Images: Icons of Maple Park

A small town with a big heart. That's Maple Park in a nutshell.

All year long, the town of Maple Park conducts various fundraisers, collecting money and toys and gently-used clothing and home goods. It all goes to the Maple Park Family Fund.

During the holidays, the town distributes all of the donations to local families in need. And there are quite a few in this sleepy, rural town of 1,400 off Route 38 just east of DeKalb.

Maple Park was in its heyday in the 1920s when weary motorists traveling the popular Lincoln Highway would stop over at the town's swanky gas station. Attendants in uniforms would clean windshields, offer free air for tires and give away road maps. The station, open day and night, also touted food, auto parts and expert repair services.

Village Hall in Maple Park is located in an old school that is nearly 100 years old. The building, which features a Hoosiers-like gymnasium, also houses the village police department and a teen center that is almost always busy on Friday and Saturday nights. Kids in Maple Park now attend the much newer Kaneland High School, just outside of town.

Downtown Maple Park features a handful of quaint businesses along Main Street, including craft stores, several bars and a fitness center. The old-time gas station of the 1920s is also on Main Street. There are plans for it to be refurbished.

On Labor Day, Maple Park hosts "FunFest," which includes a parade, food, crafts, bands and a softball tournament.

  Maple Park's hometown bank, Old Second Bank, may be closing its brick-and-mortar location soon due to an increase in online banking. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The Maple Park village hall and police department are located in an old school that hasn't lost its charm. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The entrance to the village hall in Maple Park is the entrance of the town's old high school. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Maple Park Village Hall and Civic Center is located in an old school that was built about 100 years ago. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The Maple Park police department has a police chief and eight part-time officers. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The Maple Park police department is located in the old school that also houses village hall. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  May I help you? Liz Peerboom is the Maple Park Village Clerk and is usually the first face you see inside village hall. Kathy Curtis is the mayor. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Casey's General Store at the entrance to Maple Park bustles with activity. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Welcome to Maple Park, Illinois, population 1,400. Maple Park is a rural town off Route 38, east of DeKalb. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Old school: The inside of Maple Park's village hall still looks very much like the inside of a school. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  There is a teen center inside Maple Park village hall that includes a game room, as well as a movie room. The center is buzzing with activity on most Friday and Saturday nights. The teen center hosted a holiday party for Maple Park kids in mid-December. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Tiptop shape: Maple Park residents can work up a good sweat at the local fitness center, Pound4Pound Fitness. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  There is plenty of farm life in Maple Park. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  There are several cute bars and restaurants in Maple Park, including the Maple Park Pub & Grill. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  There are all kinds of relics inside Maple Park village hall, including an old ballot box for local elections. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Houses in Maple Park's Heritage Hills Estates are framed by a recent snowfall. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Lodi Tap House is another watering hole in Maple Park. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The American Legion in Maple Park services military personnel in the community. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The old-time gas station (with old-time pumps) that attracted thousands of motorists in the 1920s to Maple Park is no longer operational, but plans are underway to refurbish it. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Here is a closer look at those old-time gas pumps in Maple Park. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  Maple Park features a large public park and playground on the north side of town. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The beautiful Church of St. Mary is a Roman Catholic church in Maple Park. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  In the old school gym at village hall is an old school scoreboard, complete with a dial clock. Very Hoosiers-like. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The Maple Park post office is located on Main Street downtown. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
  The Maple Park water tower soars high over town. Patricia Babcock McGraw/
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