City of Elgin

Elgin at a Federal Level

CItty of Elgin & The Fox River

1880 - 1889

The City of Elgin began serving residents as a water supplier in the late 1880s. At that time, the Fox River was used as the source of drinking water. No treatment was performed at that time the Fox River must have been a pristine source. The facilities were located on the east bank of the Fox River at what is now the Slade Avenue Pumping Station. The facilities was a small pump building. Water was pumped from the river directly to the home via water mains made from wood planks. This system carried Elgin into the 20th century.

City of elgin & The ox River

1900

In 1900, waterborne diseases was wide spread in the Fox River, due to the fact that the virgin river was being used more. The area was growing most communities along the river used the river not only as a source of drinking water but for recreation and industry. This contributed to the downfall of its water quality.

The City of Elgin Deep Wells

1901 - 1935

The city drilled its first deep well at the Slade Avenue site. The next couple of years, the city had three more deep wells drilled tapping into the Cambrian-Ordovician Aquifer. An aquifer is a supply of water below the surface of the earth and result of water seeping through dirt, sand, and rock and the water filtering through the earth is cleansed and collected below. Cambrian-Ordovician Aquifer lies under much of northern Illinois.

Fox River Treatment Facility

1936 - 1964

The city built a treatment facility at the Slade Avenue site to treat the well water that consisted of settling basins, chemical feed systems, and sand filters.

Fox River Treatment Facility

1965 - 1969

The city was providing an average of 5.46 million gallons of water a day. Elgin grew, so did its demand for natural resources, such as water.

Fox River Treatment Facility

1970

Elgin was taking an average 7 million gallons of water a day and it was time to plan for the future, as the aquifer's level was dropping. As the water table dropped, the more it cost in electricity to pump the water to the surface.

Fox River Treatment Facility

1970

Elgin was taking an average 7 million gallons of water a day and it was time to plan for the future, as the aquifer's level was dropping. As the water table dropped, the more it cost in electricity to pump the water to the surface.

Searching for Alternative Sources of water

1975 - 1979

Elgin began looking for alternate sources of raw water. They considered buying water from the City of Chicago, that uses Lake Michigan as its source. The city decided it did not want to depend upon someone else for such a commodity, especially since they had a raw source, the Fox River.

Searching for Alternatives Sources of Water

1979 - 1981

By now the river had gone full circle and was on the upswing in terms of water quality. This change can be traced to the 1960s when ecological awareness was brought to the forefront. It was decided in 1979 to build a new treatment facility that could process Fox River water at a rate of 16 million gallons a day.

Riverside Treatment Facilty

1982 - 1989

Riverside Treatment Facility was completed on the west bank of the Fox River directly across from the Slade Avenue Treatment facility. Elgin now had an unlimited reliable source of raw water. The decision to return to the Fox River as a water source helped Elgin attract large corporations and developments, that would not locate here without an ample water supply.

Riverside Treatment Facility

1990

When the new facility began service, the Slade Avenue plant stop treating water, the facility remained until 1990 for its water storage and pumping. In 1990 the old Slade Avenue Treatment Facility built a new facility its place. This facility houses the Water Department's meter division and still serves as a pumping station to this day.

Elgin at State Level

Historic District

1842 - 1859

The original plat of Elgin that was laid out in 1842 by James Gifford. Land within the district was completely platted by 1859 with streets laid out in a modified grid pattern.

Built School

1855 - 1856

In 1850s building a school became a reality as a board of trustees laid the foundations for an academy in 1848. This building was completed in 1855 through 1856 and became known as Old Main. T

Urbanization at the Turn of the Century

1880 - 1890

In addition to the homes for the city's middle and upper-class residents, the district was also the home to many of the factory workers and their families. A number of multi-family brick apartment buildings or flats were constructed in the district in the 1880s and 1890s. Most of these were built along East Chicago and other streets in the western section of the district. These brick buildings are illustrative of the rapidly urbanizing character of Elgin at the turn of the century

First Construction

1880 - 1890

East of what is now the downtown area construction within this area was limited until after the Civil War. Many dwellings were erected during the years of the 1880s and 1890s, when Elgin prospered as a result of the the Elgin National Watch Company. Between 1879 and 1891, many of the company's foremen and managers built large, two-story frame dwellings along the streets in the neighborhood. By 1892, more than 400 buildings had been constructed within the present boundaries of the historic district.

Church Built

1896 - 1899

he west section of the historic district became the home of several of the city's most prominent churches. At the northwest corner of Gifford and Fulton Street is St. Mary's Church, constructed between 1896 and 1899 in the gothic revival style.he west section of the historic district also became the home of several of the city's most prominent churches. At the northwest corner of Gifford and Fulton Street is St. Mary's Church, constructed between 1896 and 1899 in the gothic revival style. When it was built, this was the most costly church constructed in Elgin. Another prominent church in the district is the Universalist Church at the corner of Villa and DuPage Sts. This brick church was completed in 1892 and was designed to resemble, from above, a pocket watch enclosed in a case. This church was listed on the national register in 1980.

Old/New

1900

Although much of the Elgin Historic District was developed by 1900, construction continued well into the early 20th century. Architectural forms such as american foursquare and bungalow dwellings were constructed in these years and by 1930, few vacant lots remained in the area. In recent decades demolition and new construction has been limited on most blocks and the district contains a remarkably homogeneous collection of 19th and early 20th century dwellings.

Starting Architectural History

1911 - 1987

The school building was damaged by fire in 1911 and rebuilt. It was used as a school until 1969. In 1976 a fund drive twas held to restore the building. Much of the building's original appearance was restored. In 1987, the building opened as a museum.

Gifford Park

1944 - 1955

The city's first public park laid out by James Gifford in his 1844 and was later enlarged in the 1850s. The park has been an amenity in the district since the mid-19th century and it was landscaped and equipped as a playing area in 1980.

Architectural Forms

1946 - 2000

Much of the Elgin Historic District was developed by 1900, construction continued well into the early 20th century. Architectural forms such as american foursquare and bungalow dwellings were constructed in these years and by 1930, few vacant lots remained in the area. In recent decades demolition and new construction has been limited on most blocks and the district contains a remarkable collection of 19th and early 20th century dwellings.

Maintaining Character

1983 - 2000

In 1983 elgin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chicago at local level

Higher education

1851 - 1952

Chicago's first institution of higher education, Northwestern University was founded

Hospital Open

1852 - 1853

Mercy Hospital becomes the first hospital in Illinois

Race

1853 - 1854

State Convention of the Colored Citizens held in city.[3]

Historical Society

1856 - 1857

Chicago Historical Society Founded

Business

1857 - 1860

wan Ries & Co. Chicago's oldest family-owned business opens. Still in operation today, it is the oldest family-owned tobacco shop in the country.
Mathias A. Klein & Sons(Klein Tools Inc.), Still family owned and run today by fifth and sixth generation Klien

Water Tower

1867 - 1868

Construction began on the Water Tower

womwn Power

1869 - 1872

The first Illinois woman suffrage convention was held in Chicago

Montgomery Wards

1872 - 1890

Montgomery Ward in business

University of Chicago

1890 - 1892

University of Chicago founded by John Rockefella

Trains

1892 - 1893

The Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad, Chicago's first 'L' line, went into operation.

Milestones

1893 - 1894

Sears, Roebuck and Company in business.
First Ferris wheel built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr..
Art Institute of Chicago building opens.