Thursday, April 21, 2011

An F4 tornado hits Lake Zurich Illinois April 21, 1967

Edit 3/14/2014:  Awesome news!  Many momentous 1967 Lake Zurich tornado aftermath photos (complete with annotations) and news-clippings have been generously submitted by Jim Herron and his father, Larry Herron.  Many thanks to both of them for sharing, and for the narrative that Jim left in the comments section.  Please pass the word about these valuable additions!

282 Pine Tree Row & Rugby (this garage still stands today)

282 Pine Tree Row (Floor Decking only)

282 Pine Tree Row (Front Door)

282 Pine Tree Row (what was left after tornado struck)

282 Pine Tree Row Yard Debris (Manor Park at Rugby & Pine Tree Row in Background)

Aerial view of 282 Pine tree row - my house center(Corner of Pine Tree Row and Rugby Rd)

Back door of 282 Pine Tree Row Snow storm before tornado

I think this is Fenners House on Pine Tree Row

I think this is Seth Paine

Inside front door of 282 Pine Tree Row (room we laid in under couch during tornado)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (1)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (2)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (3)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (4)

Larry Herron owner of 282 Pine Tree Row (Cleaning up after tornado - Same Day)

National Guardsmen Carrying Torsion Spring for Garage Door

Newspaper Article

Page 3 Aerial view (That is the St. Pius Shrine in upper left corner, which sits on north side of Miller Road, a bit east of where Rugby meets Miller; the long curved road from bottom left of photo to the top left is Rugby)

Pic of truck and carpenter (I think)

Pine Tree Row near Rugby

State Truck

Tom Skilling Article

Unidentified Car

View just west of Manor Park off Rugby

(End items from the Jim Herron LZ tornado files.)


Edit 4/26/2011:  In 1967, Mindy’s family lived just up the street from us in the subdivision known as The Woodlands. Her brother Chris has his recollections of the tornado, along with an account written by his father in 1967, posted HERE. It is well worth your time to click on over there and give it a read. Note: The “Boy Scout Trail” Chris refers to was a path along a portion of the abandoned Palatine, Lake Zurich, and Wauconda Railroad. For a short time, the local Boy Scouts held campouts near the abandoned Lake Zurich station house, hence the name. The path was a shortcut from the Manor and the Woodlands subdivision to downtown Lake Zurich, which many of us used to circumvent the curfew and the requisite access-passes during the aftermath of the tornado. As kids, we experienced many good times along that trail; many of us used to hunt and camp in those woods and fish at the slough and Echo Lake. Alas, we were a brokenhearted group of kids when they extended Lions Drive the entire length of the trail and subdivided the area for houses.

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Edit 4/25/2011: The following photos of the 1967 Lake Zurich, Illinois tornado damage were generously contributed by Mindy Sherwood.  Many thanks for sharing, Mindy!

Depending on your browser, you may be able to click on the photos for a larger view.







The view in the above photo looks like it is facing west down Miller Road, as seen from standing approximately halfway between Vista Road and Crescent Road (shown just to the left).  I believe the blob of debris on the right is the rubble from the corner of the gymnasium / lunchroom portion of the Seth Paine Elementary school.  The storm tore a gap in the row of houses on the left, sparing a few here and there.




The view in the above photo looks like it is facing northwest from Miller Road as seen from standing approximately halfway between Vista Road and Crescent Road, looking toward the remains of the Seth Paine Elementary School. The school entrance would be at the far left of the photo, with the gymnasium / lunchroom portion not shown beyond that. What you see in the photo from left to right is the classroom portion of the school.  If I remember correctly, the school was brand new in 1959 when I was in the second grade.  It was a stout building, constructed from brick, block, and steel.  Providentially, school was out for the day when the storm struck.


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ORIGINAL BLOG-ENTRY TEXT:

I was a high school student back then. A scant few minutes after 5 PM forty-four years ago today, the small town I grew up in was hit by one of the many tornadoes that raked northern Illinois that same day. This tornado was not the stereotypical funnel that we have all seen in many photos and videos… it was a low, surprisingly fast moving, non-uniform, swirling black cloud looking much like dense smoke. As it mowed through our subdivision, I witnessed it ripping the Eisenhower era houses to shreds. Our house was among those spared by the storm, which demolished 75 and extensively damaged another 200 or so. It also destroyed the Seth Paine Grade School that was down the street from our house. A couple of days later, with the entire area still without electricity, natural gas, or water, the temperature dropped below freezing and we had about 3-inches of snow. For a good while, we all lived a primitive existence.

