Come along to McHenry. Nestled between the Fox River and McCullom Lake, it is a friendly, welcoming city with a rich history. It was designated as the first county seat of the newly formed McHenry County in 1837. Its surrounding farmland provided both food from its crops and milk from its cows to the Chicago area. Diverse businesses such as boatbuilders, ice cutters, lumber companies, flour mills, brick makers, and cigar makers chose to make McHenry their home. It is a unique city that grew as three separate business districts: along the river, along the railroad, and one in between. Known as the gateway to the Chain of Lakes, tourism thrived in the early 1900s as visitors from Chicago made McHenry their recreational destination. In McHenry and McCullom Lake, one will meet the people who helped change McHenry from a collection of log cabins on the riverfront to a bustling city with a population of 24,000.
About the Author
Sandra Landen Machaj is a freelance writer who divides her time between West Chicago and McHenry. She has been published in various magazines. A frequent traveler, she uses her travel to enhance her study of history. Machaj’s interest in the McHenry area grew after spending time over the last 10 years at McCullom Lake, and she is a member of the McHenry County Historical Society.