Down at 150 West Dundee Road sits over 125 years of history. Currently the site of Park Jun’s Beauty Lab, this building — featured in our Buffalo Grove: Then and Now program, has through the decades been used as offices, commercial spaces, and even a fur shop in the late 1970s.
A century ago, however, this building already stood –as the Weidner Creamer and Cheese Factory. The photo below, taken circa 1890, is from when the building was owned by John Baptiste, or “J.B,” Weidner. In this era, according to notes from Leroy Raupp (from Raupp Museum’s permanent collection), “most everyone were dairy farmers.”
He and his wife Susanna Raupp, the daughter of Melchior Raupp (b. 1862), took advantage of the plethora of dairy farms in the surrounding area and began to manufacture cheese and other processed dairy goods.
Leroy Raupp spoke briefly of the “cheese factory” in a transcribed interview, dating from the late 70s:
“Cheese factory – building still there. On Dundee Road just west of Buffalo Grove on the north side where they presently sell fur coats. In 1944 my dad could’ve bought the neighbor farm on Arlington Heights road for $125 an acre but he didn’t have any money. He tried to save his own farm which was 80 acres on Arlington Heights Road.
[when asked if the family took milk to Wheeling and the Soo line train] No that was before his time. Last dairy was on Milwaukee Avenue past River Road. Started picking up at farms in later years.”
When the price of milk began to rise, Weidner was forced to close the factory, but the building itself stands intact and in use by the community today.
Oral tradition around this building also informs us that the first jail of Buffalo Grove – as well as the first police headquarters – was located in the basement of this building, around the same time that the Weidner family operated their Cheese Factory.
Author: Casey Faist