Fox Lake was first settled in 1850, and incorporated as a Village in 1907. Growth of the community and population was slow, as there was no real industry, but every summer, Fox Lake became, at least temporarily, home to thousands of people from Chicago seeking a quiet retreat from the noise and heat of the city. By the turn of the century, more than 2,000 rental cottages and 35 hotels had sprung up in and around Fox Lake to accommodate these Visitors.
Following the end of World War II, the village's permanent population began to grow as Fox Lake started to evolve into a year-round community. Some of the summer cottages were torn down to make room for single-family housing developments, retailers set up shop, and more schools were built to accommodate family residents.
The Mineola Hotel was built in 1884 when several members of the Chicago Board of Trade decided they needed a clubhouse for their weekend or vacation jaunts to the Chain O'Lakes region. Building materials were brought to the site across Fox Lake by boat and the clubhouse was constructed just a few steps from the lakeshore. By 1903, it had been expanded and renovated for public use as a magnificent 100-room hotel for the throngs of summer visitors the village hosted. The Howards Mineola Hotel was the place to stay for the "rich and famous," and even infamous - it is rumored that in the 1930's, Al Capone and his "entourage" were frequent guests. Chicago's most elite and monied families lounged on the hotel's 240-foot-long porch; many of these high-rollers also took to the Mineola's not-too discreet gaming and gambling activities.
Architecturally, in its heyday the Mineola was compared to Nassau's famed Victoria Hotel and likened to the Grand Hotel of Macinac Island. The Mineola was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Time and neglect, however, had taken its toll over the years. But in 1981, a new roof was the first step in renovation that has been ongoing ever since. New veranda flooring, columns and railings, fresh paint, and other improvements are restoring the Mineola Hotel to her former grandeur. The Mineola is open year 'round offering lunch, dinner and banquet hall facilities.
Other fine hotels also graced the community and hosted summer visitors. Many still stand today, converted into privately owned residences. One notable property is the former M. Krasny Hotel on Fox Lake. At the turn of the century, the Krasny Hotel welcomed guests with "bed room arrangements appealing to a body tired from the day's sports, and a table that will satisfy the cravings of a hunger that naturally follows pleasures in the open air" for $1.50 a day! The elegant, country hotel is now a private home.
Other buildings constructed a half-century or more can also seen throughout the community, providing a visual and architectural history of the community.
[Top of Page]
The residences of Fox Lake reflect its historical past, its status as a lakefront
resort area, and growth as a year 'round residential community in a handsome
range of architectural styles. Dotting the residential landscape are Cape Cods,
log cabins, Victorians, contemporary ranches, beach homes and southern plantation-like
mansions. New and old neighborhoods alike are well-maintained and uncrowded
to provide residents a quiet, unhurried lifestyle.
Families locating to Fox Lake will find outstanding value for their home-buying dollar. In fact, single-family home prices here are comparable to those of town homes or condos in suburban communities doser to Chicago. Coupled with all the recreational amenities in and around Fox Lake and the Chain O' Lakes region, residents like owning a home in Fox Lake to "being on vacation 365 days a year!"
[Top of Page]
The village of Fox Lake is governed by an elected mayor and board of six trustees. Municipal entities serving the community and its residents include the Village Clerk, Sewer & Water and Building Department and Code Enforcement. The Village offices- housing the mayor's office and administrative staff- are located at 301 S. Route 59.
Residents are served by well-trained, well-equipped police and fire departments. The Chief of Police and 14 full-time officers ensure the safety and security of the Village. Fire protection is provided by a Fire Chief, eight full-time firefighters, 26 paramedics, 28 EMT's, and 68 volunteer firemen.
[Top of Page]
All together, with nearly 6,500 acres of water and 488 miles of shoreline, Fox Lake, known as the "Capital of the Chain O'Lakes," attracts thousands of visitors every year. The village stands in the heart of the Chain O'Lakes recreational area and is a mecca for outdoor activities year 'round.
