Historic Long Grove Site Ready for Transformation

Site Boasts an Abundance of Natural Conservancy, a Beautiful Pond in a Grove of Trees.

Article by Michael Beightol

Photography by Stephen Neilson & HAPI Photography

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

The history of Long Grove is steeped in family. A survey map circa 1838 revealed large groves of oak trees standing amid bluestem prairie on the south edge of Lake County. It was around that time when a New Englander by the name of John Gridley chose a trail crossing to set up his homestead.

German families followed and made claims for similar homesteads deep within the grove. The first post office established in 1847 emphasized the strong German influence by being called Muttersholz (“Mother's Woods”). Local families carved out a tough but generally good life farming the rich soil and sending food to the distant and growing big city of Chicago.

Steeple View Estates is a new Long Grove subdivision owned and developed by childhood resident John Ullrich. The 18-acre parcel, adjacent to Country Club Estates of Long Grove, boasts an abundance of natural conservancy, a beautiful pond, and many trees. It was purchased by Ullrich’s parents, Norma and Bill Sayles, who moved there from Northbrook with John and his siblings in 1950. Norma owned a popular dress shop in town (Rural Rags), and later she and Bill purchased the historic landmark Village Tavern, the oldest such establishment in Illinois. The Tavern remains in the family, owned-and-operated by John’s brother, Charles (Chip) Ullrich, and wife Mary Ann.

Across the pond in Steeple View Estates on Route 53 stands the namesake for the neighborhood, the Long Grove Community Church, established in 1846, where John attended Sunday school as a child. “While developing Steeple View Estates, I have always wanted to be sure it was done right to maintain both the vision of my parents, as well as what Long Grove has stood for over the years,” says John Ullrich. “So far, four of the nine lots have been sold and developed. This magnificent setting provides a genuinely nice buffer of natural space affording a quiet respite, as well as a lot of privacy for the residents.”

Two newer custom homes were built by Kathcon. The homes are approximately 5,000 square feet each with the size and amenities that families are looking for today. Ullrich says the exteriors of these homes are crafted with brick and stone. One is overlooking the pond; the other overlooks the adjacent Grove Country Club golf course. One of the unique features of the neighborhood is a farmhouse dating from the 1840s which has been rehabbed to retain the history and roots of the community, along with an historic barn on the adjacent lot. Amy Pabst, the new owner of this historic farmhouse, loves the community so much that she purchased the adjacent lot with the barn. This barn, originally constructed from a Sears Catalog kit from 1910, is currently undergoing a renovation to restore it to its original condition. Ullrich points out that Steeple View Estates is a private subdivision managed by a homeowner association.

Today, Long Grove retains rural roots and is best known for large homes on oversized wooded lots, excellent schools, convenient location and an historic downtown of shops, restaurants, and other establishments. The Ullrich family continues to be invested in the community and its well-being.

About Steeple View Estates:  Prices for the remaining lots range from $250-275K. Enjoy the peaceful serenity of the country and expansive space with the convenience of a location within walking distance of Historic Long Grove Village. Visit or call Renee Clark of @Properties (847.612.0027) for more information or to schedule a showing.

  • 18-acre parcel
  • Abuts Country Club Estates
  • 1-2 acre homes sites
  • Original farmhouse dates to 1840s
  • 1910 Sears kit barn on property
  • Tucked away and pastoral
  • Private subdivision
  • Near downtown Long Grove

"This magnificent setting provides a genuinely nice buffer of natural space affording a quiet respite, as well as a lot of privacy for the residents.”

Each lot in Steeple View Estates is approximately one to two acres with mature trees and native vegetation, with an option for either a lookout or walkout lower level.

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