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Communities of McHenry County


Algonquin is a rapidly growing community and easily accessible from major highways. As a Fox River Valley community, Algonquin offers many recreational opportunities along the river. The downtown district maintains an 1890’s Victorian atmosphere with brick sidewalks, period street lighting and specialty shops, restaurants and historical buildings. Algonquin visitors enjoy boating, sailing, and hiking as well as the many seasonal events such as the annual Founders’ Days Festival, Harvest Days and Holly Days in the Old Downtown District. The Randall Road corridor on the west has shopping of all kinds as well as many restaurants for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner. Algonquin seeks to maintain its small-town charm while serving the needs of a modern, progressive municipality. The Algonquin Commons, a 420,000-square-foot lifestyle shopping center, features many major retail stores and several sit-down restaurants.

Algonquin is home to many parks offering a variety of facilities and activities. Also contained in the village are two golf courses, several hundred acres of open space and a regional bike trail linking Wisconsin to the Chicago Metropolitan area.

Barrington Hills
The Village of Barrington Hills is located in the southeast corner of McHenry County straddling Kane, Lake and Cook Counties. Barrington Hills was incorporated in 1957 and remains a quiet, rural community despite being only 38 miles from Chicago’s Loop. A plethora of wildlife still makes Barrington Hills their home, living among the nearly 4,000 residents.


Barrington Hills is a great place to raise a family. Housing is predominantly made up of single-family homes on five-acres lots. Three different park districts serve the Village and children attend schools in Unit School District #220 and Unit School District #300, or the parochial school that serves the area. Barrington Hills has its own police department, and is covered by fire departments from surrounding communities. A Village Hall has existed since 1974 at the intersection of State Routes 62 and 59, within which is located the Police Dispatch Center and administrative offices.

Bull Valley
Bull Valley is located just east of Woodstock.
It is a tiny residential community with only 726 residents counted in the 2000 census. The Bull Valley community is dedicated to preserving open space in the area, and is working on keeping the community’s environment intact. Residents in Bull Valley enjoy close proximity to shopping, dining and recreational activities in neighboring communities.

Residents are drawn to the Village of Cary for its beautiful neighborhoods, excellent schools, quality open space and major employers. It offers a hometown atmosphere for raising families and a growing variety of businesses and new shopping options.


The natural beauty of Cary’s parks, prairies and riverfront provide endless recreational opportunities. The Cary Park District maintains over 800 acres of parkland. The village is noted for having some of the most beautiful golf courses in the state, with three local courses. The Fox River is a major attraction for water sports.

With Metra access to downtown and Route 14 access to neighboring communities, Cary is an excellent location for individuals and businesses. The community offers a host of activities for both, including the Community Showcase business expo, Merry Car Holiday Parade & Celebration, Cary Days, Cruisin’ Cary classic car show and much more.

Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake with its diverse mix of services and vibrant community atmosphere, is an outstanding place to live or operate a business. Crystal Lake offers a positive financial climate, with the lowest tax rate in the county for city and fire services. No municipal tax, no local income tax and no general business licenses are required.

Crystal Lake is home to McHenry County College and is easily accessible by major highways and Metra.


The Crystal Lake Park District operates 1,200 acres of parks, the 238-acre lake, golf learning center and an outdoor/indoor tennis club. Visitors are attracted to Crystal Lake’s Lakeside Festival and Gala Days beginning the last weekend in June, featuring a Taste of Crystal Lake, the America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta, Parade, fireworks and other lakefront activities. In late July early August, Crystal Lake hosts the Continental Amateur Baseball Association World Series for 15-Year-old players.


Fox Lake
Fox Lake is a quaint, lakeside community. People who were formerly drawn to the village on a seasonal basis for summer getaways have found its allure irresistible and today more than 10,500 permanently live in Fox Lake. Large, stately homes look over the lake, and new developments have opened up on the outskirts of town. Although the village is primarily residential, its historical downtown bustles with small, local businesses, and the marine and boating industry thrives along the lakeshore.

Six parks offer endless recreational opportunities to residents and visitors alike. The largest of these, Lakefront Veterans Parks, has a small fishing pond, picnic pavilions, and playground equipment. Millennium Park is located downtown and the summer concert series, Santa’s Christmas House, Celebrate Fox Lake Craft Show, and Mayor’s Challenge 5K run are held there each year.

