Freeport is located at the center of the Midwest and offers direct routes to all the major markets of the country and the world.
A community with a history of success, a future of unlimited potential and a real sense of identity and pride, Freeport is the seat of one of the richest counties, per household, in the state of Illinois.
A variety of public and private schools for every age group and learning experience, Freeport's children will receive a quality education through the local college's night and weekend programs.
More than a dozen day care facilities (including an active Head Start Program) are available for children of preschool and elementary school ages.
Parks and outdoor recreation are abundant in and around Freeport. Nature preserves and the 100-plus acre Krape Park are havens for hiking, canoeing, bicycling and playing baseball or tennis. Park Hills, a public golf course, and the Freeport Country Club beckon golf enthusiasts with their outstanding 18-hole courses.
It's easy to enjoy Freeport...home of Real American Value.
Every August, 30,000-plus people attend Freeport's summer festival of music, food and enter a entertainment to honor William "Tutty" Baker, one of the area's first Pennsylvania German settlers. Tutty and his family came to develop land belonging to Winnebago Indian Chief Winneshiek. Baker's whole family spoke Winnebago, and so Winneshiek nicknamed him "Tutty" (a Winnevago word for stutterer). After the Black Hawk War, Tutty was able to stake a claim on the land and build a home for his family.There he operated a free ferry to transport young adventurers and other settlers across the Pecatonica River. Mrs. Baker's complaint about her husband's generosity, from which Freeport enjoys its name, was as much a boast as a complaint, according to the History of Stephenson County.
Freeport's citizens are proud of their community's rich history. From the Civil War re-enactment to the dynamic Stephenson County Historical Society Freeport's culture and beauty of the past remain vibrant in the present.
Freeport is most notably the cite of the crucial Lincoln-Douglas debate which wrote history for the nation. Douglas' stand on slavery alienated the South and split the Democratic Party, enabling Lincoln to win the presidency in 1860. A monument to the debate stands at its site and was dedicated in 1908 by president Theodore Roosevelt. [Top of Page]
Planes, trains and automobiles can get you to and from Freeport quickly and easily. Located in the center of major metropolitan markets in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan, Freeport is nestled in a rural area just east of the scenic Mississippi River.
Freeport is quickly accessed by plane (just 90 minutes to O'Hare International Airport) and enjoys the convenience of Albertus Airport, a municipal facility only three miles from downtown which serves private and corporate aircraft and small jets. Recently expanded and improved, Albertus has paved and lightened runways as well as grass runways. Charter service and flying lessons are also offered. The Greater Rockford Airport also serves Freeport residents and visitors and is only 30 miles east.
Highway transportation is superb in the Freeport area. U.S. Highway 20 connects quickly with I-90 and I-39, a major link with Bloomington-Normal, where 1-74 and I-55 intersect. North-south State Route 26 and east-west State Route 75 connect Freeport with nearby towns and cities. On the north side of Freeport, Highway 26 is a four-lane roadway linking with U.S. 20 bypass.
Freeport is also serviced by Van Galder and Greyhound bus lines, Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad Company and numerous interstate and intrastate truck lines.
The community has taxi services and reliable travel agencies to help you with your vacation and business travel needs. [Top of Page]
The diverse professional services and manufactures that make their homes in Freeport contribute to a very stable economic base. One of the most prominent in the downtown area is Micro Switch, a division of Honeywell Corp. Manufacturing state of the art electronic switches and sensors for virtually every industry, Micro Switch employs more than 3,000 people in the Freeport area. Other large manufacturers in and around Freeport include Furst-McNess, Heine Plastics, Newell Company corporate headquarters, Newell Window Furnishing Co., Thermos, Kelly-Springfield, Anchor-Harvey Components, Inc., Saur-Sundstrand.
With its multitude of insurance companies Freeport has been called the "Hartford of the Midwest." General Casualty, The St. Paul, Trustmark, Viking Insurance and Western States all have developed in Freeport.
Freeport's downtown is alive with small business, coffee shops and restaurants, stores, clothiers and a movie theater as well as banks and a hotel.
On the outskirts of town, department store anchored malls have been developed for those who prefer one-stop shopping with lots of room to park. Industrial parks offer employers and employees easy commute between work and home and space to expand.
Freeport has an active job training program with Northwest Illinois Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). Adults can further their education during the day, evening or on weekends at the Highland Community College and finish a degree, start a new one or keep the lifelong learning process going. [Top of Page]
Whether you're looking for a small apartment or a four-bedroom house with a few acres of land, Freeport has a home for you.
Freeport's housing market is vast and varied. Friendly mobile home parks, tudor-style duplexes, brick bungalows or mid-rise apartment buildings are all available to meet you and your family's housing needs.
Neighborhoods are quiet and community oriented. Safe, well-lighted, tree-lined streets are the norm not the exception in Freeport, making it a perfect place for after-dinner walks, and early morning jogs.
There is plenty of land available for building your dream house in or near Freeport. Wooded lots and newer neighborhoods are ready to be developed.
FreePort also has beautiful housing sensitive to the special needs of the elderly. The St Joseph's Adult Day Care facility offers an alternative to nursing home placement. Its goal is to assist elderly in helping themselves remain independent as long as is safely possible. From total nursing care to independent living Freeport takes care of its people. The Stephenson County Senior Center has won national awards for its quality care of the community's seniors.
Freeport's citizens enjoy more than 800 acres of parkland in the Freeport park district available for picnicking, hiking, walking your dog and outdoor recreation. Krape Park, Read Park, Oakdale Nature Preserve and Taylor Park are great places to relax or rev-up with your friends and family.
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Healthcare needs are well met in Freeport through the facilities of the Freeport Health Network. The Network - comprised of Freeport Memorial Hospital, Freeport Clinic, Family Medical Clinic, the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center, Home Health Care and Hospice, HealthWorks occupational health services and individual physicians - serves the overall health care needs of Freeport, Stephenson County and surrounding counties.
Freeport Memorial Hospital, which underwent a major expansion and renovation in 1993-94, offers 24-hour emergency medical care, a poison control center, sophisticated echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, full body CT scanning, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, laser surgery, lithotripsy, intensive coronary care and cardiac rehabilitation. Physical, occupational, respitory and speech therapy are also provided.
Freeport Memorial Hospital also operates a Family Birthing Center, Sports Medicine Institute, Regional Sleep Center, Vascular Laboratory, and the Freeport Regional Health Plan. The hospital is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin Hospital, Clinics and School of Medicine.
Freeport is also served by the Monroe Clinic which offers patients both primary and secondary care. Specialties of the clinic include internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics, gynecology, midwifery, pediatrics and adolescent medicine, psychology, psychiatry, otorhinolaryngology, and neurology.
Freeport celebrates the importance of our community's children and their education.
For our youngest learners, Freeport's day care options are exceptional. Day care facilities are available at private centers and religious institutions as well as the YWCA and YMCA. All have qualified instructors and provide a safe and exciting atmosphere for young, inquisitive minds.
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The Freeport Schools, some of the best in the state, consist of eight elementary schools (three parochial), four middle and high schools (one parochial) and two schools dedicated to students with special needs.
Fifty percent of Freeport's graduating seniors go on to some form of higher education and all students complete college requirement classes! Several Freeport seniors are chosen as finalists for the National Merit Competition every year. During the summer of 1996, construction crews worked around the clock during the summer on a $13 million renovation of Freeport High School. The renovation included the addition of a professional working television production and broadcasting studio.
The staff of the Freeport School District has an average of 17.1 years of experience in the classroom, and the teacher to student ratio of 21.3 in the elementary grades and 19.7 to one at the secondary level is very favorable.
Freeport is the center of the Stephenson County Special Education District and has cooperative's resources available to all its students.
Freeport's high schools prepare their students for careers in biology, journalism, music and nearly every other vacation. Students can be active in almost 40 different sports, and other extra curricular activities including debate, acting, choir, band, and orchestra. [Top of Page]
Freeport's recreation takes all forms. Many members of the community enjoy the acres of parkland available for picnicking, hiking, walking the dog and other outdoor recreation while others prefer a quiet afternoon at the Freeport air Museum and Cultural Center.
For the rugged, Krape Park (spelled the same forward and backward!), Read Park, Oakdale Nature Preserve and Taylor Park are great places to relax or rev up with friends and family. Baseball diamonds as well as hiking trails, bike paths and picnic areas are available. Special areas for young children make a family outing easy and safe.
For golf enthusiasts, the Freeport Country Club and Park Hills Golf Course offer challenging 18-hole courses for the whole family. Two courses are found at Park Hills, a 280-acre municipal golf course with pro shop, lunch counter, watered fairways, clubhouse and driving range. The Country Club is a private facility conveniently located near Krape Park and is open to members and their guests.
Freeport also sports a beautiful YWCA and YMCA. Both facilities are co-ed and have swimming pools, tracks and weight rooms as well as specialty sporting equipment and classes. Indoor tennis courts are available at the YWCA.
For a night out on the town, you can enjoy a play at the oldest continuous amateur theatre in the United States - Winneshiek Playhouse. the Winneshiek Players draws on exceptional local talent and preforms outstanding dramatic and musical productions.
Freeport has an active Choral Society, Concert Band and Historical Society, all of which are responsible for superb summertime entertainment indoors and in the parks.
the Freeport Public Library has an up-to-date computer center and offers films, recordings and large local history and genealogy section.
Freeport's mayor/aldermanic government, housed in an historic red sandstone building in the downtown business district, keeps Freeport's residents moving toward the 21st century. the city, which is the county seat of Stephenson County gives the city administration proximity to county government and opportunities to work cooperatively on issues of joint interest.
Freeport has 911 emergency service altering the city's 50-plus police officers immediately. The police also coordinate DARE, the national drug awareness effort conducted in the city's schools. The Officer Friendly and Neighborhood Watch programs are very active. the department also works with area colleges to provide one internship for law enforcement students. The student chosen for the program spends one semester working in all facets of department responsibility.
Freeport's fire department has 48 full time fire fighters who staff three stations at key points throughout the city and serve the community and surrounding areas. The city has a fire insurance rating of Class 4 in the city, and Class 8 in rural areas.
City leaders works closely with the Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce and the Freeport Area Economic Development Foundation to promote and enhance the area's economic development potential. Joint leadership efforts have achieved creation of a five mile square enterprise zone designed to stimulate economic growth and effective redevelopment.
A successful, city-wide recycling program helps keep the city clean and natural resources plentiful. Freeport operates its own water utility, obtaining water from five wells, and operation well in excess of peak consumption. The city's waste water treatment plant operates with 2 million gallons excess capacity.
Natural gas is provided by Northern Illinois Gas Company, and electricity is furnished by Commonwealth Edison Co. [Top of Page]
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