I am offering another view in contrast to the recently published (and older) comments relating to problems with the H.J. Mohr and Sons business in south Oak Park.

I was born 80 years ago in a small one-story home known as 901 S. Maple on the southwest corner of Maple and Garfield, which happened to be owned by Mohr’s.

As I was growing up, part of my playtime included sneaking into Mohr’s different sheds which housed the various materials used to help build Oak Park homes and buildings as well as homes in the surrounding neighborhoods. I remember all the varieties of sewer piping, connectors, elbows, etc. that were stored there, which made hide-and-seek a lot more interesting. The huge sand and coal piles were also great fun. I am quite sure some of your ancestors probably enjoyed the surprise gifts they found in their new sandboxes after a fresh load was bought from Mohr’s. My friends and I lost toy trucks, cars and toy soldiers while playing in the sand piles at Mohr’s.

For those newer Oak Parkers who do not know, Mohr’s used to carry sand and gravel and at least two kinds of coal, which heated homes for many years. They were in business for 125 years! How many companies can say that?

I have had trouble understanding how people can do research on schools, shopping and banking, etc. and yet not realize that a stream or river might flood or an airport may have noise issues or that moving across from a playground may have children who occasionally make noise. A similar problem should have been obvious to anyone buying near a coalyard or a cement factory, but apparently it was not. So complaints followed.

Well, won’t some folks be surprised with all the potential destruction, dust and traffic, to remove Mohr’s and then the probable construction of a high-rise hotel or whatever the village leaders eventually approve for the site.  

Get ready, the trucks will be rolling!

Thomas Melvin Holmes

Oak Park

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