Fox River Grove
Fox River Grove is strategically located near the intersection of Routes 22 and 14, welcoming travelers from Cook and Lake Counties into McHenry County. A host of specialty shops, restaurants, and medical and professional services of every kind support this well-rounded community.

Visitors and residents of Fox River Grove enjoy a variety of activities along the Fox River, including fishing, boating, snowmobiling, biking and walking. The village is home to an Olympic regulation ski jump, riverfront parks and soccer and baseball fields run by an active recreational council.

main street

In 2006, Harvard celebrated its 150th Anniversary, and the convergence of rural, industrial and residential areas continue to make Harvard a unique place that supports diverse economic and recreational interests. Agriculture and livestock thrive on the rich farmland, and businesses big and small take advantage of Harvard’s close proximity to Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee.

Despite easy access to larger cities, Harvard remains a small, civic- minded community. The resourcefulness and town spirit of its people made Harvard the first town in the county to build a hospital, bank and the first to erect its own public library. It is this kind of heartfelt volunteerism and commitment that makes Harvard a wonderful place to live.

Throughout the first weekend in June, residents of Harvard invite visitors to join them in the annual Milk Days celebration. This festival, which includes a beauty pageant, talent show, tractor pulls, and several parades, is Harvard’s way of honoring the important contributions of the agricultural community and sharing its hometown pride with others.

Hebron is a small village of about 1,000 people. Its history can be traced back 125 years, and many of the residents in the area live in historic homes. A few new developments have sprung up outside of town and contributed to the community’s growth I the last several years.

Although it is small, Hebron is home to several large industries including Vaughan and Bushnell, which has been supplying Sears with tools for over 100 years. Other businesses include, Keystone Manufacturing, and Filtertech, an international business and the largest employer in Hebron. These and other businesses are located in the new industrial park located north of town.

Over the past several years, the village park committee has worked to develop a park, which just opened last year and invites residents to gather for picnics or meet for a casual stroll.


The Friendly Village with Country Charm was founded by Thomas Stillwell Huntley, a farmer and entrepreneur in 1851. Today, Huntley is one of the most desirable communities in which to live in the Stat of Illinois. The Village’s population has increased from 5,730 in 2000 to almost 20,000 today, with a projected population of 45,000 by the year 2030. This growth has been managed and through quality planning principles and high design standards. The commercial development community has also discovered the many benefits of a Huntley location. Plans are underway that will bring a Home Depot to the Route 47 commercial corridor in late 2007, a Wal-Mart in late 2008, in addition to another 630,000 square feet of retail space. While welcoming new development, Huntley has also maintained its country charm, which is represented in landmarks such as the public square and gazebo, the historic downtown area, and the Huntley Dairy Mart, a 1950s-style diner.

The Village of Huntley opened the new Municipal Complex in October 2006 which houses government operations and will serve as a resource providing state-of-the-art information, technology, conference meeting space, and equipment along with a police facility that will give officers the support they need to serve and protect the community. Most importantly, it makes available the resources to continue to provide effective and quality customer services. The new Municipal Complex links a proud past to an exciting future to meet the challenges that may come along.

Island Lake
The Village of Island Lake is a community of friendly people, a small town that strives to keep the flavor of a rural village. It was originally developed as a resort town. The gates of the old resort are long gone, but the memory of the town’s beginnings lives on in the three markers that commemorate them. No longer a place where people enjoy only a brief holiday outside the city, Island Lake is now a thriving year-round community with a 78-acre lake that offers residents year-round recreation at village parks and beaches including fishing, boating, swimming, and ice skating.

Converse Park on the east side of town off of Route 176 offers sledding and ice skating in the winter and baseball, soccer and volleyball in the spring and summer. Veterans Memorial Park on the west side of town off Route 176 on the lake includes a beach house and a monument memorial display to remember veterans that includes  a COBRA helicopter. Eastway Park, just north on Route 176, has a boat launch and is a perfect place for picnicking or strolling along the lake. Briar Beach, South Shore Beach, Park Drive Beach and Dorothy Court Beach are also popular lakeside recreational sites offering visitors a bit of sun and sand.

