Town Square PublicationsTM

t is a real privilege to present this South Holland Community Profile and South Holland Business Association Membership Directory to the residents and businesses of ourVillage. The product of the cooperative efforts of many individuals in the business association,Village government and others, it represents one of the long-standing strengths of ourVillage, namely, the ability and desire to work together for the achievement of goals and projects of benefit to everyone.

We are recognized as a community that provides the highest quality of essential service for our residents while maintaining some of the lowest property taxesVis-a-vis homes of comparable size and quality in other communities. With over 800 businesses located and thriving in South Holland, this broad tax base obviously contributes significantly to our ability to provide this level of service. For the benefit of all, I want to encourage residents to continue to support South Holland businesses.

There are someVery exciting projects we continue to work on, including our Balanced Approach to Housing program, which seeks to increase communication and build relationships between key community groups and between neighbors; there's the renovation of Route 6 and South Park; new and existing commercial and industrial developments; senior residentialVillas; a community center is being studied; the purchase of water from Hammond is imminent; and we are working with the Calumet Memorial park district and area land owners for the possibility of developing a golf course in South Holland.

The year 1997 marks the 150th anniversary of South Holland. With our strong emphasis on faith and family, as well as continued investment and reinvestment by residents and businesses, the future isVery bright for South Holland!


Don A. De Graff,Village President

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aith and family unite South Holland as a gracious and loving community. The handsome buildings and lush grounds of the many churches in this "village of Churches" extol the strong faith of the people.

Family ties are equally as strong and the myriad of beautiful homes in South Holland declares that love dwells within. South Holland is aVillage created by families for families. Its homes are exclusively single family structures that span a wide range of styles and sizes. There's a home here for every budget.

the village's 31 well-equipped parks, for the most part, are neighborhood parks located throughout the community so families can use and enjoy them conveniently.

Community pride shows in South Holland's schools, both public and private, where excellence is pursued in a positive environment. An in-town community college allows students to live at home while completing their freshman and sophomore years or while acquiring career skills.

South Holland enjoys a sound and stable economy, thanks to a sizeable and diversified business and industrial base. Shoppers find their needs in locally owned stores that line several major arteries.

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wo super highways frame South Holland on the south and east - Interstate 80-294 on the south and the Bishop Ford Freeway (I-94) on the east. The two provide convenient access to all of the Chicagoland area and to the nation. U.S. 6 and State 1 are major routes that crisscross the community.

Less than 30 miles from Chicago's Loop, commuters can board speedy and comfortable Metra trains in nearby Harvey or Riverdale. Pace buses offer economical transportation to points within the village and to neighboring communities.

O'Hare International Airport, the world's busiest, is under an hour's drive away. Chicago's Midway Airport can be reached in less than 30 minutes. The third Chicago area airport being considered will be even closer. Corporate and private aircraft are based at Lansing Municipal Airport, only a few minutes away from the center of South Holland. The airport offers aVariety of services, including charter flights and flight training.

South Holland business and industry are served by more than two dozen motor freight carriers, one with a terminal in the village. Rail service is availableVia the Grand Trunk, Baltimore and Ohio, and the Missouri Pacific railroads.

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rom the late 1700s until 1800, the area around South Holland was part of the Northwest Territory. In 1800, it was shifted to the Indiana Territory and within nine years was transferred to the Illinois Territory.

Later, when the land of Illinois was opened to settlement, Yankee families and European immigrants flooded in. The South Holland area's first settlers were Dutch. Hendrik De Jong, his wife Geertje, and their 12 children had traveled west from New York to Holland, Michigan, then on to Illinois. In mid-1847, Hendrik De Jong purchased 300 acres along the Little Calumet River in what is now South Holland.

The presence of the De Jong family attracted other Dutch immigrants to the area and soon a community called de Laage Prairie (the Low Prairie) was established. Among other early settlers were Jan Killewinger, Huip Scheuurwater, Antonie Rombout, Antje Paarlberg, and Jakob Duim.

Solidly Dutch, the small farming community retained the traditional ways. Residents spoke the Dutch mother tongue and dressed in traditional garb, including the "tripklompen" wooden shoes worn by women and children. The church was the center of social and family life and, in essence, the settlement's government.

