McHenry County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The Dan and Lorena Andrew House in Woodstock is the newest historic landmark in McHenry County. The structure has received historic landmark status by the McHenry County Historical Society and its Historic Sites Committee because it is an excellent example of a Prairie Style home and it was built by prominent Woodstock architect William Fyfe.


Frank Lloyd Wright inspiration gets historical distinction

The Dan and Lorena Andrew House in Woodstock received historic landmark status Sept. 29 when the McHenry County Historical Society and its Historic Sites Committee placed a plaque on the building. The house is significant because it is an excellent example of a Prairie Style home, but also because of the architect the Andrews hired to designed it. The 60-year-old house was designed and built by Woodstock architect William Fyfe at 441 Lawndale Ave., Woodstock. Fyfe grew up in Oak Park, where he was surrounded and inspired by many Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes.

Wright developed the Prairie Style design, based on the premise that a home should serve human needs without being too showy, believing that “form follows function.”

This low-slung 1958 Prairie Style home is defined on the exterior by its clean horizontal lines. Large three foot overhangs, and a low pitched roof, appear to float, supported only by narrow glass transoms. Rows of windows give the appearance of glass walls, while simple materials clad the exterior. Upon entering this home, with its open flowing space, the heart can be found in the living room with its wood clapboard ceiling and centrally located see-thru fireplace. The kitchen, dining and laundry rooms abound with unique cabinetry and built-in furniture, all stained in natural colors, to let the character of wood show through. Pockets doors and folding doors help maintain an openness to the home, yet the public and private areas are clearly separated. Custom natural woodwork, precise decoration, original brass hardware, unique lighting, and even louvered vents below the windows, all add up to the making of this true Prairie Style home.  

Its current owners are Roy and Cindy Bock. The couple bought the house in December 2000.

McHenry County calls attention to its heritage by placing a plaque on a historic site or structure. The plaque will remain with and on the structure or site unless drastic alternations undermine its original intent. For information, visit

Taste spirits, learn about ecology of Rush Creek

Enjoy locally-distilled spirits and learn about history and ecology during the Strolling with Spirits at Rush Creek Conservation Area, 20501 McGuire Road, Harvard.

Tastes of whiskey, gin and vodka will be served with short presentations about the history and ecology of Rush Creek from 6:30–8 p.m. Oct. 25. The liquor will be from the line of spirits from Rush Creek Distilling in Harvard. A representative will be on hand to talk about each of the company’s seven creations and provide an opportunity to taste each. (Note: Entire consumption will be less than 2 ounces of alcohol.) Participants must show proof they are at least 21 years of age. Admission fee is $15 for county residents; $20 for non-residents. Registration required. Call 815-338-6223.


Apple Bake-Off Contest to be held Oct. 7

As part of the 41st annual Cider Fest on Oct. 7, the McHenry County Historical Society is hosting its fifth annual Apple Bake-off Contest. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with judging following at 10:30 a.m. in the 1895 West Harmony School.

The school is located on the museum grounds at 6422 Main St. in Union.

Categories are apple pies, apple cakes and apple squares/bars. There is a $2 fee per item, one entry per category. First- second- and third-place contestants in each of the three categories will receive ribbons, with a special prize going to the grand champion.

In addition to an amateur category, professional pie bakers are invited to enter an apple pie in the inaugural commercial category for an opportunity to be named the “Apple of My Eye” pie in McHenry County. The winner receives a trophy, with the runner-up and third-place entrees earning ribbons.

All baked goods entered should be in disposable containers or dishes marked with the contestant’s name and phone number for pickup after judging. Entries will be divided and repackaged for sale that day. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit historical society. For additional information, visit or call 815-923-2267.

Crystal Lake

Park district has two new employees

The Crystal Lake Park District has hired two people to fill vacancies created by retirements.

Katrina Hanna is the district’s new superintendent of business services.

She joins the Crystal Lake Park District after having spent the last five years at the village of Carpentersville. Four of those years were spent as the assistant finance director. Hanna received her bachelor’s in science from Northern Illinois University and master’s in public administration from University of Illinois at Springfield. She also is a certified public accountant.

Claire Naughton has been hired as manager of facility services.

After graduation from Creighton University, Naughton was a high school teacher and basketball coach in Colorado. Since 1998, she worked at the Elk Grove Park District. During her tenure there, she worked/coordinated the early childhood department, summer camps, extended care, health and wellness special events/programs, fieldhouse rentals and open gym.


Nominees sought for education award

People who have made significant contributions to Woodstock School District 200 education are eligible for the 2019 Sue Palmore Award of Excellence. Each year since 2011, the District 200 Education Foundation has honored an individual for outstanding contributions to the district. Nomination forms must be postmarked by Nov. 2.

The winner will be presented with the award at the District 200 Education Foundation’s Groundhog Day Dinner and Auction on Feb. 9, 2019, at Woodstock Harley-Davidson.

The award is open to any District 200 resident, any current or previous district employee or any graduate of District 200. Honorees are selected based on contributions that have resulted in significant improvements to education.

Nomination materials can be found at The completed nomination packet must be sent to District 200 Education Foundation, P.O. Box 172, Woodstock, 60098.

The District 200 Education Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization formed in 1993 to enhance and enrich the educational programs offered to students in District 200’s 12 schools.



–McHenry County News Briefs–