Click HERE and then click HERE to read some historic information in pdf files.

For many weeks now, I have tried to put my thoughts and recollections down about that day and the following recovery period but I keep freezing up when I sit down at the keyboard. I organize my thoughts each day but when I sit down to type, something akin to a melancholy sets in. Even after so many years, my memories are still vivid; perhaps I want the portraits in my mind to obey the inevitability of senescence and just fade away. For now, this entry will serve as a bookmark; I’ll fill in the blanks below when my moods allow.

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45 comments:

Crustyrusty said...

I was little, but I remember it well. We lived near Midway, just north of Oak Lawn.

Mindy Sherwood said...

I was only six years old and lived in Lake Zurich when this tornado hit. I was the first to see it, out our large picture window. I called my Dad over and told him there was a fire in the woods, as it looked like smoke. Being from Kansas City, MO originally, he immediately recognized it as a tornado. My mother and father took us down to the bottom floor of our house. My brothers (ages 11 and 12) went into the crawl space while my father and mother lay on top of my sister (age 8) and I. Luckily, our house was spared, but I remember touring the neighborhood with my father, checking to see if our neighbors were okay. I cried when I saw that my school, Seth Paine, had been demolished. I vaguely remember spending the night in a hotel and our father having to get a pass from the authorities to return to our house. I have photos from that day. If I can figure out how to post them, I'll do that at a later time.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hi Mindy,

Let me know if you post the photos online; I'd like to link this post to them. As an alternative, you could email them to me (my address is in my profile in the left sidebar of this site) and I can post them here with full credit to you. If there are any photos of the aftermath online, I have yet to find them.

We were all surprised at how much damage the tornado did to Seth Paine. It devastated the areas where we used to practice the "duck and cover" drills.

Thanks for stopping by,

Zack

Oscar Gonzalez said...

Wow incredible pics. I was only 5 when it hit Lake Zurich, but I have only vague recollections of it. I lived off Pamela Rd a stone's throw from the lake. I do remember people hauling wood and debris around and then hearing that Seth Paine was hit. I never knew or saw the horrific effects of the tornado.
Awesome blog Zack. I was class of 79 in LZ high.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Oscar. It's nice to hear another voice from the old town. It was not a bad place to grow up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Gina Merritt said...

Thanks for sharing the information and pictures. My parents had just sold their house in Acorn Acres, and our family had moved to Mundelein. Because my dad was the builder, and the house was half destroyed, we were able to go over there so the new owner could consult with him. I'll never forget the destruction. You're right, it wasn't a bad place to grow up--in fact, it was a wonderful place to grow up. We've got great memories--boy, Lake Zurich sure has changed!

Stephen Holvay said...

My name is Steve Holvay, I lived on Vista road from 1955 to 1966. We were in Mrs.Ullrich's class at Seth Paine 1960-61. I was gone by the time the Tornado hit but I know that my old house had minor damage & survives today remodeled. Hope everything in the Zacary family is o.k. including Jeff & Wayne.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Stephen! I drove by your old house just yesterday and was wondering how you were. Gosh it sure has been a long time. My brothers are all fine; thanks for asking. I'll let them know that you checked in at the blog. Hope all is well with you.

Stephen Holvay said...

I neglected to mention that the old May Whitney school is now being razed. The late Mrs.Browne, our junior high social studies teacher said the cafeteria in that building was the safest place in all Lake Zurich in case of a tornado or worse an atomic bomb attack. I didn't think they would ever give up that fallout shelter. Isn't it costing 1/2 a million dollars to tear it down? To cange the subject I remember your mom used to call you by your middle name Allan. Or is it spelled with just one l ?

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Heh! "Allen"

I still have relatives who know me by no other name.

Below is a url to a post I did regarding my Mom's habit of calling us by our middle names. It needs to be copied and pasted to the browser window since I don't know how to create a link in the comment section.

http://jamesazacharyjr.blogspot.com/2008/06/entry-for-june-05-2008.html

Jean Walston Thoennes said...

