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Welcome to Lake County, Illinois! And welcome in particular to the Libertyville, Mundelein, Vernon Hills area, where the quality of life is superb! From the marvelous homes and mansions overlooking Lake Michigan on the east, through the numerous lakes, parks and forest preserves, to the bountiful farm lands and orchards on the west, central Lake County offers charm, peace and excitement unrivaled in the Midwest.

The neighboring villages of Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills are located in central Lake County, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. This affluent, rapidly developing area offers a near perfect blend of big city excitement and small town comfort. The two major metropolitan centers are no more than an hour's drive north or south on modern, interstate highways. This convenient location allows residents to take advantage of the tremendous work, cultural and educational opportunities that both large cities have to offer. At the same time, the numerous lakes, rivers, farms and woodlands provide a real playground for all.

Easy Accessibility:

An extensive highway network joins the LMV area to a host of neighboring towns and cities. The nearby Interstate 94 offers rapid accessibility to both the metropolitan Chicagoland area and Milwaukee as does Rte. 53, which is currently being planned northward. State routes 176, 60, 83, 45, 21 and 137 also afford easy access to points throughout the county. With all these good roads and a unique proximity to the best of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, the LMV communities boast an excellent location. A short drive takes visitors to the beautiful beaches, harbors and boating facilities on Lake Michigan, as well as to the 60 some inland lakes in the famed Chain O'Lakes region and to Wisconsin's renowned Lake Geneva.

O'Hare International Airport, the world's busiest air terminal, is a 35-minute drive from the three villages. Mitchell International Airport, located on the south side of Milwaukee, is popular among both business and vacation travelers in the area. Midway, Chicago's other primary airport is within easy reach for LMV residents. The area is also served by several smaller air facilities, including Palwaukee Airport to the south and Waukegan airport to the north. Both offer extensive facilities for private and corporate aircraft, including small jets. Waukegan Airport has the added advantage of a Customs Office. Campbell Airport, in nearby Grayslake, is a private general aviation facility serving private and small business planes.

Rail commuters are whisked away from depots in all three villages to Chicagoland locations. The RTA's comfortable Metra trains make numerous regular stops in Libertyville, and new Wisconsin Central commuter line service has recently opened up with additional stations in Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills. PACE buses provide service to major shopping centers, points within the three villages, designated schools, various recreational areas and the Metra depot in downtown Waukegan. Limousine, taxi and transportation for seniors is also readily available.

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The LMV area is also home to a number of the nation's prominent corporations. Motorola, W.W. Grainger, C.D.W., and Hollister, Inc. are just a few of the well known companies that call this area home. Just outside our boundaries are such international giants as Abbott Laboratories, Baxter Healthcare Corp. and Outboard Marine. There are also numerous mid-size firms and small businesses within each of three villages. The LMV area encourages the location of new industry and office/research facilities. Each village's business commission illustrates a thoughtful effort put into controlled industrial growth, and the industry is generally light in character, in keeping with the residential nature of the three villages. Together, they provide thousands of jobs for the local workforce, and a tax base that is beneficial to the villages and residents.

Business Focus: Commerce Thrives Here, Too -

The LMV area is a great place to live - it's also a great place to do business. Many local firms are prominent in the world of commerce. Motorola recently opened a beautiful new facility for the production of cellular phones. Hollister, Inc., a leader in health care products, occupies a research and corporate facility on a beautifully landscaped 26 acre site. This area is also the corporate headquarters for such well known companies as Computer Discount Warehouse, WW Grainger Zebra Technologies, Mallinckrodt Veterinary, Inc., Rust-Oleum and the Solar Corporation. Numerous smaller manufacturing, production, printing, computing, advertising and design, banking and financial and commercial businesses find Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills a thriving area to do business. The diversity of major products manufactured locally includes medical products, cellular phones, industrial hoses and fasteners, labeling equipment, picture frames, fertilizers, packaging items and musical instruments.

Looking to the Future:

Zoning limited to light industry is preserving the basic residential character of the LMV villages. Office/research centers and clean light industry are encouraged to provide a solid tax base and strong local employment opportunities.

The LMV area has hundreds of acres of improved industrial park land available for development. The Corporate Woods, a premiere 340 acre business park in Vernon Hills, sets high standards with its lush landscaping, wooded sites, waterfalls and 23 ponds. Other industrial parks include Continental Business Park, Allanson and Tower Road Industrial Parks and Libertyville Business Park. In addition, there are numerous office complexes, among them One Hawthorne Center, Hilltop Executive Center, Forum Square and Cambridge Plaza.

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The contiguous communities of Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills nestle in the wooded lakelands of northern Illinois. Near enough to the amenities of metropolitan Chicago, they offer relaxed lifestyles amid nature's four-season splendors in a vast panorama of rolling farmland, sparkling blue lakes, quiet woodlands and bright green meadows.

A complete spectrum of housing types and styles fills the neighborhoods in all three towns. The mix is ideal, ranging from brick bungalows in established neighborhoods to fine homes on estate size acreage. There are areas with turn-of-the-century homes and other areas where entire new subdivisions boast the latest in comfortable living. Beautiful homes line the shores of the numerous lakes in the region and grace the fairways of a dozen golf courses. Prices range from under $100,000 to more than a million dollars.

Additional Charms:

Many people are drawn to the area by the excellent reputation of local elementary and high school districts, which enjoy national acclaim for their commitment to quality education.

Medical and health care in the area is superior and the spiritual needs of the community are met in dozens of fine houses of worship.

Shopping is unexcelled. In addition to business centers in each village, there is a splendid regional shopping mall, and numerous retail centers which draw customers for many miles around.

Park lands and forest preserves provide recreation in practically every form, and organized activities are as varied as they are plentiful. In-town social and cultural events are also numerous, representing a wide range of interests. For those seeking broader horizons, the major league sports, entertainment centers, museums, theaters, art galleries and zoos of both Chicago and Milwaukee are within easy traveling distance.

Come and see for yourself why we are very proud of our beautiful Central Lake County. Visit us for fun, shopping, and memories that will last forever. A great place to visit, and an even better place to live.

Plenty to Read:

The LMV area is served by three fine libraries with growing collections and services. In addition to the large collections of books and publications, the libraries offer audio and video cassettes and records. As members of the North Suburban Library System and recently connected throughout Illinois via the Internet, all three libraries offer access to literally thousands of books, publications, research materials, etc. In addition, Cook Memorial Library in Libertyville also houses an extensive genealogical section.

Services for All:

The LMV area is served by more than 50 churches and houses of worship, representing many diverse religious denominations. It is also the site of the Marytown Franciscan Friary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. Trinity International University is headquartered in nearby Deerfield.

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Excellent schooling for students of all ages is a prime interest within the communities of Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills. The area is well served by a number of public and private schools, all of which offer high quality educational programs. This is evidenced by the number of National Blue Ribbon Awards for excellence from the U.S. Department of Education and numerous other honors which schools in the area have earned.

High Schools serving the area include Libertyville, Mundelein, Stevenson and Carmel.

Parents of school-age children living in the LMV area can choose from private daycare centers for preschoolers, Montessori schools, the schools of eight public elementary school districts and three high school districts, plus parochial elementary and high school programs.

The nearby community College of Lake County and proximity to a number of well known colleges and universities adds to the spectrum of educational opportunities available here.

Higher Education Opportunities:

The College of Lake County (CLC) in neighboring Grayslake serves the LMV area and is meeting the challenge of higher education for the area through diverse programs geared to preparing individuals for employment or for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The College awards Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees in a broad range of majors from anthropology to technical communications. It offers university parallel sequences in Engineering and Engineering Technology, and provides certificate programs in 20 different career trades.

Students can choose to attend University of St. Marys on the Lake in Mundelein, Barat College, Lake Forest College and Trinity International University, all located nearby. LMV residents can also easily reach the great universities in both the Chicago metropolitan area and in Wisconsin, as well as countless smaller private colleges, graduate schools and specialty training centers. Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University, Northern Illinois University and Marquette University are among the top-notch universities within an hour's drive. In addition, a large number of institutions offer executive MBA programs for busy professionals.

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Surrounded by the beauties of nature, residents of Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills relish the extensive open space, forest preserve and park systems which offer year-round beauty and recreation activities. Excellent competitive sport programs, supervised by dedicated volunteers, athletic camps and training facilities bring opportunities to learn fundamentals and perfect skills to hundreds of young athletes in the area. Soccer, baseball and softball, football, hockey and gymnastics programs enjoy considerable support among local families.

The jewel of the area is the Lake County Forest Preserve System, which includes more than 19,000 acres of prime woodlands, wetlands and prairies. Much of this property winds along the Des Plaines River, stretching from the Wisconsin border in the north to the Lake County line on the South. It also includes rare oak savannas, marshes, wetland preservation sites and quality trails dotted throughout the county. The Forest Preserve has been very active in restoring property to its ecological splendor, and in opening plenty of open space for residents to explore the wonders of nature.

More than 230 miles of biking trails throughout the county offer plenty of open space for hiking and biking enthusiasts.

