East and West Dundee


Welcome to the Carpentersville Memories Dundee Page. Our goal is to bring back some fun memories of growing up in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Please take your time and check out all of the Dundee images and files, they are sure to bring back many memories.


We bring back Memories you didn’t know you had

What was Dundee like way back in the olden days?

Dundee was a place where we all felt safe, any time of day or night.  A place we called home, a place with friends, family and great people.  Whether you lived there for a year or a life time, the memories of Dundee are forever in your mind.  Check out all of the Dundee images and files we have been collecting.


Dundee is not a single town as it is actually two separate villages, East and West Dundee.  Not to be confused with Dundee Township.  Dundee Township occupies the 6 square mile area in the Northeast corner of Kane County, Illinois.  It includes West and East Dundee, Carpentersville, Sleepy Hollow, Gilberts and portions of Elgin, Barrington Hills, Hoffman Estates, and Algonquin. It is divided by the Fox River.

Over the years there have been efforts to merge West with East Dundee, the village just across the Fox River.  A 1956 referendum was approved by East Dundee but rejected by West Dundee. These roles were reversed in a 1962 referendum. Each town’s retention of individuality dates back to their early days when West Dundee’s Scottish and English heritage kept it apart from its German neighbors.

The History of West Dundee

West Dundee mixes historic charm with newer commercial and residential development. 

In 1835 Elder John and Nancy Oatman established a tavern and a store that became the core of the community. Others settlers came, and in 1837 they held a lottery to determine who would name the town. Alexander Gardiner won and named the town Dundee in honor of his Scottish hometown. In 1843 Scotsman Allan Pinkerton, later the renowned detective, set up business as a cooper. The town was incorporated in 1867.

West Dundee was hemmed in from development for years. The river formed a natural eastern barrier. To the north and west, the D. Hill Nursery, founded in 1855 by William Hill, specialized in fruit trees. The business grew to include evergreens, some of which were sent to Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Expanding to 900 acres, the nursery survived the Great Depression by running a cattle feed operation that continued through World War II. Some of the thousands of seasonal workers traveled to work from Chicago by electric car, while the majority lived on the nursery grounds.

In the 1950s a segment of the Hill property was sold and turned into the Highlands subdivision, which was annexed into West Dundee in 1956. The community also annexed property west of Illinois 31 in 1957, Royal Lane in 1960, and the Old World subdivision in 1966. The nursery eventually sold all of its land and moved to McHenry County. Plans for the Spring Hill Mall on Hill’s land began in 1973 and the project was completed in 1980. The 1.1 million-square-foot mall’s retail sales boosted West Dundee’s economy and created an estimated 1,600 jobs by 1982. New subdivisions were built to the west of Spring Hill.

The History of East Dundee

The land east of the Fox River in what is now East Dundee was platted in 1837 for Thomas Deweese, who had laid claim to a large part of the area. Newcomers who settled there were unaware of Deweese’s claims and either were forced to pay or were moved out by men hired by Deweese. In 1837 Deweese built a gristmill, and soon after was responsible for the installation of the first bridge. In the 1850s, a large group of Lutheran Germans moved into the area. They erected a church and practiced their own traditions, which separated them from their largely Scottish western neighbors.

Using clay from the riverbank, a brickyard started business in 1852. D. H. Haeger became part owner in 1871, the same year the village was incorporated; within a year he was sole owner and had extended the business to include tile. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, bricks were shipped into the city to help rebuild. By the 1920s the brickyard’s production included teaware, luncheonware, and Royal Hickman crystal and glassware.

At the Century of Progress Exposition in 1934 in Chicago, Haeger Potteries’ exhibit included a complete working plant where souvenir pottery was made on the spot. The company, which passed to Haeger’s great-grandchildren, employed 200 workers in 1985, most of whom were women. In the 1990s Haeger had a national sales base, attracting many shoppers to its factory, especially during its summertime tent sale.

A historic district along the Fox River and stores on Main Street constitute the commercial part of East Dundee. On Route 25 Santa’s Village amusement park provides rides and games for children.

Development of East Dundee has been slowed by a lack of land. The river is a barrier to the west, and Hoffman Estates, to the east. Referendums in 1956 and 1962 failed to unite East Dundee and West Dundee, which has prevented East Dundee from reaping any benefit from Spring Hill Mall to the west. Although the village has had limited land expansion, East Dundee’s industry and commerce have grown, including the annexation of Rock Road Industrial Park in 1984–85 and the addition of the Spring Hill Ford auto dealership and a shopping center around 1990.

Dundee Township Park Dist Timeline PDF

Various Images From East and West Dundee’s Past 1800s – 1980s

Various Images From Dundee’s Past 1952, 1954, 1955, 1964

Remembering Norm’s Music

Philip Aleo Publications

Visit Philip Aleo Publications


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