1908 Subdivision Anniversary
Original 1908 Villa Park Subdivision Survey Form
The Village of Villa Park is recognizing the 100th anniversary of the original Villa Park Subdivision and the Historical Preservation Commission has undertaken several projects for this memorable event of our heritage.
It was in 1843 when the pioneer family of Curtis R. Cable had obtained property in sections 3 and 10 of York Township and began to farm on this rich soil. Later, in 1900, Florence Canfield and Louis Meyer, two area farm owners, granted the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railway a right-of-way through their land. Soon, developers spotted the open land and saw and opportunity for opening a town along the new railroad. This set the motion of the chain of events that transformed the area into a bustling suburb. The interurban began service in 1902 providing passenger travel, newspaper, milk deliveries and funeral transportation. In 1908, unincorporated farmland was still abundant between the developed Village of Lombard and the City of Elmhurst, Illinois.
On October 30, 1908 the original subdivision named Villa Park was recorded with 210 lots from the sale of farm property owned by Florence C. Canfield and bought by Ballard, Pottinger and Co., a Chicago real estate firm. Most lots were one acre. The lots along Park Boulevard were much smaller in size.
A few years later, the subdivision of Ardmore was established in 1910 by Ballard, Pottinger and Co. who further promoted the development of Ardmore and built the Ardmore Station, located at 10 W. Park Blvd., to enable people to take the Sunday excursion train and buy property. They also planted poplar trees along the newly laid-out streets.
The subdivisions of Villa Park and Ardmore united and were incorporated on August 8, 1914, as the Village of Ardmore for the purposes of acquiring tax money for community improvements. In 1917, the name was changed to the Village of Villa Park by the residents. The new community attracted wealthy Chicago families who wanted country living and built attractive homes.
New Historic Markers and Walking Tour Brochure
The Villa Park Historical Preservation Commission and the Villa Park Public Works department have developed a special historic marker that will be installed at various sign posts along the original Villa Park Subdivision's key boundaries. Commissioners Jan Stortz and Ellen Stotz have worked closely with Kevin Mantels, assistant Village engineer, to make this happen.
In addition, a new Original Villa Park Subdivision Historic Walking Tour Brochure is being designed by Carol Marcus featuring houses and buildings in this area that have been awarded Historic Plaques. Also included are many properties that are especially significant with respect to architecture, famous people or early history. Preservation Commissioners members Jose Castillo, Robert Dollinger, Carol Marcus (Chair), Jeffrey Prenta, Ellen Stortz, and Jan Stortz have all contributed.
New Original Villa Park Subdivision Exhibit
The Villa Park Historical Preservation Commission is planning a display of the original Villa Park Subdivision that was established in 1908 along with photos of homes that were built in the early 20th century within this area. This will be on display in May at the Historical Museum. Commissioner Robert Dollinger has already completed mounting a large scale Village Map to assist residents and museum visitors in their research projects.
Do You Live in the Original Villa Park Subdivision?
The Villa Park Historical Preservation Commission is researching and gathering information about the homes and buildings that were built in the original Villa Park subdivision and the history of the various families who lived in these homes. If your house or business is located within the boundaries of this first Villa Park subdivision, kindly fill out the survey form and attach a photo of your building. This form is available here or at the VPHPC Reference Library at the Historical Museum. A new binder is created to organize this information collected. When completed, drop off the form at the Historical Museum.