I had lived at Lake entereance to the Manor on PineTree Row - across from the Steinke's. We had moved to town just a few months before - the tornados were so bad that they made the news almost immediately - my grandparents lived in Indiana and they couldn't remember if we had just moved in or out...grandpa kept trying to call us but the operator wouldn't let his call in...they were so desperate for news that the operator finaly said she would let the call in but just for a quick minute..my mom answered and my grandpa asked if we were all ok and AS SOON as mom said yes, the operator disconnected the call...but my grandparents at least knew we were safe...bless her heart!! My dad was in the National Guard as well as several other men in LZ..Chief Prehm asked my dad to get the guys together and in uniform and they did security at all the enterances into the manor to keep people out..from that, my dad became a part-time policeman and the Ela Township Civil Defense Director. I remember when I finally got to see the damage, all that was left standing at many homes, was the plumbing pipes sticking up in the air...from that, I always tell people if you don't have a basement to stay in the bathroom and hug the toilet! It was a horrifying day and yet LZ was blessed that there were no deaths!!! I also remember that the next day we had 3 inches of snow!

Dorene Roderick Farris said...

My name is Dorene Roderick Farris. I remember the tornado well. I was at Seth Paine just about a half hour before it hit. We left because it started to rain! I barely got home and it hit. When we looked outside I couldn't believe what we saw. We had a car in our back yard that wasn't ours. Houses that were completely gone. People were walking around in shock as to what had just happened. My dad worked at Bell and Howell and did not know what had happened. I remembering using someones phone to call him and up until that time I hadn't cried. When I heard my dads voice, I started to cry and couldn't stop. I know they called our manor, the miracle manor because no one had died. Jean, I also remember houses where only the pipes sticking out and I, too tell people to get to their bathrooms. James (Allen), do you remember me? My mom and dad were best friends with yours. I think one of your brothers was named after my dad, Ray. I remember your parents well. I was in the same class as Jeff. Where is he now? Steven, you were my next door neighbor!! We moved in 1971 to Arkansas.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

If I may borrow an oft used exclamation from my Mother’s lexicon, “Goodness sakes alive!” HELLO DOREEN! It is so great to hear from you! I remember you and your parents like it was yesterday. We moved from Chicago in 1956 and the first people I remember stopping over were your folks. If I recall correctly, Chico and Cokie were the names of the two Chihuahuas your mom owned. You have no idea how much all of us boys looked forward to your Mom bringing us bags of used comic books! Mom and Dad loved all of you so very much.

Just a couple of days ago I heard from Lee Hughes, one of your neighbors from down on Miller Road. His brother Don lives in Arizona and works for the governor’s office.

Our youngest brother, Ray (AKA “Brad”), still lives in the old house at Golf View and Vista. The rest of the brothers live in nearby towns. They will be thrilled to hear that you checked in.

Dad passed away on November 13, 2006, in his sleep at home. He had been fighting a bad heart for over 20-years. Following a series of strokes, Mom passed away less than a year later, under hospice care, at home, on September 30, 2007.

The manor is still pretty much the same (as is your former house), but you would not recognize much of the downtown Lake Zurich; they are making a mess of it trying to make it look modern. It has lost most of the landmarks and all of the small town charm.

Thanks for your recollections of the tornado, but most of all I want to thank you for checking in. Please keep in touch.

Best,

“Allen”

Dorene Roderick Farris said...

First of all, I can't believe you remembered the names of our dogs!!!Dad passed away in 1973 and mom in 1985, both of them had cancer.I remember mom saving those comic books for you boys. They loved you guys too. I've been married for almost 38 yrs. Have two boys and two grandsons and awaiting the arrival of a new baby girl at the end of May.
I've heard that I wouldn't recognize Lake Zurich. I guess where there was an open field in front of our house,there is now a row of houses. We were in Illinois about 2 yrs. ago but my family lives in Chicago and we didn't get a chance to go to LZ. My husband is into Sporting Clays and he is going to a tournament at the gun club near Grays Lake. Have you heard of it? I won't be able to go with him because I'm a school secretary and that will be our first week of school. I don't think they would let me off. Tell those brothers of yours I said "hi". I think about LZ quite often and all the friends I had there. Still keep in touch with some. Yes, I'd like to keep in touch!!

Dorene

Anonymous said...

Dave Jones here. I lived on Pine Tree row just down the street from Oscar, hi Oscar!

I remember we were in the grocery store in Wauconda when this thing hit. The power went out and they brought us flashlights so we could finish our shopping. On the drive home I remember the scared feeling as we passed the distruction.

Luckily our house which was a couple of blocks away was spared any damage.

We finished our kindergarten and first grade in trailers at May Whitney.

It took me years to get over the distruction, still all these years later I go outside and watch when a severe storm passes through.

Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is Mary Hall Smith, I was 7 yrs old when the tornado hit. I lived on the corner of Miller and Summit, 61 Miller Rd., I stumbled across your blog the other day as my co-workers and I were talking about tornados and of course I shared my story and thus found your website. I have a few but vivid memories of that day, my mom, brother Jim and myself were returning from Barrington from shopping at the Jewel, as we got into town we stopped at the IGA and some woman came out of the store and asked my mom if she was Mrs. Hall, she said yes and the woman said your house is gone. WOW! So immediately we went home and as we came down Vista rd past Elliots house, looked across the field on the right and indeed saw our house with no roof! I can still see that image in my mind as if it was yesterday. My oldest brother Greg was the only one home as the tornado hit. Him and Rhonda, our collie dog, had gone into the lower level of the house, no time to get into the crawlspace, but made it with only a few cuts and bruises. One of the amazing things was we still had phone service so my mom called her mom and dad that lived in Skokie to tell them what had happened and all were ok. Then we realized our shetland pony Toby was gone and his barn was no where to be found. I think someone found him in one of the fields around finally!I remember going into my house and everything was a mess. Glass all over, furniture broken and thrown around. I remember going up to my bedroom and seeing the sky as I looked up, the roof was really gone. Everything was wet and a mess. The only thing I remember I wanted to find was my rosary I got for my confirmation, (we went to St.Francis De Sales school)I found it and then realize our cat Black Jackie was no where to be found. She always like to sleep in the bathroom in the linen closet so I remember trying to open the bathroom door but was stuck, finally someone got the door open and there was the cat meowing very strangely. I must tell you that cat was never the same after that, she got real weird. Like so many residents we stayed at the hotel cottages in town. That was an experience in itself! Finally we got a trailer and lived in that in our back yard until our house was fixed. I know I will always remember this time in my life as every April 21st at 5:03 comes around. I don't remember you Zach but I am sure you probable knew my brothers Jim and Greg. I read the comments from the others that posted and was happy to read Doreen Rodricks post. I remember her very well. I think my brother Jim and her maybe liked each other anyway it was fun to read what she is doing now. Thank you for allowing us to share our experience of that day on your website, I currently live in Ozark Missouri. Married for 21 yrs with 3 children, just about to be empty nesters! Mom and dad have passed, Greg lives in Algonquin, Jim in Plainfield IL and my sister Jeri Ann lives in Lake of The Ozarks MO. The last time I was in LZ was about 7 yrs ago, my niece was married in Crystle Lake so I wanted my kids to see where I lived and was able to show them. I was disappointed to see homes built in Berlin's field and also the field between Summit and Vista. And of course there was no Boy Scout Trail any more! I keep in touch with my best friend Barb Stouffer, they lived next to us if you remember, she lives in Florida now. I better sign off now I could go on and on with my memories! Again thanks for your blog!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hi Mary, I am very pleased that you stopped by to share your family's story. Yes, I do remember your brothers (and the pony!) and I do remember you running around outside, playing in the yard.

Could you ask Barb Stouffer if she has access to any of her father's old photos? He was an avid and talented photographer and if his photos of Lake Zurich still exist, they would be a historical treasure. Surprisingly how few old photos of Lake Zurich's 1950's and 1960's exist online.

Many thanks again!

Best,

Zack

Anonymous said...

Hi James and Mary,
This is Pat Elliott.
I was thinking about the storm today after there a mention on the local radio station.
I was over at Carol Kush's house watching TV when the strom came thru.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hello Pat! Great to hear from ya. Wayne will be tickled that you popped in.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!

This is Joie Parks (your old neighbor).

I was just telling my granddaughter about the tornado that hit Lake Zurich in 1967. She said google it and see what comes up and here we are. Great pictures by the way. We were lucky up the hill on Vista Road, not like Northcrest, Miller, Rugby, etc. I remember Bill and Kevin in the golf course hiding in a ditch, my mom standing by the window doing dishes seeing a garage roof fly by before taking cover in a closet, and me trying to get home (it took 2 hours before they would let me in the manor)from work in Barrington. I will never forget that dark purple sky. Hope all is well with you and your family. Saw Wayne a few years back - was happy to see him. Thanks again for the great pictures so I could show my granddaughter. Take care.

Joie

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hi Joie! Goodness, it has been such a long time. Thanks for checking in! This blog entry has turned into a suprising reunion of neighbors.

Mindy Sherwood was kind enough to supply the photos. Most of us have misplaced those few photos that we took.

I'll tell everyone that you said "Hi."