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Shoppers in the Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills area can browse the stores in a major regional mall, a great number of shopping plazas and convenience strip centers, and visit the friendly, hometown shops in traditional retail districts.

The myriad of fine retail complexes at Hawthorn Center, the large regional mall in Vernon Hills, attracts shoppers from the entire northeastern Illinois region. Hawthorn Center is a totally enclosed, two-level shopping mall, with cascading fountains, lush greenery and a host of interesting shopping. More than 160 stores join Marshall Field and Company, Carson Pirie Scott and Sears in providing almost one-stop shopping. In addition, such retail centers as Hawthorn Village Commons, Hawthorn Hills Fashion Square, Rivertree Court and Townline Commons offer a wide variety of shopping facilities. Large national stores such as Wal-Mart, Target Greatland and Computer Discount Warehouse also cater to the needs of local consumers.

Libertyville's primary commercial development, "MainStreet", occupies a good portion of the length of downtown Milwaukee Avenue. Red Top Plaza, Liberty Mill Plaza, Cambridge Plaza and Greentree Plaza offer restaurants, grocery stores and specialty shops and financial institutions. Automobile dealers representing most domestic and foreign makes are also located along Milwaukee Avenue.

Mundelein has several busy, strategically located commercial areas, both downtown at "Mainstreet" and at the village's southern boundary.

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Although the incorporated villages of Libertyville and Mundelein are historically older than the community of Vernon Hills, the entire LMV area shares an integral part in Lake County's rich past. Old mission records as early as 1650 confirm that French traders were already in the region conducting a lucrative fur business with the Indians. Tribal legends of the health-giving qualities of many springs to be found along the Des Plaines River attracted the French explorer Sieur De LaSalle to the beautiful groves lying west of the river.

Under federal treaties effective until late 1836, the Indian tribes possessed the Northwest Territory of which the LMV area was a part. However, as early as 1834, pioneers drawn by the good soil, wooded groves, friendly Indians and the abundant water supply, began migrating along the Indian trail that followed the Des Plaines River and Indian Creek north of the burgeoning Chicago.

An Englishman, George Vardin, was the first to build his log cabin in the oasis of trees soon to be called Vardin's Grove. Vardin remained only a year, but he left a new community that would later become Libertyville. Nearby, another group of settlers, mainly mechanics by trade, who serviced wagons in need of repair after a day's journey north of Chicago, formed a settlement in 1835 known as Mechanics Grove; later Mundelein. South of Vardin's Grove in the Vernon area, the Steele brothers settled and Albert B. Steele, son of Richard Steele, was the first white child born in Lake County.

Ease of travel was fundamental to the growth of the LMV communities, just as it is today. In 1863, a stage line from Chicago to Milwaukee began its regular run. Old Indian trails along the Des Plaines River and Indian Creek through Vernon Hills became major routes for migration. Discovery of large gravel beds along the river in Vernon and Libertyville Townships led to the construction of "all weather" gravel roads. The arrival of railroads linked the area with the nation. In 1880, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad (the Milwaukee Road) came to Libertyville, and in 1885 the North Shore Railroad traversed Mundelein and Libertyville. The railroads were a boon to early farmers, and soon the rich countryside poured its wealth of agricultural products into the LMV villages for shipping and trade.

With the names of early settlers gracing parks, streets, lakes, schools and public buildings, the instability of the village's’ earlier names stand out. In its history, Libertyville was called Independence Grove and then Burlington when the village became the county seat. Mechanics Grove (Mundelein) was renamed Holcomb in 1850, then Rockefeller in 1886, and in 1909 was called Area, acronym for the world's largest correspondence school, which settled on 600 acres of woods surrounding a lake. With the school's bankruptcy, the Catholic Archdiocese purchased the land. It was here the landmark University of St. Mary of the Lake was built under the supervision of George Cardinal Mundelein. In 1926 when the Eucharistic Congress was held at the seminary, Cardinal Mundelein hosted a half-million visitors. In his honor, the village was renamed Mundelein.

In 1914, Samuel Insull, one-time secretary to Thomas Edison and later first chairman of Commonwealth Edison Co., built a 30-room country estate in what is now Vernon Hills. Still intact, the estate is now Cuneo Museum and Gardens and is now open to the public.

Keeping the rich history safe for future generations are the Libertyville Historical Society, the Mundelein Historical Society, and the Fort Hill Historical Society. The former is housed in the Ansel B. Cook Home, which stands on the site of George Vardin's original homestead. The Lake County Museum, based in the Lakewood Forest Preserve west of Mundelein, houses a large collection of historical memorabilia, including the priceless Curt Teich post card collection.

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