Evanston (60201, 60202, 60203, 60204, 60208, 60209 zip codes) is a 73K residents city located approximately 12 miles north of the Chicago downtown. Shares its borders with Chicago’s Rogers Park, Skokie, and Wilmette, and Lake Michigan on East.

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View of downtown, at Sherman Avenue and Davis Street, looking south/south-east toward Chicago.Image by CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

It was an area of wetlands and swampy forest before 1830’s, used only by Potawatomi Indians as a North-South trail. Called “Grosse Pointe” by French explorers, then “Grosse Point Territory” and “Gross Point voting district” up until 1840’s.

Not much was going on there for the next decade or so, a township called Ridgeville was organized in 1850, with some inns, taverns, and there were only a few hundred settlers doing farming and cutting lumber.

A year later, in 1851, a group of Methodist businessmen purchased hundreds of acres of land and started construction of Northwestern University, currently one of the nation’s leading research universities.

Three years later, John Evans, one of the businessman leaders submitted to the county judge a set of plans to form a city that would be named “Evanston”. The request was granted in 1857 and the Town of Evanston was formally incorporated on December 29 1863. Attempts to become a city in 1869 failed, and it took over 20 years to finally change its status to the City of Evanston in 1892.

Most of us had a nickname or two at one point of our lives, Evanston had several in its history.

  • It started from “Heavenstone” at its early stages of development, while it was heavily influenced by Methodists.
  • At the beginning of 20th century, it was called “The City of Churches”.
  • Real estate boom in 1920 got Evanston another nickname – “The City of Homes”
  • Since the end of 20th century, for political reasons, it is sometimes jokily referred to “The People’s Republic of Evanston”

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