History of Elgin IL – A Brief Look Into Its Early Days
The history of Elgin Illinois can be traced back to the iron age. In the earliest years of the Illinois iron trade, which lasted from the mid-seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century, Elgin was primarily a village of log cabins located on the southern shores of Lake Michigan. The log cabins of today are a short drive away from the downtown attractions of downtown Elgin.
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The most notable development to take place in the city of Elgin during this time was the development of what is today known as the “Gold Coast,” which was a hodgepodge of development including a post office, a grain elevator, and the “American Telephone & Telegraph Company” which are still located in the same city. The “Bayside Post Office” on the north side of town was built in 1849. The “grain elevator,” also built at this time, operated twenty-four hours a day and was the state’s first electric grain elevator. The “Telephone and Telegraph Company” were the main telegraph service to the entire state of Illinois.
After the development of this first large-scale city, there was significant growth in other areas of the state including the towns of Joliet, Barneville, New Lenox and Moline. By the late nineteenth century, the city was growing into a full-fledged metropolis with a population of over eight hundred thousand. The first major street change came with the opening of a new road connection between the towns of New Lenox and Elgin. This route, called Illinois Central Railroad, was the first to connect the two westernmost cities in Illinois.
As the city of Elgin began to grow, so did the area around it. The development of what is now known as the “North Central Business District” spanned over thirty blocks and included the present downtown area of downtown Elgin. This area, which includes the Chicago North Central Library, Lincoln Park, and McAllister Park, is one of the most vibrant in the entire city. The “Central Business District” has seen a number of major corporations come into the area and provide employment for the people of the area. Areas surrounding the downtown area have seen growth and prosperity as well, providing yet another reason to move to this part of Chicago.
Along with all of the other things we have covered about the history of Elgin IL, we also wanted to touch on the local history of Lincoln Park and its relation to this area’s history. Lincoln Park is one of the most famous neighborhoods in all of the United States, and also the world. It is the birthplace of some very famous authors and artists such as Emily Dickinson, volumes of William Shakespeare, along with countless others. In addition to all the above, Lincoln Park is also a hotspot for historic tours, especially the famous tour of Central Chicago. This particular tour is led by Amy Waterman, an award-winning author and professional speaker who was responsible for helping make the history of Lincoln Park and its surrounding area so well known and loved.
The last part of our history of Elgin IL was to touch briefly on a number of geographies. While Lincoln Park is located right in the heart of the city, the southern boundary is where the Chicago River flows into the Mississippi River, at Grand Crossing Boulevard. Lincoln Park is also very close to the southern end of O’Hare International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the country. If you are considering moving to the area, you should definitely look into the many jobs, amenities, entertainment, and history Lincoln Park has to offer. You might even decide it’s not a bad idea to take a day or two to walk the Wrigley Field Cemeteries, which is one of the most famous burial locations in the world.