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Fox River Grove, Illinois

Carl Koenemann grew up in Fox River Grove, Illinois. A small village that is located in both Lake County and McHenry County, Fox River Grove has a population of just under 5,000 people.

Between 1830 to 1860, pioneers were building homes throughout the Fox River Valley. The valley provides unbelievable scenery as well as a fresh water supply. The Ojibwe tribe also inhabited the area during the winter, moving south from different parts of Canada.

During the late 1860s, Frank Opatrny purchased 80 acres of land along the Fox River. Soon, the area became a vacation spot for the people of Chicago. In 1900, Frank’s son purchased the land from his father and turned it into a tourist destination. The spot, called Fox River Picnic Grove, featured a variety of cottages and a restaurant. A couple years later the Castle Pavilion was built as a luxury hotel. By 1905, the area had become a full-blow resort; with over 180 acres of land that also featured six bars, a racetrack and a shooting gallery.

One of the most famous buildings in the area is the Castle Vianden. Construction began in 1931 by Theodore Bettendorff – it was not completed until 1967 (the year Bettendorff died). It is open to visitors and features a variety castle features such as a dungeon, a bugle tower, a castle yard and a wishing well.

Fox River Grove is noted for establishing the first Veterans of Foreign Wars post in McHenry County. Also, in 1905, the Norge Ski Club was established. The ski club is the oldest continuously-running ski club in the US.


Fox River Grove – Railroad Accident

In October, 1995, a collision involving a Metra passenger train and a Cary-Grove High School school bus resulted in seven students dying. As a result, reform has come about involving railroad crossings throughout the country.

McDonald’s Corporation

Carl Koenemann worked for the McDonald’s Corporation’s European division in 2012. This opportunity allowed Carl to travel throughout Europe on different business expenditures.

Since its humble beginnings in 1940, McDonald’s quickly rose to become the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Now, McDonald’s operates over 35,000 stores across 119 countries – serving over 68 million people daily.

Richard and Maurice McDonald started the company in San Bernardino, California. Originally, McDonald’s operated as a barbeque restaurant – it wasn’t until 1948 that it became a production-line style hamburger stand.

The original mascot of McDonald’s was Speedee, a man whose head was shaped like a hamburger. It wasn’t until 1967 that Speedee was replaced by Ronald McDonald.