Imagine, it’s 1945 and the end of World War Two. Soldiers are returning home to family members and loved ones. Many of these soldiers were stuffed away in their barracks during the war across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe reminiscing of their charmed, idyllic youth not unlike a Mark Twain novel. To many who vacationed there as children, Algonquin seemed a fine place to raise families. These men and women were determined to avoid raising families in the crowded “Windy City” of Chicago. Instead, they wanted to make permanent for their own children what they had enjoyed during unflustered yet exploratory summers for themselves. Beginning in 1950 with 1,223 residents, Algonquin experienced a population increase of 60 percent or greater in each of the next three decades. Algonquin lies in a steep valley where the Fox River cut through the Valparaiso Moraine left by the Wisconsin glacier. Located in McHenry County, 39 miles northwest of the ‘Loop’, Algonquin was a key point on the heavily traveled trail (now Illinois Highway 62) between Chicago and the Indian settlements at Lake Geneva. Algonquin grew slowly as a trading point for the area’s numerous dairy farmers along the Fox River Valley Railroad (Chicago & North Western Railway), which entered the community in 1854. Chicago residents riding the line saw a community nestled in the valley with attractive scenery, cooling mineral springs, and numerous opportunities for boating and fishing. Algonquin became a natural destination for summer vacationers from Chicago. As riverine holidays drew numerous vacationers, other activities like early automobile road and hill-climb races up the northbound highway once used by foot travelers brought many more. Algonquin’s population doubled during summer months through the 1920s as Chicago residents sought to escape the city’s summer heat. It wasn’t uncommon to witness dance pavilions and commercial picnic groves swarming dairy cattle pastures. During the Great Depression, many summer cottages became permanent homes as Chicago bungalow buyers faced foreclosure. The soldiers from World War Two stimulated area growth. As more African-Americans were moving into the congested city of Chicago, more descendents of Europe such as Polish, German and Irish were moving to the valley of Algonquin. By the 1980s, the population more than doubled, reaching 11,663 by 1990, and grew to 23,276 by 2000. Today, as many of Algonquin’s residents are able to experience the same idyllic holidays that were enjoyed by their ancestors, the difference is that the enjoyment can be accomplished all year round. Algonquin, also known as the “Gem of the Fox River Valley”, is a thriving, growing community in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. To Algonquin residents, maintaining a “friendly, community- oriented atmosphere” is of the uttermost importance. The picturesque village is nestled along the bluffs of the Fox River and has a fresh country appeal. It is the southern access point to the region’s lakes, making it the ideal location for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers as well. A number of new commercial, industrial and retail businesses have sprung up in recent years as a result of Algonquin’s convenient proximity to Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates and Elgin. There is also easy access to the Algonquin Road and Randall Road corridors. And, there is more prime property available for development. The Algonquin Economic Development Commission consists of a group of citizens who are charged with promoting and fostering business growth. They also assure that businesses “enhance the quality of life” in the community. The village has a public library and 18 public parks offering a swimming pool, tennis courts and a number of picnic areas. There are two private marinas as well. Algonquin has its own police department and shares fire and ambulance services with Lake in the Hills. The majority of Algonquin’s homes are often spacious, single-family homes. Styles vary from cottages to grand residences. Locations overlooking the river, or bordering an expanse of woods or farmland, heighten the appeal. Homes can range anywhere from $90,000 to more than $500,000. Algonquin is served by the community unit with four elementary schools (one in Lake in the Hills), two middle schools and Jacobs High School. There are three private schools in the area as well. The 2004 average composite ACT score at Jacobs was 22.0. The Northwest Toll way (I-90) is six miles south of Algonquin on Illinois 31 (Main Street in Algonquin). The Northwest Highway (U.S. 14) is four miles north on Illinois 31. A drive to the Loop can take 60 minutes. Midway and O’Hare airports are 75- and 35-minute trips by car, respectively. Rail commuters can catch the Metra in Cary, Crystal Lake and Barrington, or the Milwaukee Road in Elgin. Travel time to Chicago is about an hour. One of the biggest events is the Algonquin Founders’ Day Festival. It has many activities within the Festival such as Carnival for Special Kids, Cardboard Boat Regatta, Taste of Founders, “Once Upon A Time” parade and so much more. The best way to experience the stimulating and memorable lifestyle of Algonquin is to make it a part of you. Come to Algonquin, IL the “Gem of the Fox River Valley” and experience life away from the mundane.