here, they were on top of each other -- until we found this home on a half-acre of land," Kathie Thacker said.

"We have a nice big house with four bedrooms and a walkout basement with lots of closets -- three walk-in closets, where normally a walk-in closet is only in the master," Thacker said. "We have a linen closet, hall closets. We have three kids, so we did need the space."

In Gaslight, comfortable family homes come in a variety of styles -- ranches, split levels, tri-levels and two-stories -- with 1,500 to 3,000 square feet, four bedrooms, and two- or three-car garages, Gidley said.

"There is a lot of pride in homeownership in the subdivision. Everyone takes great care of their yards."

People like the mature trees and wooded area where they see a lot of deer roaming around, said Gidley, who has lived in the subdivision for many years.

Thacker enjoys seeing deer in her yard. "They're so fascinating," she said. "One day I was going to the mailbox, and a deer was eating the grass around it. So I sat on the porch and watched. We also see deer in the backyard. They get pretty close to us." The downside? "They like my flowers, too."

Everyone likes living there and the homes are well built, Gidley said. She said a lot of original owners are updating their homes to stay here rather than move.

When the Thackers moved into the subdivision, there was no shopping in the area, and people went to the grocery store in Crystal Lake or Carpentersville.

What does Kathie think now that the area has built up?

"I love it," she said. "We are five minutes from Randall Road. Randall Road is crazy, but here we have no traffic, and it's quiet."

Also, shoppers can head to the quaint downtown area to visit boutiques and specialty shops, art galleries and neat places for lunch.

Recreation abounds in this village on the river. In the summertime, people walk along the Fox River, sit on park benches, watch boaters and fishermen and bike through town.

The village oversees parks and recreation and offers all kinds of programs and special events, family trips, athletic programs and Red Cross swimming lessons for people of all ages.

Towne Park hosts several community events including the popular Founders' Day, a fun summer festival that lasts about four days. People enjoy two beautiful parks on each side of the river.

Gaslight sits four miles from Spring Hill Mall and two miles from Algonquin Commons with easy access to I-90 via Randall Road or Route 31.

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