The Chain O'Lakes area was inhabited by central Algonquin tribes when Europeans first arrived here in the mid-1600's. Joliet and Marquette passed through what is now Chain O'Lakes State Park in 1673 as they ventured along the Fox River during their Illinois explorations.
Chain O'Lakes became a state park in 1945 when the state of Illinois made an initial purchase of 840 acres. Additional acquisitions that expanded the park's acreage included that of the Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and purchase of the Stevens family farm in 1969.
Hunters and fishermen participate in their seasonal sports throughout the year. In the fall, people from near and far return to Fox Lake and the Chain O'Lakes region for the opportunity to take in the breathtaking, dazzling array of autumn colors - and enjoy one more day or weekend of outdoor fun before the snow begins to fall. And even after winter has settled in, there's still plenty to do in Fox Lake and the Chain O'Lakes: sledding, ice skating, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, hayrides, ice fishing (including ice fishing derbies throughout the area),and downhill skiing at nearby Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. The Fox Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry sponsors such winter festivities as Santa Breakfast, business-decorating contest, and the annual tree-lighting in Lakeland Plaza. Korpan's holds its annual Christmas Parade and Santa Lundh, and the Fox Lake Theater hosts a holiday Christmas movie for children.
The Hastings Lake YMCA in Ingleside serves the residents of Fox Lake as well as surrounding communities The Y has something for everyone, all year 'round: a high-tech fitness center with 27 pieces of exercise equipment; indoor, six-lane lap pool for classes, open swim and family nights; sauna; the Alpine Tower that combines rock climbing and high ropes adventure; equestrian and outdoor education programs; day camp and resident camp with activities such as horsemanship, water skiing, crafts, high adventure and more; child care; and youth and adult sports (T-ball, soccer, floor hockey, basket ball, flag football, sand volleyball). Contact Hastings Lake YMCA at (847) 356-4006 for its current program schedule.
YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside has served youth and adults since 1921. A branch of the Chicago Metro YMCA, Camp Duncan is committed to development of healthy mind, body and spirit and developing each person to his or her fullest potential.
The Adventure program is one of Camp Duncan's most rewarding assets. Corporate groups, schools and civic and church organizations participate in courses - including Tennis, High Ropes and The Tower - that develop group strengths, individual self-esteem and confidence through problem-solving activities. Camp Duncan also has group meeting facilities, year 'round lodging in winterized cabins, traditional camping, sports and outdoor activities. The Malcolm Lodge Dining Hall provides food service from informal snacks to full course meals, for groups up to 420. Call (847) 546-8086
[Top of Page]
Boaters, as well as vacationers seeking the ideal retreat form the hectic pace of every day life, come to enjoy the Chain O'Lakes water wonderland of 64,000 acres and 1,000 miles of shoreline every spring and summer. Hundreds of boat owners dock their "vessels" - from canoes to sailboats to motorboats - at local waterfront facilities and store them here in the off-season. Families find all kinds of things to do in Fox Lake and in the Chain O'Lakes swimming, boating, water skiing, sightseeing, shopping.... or just relaxing with a good book along a sunny, sandy shoreline. The annual Fire Department Festival, held each July, brings residents and visitors alike together for a day of fun and community spirit, with carnival rides, games for children, a corn roast, and other foods and beverages. One of the biggest attractions each year is the friendly team water fight/tournament between local businesses.
From family outings to company functions, water sports means fun in the sun for everyone! Fox Lake businesses such as Jet Funn Water Sports serve residents and visitors alike with parasailing and hourly, half-day and all-day rentals of power boats, pontoon boats, Sea Doo waverunners and more. They are also happy to point visitors to other area recreational amenities, shopping, lodging and restaurants.
If you're looking for a truly unique outdoor adventure,
just head south of Fox Lake to the Volo Bog State Natural Area, maintained by
the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This fascinating nat ural area
contains the only "quaking" bog in Illinois to have an open water
center. Dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1970 and registered as a
National Natural Landmark in 1973, the 850-acre preserve includes marshes, prairie
restoration areas, woodlands and two smaller bogs.
