The Village of Elburn is located approximately 45 miles west of Chicago in Kane County, Illinois. This friendly little town, originally known as "Blackberry," dates back to the early 1830s when settlers arrived to farm the fertile soil. With the arrival of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad in the early 1850s, more people moved to the area, setting up businesses, churches, and schools. The Village of Blackberry incorporated in 1881, and by 1886 adopted its new name, "Elburn." The Lincoln Highway, one of the earliest transcontinental highways for automobiles (ca 1913) ran through Elburn and connected it with other communities near and far.
The village continued to grow slowly and steadily through the next century. In 2006, Metra Rail extended passenger service on its Union Pacific West line, enabling Elburn residents to enjoy daily commuter service to Chicago's Ogilvie Transportation Center. This link helped turn the small village into more of a western suburb and has spurred its growth. Currently about 5,900 residents live within the village limits, with more growth underway. With its mix of amenities, open space, and west suburban location, families are discovering that this is a great community in which to live, work, and play.
In addition to its rail connections, Elburn enjoys convenient access to several major highways, making for easy travel to nearby cities and neighboring regions.
Attractions and Entertainment
While the central and western parts of Kane County continue to see healthy growth in new communities, Elburn is also within a 20-30 minute drive of older, well-established communities, including the "tri-cities" of St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia, as well as the larger cities of Elgin and Aurora. DeKalb, home of Northern Illinois University, is about 15 miles to the west. This mix of old and new means there is a great variety of interesting things to do in the area, ranging from historical attractions to live entertainment. Just a few of the options include:
Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley (PPFV) — Tours, programs, and special events at several nearby historical sites and museums are made possible through the efforts of PPFV.
Garfield Farm Museum — This 1840s
prairie farmstead in nearby La Fox invites visitors to tour its historic buildings and grounds, learn about native plants, and meet some rare breeds of farm animals.
Muirhead Farmhouse — A very different farm experience awaits further north at this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Hampshire.
Pheasant Run Resort — With multiple entertainment and recreational venues, conference and banquet facilities, restaurants, a spa, and nearly 500 guest rooms for overnight visitors, Pheasant Run in St. Charles is considered the largest entertainment resort in the Midwest.
The Arcada Theatre — Opened in 1926 for silent movies and live vaudeville acts, the Arcada in St. Charles is a big and beautiful venue that still features its original pipe organ and still hosts a variety of live entertainment (and silent films!) all year long. St. Charles is also home to the Steele Beam Theatre and the Norris Cultural Arts Center, where visitors can enjoy live performances, exhibitions, and other events.
The Hemmens Cultural Center — Another great entertainment venue is The Hemmens, which serves as the performance home for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, various community theater groups and dance companies, and also hosts big name entertainment acts.
Kane County Flea Market — This highly popular venue attracts bargain hunters, collectors, antiques experts, and curious browsers as they troll the booths to find treasures or just soak up the unique experience of "Shopping the Flea."
Other shopping venues — Beyond the Flea, the Elburn/Tri-Cities area offers bountiful shopping opportunities, including the unique specialty shops, boutiques, and restaurants in downtown Geneva, many local antiques stores, and the very pet-friendly modern mall.
There are plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy in the western suburbs, ranging from water sports on the Fox River to hiking the many miles of park trails to enjoying a game of baseball.
Forest Preserve District of Kane County — Open year round from sunrise to sunset, these 20,000 acres of public open space offer visitors an abundance of educational and recreational activities. Among the properties are the Elburn Forest Preserve, where visitors can try to spot some flying squirrels (!) and Blackberry Maples Forest Preserve, a preserve with a particularly wide diversity of habitats and wildlife. There are also golf courses within the forest preserve properties, including the Hughes Creek Golf Club, an 18-hole course with rolling terrain and beautiful views.
The Fox River — Flowing from southern Wisconsin through Northern Illinois, this tributary of the Illinois River offers exceptional opportunities to canoe, kayak, or take a river cruise, all while enjoying beautiful scenery and a host of interesting towns along the way.
Kane County Cougars — Baseball fans can enjoy watching stars of the future in Geneva where this Class A Minor League Baseball team, affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, plays their home games.
Children who reside in Elburn and nearby areas are served by these school districts:
Kaneland Community Unit School District 302
Central School District 301
Options for colleges and universities include:
Waubonsee Community College
Northern Illinois University
Elgin Community College
For more information on Elburn and neighboring communities, please follow these links:
Elburn Festivals and Parades
Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau
Kane County Village profiles
Western Suburban Living
State of Illinois: Travel & Recreation
Photo attributions: Garfield Farm Museum by G. LeTourneau via CC BY-SA 3.0; National Park Service; Fabyan Windmill, Pheasant Run Resort, Fishermen's Inn, Arcada Theatre by Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau.