Village ProfileTM


Lake in the Hills was once a sleepy little community with farms dotting the surrounding landscape. Paved streets and major thoroughfares now mask the past dirt roads and quieter times. However, a few original farms and fieldstone foundations still stand today, as reminders of our past.

The history of Lake in the Hills started in 1923, when Federal Judge Walter J. La Buy began purchasing the property around what is Woods Creek Lake, the village's main lake. By 1926 he had acquired 473 acres as his estate. Along the south side of Woods Creek Lake on Indian Trail, five stucco houses were built for the judge's children. Today only one house stands in near original state while the others have been improved and enlarged, but are clearly distinguished by the gingerbread European Cottage style of architecture.

Like other early houses in Lake in the Hills, the stucco homes were summer homes. The picturesque views from house to house were credited to La Buy, as he was responsible for planting the many pine and oak trees that are now major drawing points for home buyers.

Through La Buy's efforts, in 1923 Woods Creek was dammed and lake area dug out, creating Woods Creek Lake. This work was difficult, since mules were used for the excavation. Today, the lake is actually much larger than the original size, as it was enlarged over the years. When it was first completed, the lake stopped just about where the most western stucco houses stand. The lot now owned by the Village between 292 and 290 Indian Trail was designated as the children's beach. Just a few feet from the beach an island was created, accessible by a footbridge.

During the 1940's, Raymond Platt, who was affiliated with Dearborn Builders of Chicago, his wife Bernyce, and brother-in-law J.R. Ladd, purchased property from Judge La Buy. In 1947, the Platt's home became permanent and in May of that year, formed the Lake in the Hills Development Corporation which was opened to the general public.

The Development Corporation nick-named the area "out of bounds hunting and fishing estate" and claimed responsibility for the property being "an outstanding example of a well planned community in a natural setting." Many of these summer homes became year round residences. In September of 1950, the Property Owners Association (P.O.A.) was formed to discuss roads, specifically the problems of snow removal and maintenance. This was the beginning of the first organized Village decision making body which was to be formally chartered November 29, 1952.

Lake in the Hills has continued to grow and develop since the 1950's. With the advent of incorporation of the Village in 1952, Mr. Platt donated his sales office at 55 Hilltop to serve as a Village Hall until 1959 when the new Village Hall and Police court were relocated to the garage at 1111 Crystal Lake Road, which served as the home to the Village Hall and Police Station until 1993. In 1993, a newly constructed building was opened at 1115 Crystal Lake Road to house these two offices again.

The Public Works Department was housed at 600 E. Oak Street until 1995, when they took occupancy of a state of the art Public Works facility, just south of Albrecht Road, west of Miller Road.

In recent years Lake in the Hills has seen much growth, increasing from a l990 population of just under 6,000, to an estimated population of 16,000 today, with expectations of reaching 30,000 people by the year 2005.

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The local School Districts 47,155, 158 and 300 provide excellent educational opportunities for our upcoming young citizens. The most progressive study programs are found in our curricula and a complete range of extracurricular activities are also planned to include for a well rounded educational experience. Everything from the most traditional classroom settings to the more technological interactive experience is to be found for the students attending the quality filled and professional education system in Lake in the Hills. Nearby McHenry County College and Elgin Community College offer courses in continuing education.

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Excellent health care facilities are available to Lake in the Hills residents. Good Shepherd Hospital, Northern Illinois Medical Center and Sherman Hospital, along with several immediate care facilities are available within minutes.

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Many recreational facilities are offered to residents of Lake in the Hills. These include:

The Lake in the Hills Fen - A 160 acre preserve for endangered species of plants and wildlife abutting the 26 acre Barbara Key Park, is available for relaxing, enjoying nature walks and family activities year round.

Woods Creek Lake - The largest lake in Lake in the Hills provides excellent catches of bass and crappies along with other game fish. This lake also provides the community with other public access sites for swimming, boating and picnicking. The beaches are staffed with certified lifeguards ensuring safe and secure relaxation on the warm sand during the summer months, that in winter give way to ice fishing and skating enthusiasts.

Parks - Dotting many areas of town, which include activities for people of all ages, are numerous parks. Many of the newer parks are being improved, to increase the facilities available for baseball, softball and soccer leagues and individuals.

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Home to a "reliever class" airport, Lake in the Hills owns and operates the airport at Rakow and Pyott Roads. Annexed into the village in 1982, some 70,000 takeoffs and landings occur at the airport annually. The airport's 3,000 foot asphalt runway is available for landing 24 hours a day and can handle all light to medium twin-engine aircraft and many turboprops. Complete ground and in-flight training programs, as well as charter and rental services, are also available.

In June of each year, a Fly-ln is held at the airport. This consists of numerous ground displays as well as aerial demonstrations. Concessions are available through the various civic groups of Lake in the Hills, which sponsor the event.

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Lake in the Hills pride is nowhere more evident than in the well-tended, well cared for homes found throughout the village. A quick drive through the village will find a wide assortment of housing styles, from moderately priced houses, to luxury homes. Whatever your choice, Lake in the Hills has it. Homes constructed a half a century ago, to the most modern 21st century homes are available. This provides a vast variety to meet the needs of everyone.

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Lake in the Hills is governed by a Village President (Mayor), Village Clerk and six Trustees elected at large to four year staggered terms. The Village also boasts a number of Commissions including the Economic Development Commission, Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. These commissions help plan future development in the village.

The staff throughout the Police Department, Public Works Department and Village Hall are among the most competent and progressive staffs in the area. Individuals with expertise in these fields serve the Village, and continue to receive ongoing training to bring you the best service available.

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