The community's first post office came about as a result of efforts by Pieter De Jong, Hendrik's son. Young Pieter walked to the general store in nearby de Hooge Prairie to collect mail, then returned to de Laage Prairie and handed it out to his neighbors in church on Sunday.

As the community grew, not all residents went to the same church. So, about 1860, De Jong built a combination general store and post office. In 1870, the federal government recognized the post office. In that year, de Laage Prairie officially became the village of South Holland, with the election of its first President and Board of Trustees.

By the turn of the century, South Holland's population stood at 766; by 1910, it was 1,065 and by 1920 was 1,247. More churches were built as new immigrants arrived and as congregations splintered off.

The growing of onion sets became the focus of South Holland area farmers in the decades before World War II. By the 1940s, the village had claimed the title of the "Onion Set Capital of the World," with farmers grouped into corporations and producing more than 1.5 billion onion sets annually.

In the years following World War II, South Holland changed from a rural to an urban community. Chicagoans left the city for suburbia and many chose South Holland for its quiet and attractive lifestyle. By 1950, the village's population had grown to 3,200 and a decade later stood at 10,400.

Today, South Holland is a mature community that still enjoys wholesome family living with its many churches as focal points. No longer rural, its economy is directed by a strong and diversified industrial and commercial base.

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outh Holland's most precious heritage - strong families and good neighborliness - makes living in the community a genuine joy. The community's pride shows in theVast array of immaculately maintained single family homes. In fact, the village's residential areas are almost exclusively single family dwellings in the broadest range of sizes and styles. The only exceptions are the village's retirement communities where senior citizens live comfortably in sparkling specially designed buildings.

To protect single family homeValues, the village offers an Equity Assurance program at nominal cost. It reimburses a homeowner for 80 percent of any loss in selling his home - determined by the difference between the selling price and the home's appraisedValue. Of course, the home must be well maintained to qualify.


South Holland's homes reflect its more than 100 years of growth. The historic center of the village is South Park Avenue. Here, to the north of 162nd Street, the village's main business corridor, are elegantVictorian homes and other turn of the century styles. Here, too, is the fully restoredVan Oostenburgge home, a pioneer home built in 1858. Occasionally in this area is a newer executive style home, tucked beautifully into a wooded site.

Around this area are the homes of the early decades of the twentieth century, solid brick two stories, Chicago style bungalows, and cozy Cape Cods. Beyond these are the homes of the post-World War II years, ranch homes, raised ranches, and split levels from the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

Contemporary executive style homes of more recent decades line the shores of manmade lakes located in the south-eastern section of the village. And many are the fine homes from all periods that overlook South Holland's more than 30 neighborhood parks. Strong family ties create neighborliness. In South Holland, neighborliness means summertime block parties, gathering for picnics in a nearby park, and coming together for the festivities surrounding seasonal holidays.

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hoppers find what they need in the stores and shops of South Holland, where the smiles of friendly, hometown shopkeepers provide the ingredient that makes shopping a pleasure.
A mix of quality stores, quaint boutiques, popular restaurants, auto dealers, and services line 162nd Street (Rt.6), a primary east-west artery that cuts through the center of the village. Shops also line historic South Park Avenue near its intersection with Rt. 6.

Sections of Cottage Grove Avenue, another north-south arterial, are also home to locally owned stores and services, as are the several small shopping plazas located along 170th Street near the village's southern boundary. In keeping with the community's strong beliefs, all South Holland stores are closed Sundays.

South Holland's four banks as well as itsVillage Board encourage business development and provide a strong financial foundation in the village, as exemplified in the Route 6Village Centre commercial mall pictured here. South Holland also provides easy access to larger regional shopping centers. About five minutes away in neighboring Calumet City is the huge River Oaks Center. Once an open mall, River Oaks recently underwent a $50 million conversion and is now completely enclosed and climate controlled. With four major department store anchors and 104 other stores, shops, and restaurants, the elegant mall regularly attracts shoppers from the entire region. The mall is also home to a 12-screen cinema.

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