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Northbrook Area

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Northbrook Area | Historically Speaking | Organizations

The Village of Northbrook is located 25 miles north of downtown Chicago at the north border of Cook County. Situated east of the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), west and south of the Edens Expressway (I-94). Northbrook is approximately 40 minutes from downtown chicago by train (Metra NorthLine) and 20 minutes from O'hare airport by car. The Village features high value residential and complementary commercial and retail development.

Northbrook combines a strong diversification of employment in industry, commercial/retail and office development with its residential, educational, recreational and cultural amenities. The result is a thriving local economy and first class services for both businesses and residents. With broad based sources of Village revenue, Northbrook has relatively low municipal tax rates but is able to provide a high level of government services.1

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Historically Speaking

Northfield Inn
Built circa 1894 at what is now Shermer and Waukegan Roads the Northfield Inn was a well known stopover on the road between Milwaukee and Chicago.

The earliest recorded residents of the Northbrook area were the Potawatomi tribe under Chief Shabbona. In 1833 the tribe ceded their land in Illinois and relocated near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Joel Sterling Sherman and his family bought 159 acres for $1.25 per acre in the northwest quarter of Section 10. This is the site of the Northbrook Central Business District.

Soon after Mr. Sherman bought that land the area was named Shermerville after Mr. Frederick Schermer who donated the land for the first railroad station (Schermer Station and later Shermer Station). By the 1870’s the region was a farm town with well-established brick yards which prospered during the rebuilding that followed the Great Chicago Fire in October of 1871.

In 1901 following a close referendum, the town was incorporated as Shermerville with about 60 homes and 311 residents. By 1921, residents felt that the Shermerville name had a bad reputation. After a contest, the new name of Northbrook, submitted by Edward Landwehr, was adopted as the official name in 1923. At that time there were 500 residents.

Northbrook did not grow rapidly until after World War II when subdivisions of homes were first developed. In 1940 the population was 1,265, but by 1960 the population was 11,635. Another growth spurt was stimulated by the completion in 1963 of a water line to bring Lake Michigan water to Northbrook’s new water treatment plant. By 1970 the population had more than doubled to 25,422. The current population is 33,435 (2000 census).1

For more information visit the Northbrook Historical Society web page.

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A very active Chamber of Commerce & Industry of more than 700 members represents the business interests of Northbrook by assisting in relocations, acting as a resource center and serving as a vital link among the residential, civic and business sectors of the community.

The Northbrook Library, Park District and school districts are governed by separately elected boards and have their own taxing authority and staff. For addresses or phone numbers to reach these organizations, go to our Village directory.1

1Source: Village of Northbrook

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