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Algonquin is a village spanning McHenry and Kane counties in Illinois, United States. Situated about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of the Loop, it serves as a suburb of Chicago.  Algonquin is often referred to as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley," highlighting the scenic charm of its downtown area nestled along the Fox River.

History of Algonquin

Before European settlers arrived in Algonquin, the land was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi Native Americans. In the 1800s, the area was known for the Algonquin Mounds, Indian burial sites. The first European settler, Samuel Gillilan, arrived in 1834 from Virginia, followed by others like Dr. Cornish, Dr. Plumleigh, Eli Henderson, Alex Dawson, and William Jackson. The village went through several proposed names including Denny's Ferry, Cornish Ferry, Cornishville, and Osceola, before settling on Algonquin on December 23, 1847.

Economic growth began in 1855 with the construction of the railroad, providing farmers easier access to markets in Chicago. Algonquin officially became a village on February 25, 1890. The original Village Hall was built on January 31, 1907, and still stands at 2 South Main Street, serving as a historical landmark and community hub until 1996 when a new village hall was built at 2200 Harnish Drive. From 1906 to 1913, Algonquin hosted the Algonquin Hill Climbs, a notable automobile event. The village also saw developments such as the creation of Algonquin Cup and the establishment of Hill Climb Park.

In the 20th century, Algonquin became a popular resort town, attracting visitors from Chicago seeking recreational opportunities along the Fox River. The population grew steadily, particularly in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s with increased residential and commercial development. The construction of Algonquin Town Center in the late 1980s marked the beginning of retail growth. Randall Road became a focal point for development in the 1990s, with the opening of numerous retailers and restaurants. In 2004, Algonquin Commons, the largest outdoor mall in Illinois, opened, followed by the development of Algonquin Galleria. The Algonquin Corporate Campus, launched in the mid-2000s, aims to bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to the area.

School District 300:

Community Unit School District 300 covers a large area mainly along and east of Randall Rd. Schools within District 300 serving Algonquin include:

  • Neubert Elementary School (K-5): Serves students in areas immediately west of the Old Town District.
  • Lincoln Prairie Elementary School (P-5): Located in nearby Lake in the Hills, serves students in sections of the village near Randall Road.
  • Eastview Elementary School (K-5): Serves students in Old Town Algonquin and areas north and east of there.
  • Algonquin Lakes Elementary School (K-5): Serves students in far eastern sections of the village in Kane County.
  • Lake in the Hills Elementary School (K-5): Serves students in Lake in the Hills.
  • Liberty Elementary School (K-5): In nearby Carpentersville, serves students in specific neighborhoods.
  • Westfield Community School (K-8): A combined elementary-middle school. Feeder elementary schools include Neubert, Lincoln Prairie, and Lake in the Hills. Westfield Middle School primarily feeds into Jacobs High School.
  • Dundee Middle School (6-8): Located in nearby Dundee, serves students from Liberty Elementary and feeds into Jacobs High School.
  • Algonquin Middle School (6-8): Serves Eastview and Algonquin Lakes, feeding into Dundee-Crown High School.
  • Harry D. Jacobs High School (9-12): Serves high school students generally west of the Fox River to just half a mile west of Randall Road.
  • Dundee-Crown High School (9-12): In nearby Carpentersville, serves high school students in the east half of the village.

School District 158:

Consolidated School District 158 is headquartered in Algonquin. Schools on the Square Barn Road campus serve the village's far western side and parts of Huntley and Lake in the Hills. District 158 schools serving far western Algonquin include:

  • Mackeben Elementary School (K-2)
  • Marion Conley Elementary School (3-5)
  • Bernice Heinemann Middle School (6-8)
  • Huntley High School (9-12): Located in nearby Huntley, serves high school students in far western sections of the village.

Private Schools:

St. Margaret Mary Catholic School offers private K-8 education in Algonquin, while Foundations Montessori School is located on the west side of town.

Community Colleges:

The nearest community colleges are McHenry County College and Elgin Community College. McHenry County College generally serves residents within District 158 boundaries, while Elgin Community College serves those within District 300 boundaries.


The majority of the village is served by the Algonquin Area Public Library District, which operates two facilities. Additional library services are provided by Huntley Public Library, Dundee Township Library, and the Barrington Area Library.

Recreation in Algonquin, Illinois

Although the village lacks a separate park district, its park operations are managed directly by the village itself, offering exceptional quality in parks, trails, and programs. Algonquin's scenic waterways also serve as a regional attraction. Noteworthy recreational opportunities in the area include:

    • Downtown Algonquin: A charming downtown area featuring various shops and restaurants situated near the Fox River, enhanced by upscale lighting, planters, and well-maintained sidewalks.
    • Fox River: A significant tributary running north-south through the heart of the village's downtown.
    • Fox River Trail/McHenry County Prairie Path: A part of the Grand Illinois Trail, offering a 26-mile trail system comprising off-road neighborhood trails and designated on-street routes.
    • Kelliher Park: Located on the village's far western side, featuring multiple ballfields.

  • Ted Spella Park: A large park under development on the west side of the village.
  • Snapper Field and Lions Pool: A recreational complex near Algonquin Middle School, offering ballfields and a municipal pool.
  • Towne Park, Cornish Park, and Riverfront Park: Three downtown parks playing significant roles in popular events like the Founders Days festival and other downtown activities.
  • Presidential Park: An essential recreational area for eastside residents, offering ballfields, open spaces, and picnic shelters.
  • Algonquin Lakes: Natural and man-made lakes, trails, and community park in a residential neighborhood on the village's eastern side.
  • Manchester Lakes: Man-made lakes, recreational areas, and a bike path system within a neighborhood on the far western side of the village.
  • Woods Creek: A picturesque creek, nature preserve, and trail running through the village's far western side.
  • Hill Climb Park: A newer park located at the intersection of Circle and Huntington Drives.
  • ALITHSA (Algonquin Lake in the Hills Soccer Association): Provides soccer experiences for children from ages four through high school during fall and spring seasons.
  • AAYO (Algonquin Area Youth Organization): Organizes tee-ball, softball, and baseball leagues for children ranging from age five to high school, utilizing many of the ballfields in the area.
  • Golf Course of Illinois: Situated in a scenic golf community off of Randal and County Road, favored by top golfers, including a mentor of professional golfer Tiger Woods.

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