Photographs provided by the Dundee Township Historical Society.
From its beginning 172 years ago, the Village of Carpentersville was a working person's town. Yet it was a flood which delayed a family traveling through that brought this Village about.
In the Spring of 1837 Charles Carpenter and his brother Daniel were on their way to the Rock River when their ox-drawn prairie schooner couldn't ford the swollen Fox River. So, the brothers pitched a tent and stayed put to raise their families. A log cabin came later on the river's east bank just above what is now Main Street.
They called their town Carpenters' Grove and the name held until 1851 when Carpentersville became official. During this time Charles' son, Julius built himself a commercial empire. By 1850 Julius had opened the Village's first store and built its first two-story building. The Village kept booming with industry until the early 1900's thanks to the ingenuity of the Carpenter family.
For the next hundred years, Carpentersville didn't grow as rapidly as other Fox Valley communities which had more direct rail connections to Chicago.
Until the 1950's Carpentersville consisted of a street grid along the Fox River centered around Main Street, which was the only highway bridge across the Fox River between Algonquin and Dundee. In the mid-1950s, the Meadowdale subdivision was built and annexed to Carpentersville with the Meadowdale Shopping Center following. By 1960, there were 54 stores in the shopping center with Wieboldt's as its anchor.
Carpentersville was once connected with Elgin and the rest of the Fox Valley by a network of electric trolley cars (right).
Today, Carpentersville is the largest community in Dundee Township.