History of Buffalo Grove

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Museum takes visitors into the Buffalo Grove of yesteryear

Visitors can walk through almost 200 years of Buffalo Grove’s past in the Raupp Museum, a history showpiece operated by the Buffalo Grove Park District at 901 Dunham Lane.

The museum’s Main Gallery tells the story of the land where the village stands, from the first Pottawatomi natives through early farm settlement to “the bustling suburb of today.” The Crossroads Gallery shows what life was like for a farm family in the early 1900s. And the Lower Gallery has a new exhibit every few months.

“This area has been called Buffalo Grove for as long as we’ve been on the map. But nobody knows exactly why,” says Museum Curator Debbie Fandrei. “We began as a small farming community and developed later than a lot of suburbs because we didn’t have a railroad to carry commuters into Chicago.”

“However, the post-World War II years became a perfect storm for growth. We had veterans starting families and getting VA mortgages at the same time farmers were retiring and highways were improving. When Buffalo Grove was incorporated as a village in 1958, it had just 164 people. But we grew to 10,000 in the first 10 years,” and now to more than 40,000.