LFTS said...

This is Lisa Kerkera Hightower; I was 6 when the tornado hit. I didn't live in the Manor, but down the road from it, across from Breezewald Park on Old Rand Road. You could see the lake from my bedroom; and I remember seeing bad weather moving across the lake that day. I didn't know I was seeing a tornado.

I attended Seth Paine, too, and remember spending the rest of the year attending class at a church down the road from the house. I can't remember the name of the church for the life of me, now, but I always used to cut through the parking lot on the way to school when I ended up at May Whitney... and beyond.

Thanks for the reminder about the Boy Scout Trail. I *loved* adventuring down there before it was developed; there was some little lake I used to visit back there. (Don't tell me it was the slough, because I know it wasn't!)

My brothers (Greg, Derek Kerkera) still live in the area. I'm now in the tornado-riddled south (Arkansas), but whenever we have scares around here, I remember that tornado in '67.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by.

I believe Echo Lake is what you visited from the old Boy Scout trail, and (I think) St. Peters was the name of the church you referred to. They demolished May Whitney school a year or more ago; kinda sad to see it go.

Best wishes,

Zack


Anonymous said...

It’s all pretty foggy after all these years, but a few memories, like that tornado, are crystal clear. I guess I would have been 8. My family lived in the house across from the barn on Lagoon Dr. in Hawthorn Woods. We moved to Florida, way back in 73. That day was such a normal afternoon… Just home from school… Lying on the living room floor watching TV… Then all of the sudden, Mom screamed, scooped up my little brothers, one in each arm, and shoved me towards the basement stairs. The last thing I could see as we flew down the steps was the view out the sliding glass door and out across the open fields. I didn’t see a funnel, but the sky was as black as midnight! As we huddled in the basement, shivering with fear, we could hear the village cop, Doug, driving around the neighborhood, repeating, “WARNING! - TORNADO! - WARNING!”, over and over again through his loud speaker. Before that day, everyone thought Doug took his job way too seriously... The man had guts. I gotta give him that! Mom drove us through Acorn Acres the next day. I have pictures somewhere. I was in grade school at St Francis, at the time. I remember the stories the following Monday. Several kids in my class had broken windows, and some lost everything.
I transferred to LZ Jr. High for 7th grade, then on to the newly built, LZ Sr. High. I went there until the November of my sophomore year when we moved. Oh, and I went to Seth Payne for kindergarten. I’ve never returned to Lake Zurich, but I do remember it as it was back then… And y’all are right. It was a great place to grow up!
When we first came to Florida, I remember an old timer telling me, “You can always tell a Midwesterner... They watch the sky.” After 40 years and a couple hurricanes… I’ll take the hurricanes. Thank you very much.

Douglas Berggren said...

Amazing pics.
Hi all, Doug Berggren here. I recall walking home from seth paine that day - my brother and i were in second grade. We lived about 5 blocks north of seth paine and watched the tornado go through the neighborhood from our back porch.

Douglas Berggren said...

Wow, great pix. I recall walking home from seth paine that day. My brother and i were in second grade. We lived about 5 blocks south of the school and we watched the tornado tear through the neighborhood from our back porch.

Mary Jo (Striedl) Cline said...

