Situated on the banks of the Kishwaukee River, this small village of 37 settlers soon had several lumber mills, a hotel, blacksmith, many homes, retail stores and a church. The Baltic Mill, still standing in Belvidere Park, was erected in 1845. With the advent of rail travel in 1852, the town and surrounding areas quickly began to prosper. By 1858 there were 2,500 inhabitants in Belvidere, and the community was served by more than a dozen saw mills, three flour mills, four banks, 40 stores, five hotels, two public schools and a few private academies.

Having continued to grow and prosper through the years, Boone County today ranks as one of the fastest growing counties in the State of Illinois. The area’s growth rate has exceeded 15% annually since 1990. Today, Boone County boasts a population of more than 38,000, while still retaining its rural atmosphere and hometown charm.

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