Johnsburg is a picturesque community located along the Fox River at the gateway to Northern Illinois’ acclaimed Chain of Lakes recreational area. The village retains much of its original character and charm due to careful planning. Today, nearly 6,000 residents are proud to call Johnsburg home. Johnsburg has a superior elementary and high school system. Community parks and playgrounds are well used by residents. Modern medical and emergency services are within comforting reach. Johnsburg is serviced by one of the highest rated fire protection district in the State of Illinois.

The community offers attractive neighborhoods, diverse housing opportunities and a strong sense of community to potential new residents. Commercial opportunities abound along Johnsburg’s Route 31 corridor, which extends for 1.3 miles and encompasses over 700 acres of commercial and light industrial zoning along the village’s western boundary.

Lake in the Hills
Lake in the Hills began as a small vacation community built around creeks and lakes.  Incorporated in 1952, Lake in the Hills became an area that was desirable for families to be raised and evolved into a community where residents stayed year-round. The community is renowned for its amazing amount of recreational opportunities, with Woods Creek Lake being the center of it all, offering all types of water sports as well as hiking and picnicking along the shoreline. The Lake in the Hills Park and Recreation Department oversees 28 parks that are havens for outdoor sports and relaxation.

lifetime fitness

As more people are attracted to Lake in the Hills for its recreational amenities, they are finding it is a great place to live all year-round. Its quiet, country-like setting makes it a prime spot for families to build a new home or businesses to relocate. Its proximity to Chicago, Interstate 90 and O’Hare International Airport makes Lake in the Hills a desirable place to live.  With the addition of major retail stores, specialty shops, and quality restaurants, Lake in the Hills has also become a great place to visit. As it continues to grow, the community and its leaders make sure to keep intact its history, charm and natural beauty.

The Village of Lakemoor is located in eastern McHenry County and western Lake County primarily along Route 120 and Route 12. Its corporate boundaries extend to Chapel Hill Road on the west, Bay Road on the north, south of South Drive and beyond Route 12 to the east. Lakemoor is located in the center of activity between Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford, which makes it the perfect hub location for businesses and residents alike. The village is a growing community. According to the 2004 Census, the population of the village was 4,767 which is estimated to be 5,000 people today.

The Lakemoor Economic Development Committee (LEDC) is committed to the development of the Lakemoor community. It strives to foster good relationships between residential, commercial and industrial communities in and around Lakemoor, and works to recruit new business investments while encouraging the retention and expansion of the existing businesses.

Several bars and restaurants provide gathering places in the village, and nearby companies offer employment. Despite its continued growth, Lakemoor remains a friendly and quite residential community. Its homes are gathered in the quaint older portion of the village and in the scenic developments of Bay Oaks Estates. Stilling Woods, Rockwell Place and Rockwell Courts, Savannah Development, Bay View Farms, Lakemoor Farms and the Pines of Lakemoor and offer a wide range of housing accommodations, types and prices. The village is also included in six different school districts, which offer a variety of educational opportunities for residents.


The Village of Lakewood shares boundaries with Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Huntley, and Woodstock. As suburban Chicagoland continues to expand to the northwest, Lakewood has become an even more important haven for its scenic beauty, bordered on the north by the shores of Crystal Lake and on the west by the Kishwaukee River. The secluded village has remained a bedroom community, which was the intention of the village’s first leaders who desired a friendly, neighborhood type atmosphere unlike the congestion of the city.
There are over 3,000 residents residing in Lakewood, sharing six lakes, two golf courses, nature areas, beaches, and walking/biking paths.

Marengo was one of the first settlements in the area and was incorporated on August 14, 1883. From the start it was distinguished from other towns because of the stone quarry that stood at the edge of town. This quarry furnished the stone for the early schoolhouses, churches and other buildings.

Today, much of Marengo’s industry is still in construction and includes Nissan Forklift Corporation N.A., Paveloc Industries, Inc. and Holz Construction Company. Other area businesses include Harmony Computer, Inc., and Miceli Drapery Company. The Home Business Expo, sponsored by the Marengo-Union Chamber of Commerce, highlights these and other businesses and is held in February.