Hello, James. What a blast from the past your blog has been. Mary Jo (Striedl) Cline here. I too, spent part of my wonder years on Vista Road (265, right in the middle of the block, between the Quinlan and Feltault families). You may have known my older brothers, Mike and Mark. We lost Mark in ’64 when he was struck and killed by a car – he and Mike were riding their bikes down Miller Rd. early in the morning, going to caddie at Biltmore Country Club. Mike has been in Rockford for a number of years. My younger sister Kathy has been in Phoenix since the late ‘70s. I have been in Wood Dale (about 4 miles west of O’Hare Airport) for about 20 years now. I’m the Library Media Center Director at Wood Dale Junior High. Our 8th graders will be doing a little research on natural disasters, which made me think of the ’67 LZ tornado, which led me to your blog.
I remember Mary Hall’s family well – Her oldest brother Greg was a friend and classmate of my brother Mike, and I was a classmate of her brother Jim. In fact, I sat in front of him during 8th grade at St. Francis, and as a budding drummer, he spent a good deal of time playing “Wipeout” with his fingers and/or pencils on the edge of his desk. I remember the names Doreen Roderick and Steve Holvay, but can’t picture them. I do remember those good looking dark haired Zachary brothers in the house on the corner, though I don’t believe our parents knew each other well.
By the time the Tornado hit in ’67, we had moved to Lagoon Drive in Hawthorn Woods. My mom and I were folding bedsheets in front of the big picture window in the living room, and watched a squat, wide black cloud make its way from west to east across the horizon to the north of us. By that time it was probably around the Gilmer Rd. area between LZ and Mundelein. We stood there watching like morons instead of running for cover, but it just seemed far enough away at the time and not a threat. Little did we know that the school a half block away from our old house was at that moment a pile of rubble, and many of our former neighbors from The Manor were now without their homes. I do remember hearing about the Hall’s pony being found, still alive, several blocks away from their house. It truly is a miracle that no one lost their lives.
Like you and your fellow bloggers, I remember Lake Zurich as a great place to grow up. You were never lonely, there was always someone to play with. I remember kids from several houses in a row creating makeshift tents for a backyard sleepout, covering our picnic tables with old blankets or tarps. When it started to get dark, we’d play Ghost in the Graveyard across the yards. I also remember the Boy Scout Trail. We would take it to go “up town” where we would go to B&L for a pop or ice cream bar, or maybe to the Ben Franklin to purchase some unnecessary plastic object, or to pick up the WLS weekly top 40 hit list at Al’s Radio and TV. My brother Mike used to go fishing really early in the morning at the slough, and bring home these ENORMOUS carp, which he would proudly put on display for the neighbor kids to admire, stinking to high heaven in the summer sun, before my Mom would make him go bury them across the street in the woods. I also remember going to swim at Breezewald Park, Sandy Point, and later Lake Zurich Beach Club. I especially loved the summer carnival at Lion’s Park (now Paulus Park), and the “water fights” where crowds would line up along Rt. 22 downtown and watch the fire department use their powerful fire hoses to knock around a metal keg in the middle of the street, kind of a reverse tug-of-war (again, a miracle no one was killed).
I still get to LZ occasionally – still go to the doctors who took over Dr. Mazieka’s old practice, and my son very recently moved into an apartment right across from the old Briggs towel factory on Buesching Rd. And, yes, it certainly has changed. Ah, progress. Thanks for providing a forum for us LZ kids to reminisce.


James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hi Mary Jo,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories with us. Coincidently, I recently was thinking about Mike and Mark riding their bikes on Vista Road, and Mike fishing on the shores of Lake Zurich down by the Shady Rest.

When I was handing out candy for thick-or-treat here in Waukegan (regulated by the city down to 2-hours, on the Sunday afternoon before Halloween) I was flashing back to the costumed kids of Lake Zurich a half-century ago, running from door to door from the moment school let out to long after dark. Those days may be gone forever.

You made my day by stopping by. Thanks again.

Zack

Mary Jo Cline said...

Yep, Mike is still a fisherman, though not on the daily basis like he was back then. He was good buddies with the guy who's dad owned the Shady Rest, I think his name was Stan Bortz, or something like that. I think the place is a Chinese restaurant now.

Nana Jackie said...

Hey, James, thanks for putting up this blog.
The tornadoes in Illinois today made me think back to the monster that chewed through The Manor on April 21, 1967. I was 13, a freshman at Carmel High School (class of 1970), and it was my dad's birthday. We lived on the corner of Johnathan Street and Golf View Road and were allowed to stay in our home that night. Many of my friends and school mates who lived further north and east were forced to evacuate. Our house was only slightly damaged by flying debris. Took our chimney right off!
Mary Hall Smith, I remember your pony! My friend, Caryl Inglis, lived on Miller Road right across from the entrance to Seth Paine. I was also at the Jewel in Barrington with my mom just after school that afternoon, and hadn't been home more than about 10 minutes when the tornado hit. We had been listening to radio reports of the Oak Lawn tornado in the car. My parents were from St. Joseph, MO and my mom knew what was coming from the color of the sky and the sound. Oh, my god, the sound. I'll never forget it.
Mary, I live in Springfield, MO and work at Mercy Hospital. Small world, huh? Lots of memories came flooding back for me the night Joplin was hit.
You know, the strangest thing I remember about that day is I noticed none of the birds were singing that morning as I walked to the bus stop.

Susan (Kliora) Shannon said...

I lived in Forest Lake and that evening we had gone to the Moose lodge in Barrington for their Fri night fish fry. We noticed everything outside was turning a weird colored green and it was strangely quiet. All of the sudden the winds began and all hell broke loose. My dad took my friend and I down to the 1st floor (because there was no basement) to wait it out. It was terrifying. It sounded like a locomotive was going over the top of us. I was 12 years old back then, but it seems like yesterday.

mjm55 said...

