Each week, we will be taking a look back at the fascinating history of Burr Ridge and separating fact from fiction. This week we bring you the second of a three part look at the so-called “forgotten towns” of our area from over a century ago, ‘Pleasantview.’
Being an area that was founded over time where agriculture, trade and transportation converged, it was bound to happen that Burr Ridge would be betwixt and between. Yet, there are place names that linger, unquestioned as we go about our work-a-day worlds. We take services for granted, in some ways; school districts and fire departments are what we value about our village. But, do we have a “Burr Ridge School District” or “Burr Ridge Fire Department”? No, we don’t. Today, we look one of these legacy names and ask, “Where is ‘Pleasantview’?”
Truth be told, there was no town — old or new — called “Pleasantview.” That invention can be firmly sourced to 1946 and 1947 when a local realtor, Albert Gethner, organized residents with the idea of securing fire protection for local residents. This area — south of La Grange and not in Willow Springs — had no unified fire protection. Gethner, along with William Boyett, Joe Stasny and L. August held an open meeting on April 4, 1946 with the expressed goal of asking residents if they would be willing to be taxed in order to create a fire protection district that would improve the safety of the growing area (nearly 20 years before Burr Ridge existed).
On June 29, 1946 area residents voted to raise taxes specifically to form a fire district. The name, according to the “Pleasantdale Civic Association Bicentennial Commission” (1976) was “taken from the two largest school districts in the area: Pleasantdale and Plainview; hence, ‘Pleasantview’ Fire Protection District.”
William Perrott was appointed its first Fire Chief on November 28, 1947 and a Volunteer Fireman’s Association was established.
What’s a Fire Protection District without modern equipment? One of the first purchases was a John Bean high-pressure fog truck mounted on a 1948 F-7 Ford, which was set for its debut in April 1948. But where to house it? Station #1 was built on the corner of Plainfiled Rd. and Franklin Ave., equipped with a full-voiced siren, which sounded for the first time on Nov. 5, 1951. And in February 1955 the area of “South Hinsdale” (the future area of Burr Ridge) joined the Pleasantview Fire Protection District. Known as “Station #2,” the building was completed in 1958, right here, in Burr Ridge at 7675 Wolf Rd.
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The Society operates the Flagg Creek Historical Museum and the Robert Vial House located on the grounds of the Pleasant Dale Park District at 7425 S. Wolf Road, Burr Ridge IL
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