Algonquin is a village is known as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley", since its downtown is nestled in the heart of Illinois' Fox River Valley. This village is located in both McHenry and Kane counties. It is a northwest suburb of Chicago, located approximately 40 miles from the Loop. The 2010 Census placed the Village's population at 30,046, growing considerably from the 2000 Census figure of 23,276.
Established in 1890 and long known as a small river community, the village is making the transition into a major regional hub, as it has experienced considerable suburban growth over the past 20 years. Now stretching all the way west to the busy Randall Road corridor, Algonquin has become a major center of retail activity, with popular shopping centers and various well known restaurants, and a growing corporate campus. Additionally, the village continues to see considerable residential growth. The Village is proud that it has managed its growth to increase the commercial tax base, build great neighborhoods, preserve its character and history, and substantially increase its recreational offerings and quality of life.
The Potawatomi Native Americans originally inhabited the land long before Europeans settled in Algonquin. Algonquin was the location of Indian burial mounds known in the 1800s as the Algonquin Mounds. By 1834 the first settler of Algonquin, Samuel Gillilan, came to the area from Virginia. Settlers Dr. Cornish, Dr. Plumleigh, Eli Henderson, Alex Dawson, and William Jackson arrived shortly thereafter. There was some dispute regarding the original name of Algonquin, and numerous other names were suggested including Denny's Ferry, Cornish Ferry, Cornishville, and Osceola. But Samuel Edwards suggested the name Algonquin and on December 23, 1847, the name Algonquin became official.
From 1906 to 1913, the automobile companies began to go to the Algonquin Hill Climbs, which was an event where if an automobile was able to make it up a series of steep hills in the Village, it would be given the stamp of approval. And because of that, the Algonquin Cup was formed which received national recognition at the time. The two hills used in the race were the Phillips Hill which extends from Illinois Route 31 to the cemetery and Perry Hill, located south of downtown, and which is now Lundstrom Lane. The village created a new hill for the race called Huntington Hill, which is now Huntington Drive. A park stands in place of the finish line of Huntington Hill at the intersection of Huntington Drive and Circle Drive which is called Hill Climb Park. The festival in recognition of the event continues to be held each year.
The Fox River offered immense recreational opportunities and several summer homes were constructed. Soon, more people began living in Algonquin year-round. Algonquin remained a small town for much of the 20th Century, growing steadily, until the 1980’s, when the Village's population exploded with new residential construction. The development continued in earnest in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
School District 300
Community Unit School District 300, a large district based out of nearby Carpentersville, serves the village's eastern two-thirds, generally along and east of Randall Rd. The District 300 schools serving Algonquin include:
Neubert Elementary School (K-5) serves students residing in areas immediately west of the Old Town District
Lincoln Prairie Elementary School (K-5) in nearby Lake in the Hills serves students residing in sections of the village near Randall Road
Eastview Elementary School (K-5) serves students residing in areas within Old Town Algonquin, as well as areas immediately north and east of there
Algonquin Lakes Elementary School (K-5) serves students residing in far eastern sections of the village
Liberty Elementary School (K-5) in nearby Carpentersville serves students residing in the Brittany Hills neighborhood
Westfield Community School (K-8) is a combined elementary-middle school. The elementary school serves the Willoughby Farms area. In addition to Westfield Elementary, Neubert, Lincoln Prairie, and Lake in the Hills elementary schools feed into Westfield Middle School. Westfield Middle School feeds mostly into Jacobs High School.
Dundee Middle School (6-8) in nearby Dundee serves students residing in the Brittany Hills neighborhood and feeds mostly into Jacobs High School
Algonquin Middle School (6-8) serves Eastview and Algonquin Lakes, and feeds mostly into Dundee-Crown High School.
Harry D. Jacobs High School (9-12) serves high-school aged students residing generally west of the Fox River to just a half mile west of Randall Road
Dundee-Crown High School (9-12) in nearby Carpentersville serves high school-aged students residing in the east half of the village.
School District 158
Consolidated School District 158 is headquartered in Algonquin, and the schools on the Square Barn Road campus serve the village's far western side, as well as portions of neighboring communities Huntley and Lake in the Hills. School 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) in nearby Huntley serves high school-aged students residing in far western sections of the village.
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran School and St. Margaret Mary Catholic School, both located in the heart of Algonquin, offer private K-8 education. On the west side of town is Foundations Montessori School.
The nearest community colleges are McHenry County College and Elgin Community College. Generally speaking, McHenry County College serves residents residing in District 158 boundaries, while Elgin Community College serves residents residing in District 300 boundaries.
The village is unique in that it does not have an actual park district, as park operations are run by the village itself. Nevertheless, the quality of parks, trails, and programs is nearly unmatched. In addition, the village's scenic waterways remain a regional draw. The village of Algonquin is also a major center for shopping activities, both regionally and locally. The village is known for its chic lifestyle centers, power centers, grocers, and growing variety of restaurants. Most of the village's retail is confined to Randall Road and, to a lesser extent, Algonquin Road.