I also remember when the tornado went through the Manor. I lived in Echo Lake, my brother and I were home and mom and dad were in town. They saw the storm from across the lake. They were picking up dinner from the Hickory Pit and didn't want to drive until after the storm. They called us and told us to hide in the dining room with no windows until they returned home. I was twelve and my brother fourteen. I remember the darkness and it was overbearing. My father was in the American Legion and volunteered to help authorities in the aftermath. As I recall the snow started that night of the tornado. I also attended Seth Paine school in fourth grade. May Whitney was overcrowded and some of us that lived close to Seth Paine were sent there. I also remember the old boy scout trail. I used to cut through it to go into town. I fished in the boy scout pond and caught one and a half pound crappie and some huge carp. The slough referred to was the connection between the boyscout pond and Echo Lake. Lake Zurich sure has changed since then. Thank you for the memories.

Steve Ouimette said...

Hi Jim, This blog is amazing. It sure does bring back memeories. I remember being down at Seth Paine playing tetherball that day after school and then heading up to Mary Fords house. All of a sudden we were all in her crawl space. I recall my brother Mike, coming up the road driving our station wagon looking for me. On our way back down Golfview I remember looking to the north and I could see all the way past the school. What devastation. My dad didn't realize what had happened until he tried to get in the neighborhood and he was stopped. He had to convince them he lived in there. Not much happened to our house and I think we had the Knowles stay with us, there was nothing left of their house. Thanks again Jim for being here. I hope everything is going well with you and yours.
Steve Ouimette

Dorothea Verplancken said...

remember this day really well the sky turned green and all hell broke loose. Was glad we were not in school at Seth Paine as a lot of my friends that I went from Kindergarten to senior year with may not have been here today. I am glad to be in California and out of the tornado alley one of the reasons I loved leaving Illinois was no tornado or snow!!!!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there everyone. Thanks for sharing your memories; they are a valuable part of that event. The response has been far more than I ever imagined.

Hey there Steve Ouimette! It has been many years. Tell Mike that Zack says "Hey!" and give him my best. The Manor has not changed much since you all moved away. I only get there a couple of times a years, but those streets give me a flood of nostalgia.

Thanks again to you and everyone else who stopped in here at the blog site.

Zack

Jim said...

I remember this day as well. I was 5 years old at the time so my recollection is not as sharp as it should be. Some of the names on this blog are so familiar, but I was so little it's difficult to remember people. I lived on the corner of Rugby & Pine Tree Row, across from Manor Park. I remember living next door to a Bev Stamper and her husband (who I cannot remember the name) were on Rugby Rd. There was another neighbor in our back yard named Don Fenner and wife Bev, I believe. (they ran "Price Gas and Towing" on 22 between Ela Rd. and Rand Rd on the North Side) They had kids that we were friends and use to play with ALL the time. I remember a Drew Porter who use to be a friend too. Oh so many memories!

We were just sitting down eating dinner. I remember watching the sky from my dinner chair, (it was SO dark) My mom hollered "TORNADO" and I remember the dinner table pinning me against the wall as my brothers ran for cover. Mother pulled me from behind the table and took us to the living room and pulled the couch over on top of us. In a matter of seconds the house was gone, and the couch wasn't there when it was over, but we were all safe. I had gotten hit by an electrical line on my stomach by the belly button. Nothing serious, but it turned to a MOLE after that and I still have the reminder today (Weird).

My father came home shortly after. (He owned the Texaco station on the corner of Miller and Rand) Some of you may know him, Larry Herron. He had came home to the devastation with no idea that the tornado touched down here until he tried to get home. He was traveling home from somewhere out of town and had driven through a storm that he said he couldn't wait to tell us all about, Until he got home and realized that we were in the storm too! He cleaned up our property, and stored the appliances (that were okay) in our garage until the rebuild (and for insurance) right away, and then he helped others that he could. The house that stands there today is the house he built, and the garage is the same one that survived the tornado.

That's my story. I want to thank all the others that share their story on Zack's blog. I love reading about it. It brings back so many memories from the Manor.

Zack, I sent you the photo's that we spoke about in an email. Let me know if you get them. God's blessings everyone!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Jim Herron, I want to deeply thank you and your father for the photos and news-clippings. They are nothing short of spectacular. Simply awesome! I'll get them posted ASAP.

