Known as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley", the Village of Algonquin’s downtown area is nestled along the Fox River in the heart of Illinois' Fox River Valley. Algonquin, established in 1890, sits approximately 40 miles from downtown Chicago, a northwest suburb of the city. The majority of Algonquin is located in McHenry County, with some overhang in nearby Kane County. There is 12.41 square miles total; 12.23 (98.55%) of land and 0.14 (1.45%) is water. The 2010 Census shows the population as 30,046, up considerably from the 23,276 figure taken during the Census in 2000.
Long known as a small river community, Algonquin has grown to a major regional hub while preserving its character and history. The Village works to enhance the quality of its residents’ lives by offering a large variety of activities; anywhere from Yoga, Karate, Gymnastics and Dance, to Soccer, Baseball, Hockey, Figure Skating and so much more. It is also home to many Fitness and Health & Wellness Centers along with athletic associations, such as the Algonquin Area Youth Organization, Algonquin Lake in the Hills Soccer Association, and LA Falcon Football & Cheerleading, just to mention a few. There are 21 parks and two open space free play areas which house 12 ball diamonds, 21 playgrounds, 9 pavilion/picnic shelters, 1 pool, 15 basketball courts, 6 tennis courts, 19 multi-purpose field for football and soccer, 2 sand volleyball courts, 2 sledding hills, and 2 artificial outdoor ice rinks.
Algonquin may be a “home sweet home” type of town, but it has various industries within it. Wauconda Took & Engineering, Kenmode Tool & Engineering, Schiffmayer Plastics, Crystal Die & Mold, VCP Printing, Burnex Corporation, and Lion Tool are all located in the town of Algonquin.
There are two different school districts in Algonquin: District 300 and District 158. District 300 serves students on the East side of Algonquin, closer to Carpentersville. There are a few elementary school options. Neubert Elementary, Lincoln Prairie Elementary, Eastview Elementary, Algonquin Lakes Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Westfield Community School are the elementary schools that serve students in Algonquin. Dundee Middle School and Algonquin Middle School are the two middle schools for Algonquin students. Dundee-Crown High School and Harry D. Jacobs High School are the high schools many Algonquin students attend. District 158 serves students who reside on the West side of Algonquin, closer to Huntley and Lake in the Hills. Mackeben Elementary serves kindergarten through 2nd grade and Marion Conley Elementary serves 3rd to 5th grade. Bernice Heinemann Middle School and Huntley High School are also included in this district. Along with public school, there are a few private schools for students. St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran School and St. Margaret Mary Catholic School are the two schools that offer religious education in Algonquin. There is also Foundation’s Montessori School in the village. McHenry Country College serves students in District 158 boundaries, while Elgin Community College serves District 300 students.
Along with many education opportunities, there are quite a bit of nightlife options in Algonquin. In downtown Algonquin, you’ll find restaurants and bars on Route 31 including Cucina Bella and Martinis on Main. Heading West on Algonquin Rd (Route 62), you will reach the Randall Road corridor. Randall Road is the home of many retail shops, restaurants, and bars. The Algonquin Commons, the Algonquin Galleria, and the Esplanade are the most popular shopping centers. Stores featured are Ross, DSW, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hollister Co., American Eagle, Express, Five Below, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Hobby Lobby and so much more! Walmart Supercenter, Super Target, Meijer, Home Depot, Dollar Tree, and Best Buy are also located along the busy road. In 2004, the Algonquin Commons became the largest outdoor mall in Illinois, containing 80 stores. Along with many retail shops, Randall Road is home to many restaurants. They are all over Randall Road! You’ll find Chipotle, Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, Houlihan’s, Chili’s, Burnt Toast, Starbucks, Sonic Drive-in, Giordano’s, and more! Many restaurants serve alcohol, but if you want a bar experience, head on over to the Thirsty Whale or Village Vintner Winery and Brewery. There are so many options for everyone.
Algonquin was inhabited by Pottawatomi Native Americans before European settlers came to the village. Originally, the village was home of Indian burial mounds known as the Algonquin Mounds in the 1800s. Samuel Gillilan came from Virginia in 1834 and was the first settler of Algonquin. Dr. Cornish, Dr. Plumleigh, Eli Henderson, Alex Dawson, and William Jackson followed soon after. There was some arguments regarding what to call the village but Algonquin became official on December 23, 1847. In 1855, the first signs of economic growth happened when the railroad was constructed. With the railroad, farmers were able to send out their produce to the markets in Chicago. Because of all the trading success, the Village of Algonquin was established in 1890. Soon after, many Chicago residents visited Algonquin and built vacation homes along the river. More people began to settle in the village, instead of just vacationing. With more and more people moving to the village, residential construction flourished. The village’s first shopping center, Algonquin Town Center, was built in the 1980’s. In the 1990s, construction was mainly focused on Randall Road, beginning in 1993. There’s a lot of history behind Algonquin, but there’s a big future ahead of it as well!
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