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A city that started as a single cabin May 10, 2011

Filed under: Music - la la la la!!! — celebrationgoddess @ 10:49 pm

TUNES TUESDAY – (enjoy grooving on a Tuesday with some
music, especially an old favorite or something totallynew!!)

Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happpyyy Birthday dear McHenry Happy birthday to you!!!!  I’ve lived here almost my entire life. I believe it was about 5,000 citizens back when I was a little goddess. We even had a one laned bridge over the Fox River where you needed to take turns driving across. Anyway our town celebrated today and asked it’s residents to wear red, white or blue and go outside. A helicopter fly overhead taking pictures to be offered for sale. I’m sure we’ll also see them in the Herald. I ended up joining some fun ladies at a hair salon on route 120. They wrote out 175 using red boas. How could I pass up hanging out with chicks like that?

FROM THE NORTHWEST HERALD: By JOSEPH BUSTOS -In 1836, Henry W. McLean built the first log cabin in what would become McHenry, the first county seat of McHenry County.

When the state Legislature created McHenry County in 1836, the county stretched all the way to Lake Michigan.

The city and the county are named for Maj. William McHenry, who served in the Black Hawk War in a spy brigade in the mounted volunteers.

William McHenry died as the county was being created, said Nancy Fike, administrator of the McHenry County Historical Society.

The county’s first courthouse was in McHenry and used to be in what now is Veterans Memorial Park. The former courthouse later was moved to the corner of Riverside Drive and Pearl Street, and is the building that now houses the Town Club.

The state, in 1844, created Lake County, and the McHenry County seat was moved to what would become Woodstock.

In 1854, the railroad came through town, and the area west of what is now Route 31 began to develop.

Wood and flour mills were the main industries in the latter part of the 1800s.

The mill pond separated the area into McHenry and West McHenry. There were two post offices, and people didn’t shop on Riverside Drive if they lived in West McHenry, Fike said.

The town used to be separated into two sections, with Irish Catholics living on one side and German Catholics on the other, she said.

“If you elected a mayor from one side, then you had to elect a mayor from the other side,” Fike said. “The town was religiously segregated.”

However, when the railroad came through town, it also led to a lot of tourist traffic and business people coming through.

The area turned into a tourist attraction for people from Chicago. The boating industry boomed at the turn of the century. Steamboats started going up and down the river in the latter part of the 1800s.

The village officially incorporated in 1872. In 1894, Landmark School opened, providing instruction for students in all grades.

In the beginning of the 20th century, summer homes started to pop up along the river.

“In the summer, business was booming,” Fike said. The area branded itself as the gateway to the Chain O’ Lakes.

The Fox River Dam was built in 1906 and raised the water level in the Fox River. The dam was replaced in 1959 with what would become the William G. Stratton-Thomas A. Bolger Lock and Dam.

Smaller subdivisions came in the 1920s, such as Wattles subdivision in the southern part of town and the McHenry Country Club subdivision. As the area slowly grew, McHenry became a city in 1923. McHenry High School East Campus was built in 1924 and was one of the first four-year high schools in the county.

The city opened its library in 1936 and then completed its sewer plant, which was a New Deal project.

The area started to grow faster after World War II. In 1948, residents decided to build a new grade school on the south part of town, but by 1953, Edgebrook School already had become overcrowded, so the grade school board decided to build an addition.

In the 1950s, the first major subdivision – Eastwood Manor – was built. The first strip mall was developed in the 1960s.

“The more reliance you had on the automobile, the easier it was for people to maintain homes that were a farther distance, and they didn’t have to live close to where they worked anymore,” Fike said.

Growth brought the need for more services. In 1955, a new firehouse opened. The second station, which is in Johnsburg, opened in 1963.

By 1956, another addition to East Campus was under way and a new junior high school was completed.

In 1959 and 1960, District 15 decided there was a need for more classroom space, and decided to build Hilltop and Valley View schools. Additions to Hilltop, Valley View and Edgebrook were approved in 1964.

In 1965, a new high school campus was approved by voters. West Campus opened in 1968.

By 1970, a second junior high school, Parkland School, was approved to be built.

In 1979, District 156 decided to make each high school four-year centers. Previously, East Campus housed freshmen and sophomores, while West Campus had the juniors and seniors. By 1984, each school was conducting its own graduation ceremonies.

The city’s first hospital opened in 1956, east of where the Riverwalk Center now sits. An addition was added in 1964, and a new emergency room opened in 1976.

Work on what now is Centegra Hospital – McHenry started in 1982, and the hospital opened in 1984.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MCHENRY!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjF1bG5LUcs&feature=related

Laugh, Learn, and Liven up your Taste Buds!

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One Response to “A city that started as a single cabin”

  1. holessence Says:

    Happy Birthday, indeed!


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