Steven R. Hara
In 1840, Deerfield Township was known by the name of Leclair. What you know as "Deerfield" was originally settled in 1835. The name Deerfield was given to it around 1849 or 1850 when townships were being formed in Lake County. Deerfield was named for Deerfield, Massachusetts, and also because of the deer abounding in this area. The Irish settlers had voted for the name "Erin" but they lost by four votes - 17 votes for Deerfield and 13 votes for Erin. The first local government in this area was Township government. Township meetings were held in the various homes of the residents until about 1870 when the Township Hall was built. It was first located on Deerfield Road at Ridge Avenue in what is now Highland Park. When Deerfield Township was divided in 1887 into East and West Deerfield Townships, the Township Hall was moved to 602 Deerfield Road. The Village of Deerfield was incorporated in 1903. The first President of the Village Board was John C. Ender, whose former home still stands on the southwest corner of Waukegan Road and Westgate Avenue. The Village Board met in the Township Hall until 1923 when they held their Board meetings in the Masonic Temple, which had then been organized and built at 711 Waukegan Road. The Village Board met there until April of 1957 when the Deerfield Village Hall was built at its present location, 850 Waukegan Road.
Glencoe residents, drawn by their village's small town atmosphere, like to think of it as "the heart of the North shore,". Both for its geographic location and its warm, inviting character. They say that their larger North Shore neighbors comprise many neighborhoods while Glencoe is only one neighborhood. Step off the train and stroll along Park Avenue and Vernon Avenue in downtown Glencoe. Everyone seems to know everyone else seated at the sidewalk cafes and benches – and if they're newcomers they're busy being introduced to longer-term residents. Local shops and restaurants are eerily reminiscent of Cheers, "where everyone knows your name."
Drivers zipping along Lake Avenue in Glenview are often startled by the sight of a herd of grazing cows. The chickens, sheep, pigs and draft horses are usually out of sight, but still a presence at Wagner Farm. It was one of the last working farms in Cook County until it became part of Glenview's extensive Park District. Some of Glenview's prominent features include The Glen, a nearly 2-square mile mixed-use planned development, Wagner Farm and The Grove, a national historic landmark, icons of Glenview's rural and agricultural heritage are now unique educational venues. The history of The Glen, Wagner Farm and The Grove weaves together threads from Glenview's defining ethos: civic involvement, residents who care about preserving the natural environment, and care even more about education. If there's one thing that ties together Glenview's disparate parts, it's the community's focus on affording its children the very best of educational opportunities.
Highland Park Information
Highland Park began as a small farming village, grew to a bustling Lake Michigan shipping center known as Port Clinton in the 1850’s and today is considered on of the most sought-after suburbs on the North Shore. Residents can choose from a broad spectrum of civic, cultural and recreational activities. Ravinia, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a frequent destination for aficionados of world-class jazz, pop and rock music, takes its name from the steeply sloping ravines that punctuate the landscape along Lake Michigan's shore in Highland Park.
The residential character is largely one-half acre lots and larger, although there are several planned unit developments of greater density. Most of the residential development is east of the Des Plaines River which travels through Lincolnshire. West of the river, the residential population is complemented by a growing commercial and corporate office tax base. This includes a Marriott Resort, several restaurants and retail areas, and a corporate center. Additionally, award-winning Adlai E. Stevenson High School, with a current enrollment of 4,300 students, is located on the west side of the Village.
For Americans of a certain age, this upscale community 30 miles north of downtown Chicago will always be remembered as Shermer, Illinois, the fictional home of the hapless but good-hearted teens in John Hughes movies of the 1980s, most notably Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Many scenes were filmed at Glenbrook North High School and other Northbrook locations. Hughes was undoubtedly inspired by Northbrook’s original name of Shermerville, selected when the town was incorporated in 1909. Perhaps looking for something more upscale, the town held a contest to select a new name in 1923. Northbrook was chosen as the winner, a reference to the North Branch of the Chicago River which runs through the town.
Incorporated in 1959, Riverwoods is the home of major employers including Commerce Clearing House and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Four elementary school districts and two high school districts serve Riverwoods. The Riverwoods Wildlife Preserve and Ryerson Conservation area serve the community.
In recent years, the Village of Skokie has encouraged redevelopment in Downtown Skokie that now includes development of the Illinois Science + Technology Park on the 23.4-acre former Searle/Pfizer site. The Village also participated in an expansion and renovation of Westfield Old Orchard, developed the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, renovated the Southeast Industrial area and began improvements to the West Dempster Street corridor. Skokie is a founding member of the Chicago's North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau that encourages visitors to contribute to the local economy. Each of these successful programs enhances the Village of Skokie's commercial tax base while adding new dimensions to its already abundant cultural offerings.
The Village of Wilmette is approximately 14 miles north of downtown Chicago. It is bordered on the south by Evanston and Skokie, on the west by Glenview, on the north by Kenilworth and Winnetka. Wilmette is the fifth most affluent North Shore suburb, trailing Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe and Lake Forest. The more affluent parts of Wilmette are east of Green Bay Rd and in the Indian Hill Estates area north of Lake. West Wilmette is more affordable, lending the village a surprising level of economic diversity. Wilmette is a socially liberal, welcoming community. Educational levels are uniformly high, with nearly 40% of over-25 adults having earned a college degree, and a similar percentage having achieved a graduate degree.
Winnetka has often been called the "crown jewel" of Chicago's North Shore suburbs. Much of Winnetka's charm derives from its varied terrain, the size, variety and tastefulness of its architecture, its one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and services, and the nearly 3 miles of shoreline, with both public and private beaches along Lake Michigan. What's most distinctive about Winnetka, however, is the richness of its civic traditions, the quality of its public and private schools, and the intensity with which its citizens maintain and enhance its character.