Volo Bog was first documented in 1921 by WG. Waterman of Northwestern Illinois
University. It was originally named Sayer's Bog after the land's owner, dairy
farmer George Sayer. The Visitor's Center at Volo Bog is actually a renovated
dairy barn built in the early 1900's. The rustic facility provides visitors
with exhibits and displays about Volo Bog and bogs in general. The building
also houses classrooms, a natural history reference library, and gift shop.
The preserve staff offers a number of programs through out the year: tours,
lectures, workshops and special activities for all ages. Call (815) 344-1294
for information about hours and programs.
Volo is the world-famous Volo Antique Malls & Auto Museum, with over 100,000 square feet - two entire city blocks - of antique furniture, clothing and collectibles, more than 200 antique and collector automobiles, plus retail shops, restaurants and services. Merchants in the General Store Galleries offer unique boutiques, new antiques, and new country home furnishings (including Pennsylvania House Galleries).
The three auto museums feature vintage cars on display, as well as cars for sale - 30 to 50 new cars each month. The Automobile Gift Shop offers books, clothing and gifts from the '50's and '60's; Peggy Sue's Deli & Cafe serves food right out out of the fabulous '50's; and the Old Volo Theater shows free old-time movies every week end. Call (815) 385-3644 (auto museum) or (815) 344-6062 (antique mall) for more information and hours.
Every Summer, Miller's Dog 'n Suds Drive-In, in Fox Lake features "Saturday Nite Cruise" with classic, custom, muscle and antique cars. Hop and bop with the whole family for a fun-filled '50's night of rock 'n roll, car hops, great food and mugs of creamy root beer!
There's always Something to do or see in the Fox Lake And
Chain O' Lakes
Apple picking Antiques Bike paths Bingo Boating & canoeing Camping Chain O'Lakes State Park Cross country skiing Cuneo Museum Drive-up by boat to McDonalds Explore ancient Egypt at the Gold Pyramid Fish hatchery at Spring Grove Fishing Fox Lake Theater Golf & Miniature Golf Great America Gurnee Mills factory outlet mall Hiking/walking trails Horseback Riding Illinois Beach State Park Jet skiing Kenosha Dog Races Lake County Museum Mineola Hotel Nature preserves Off-track betting Pumpkin patches Quiet relaxation Roller skating Shopping Tempel Lipizan Stallions Unique things to see and do! Volo Bog Volo Antique Malls & Auto Museum Water skiing Wilmont Mountain X-citing adventures around every corner! Youth sports leagues Zion Powerhouse
[Top of Page]
Gavin School District 37 is made up of three schools: North School, for grade levels prekindergarten through first; Central, for grades 2-5; and South, for grades G-8. The Gavin North School of Early Learning offers the best in developmentally appropriate practices in a warm and nurturing environment designed especially for the young student.
Gavin Central has an enrollment of approximately 500 students. The school's handsome new building complements the progressive programs offered by the Gavin School District, including:
- Regular Education Initiative team teaching model - Thematic teaching units - Computer lab and classroom modules - Multiage classrooms - Student Services Team - Peer Helpers program - 4th & 5th grade band, D.A.RE., and Red Ribbon Week activities
Gavin South offers a comprehensive curriculum aligned with state goals and the best teaching practices for all students. The School's educational atmosphere is friendly, respectful and nurturing.
Fox Lake Grade School District 114 includes Glen School (prekindergarten), Forest School (grades K-1), Forest/Lotus School (grades 2-3) and Stanton School (grades 4-8). "A Great Place to Learn", embodies the sentiment of District 114's staff, administration and Board of Education for creating an exciting learning environment for the district's nearly 900 students. The schools' regular curriculum puts a strong focus on basic skills, with programs also offered in gifted and special education, computer education, and fine arts
In addition to student council, extra-curricular programs (offered at Stanton) may include student council, band and chorus, drama, boys' and girls' basketball and track, girls' volleyball, gymnastics, arts and crafts. A summer school program in reading and math, as well as computer education, has also been offered.
