Accidents & Incidents, Community Buildings, Historic Structures

The Mysterious Case of Frederick Wennerstrom

On a Sunday morning, September 3, 1911, a couple of fishermen who were out on the Fox River and made a gruesome find. Floating in the river was the body of a man. Authorities were called and after the body was removed from the water, they could see it was wrapped in a rain cover… Continue reading The Mysterious Case of Frederick Wennerstrom

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Businesses, Construction, Historic Structures

McHenry’s Borden Factory

Going into the 1900s, McHenry had a lot going for itself. It was a summer tourist destination and had a great agricultural community. Businesses and factories were also starting to spring up throughout the village. One of those was the Gail Borden Condensing Plant. The Gail Borden Company had factories in many towns in the… Continue reading McHenry’s Borden Factory

Businesses, Historic Structures

The Beginning of McHenry’s Pries Market

In 1918, William Pries came to McHenry after purchasing the local market from Charles Frett. Frett had been in McHenry for 25 years when he sold the business. It was well respected and liked. People in town knew that Pries had big shoes to fill. William Pries, who was a successful businessman from Wauconda, got… Continue reading The Beginning of McHenry’s Pries Market

Community Events, Entertainment, Historic Structures

The Masquerade Ball of February 1878

In August of 1919, a local resident named “Buff” Feltz stopped by the McHenry Plaindealer office with an old dance program he found in walls of a Crystal Lake house he helped raze. Plaindealer editor, F. G. Schreiner found the program interesting and posted the details of the dance thinking that some of the “old-timers”… Continue reading The Masquerade Ball of February 1878

Entertainment, Historic Structures

McHenry’s Skyline Drive-In Theater

The drive-in theater was one of the iconic crazes of the 1950s. While the first drive-in was actually in Camden, New Jersey in 1933, the popularity of the drive-in didn’t take off until the 1950s. Drive-ins offered some things that their indoor counterparts didn’t. Overall, the atmosphere befitted its casual summertime setting. At a drive-in,… Continue reading McHenry’s Skyline Drive-In Theater

Construction, Entertainment, featured, Historic Structures, Resorts

The McHenry Coliseum?

  During the early part of the 20th century, McHenry was a booming tourist destination. People from Chicago and the surrounding areas would flock to McHenry to enjoy Pistakee Lake and Bay, the Fox River and other relaxing attractions. Realizing the economic opportunity, McHenry welcomed the tourists having already established resorts and hotels in the… Continue reading The McHenry Coliseum?

Construction, Historic Structures

The Building of the Iron Pearl Street Bridge

The first “formal” bridge in McHenry that spanned the Fox River was located at Pearl Street, just east of Riverside Drive (known as Water Street in the 1880s). Bridges or ferries had been at this location before McHenry was even settled in the 1830s. In the fall of 1880, it became clear to the residents… Continue reading The Building of the Iron Pearl Street Bridge