Club Town

 

Purpose:

  1. To promote and advance the agricultural, home economic, civic, 4-H program and community interests of McHenry County, Illinois.
  2. To provide housing facilities and accommodations for club meetings, shows, and activities of agricultural, home economics, civic and community interests.
  3. To lease or own and hold and operate such real and personal property as is necessary or useful in carrying out the purposes for which it is formed.

Leaders:

Club Town Directors include Judy Corson, Florence Spesard, Carol Giammattei, Dave Popenhagen, Alan Ainger, and Trent Harp. Non-voting Directors include Dan Volkers, McHenry County Farm Bureau Manager and Chris McKee, McHenry County Farm Bureau President. Advisory Members include Michele Aavang, representing the 4-H Program and Ken Bauman, McHenry County Fair President. Alan Ainger leads the organization and Carol Giammattei serves as Vice President.

Club Town's livestock buildings after three new roofs were installed in 2020-21.

History:

Formed in March of 1946 (The original Fair was held from 1853 to 1924. The land was turned over to the county for unpaid taxes).

Original board was made up of Farm and Home Bureau leaders, 4-H Club Chairman, and the Chairman of the County Board. The group elected its own officers.

The first board included:

George Richardson, A.W. Mathison, Jr., H.R. Kiltz, John A. Paulsen, Mrs. Marlowe Shaw, Mrs. Lyle Wakely, Mrs. Frank Slavin, John Harrison, Mrs. Roscoe Glen, Mark Hansen.

Those who undersigned the incorporation included: A.B. McConnell, L. Russell Beard, John E. Lindsay, Veda D. Johnson, Wilhelmina E. Carlson. 

In the next three years the collective groups raised $15,000 (2023 dollars would equal $190,000)

In 1949, The County Fair in collaboration with Club Town resumed operations.  

Ten acres of property was purchased by Club Town Inc. in 1952 (1951 contract).

Grandstands that could seat 1,000 people were built, a 20 x 44 building was built and restrooms were put in. Electric, sewer and water systems were added to the grounds.

Livestock buildings also started going up in the 1950s (The first hog barn was $1,800 with labor and some materials donated).

1953 US treasury Dep ruled that the organization was exempt from federal taxes, but still required an annual tax return. The accounting period was changed from the last day of August to the last day of February in 1955.

1976 2+ acres of the Club Town property was transferred to the Fair Association for the purpose of erecting additional buildings. 

1980s and 1990s included several small purchases (tables, chairs, a scale, cages, items for events). Possible sale of the property was discussed.

Early 2000s a construction easement was sold to the developers of the adjoining property (now Jewel). Offers on our property were entertained. One was accepted, but the buyer defaulted and eventually provided a partial payment on the earnest money. Other offers were considered, but were not attractive enough to gather the support of the Fair Association and/or the Club Town Board.

In 2007 Club Town and McHenry County Fair Association agreed to stay at the current property and negotiated a ten-year lease. 

2007-2008 a joint effort on a Multi-Purpose Event Center along a state route was given some consideration, but it didn’t materialize. 

2005-2016 Club Town, the Fair Association, and others have worked together to improve the grounds. Improvements include lighting, electrical, water, drainage, painting, and replacement of the west ends of the livestock buildings.

2018 A building sponsorship program was launched to help fund building repairs. Five businesses stepped up to fill those sponsorships and they include: Channel, COUNTRY Financial, CONSERV FS, Sauk Valley Bank, and McHenry County Farm Bureau.

2020-2021 New roofs were installed on the goat, swine, and bovine barns (1st, 3rd, and 5th livestock buildings from Country Club Rd). A pair of broken skylights were replaced as well.

2022-2023 Two large trees were removed by the swine barn and new ones were planted. New swine barn fans were installed.

2024 Charles Beard Way was redesigned and paved.

Contact person: Dan Volkers, 815-338-1520 or email mcfbmgr@att.net.