The History of Ivy Hill as
told by Jeanette Drewes
Albert and Lillian Drewes bought a 145-acre farm in 1948 that was later sold in 1967 for $1 Million to developers Jerry Meister and Al Neiberg (Meister Neiberg), who built the majority of homes in Ivy Hill. Their farmhouse and barn were on 80 acres on the east side of what's now Windsor Road with 65 acres of farmland across the street. At the time, Windsor Road was mere gravel and known as Buffalo Grove Road. The Drewes raised corn, soybeans, pigs, and chickens, typical for area farms at the time. In 1948 all surrounding property was still farmland and open space as it had been when originally settled in the 1840s by German farmers. The farm to the south of the Drewes homestead was owned by August Milbratz, who sold it to the town, and it became Lake Windsor (later expanded and renamed Lake Arlington). Many relatives in the area were also farmers, including a cousin, William Stade, who owned the land where St. Edna's Catholic Church now stands. The Drewes had three children. In the 1950s, their two sons entered their pigs in the 4-H Fair, which was held at the Arlington Heights Race Track every year, and they won many blue ribbons. Their oldest son was elected 4-H king in 1953. Arlington High School was the only one in the area, so students from Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, and Prospect Heights attended there. For homecoming during the Fifties, the Drewes' farm became the site for making several floats each year using the family's wagons. Teenagers would spend a week there decorating them. In 1970 Albert and Lillian built their brick ranch home on the corner where the mailbox stood at 1307 E. Crabtree Drive. They resided there until Al passed away in 1986 and Lillian in 2004. In June of 1962 the models for Ivy Hill were opened by Meister/Neiberg who went on to build 540 Ivy Hill homes in 6 "units" or phases and give the subdivision its name. Neiberg loved trees and named his models after common varieties: the elm, sycamore, willow, linden, spruce, hickory, chestnut, and birch. Street names included Hickory Lane, Thorntree Terrace, Spruce Terrace, Cherry Lane, Pinetree Lane and Crabtree Drive. The artist renderings were done in the 1960s by M. Ball. Neiberg made many changes at buyer's requests --some significant, others subtle--to the semi-custom homes as he progressed through the project.
As the years
went by, Ivy Hill has became known as
the homes west of Arlington Heights
and east of Windsor; bordered by Hintz Road on the north
and Palatine Road on the south. In the mid
1960s, Knob Hill Drive was developed by
Ben Pekin. Around that same time, Ivy Hill Estates was
built by Dabs Construction. That consisted of a 1/2
block of homes on Ivy Lane, running from Arlington Hts.
Rd. and stopping at Douglas. In the late 1970s, a
builder named Stuart Kreissman built homes just
north of Camelot
Park and called them Brookside. In 1976
was built by Elliot-Rourke Development
Company just west of Lake Arlington,
which was later excavated and the dirt sent to Nickol
Knoll building a tremendous hill with golf course.
Arlington Court consisted of 100 homes. . Then
in 1986 Ivy Hill II was developed by Edward
Schwartz.. He built on the SW corner of the
subdivision, on Milida, Oxford, Derbyshire, and Brighton.
He also built homes on the north side of Ivy Hill on
Douglas and Hickory. Camelot Park
Estates, built by the Dearborn Corp, is an interesting group of homes on Waverly
Drive built in the late '80's. They filed bankruptcy
and caused many headaches for those who first signed on.
The project was nicely completed by another builder -
Unity homes. Also in the boundaries of
Ivy Hill is the Pinecrest area, which is now predominatly custom
homes on 1/2 acre lots. All Ivy Hill students attend award-winning
Ivy Hill School and outstanding Thomas Middle School. It's' a wonderful area with
something for everyone. Parks, schools, and Lake
Arlington make it tough to beat.