Legendary Pets of Long Grove


The ladies of the Long Grove Historical Society met for afternoon tea over the recent holidays, and we enjoyed a most delightful and interesting conversation. One of the topics that came up was unusual and distinctive pets. One of the ladies in our group has a giant snake living in her house (I won’t reveal who) that she claims belongs to her son. Another had a pet frog named Cynthia, who lived so long she became like a beloved member of the family. Members of the society have also been known to harbor chickens and goats in their Long Grove yards in past years. But as the conversation meandered (as conversations do), it was fun to reminisce about a couple of special pets that really belonged to the entire town of Long Grove. I’m classifying them as legendary. So without further ado, I give you:

Tramp, the Dog
Helen Young has lived in Long Grove now for many decades, and she remembers Tramp from the years when her children were small. He lived with a family somewhere off of Cuba Road, and had a regular routine that made him well-known throughout the Village. He would wait with the children at the bus stop until they took off for Kildeer School in the morning. Then Tramp would start his rounds. He had several daily stops at various shops in the downtown crossroads, and merchants who knew Tramp would give him scraps and treats at each location. He was known to have several canine friends of the female persuasion, and legend has it that Tramp had numerous offspring in the area as a result of his popularity. When the school bus returned with the kids at the end of the day, Tramp would be faithfully waiting at the stop.

Drexler, the Cat
In 1998, I brought my young kids along when I made my first trip to Village Hall to pick up our “new resident packet.” They were thrilled to discover that we had a town cat! His name was Drexler, a reference to historic Drexler Tavern, which was the first incarnation of the building now known as Village Hall. Drexler was original to the area, having wandered over from a neighboring property. He apparently decided that he preferred to hunt near Village Hall, and since the old building had more than a few extra mice, he was tolerated, and eventually cared for by the Village staff. Historical Society member Kathy Wiberg remembers taking pity on him on more than one very cold winter holiday weekend, as he preferred to live outside. Drexler had a relatively short life, and was followed by a “Drexler 2,” but despite my dropping several hints, we do not have a current Village cat. You would think that as Village President I could wield some powerful influence on this—but no, I guess times have changed. However, if another Drexler just showed up one of these days….