The Village of Winnetka (6004 zip code), is a home for slightly over 12K residents (2019), located approximately 16 miles North of Chicago Loop. Winnetka is rated as #2 among the 2019 richest places in Illinois and one of the wealthiest places in the US.
First events in Winnetka’s history had been registered in 1836, and include building of the first houses, and opening of a tavern by Erastus Patterson and his family. The tavern was servicing passengers traveling on the Green Bay Trail post road.
Two decades later, in 1854, the area was split into multiple lots, had its first private school built, and a train station along the newly constructed Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad. Village incorporation came in 1869, under the current name “Winnetka”, which is believed to originate from the Potawatomie’s language, and meaning “beautiful place”. At the time of incorporation, there were only around 450 settlers occupying the area.
The following years brought variety of improvements to the Village, such as building of a water tower in 1870’s, electrical plant in 1900, and village hall construction shortly after.
The railroad, however beneficial for the Village’s development and expansion, also brought a lot of pain and 31 deaths at the crossing. This forced the Village to rebuild it in order to make it safer, but instead of elevating the train, they dug a track depression, which is a unique feature among the North Shore suburbs. Elevating was considered, but abandoned due to assumption that it might, not only optically, divide the Village.
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