I also want to thank you for sharing your memories of the tornado event and of your life growing up in Lake Zurich. What started as a humble blog entry has grown into a great reunion because of folks like you.

(BTW, Kim Stamper was a classmate of mine)

Thanks again!

Zack

Wayne Brasler said...

Through the years, various reports on this tornado have come to indicate there was no funnel cloud. But I know people who survived the storm an they say, yes, there was a distinct funnel cloud, wide and squat and churning, and they don't understand why it's been written there was none.
One person did tell me as the tornado crossed above a busy intersection it was still aloft and lowering and car drivers may not have been able to see it. As impressive as the tornado proved, the ability of the Lake Zurich community to get organized and get right to work with the gigantic job of repair and particularly with getting young people back into school was remarkable and admirable.

Charlene Salte said...

Hello Lake Zurich Friends. When one of my students at Fremont Middle School in Mundelein, presented a report today on the Oklahoma tornados, I decided to show the class this site. Living in Hawthorn Woods at the time of the tornado, I recall it well. I remember the sirens and my dad telling us all to go to the basement. He and I stood at the back door by our basement door and watched the top to the tornado as it swept into Lake Zurich. News coverage at the time was nothing like we see today in real time. We turned on the evening news to see if there was anything about it. Helicopters were showing some footage, but the reporter said the Dato subdivision had been hit, and I had never heard anything called the Dato subdivision, but the shots sure looked like Miller Road and Seth Paine. The next morning, I was supposed to go to Randhurst to apply for a summer job. That was way before Lake Zurich had a large enough economic base to employ all the summer jobs needed for the high school kids. When I drove up Miller Road to pick up Chris Ford, I was stopped by the police who had barricaded the ares. That was the first I knew, for certain, who and what had been hit. To this day, I am amazed at how poorly reported the event was. Belvidere and Oak Lawn were far better covered. Thanks for posting this. I have also used it to show school administrators the importance of excellent tornado drills and to illustrate that it CAN happen here. Charlene Sonderman Salte

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hi Charlene, thanks for stopping by and for contributing to this blog post. It is great to hear from LZ folks after all these years. I believe your brother Norman was a classmate of mine.

DDiva R said...

Hi my name is d. I happened on your blog. I lived in lz in the 80s but grew up in nw burbs . I lived on pamela rd in the manor subv until we moved to mchenry then on to st. Pete fl. I always wondered why the last couple of houses near seth paine were distinctly different than the 1950s houses we lived in! Then when we all got internet years ago I discovered the lz tornado.the bloggers are right -no one ever mentions it.I dont think any one will forget that day .I was in 3rd grade at scaumburg elem. School and the bus driver said we had tornado warnings on the way home from school. Officially we didnt have a tornado in roselle but you coulda fooled me! It was nasty ! I we lived on a hill and could see something moving east from irving park rd near barrington rd. I remember looking out the sliding door and seeing the electric wires running to the house shaking like crazy and its so funny now to think that the whole time it was happening my mom was cleaning the floor cuz water was blowing in under the sliding door! Lots of stuff was blown across street - we lived on a 1/2acre lot.heavy stuff too -we had a huge basement -the only one who ever was in it during storms was dad ! But that day he was at workof course . Im positive it was a tornado or tail end of one -its a very vivid day 47 years later . And I agree with the earlier blogger -ill take hurricanes any day! I dont miss those sirens. Eeerie .thanks for letting me share -:)

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hi D! Thanks for visiting and for your comments.


Best,

Zack

DDiva R said...

Its was quite a crazy weather year -the "big snow"just a few months before.

Anonymous said...

Chris Best here, my sister is Mindy Sherwood who posted some of the photos, and I am the one with the link to my whole tale of that day. I revisited Zack's site recently, and read some of the new posts, and one of them made my jaw drop.

Mary Hall Smith's story caught my eye when she mentioned that they still had phone service. I read on, and then she mentioned her pony Toby. When my dad and brother and I drove through the neighborhood to offer help, we stopped at one house where the lady was on the phone, which we thought was amazing (how freaky is it to think that this might be the call to Skokie that Mary mentioned?). She told us of how their pony Toby was gone, and about the bedrooms below the missing roof. The sheets had been sucked off the bed, but perfume bottles were still standing on the dresser.

Zack has this up near the top, but here again is the link to my story if anyone is interested.

Thanks again Zack for the memories! You have truly made it a small world.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...


Thank YOU Chris, and EVERYONE else!