Dual dedication ceremony honors framers of Long Grove
A dual dedication ceremony with two ribbon cuttings was held Thursday evening at the historic covered bridge in Long Grove.
The bridge was formally named the Robert Parker Coffin Bridge in recognition of one of the village's first presidents and the man who made it his mission to keep the small-town nature of the village while most communities in the area were trying to expand.
"Developers were trying to bring a citylike development to our community and really pushing for a lot of density," said Village President Bill Jacob. "What Robert Parker Coffin valued most was protecting the rural feeling of Long Grove, conservation, open land and no tax, and there is still no tax today, and limited government, which is all alive and well today."
After officials snipped the ribbon under the bridge with members of the Coffin family, a second half of the ceremony happened when newly planted trees were dedicated, along with the fresh development of a creekside park, in honor of Coffin and late longtime residents Barbara Reed Turner and Maria Rodriguez.
Reed Turner was 100 when she died in 2020. She was a member of one of the original Long Grove families and was known to generations as the librarian of Kildeer Countryside Elementary School. She was honored at the national level for her conservation efforts, and the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve is a destination for bird enthusiasts off Old McHenry Road.
Maria Rodriguez had a political career that spanned three decades before she died in 2021. She served as Long Grove's village clerk, as a trustee and ultimately as its president. She also ran for Congress in 2010 and for lieutenant governor in 2014 as the running mate to Republican Bill Brady.
Robert Parker Coffin, who was 101 when he died in June 2019, was among the first trustees when the village was incorporated in 1956. He was village president from 1959 to 1981 and went on to volunteer on the advisory plan commission for 22 years, holding firm on keeping the town's rural character.