Big Hollow School District 38 is the oldest existing School district in Lake County. It has an enrollment of more than 525 students and serves pupils in grades K-8. Students participate in a full academic program that includes reading, phonics, math, language arts, composition, science, social studies, physical education, art, music and computer learning.
Extracurricular programs include volleyball, track, wrestling, boys and girls
basketball, band, student council and cheerleading. Special needs programs include
speech, remedial instruction, counseling and contractual services provided by
the SEDOL (Special Education District of Lake County) Cooperative.
Grant Community High School District 124 was established in 1930. The school serves families in the communities of Fox Lake and Ingleside in Grant Township, and sections of Antioch, Lake a and McHenry townships. It is a member of the Accreditation Association.
Enrollment is just under 1,000 students and continues to increase annually. The District employs more than 100 certified and non certified staff. Teachers have an average of almost 20 years experience, well above state . and even county averages. Students get individualized help and instruction in class sizes of less than 22 students. Average ACT scores for Grant Community High School students is 20.7, equivalent to the state average. Grant's Flag Corp won the 1997 state sponsorship
District 124 provides students a comprehensive curriculum including English, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign language, business, fine arts, home economics, physical education, industrial technology and vocational education. Courses often range from introduction, to the advanced placement level meeting the academic needs of all students. Students also have the option of participating in a wide range of extra curricular activities: sports, music, art, special interests, and academics.
St. Bede's Catholic School was opened in 1958 when a need was seen for alternate education in the "Heart of the Chain O'Lakes." St. Bede School, immersed in a Christian atmosphere, provides a strong academic curriculum with an emphasis on basic Christian moral values. The School sense students in grades K-8 residing in the Gavin, Fox Lake, Big Hollow and surrounding School communities. In 1998 St. Bede will begin offering pre-School classes.
The College of Lake County at Grayslake offers it's students a variety of educational options. Some attend the community college to earn two-year A.A.S. degrees or certificate programs in any of a number of career fields. Other students can earn credits which can be transferred to four-year institutions. Students of all ages may opt to take courses to develop or improve job skills, learn new skills, and/or pursue special interests.
Thirty-three percent of area high school graduates attend McHenry, County College in Crystal Lake, just a short drive from Fox Lake. The college has grown tremendously in both student population and physical size in the past decade or so. Student enrollment totals nearly 10,000; three buildings have been added to its original campus, including the just-opened, state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center
McHenry County College's electronics program is one of only six nationwide that conforms to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards in training people to maintain air control equipment. A number of other two-year programs are offered in several disciplines; students can obtain two-year associate degrees or transfer earned credits to four-year colleges and universities.
Lake District Library (at 255 E. Grand Ave.) has holdings of more than 75,000 items including books, magazines, CD's, books on tape and videos. The library, serves 15,000 area residents and is a member of the North Suburban Library, System, providing access to interlibrary loan materials from over 500 libraries in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry, counties.
The library's Youth Services Department offers regular story times for three-to-five year-olds and special program throughout the year, including Summer Reading Programs for school age readers.
The Adult Book Discussion Group meets regularly on the third Tuesday of each month (at 7:00 p.m.) for informal discussion of a variety of books, from current bestsellers to literature classics. A full slate of adult programs - slide presentations, historical lectures, travel discussions, etc. are also presented throughout the year.
The Friends of the Library help support Library, programs and organize two fund-raising used book sales annually. The Friends meet monthly on the fourth Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
"Footnotes," the Fox Lake District Library's newsletter, carries news of interest to patrons and a complete calendar of events and programs.
[Top of Page]
Clubs and organizations in Fox Lake offer members as well as the community at large, a wealth of opportunities to volunteer ... pursue hobbies and interests.... introduce children to the fun of Scouting and Camp Fire activities.... discover the wonders of nature.... Learn how to sail, waterski, operate a snowmobile, plant gardens.... take part in community projects.... participate in organized sports.... get involved in local and national politics.... and more!