Business may be booming in Marengo, but local residents still have time to enjoy the recreational and cultural opportunities offered by Calvin Spencer Park and the Marengo Public Library

McHenry is an attractive and growing community that offers a full range of entertainment and recreational opportunities, as well as fine shops, stores and restaurants. Residents enjoy challenging public and private golf courses and the lovely riverfront. Year-round outdoor recreation and water sports are available.

Born out of an Illinois prairie frontier, this community first took shape as hunting and fishing grounds of the Potawatomie Indians. Both the county and the city were named after Major William McHenry who served in the War of 1812 and the Blackhawk War. Today, with a population above 21,500, McHenry’s future is still one of growth.

golf course

McHenry is home to Fiesta Days in July, a McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce event, as well as the Country Meadows Craft Show in September. Area events include the Trail of History in October at Glacial Park, Storytelling Festival in Spring Grove, and the Downtown McHenry Christmas Walk Along the Fox. Play at Fort McHenry Playground, ride our bike path, roller skate at Just for Fun on 31 Roller Rink or the skateboard park. Enjoy an outdoor movie at the historic drive-in, or a concert at the city gazebo. Watch our Riverwalk develop as our community turns into a premier county destination.

McHenry is a wonderful place to locate your family or business.

Oakwood Hills
Oakwood Hills is a small, residential village. Formerly owned by Arthur Anderson, it was purchased by Max Green and developed as a resort area. The village was incorporated in 1959 and is home to over 2,000 people according to the 2000 census. Some historic homes stand near the center of the village, but most are gathered in the residential communities of Chalet and Fawn Ridge, Which offers estate homes.

Village residents and visitors enjoy the beauty and serenity of Silver Lake and Oakwood Hills Park. The 43-acre park maintains a baseball diamond, volleyball courts and nature trails. It is a popular summer gathering place where picnics are commonly held at one of the two pavilions, and a Halloween Party is hosted there ever October. The recreational appeal of the village was further enhanced with the opening of the 18-hole Chalet Golf Course in 1992.

Prairie Grove
Nestled between McHenry and Crystal Lake, Prairie Grove is a rural bedroom community with a modest commercial business base. The 2000 census counted 960 residents, but today there are almost 700 homes within the village and an estimated 1,800 residents.

Prairie Grove’s vision is to maintain and enhance its rural character while accommodating sound growth and development. Most of the homes in the area may be better described as estates, priced at $500,000 and up. There are a handful of established estate neighborhoods in the village and several horse farms that grace the area.  Timberhill, Heritage Hills and The Preserves are lovely upscale single-family estate neighborhoods that are in various stages of development. Cobblestone Woods offers luxury townhomes with a trail system winding through its surrounding woods. Oak Grove is a charming single-family home neighborhood with a bit more modestly priced real estate for today’s move-up buyer.

Most of the primary and secondary age children attend Prairie Grove District 46 schools; Crystal Lake’s District 47 serves the rest. All high school students in the community attend District 155’s Prairie Ridge High School.

The village has realized some exciting successes in the last year including the adoption of a new comprehensive plan, the expansion of its corporate limits to almost six square miles and the hiring of its first village administrator to better serve the growing number of residents in Prairie Grove—and that number may grow exponentially as there is a master development plan encompassing over 1,000 acres which is in the preliminary platting stages. This mixed-use conservation-minded plan calls for 1,405 homes, 67% of which back up to open space, a town center, commercial and retail office development within its business corridor, and extensive trail system and multiple park areas.

For more information about the Village of Prairie Grove, please visit us at

Richmond, the Village of Yesteryear, was first settled in 1837 by William A. McConnell who staked his claim for land just west of the present village on what is now Broadway Street. He spent his first night under an oak tree that still stands today.


On September 2, 1872 the Village of Richmond was incorporated and Dr. Fillmore Bennett was elected its first President. Dr. Bennett was an author of many poems and religious hymns, the most famous being, “The Sweet Bye and Bye.”

During the late 1960’s and 1970’s new entrepreneurs arrived and began recycling the old buildings in the downtown area for new uses. Today you can discover treasures in our antique stores and shop for unique gifts, home décor and more in our specialty shops all centrally located in the downtown business area.

Annual festivals include Round Up Days in August, and Christmas of Yesteryear on Thanksgiving Weekend. Classic Car Cruise Nights are held every Friday in June, July and August. Plan a relaxed afternoon or stay the night in one of the Village’s lodgings that include two hotel/motels and a Bed and Breakfast in a completely restored Victorian home built in 1893.

