Early Village History

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Gurnee Area History 1928-1975

 

 


1835-1927 | 1928-1975 | 1976-Present | Timeline
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Early Years as a Village (1928-1975)

 

In the 1920’s, the population of Gurnee consisted mainly of retired farmers, business and trades-people. The main industry was the Bowman Dairy milk-bottling plant which employed about twenty-five men in the late 1920's. 


In 1928, a Mr. Holt, who lived at Washington and Old Telegraph Road (now Hwy 41), subdivided and built homes on Clarence Ave. (now Waveland), this subdivision was called Peanutville by the Gurnee people as some of the homes were rather small. 

 

In 1930 the population of Gurnee was 503. 

 

The old Grand Avenue bridge was closed off in October 1932 and later sold to Dave Russell for $30 to be cut up for scrap. 

 

A Liquor Ordinance was passed in 1933--Keg beer license was $225, and Bottle beer license was $25. The following year there was an election to vote the town dry--which lost 104 to 52. 

 

In 1940 the population of Gurnee was 661.

 

In 1942, the Warren Mutual Telephone Company was taken over by the Illinois Bell Telephone Company.

 

In 1945, Meyer and Beemsterboer constructed a building (which later housed Welton's Market).  IGA Grocery Store operated in part of the building and Gungler's Drug Store was in the other part.

 

In June of 1945, the Tryboms were issued a liquor license--this was the start of the Rustic Manor. The first restaurant was started in the house on the property; needless to say there have been several additions, some of which were built around trees.

 

Woodman Hall was sold to Leon Hubert for dismantling for $315.

 

In 1950, the population of Gurnee was 1097.

 

In 1952, new sidewalks were put in on O'Plaine Road.

 

In 1955, Dr. Hendricks started an Animal Hospital on Grand Avenue. Interim census was taken and the Village population increased 500 over 1950 census of 1097.

 

In 1956, there was discussion on widening of Grand Avenue or relocating it--the village favored relocation.

 

In 1958, Petropoulos Bros. Appliance business moved to Gurnee in a new building on Grand Avenue--at their Grand Opening they had a helicopter to take customers for a ride over the Gurnee area.

 

In 1960, the Village started the Industrial Park along Northwestern R.R.  Hoerner Box was the first plant to locate here. In October 1960, a resolution was passed between City of Waukegan and Village of Gurnee to develop the Industrial Park. The population of Gurnee was 1831.

 

In September 1961, the Milwaukee R.R. filed a petition with ICC to close the Gurnee R.R. Station.

 

In 1966, the Adams Subdivision (Darlene Drive) was annexed to the Village.

 

In 1970, the population of Gurnee was 2738.

 

In 1973, the population of Gurnee was 3812.

 

In early 1973, the Marriott Corporation made a proposal to build an Amusement Park near the interchange of Highway 132 and the Tollway. After numerous hearings were conducted, the Village and the Marriott Corporation entered into an Annexation Agreement for Special Use to construct an amusement park. An advisory referendum was held and the people of Gurnee voted overwhelmingly (773 yes vs. 252 no) to approve the construction of the facility. The park was opened in May 1976.

 

 


Heatherridge Dedication

 

 

Heather Ridge was annexed with a Planned Unit Development in 1974. Prairie Oaks Development which was located on Hwy 21 commenced building in 1977. Country Trails (O'Plaine) annexed with a Planned Unit Development in 1977, and started to build in 1978. In 1978, Gurnee had 270 homes under construction.

  

Heather Ridge was annexed with a Planned Unit Development in 1974. Prairie Oaks Development, which was located on Hwy 21, commenced building in 1977. Country Trails (O'Plaine) annexed with a Planned Unit Development in 1977 and started to build in 1978. In 1978, Gurnee had 270 homes under construction.

 


Aerial view of Gurnee in May of 1975

 

 


The Village of Gurnee / History / 1928-1975 / Last Revised 09/24/14