Images: Icons of Maple Park

 
 
Posted1/15/2017 1:00 AM

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.

An neat old photo covering the side of Maple Park's village hall explains the significance of Maple Park in the 1920s. Located along the popular and well-traveled Lincoln Highway, Maple Park and its full service gas station was a busy oasis for motorists.
  An neat old photo covering the side of Maple Park's village hall explains the significance of Maple Park in the 1920s. Located along the popular and well-traveled Lincoln Highway, Maple Park and its full service gas station was a busy oasis for motorists.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
Maple Park's hometown bank, Old Second Bank, may be closing its brick-and-mortar location soon due to an increase in online banking.
  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 | Staff Photographer
The Maple Park village hall and police department are located in an old school that hasn't lost its charm.
  The Maple Park village hall and police department are located in an old school that hasn't lost its charm.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
The entrance to the village hall in Maple Park is the entrance of the town's old high school.
  The entrance to the village hall in Maple Park is the entrance of the town's old high school.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
Maple Park Village Hall and Civic Center is located in an old school that was built about 100 years ago.
  Maple Park Village Hall and Civic Center is located in an old school that was built about 100 years ago.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
The Maple Park police department has a police chief and eight part-time officers.
  The Maple Park police department has a police chief and eight part-time officers.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
The Maple Park police department is located in the old school that also houses village hall.
  The Maple Park police department is located in the old school that also houses village hall.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
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.
  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 | Staff Photographer
Casey's General Store at the entrance to Maple Park bustles with activity.
  Casey's General Store at the entrance to Maple Park bustles with activity.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
Welcome to Maple Park, Illinois, population 1,400. Maple Park is a rural town off Route 38, east of DeKalb.
  Welcome to Maple Park, Illinois, population 1,400. Maple Park is a rural town off Route 38, east of DeKalb.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
Old school: The inside of Maple Park's village hall still looks very much like the inside of a school.
  Old school: The inside of Maple Park's village hall still looks very much like the inside of a school.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
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.
  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 | Staff Photographer
Tiptop shape: Maple Park residents can work up a good sweat at the local fitness center, Pound4Pound Fitness.
  Tiptop shape: Maple Park residents can work up a good sweat at the local fitness center, Pound4Pound Fitness.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
There is plenty of farm life in Maple Park.
  There is plenty of farm life in Maple Park.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
There are several cute bars and restaurants in Maple Park, including the Maple Park Pub & Grill.
  There are several cute bars and restaurants in Maple Park, including the Maple Park Pub & Grill.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
There are all kinds of relics inside Maple Park village hall, including an old ballot box for local elections.
  There are all kinds of relics inside Maple Park village hall, including an old ballot box for local elections.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
Houses in Maple Park's Heritage Hills Estates are framed by a recent snowfall.
  Houses in Maple Park's Heritage Hills Estates are framed by a recent snowfall.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
Lodi Tap House is another watering hole in Maple Park.
  Lodi Tap House is another watering hole in Maple Park.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
The American Legion in Maple Park services military personnel in the community.
  The American Legion in Maple Park services military personnel in the community.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
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.
  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 | Staff Photographer
Here is a closer look at those old-time gas pumps in Maple Park.
  Here is a closer look at those old-time gas pumps in Maple Park.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
Maple Park features a large public park and playground on the north side of town.
  Maple Park features a large public park and playground on the north side of town.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
The beautiful Church of St. Mary is a Roman Catholic church in Maple Park.
  The beautiful Church of St. Mary is a Roman Catholic church in Maple Park.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
In the old school gym at village hall is an old school scoreboard, complete with a dial clock. Very Hoosiers-like.
  In the old school gym at village hall is an old school scoreboard, complete with a dial clock. Very Hoosiers-like.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
The Maple Park post office is located on Main Street downtown.
  The Maple Park post office is located on Main Street downtown.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
The Maple Park water tower soars high over town.
  The Maple Park water tower soars high over town.
Patricia Babcock McGraw | Staff Photographer
0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.