Spring Grove
Situated within the beautiful surroundings of Northern Illinois you will find the Village of Spring Grove. Spring Grove was established in the late 1830s as an agricultural community. In fact, the world’s first silo was invented in Spring Grove in August of 1873 by Fred Hatch. Constructed on his small farm, the silo was a square vertical storage box made of wood. Prior to his invention, farmers stored corn in long trenches but dampness would often cause considerable spoilage. In 1984 the American Society of Agricultural Engineers recognized Fred Hatch’s invention by dedicating a replica of his silo at Lyle Thomas Park in Spring Grove.

In 1902, Spring Grove incorporated with a population of 325. Today, Spring Grove is one of the fastest growing municipalities in McHenry County. A special census in 2004 counted 4,978 residents. Careful planning has rewarded the Village with a high quality selection of housing along with increased commercial and light industrial development.

As Spring Grove’s agricultural landscape slowly evolves into a residential one, the village strives to keep the values and traditions of a small town alive through community events like the annual Fourth of July Celebration and the Illinois Storytelling Festival. The annual Fourth of July Celebration starts with a parade down Main Street and continues with games, food and fun at Horse Fair Park, ending with a spectacular fireworks display in the evening. The Illinois Storytelling Festival, one of the largest and most respected storytelling events in America, is also held in Spring Grove each year. Started in 1983, the nationally-known event is held under large big-top tents. Although the festival draws a large audience from across the country, it still maintains that small town feeling of a community get together. Spring Grove is also home to the world’s largest corn maze located in Richardson’s Farm. People from all over the Chicago area come to Richardson’s Corn Maze to experience the 10 miles of trails spread over 25 acres.

Recreational activities in and around Spring Grove include biking and hiking paths, camping, boating, fishing, horseback riding, snowmobiling and canoeing. These activities can be found at Spring Grove Park, Horse Fair Park, nearby Chain O’ Lakes State ark and Glacial Park. The Nippersink Creek Canoe Trail, one of the most beautiful canoe trails in Northern Illinois, starts in Glacial Park and winds its way through Spring Grove, meandering around cut bank and sandbars and through rolling farmlands.

The Village of Spring Grove, a progressive and growing community, maintains a small town feeling of family and neighbors and will continue to welcome new residents and visitors for years to come.

The Village of Union is a peaceful, country town in the southwest corner of McHenry County.  State Highway 20 makes its way just west to town, connecting it to the Chicago suburbs to the east as well as Interstate 90 and O’Hare International Airport, making it an ideal location for development.

Union is known primarily for its Illinois Railway Museum, which is America’s largest railway museum. Donley’s Wild West Museum makes its home in the Village of Union as well. A trip to Union is a must for history buffs, whether they live in the area or are just visiting.

sail boats

Wonder Lake
Wonder Lake is a serene community made up of 21 subdivisions that surround a “private” lake known as Wonder Lake. It is 830 acres of recreational water and is the proud home of the nationally recognized Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team. The Wonder Lake Chamber of Commerce welcomes all new residents and new2 businesses. Networking with others helps all grow. The community supports many clubs and organizations, the oldest being the Yacht Club which holds sailboat races every Sunday in the summer. Wonder Lake also has a Sportsman’s Club and Lions Club, and all of the Wonder Lake residents are welcome to join in the fun. Harrison Elementary School has a very active PTO, which makes Wonder Lake an ideal place to live. It is only minutes away from McHenry and Woodstock as well as Hwy. 14, Rte. 120 and Rte. 31.


Woodstock is the county seat of McHenry County. It is home to county government, state and federal offices and other regional resources. The community’s approach to growing its own labor force is illustrated by its commitment to creating partnerships between business and education.

No visit to Woodstock is complete without a stop on the historic Woodstock Square. With the fully restored Woodstock Opera House, fine restaurants, and specialty stores, the Square is the perfect place to shop, meet friends or entertain.

Woodstock boasts annual events such as the Fair Diddley craft show, the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum, Fair in the Square, Harvest Fest, Mozart Festival and the Victorian Christmas events.

Feel free to visit us on the web at:, for up-to-date information.

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