Camp Fire Boys and Girls is a coed youth organization serving children ages 5-18 with on-going programs for learning new skills, developing self-esteem, meeting new friends and having fun! Camp Fire also offers a variety of programs, cultural programs, community service projects and special events. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers, Brownies and Girl Scouts provide on-going dub, sports and outdoor activities for children from elementary to high school age.
Korpan's Sno-Kommanders Klub is a family-oriented organization promoting snowmobiling safely and sport. Members also help maintain the area's 250-mile trail system. Special winter events include Chili Dumps, Christmas Party, dub trips and safety education classes. Regular meetings held second Monday of the month, August-May at Korpan's Landing.
Lakeland Cardinal Football for boys, North American Youth Basketball for girls and boys, and other local sports organizations offer programs for youth of elementary, junior high and high school age. The emphasis is on fun, friendly competition as well as development of skills and physical fitness.
Choices and the Fox Lake Youth Club provide and promote youth-oriented activities and special events throughout the year. The Grant Township Area Athletic Association (GTAAA) sponsors Little League for boys and girls age 5 to 15. Other youth sports organizations includes Iceless Hockey, Lakeland Cardinal Football and the Lakeland Predators Wrestling Club. Tumbleweeds offers power tumbling to boys and girls, from as young as 18 months to 18 years of age.
|Camp Fire Boys and Girls||587-6169|
|Cub Scouts Boy Scouts||Dan Miller 587-0693|
|Girl Scouts||Barbara Barndt 587-4258|
|Fox Lake Rotary||Kim Schnoor 973-0700|
|American Legion Post 703||Dorothy Otte 587-2179|
|Korpans Landing Yacht Club||Sue Longmire 587-1874|
|Korpans Sno-Kommanders||Beth Garnett 587-3497|
|Fox Lake Fire Department||Cheif Stuart Hoehne 587-3312|
|Fox Lake Police Association||Cheif Jarnes Busch 587-3100|
|Ducks Unlimited Chain-O-Lakes||Michael F. Witt 414-862-2882|
|Lioness Club of Fox Lake||Helen Gort 587-0285|
|Fox Lake Lions Club||Dale Floyd 587-2046|
|Fox Lake Garden Club||Ginlly Verschuren 587-2019|
|Choices||Judy Prasil 587-7175|
|North American Youth Basketball||Mark Garrigal 1-800-787-3265|
|Fox Lake Bowl||587-1490|
|Fox Lake Theatre||973-2800|
|Fox Lake Public Library||587-0198|
|Fox Lake Country Club||587-6411|
|Fox Lake School District||Michael Leschet 587-8275|
|Grant Community High School||Dr. John Benedetti 587-2561|
|Grant Township Republican Club||Nancy Kubalanza. 587-5954|
|Fox Lake Youth Club||Micki Jones 587-8742|
|Grant Township Area Athletic Association||Larry Lutz 587-7683|
|Iceless Hockey||Paul Beincke 395-8063|
|W.A.N.A. Fox Lake Baptist Church||587-7722|
|Lakeland Cardinal Football||Dan Carole 587-9261|
|Lakeland Pteddlots Wrestling||Robert Reyes 546-3128|
|Hasting Lake YMCA||356-4006|
|YMCA Camp Duncan||546-8086|
|Round Lake Area Park District||546-8558|
|Round Lake Roller Rink||546-3941|
|St. Bede's Parent's Club||587-5541|
|Tumbleweeds||Sandi Jakes 815-728-1800|
|Fox Lake Silver Foxes||June Ollerman 587-2210|
|Veterans of Foreign Wars||Miles Stekl 587-1681|
[Top of Page]
Fox Lake's Home Page
Village Profile's Home Page
About our Company
Copyright © 1997 Community Profile Network, Inc. Community Profile Network is a trademark of Community Profile Network, Inc. Village Profile and Builder Profile are trademarks of Progressive Publishing, Inc.
This Site is a Cyberworks Media Group Production