North Chicago



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About North Chicago


Land speculators moved to the area south of Waukegan in the 1890s. It didn’t take long for industry to follow.

North Chicago was incorporated as a village in 1895 and as a city in 1901.

The city expanding rapidly as major manufacturers set up shop here, making everything from barbed wire and hardware to envelopes.

In 1911, the Great Lakes Naval Training Center opened here, the largest training facility of its kind for Navy enlisted personnel. Great Lakes trained an estimated one million men during World War II, just over a third of all personnel who served in the U.S. Navy.

The city’s industrial base continued to grow with the addition of automakers, pharmaceutical and food companies; as well as the population with the expansion of the naval training station. As plants began to close, and naval training slowed, the population decreased.

However, North Chicago wasn’t all business, offering residents plenty of recreational opportunities with a Lake County Forest Preserve and Greenbelt Cultural Center.

Foss Park District, which organized here in 1907, is the oldest park district in Lake County. The district includes eight square miles of baseball and soccer fields, playgrounds, courts and a golf course.

Students attend Lake Forest High School, Libertyville High School, Warren Township High School, Waukegan High School and North Chicago Community High School.