History of Grayslake

This is a chronological history of Grayslake, Illinois.

1818
Illinois was admitted into the Union

1836
The Rich family came from New York

1837
Lawrence Forvor and Ben Drury came from Ohio

1839
Elijah Haines build first home in Hainesville
Lake and McHenry Counties separated

1842
William Gray bought land, including part of the lake

1847
Hainesville incorporated

1850
Lawrence Forvor donated land for a school

1867
Lawrence Forvor deeded land for a cemetery

1886
Wisconsin Central railroad station completed
Grayslake platted as a subdivision
Fourth class post office established in Grayslake

1889
Grayslake’s first doctor, Dr. Shaffer, came to town

1891
First church organized as a Congregational Church

1895
Grayslake incorporated
Frame school house moved to Whitney Street and became village hall

1897
Electric lights started to be installed in business section

1898
Local phone service started

1899
Long distance phone service began
Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad put in line
F.C. Wilbur Lumber Company burned
Grayslake Fire Department organized

1900
Grayslake had 416 residents

1901
Grayslake Methodist Church started

1905
First issue of Grayslake Times published
Cement sidewalks started to replace wooden walkways

1907
First St. Andrew Episcopal Church service held

1910
Grayslake had 603 residents

1914
Bonds issued for village waterworks piping system

1916
Sewer system installed

1918
Center Avenue (present day Lake Street) paved

1920
Grayslake had 736 residents

1922
Gelatin factory came to Grayslake

1923
Plans completed to put Route 21 (present Route 83/Barron Boulevard) on eastern edge of village

1924
New village well completed

1925
Gas company started digging gas mains to supply village with gas

1926
Center Street paved

1930
Grayslake had 1118 residents
St. Gilbert Catholic Church celebrated first Mass
Circus wintered in Grayslake

1938
Major flood caused rowboats to be used on streets

1940
Grayslake had 1182 residents

1941
Grayslake Area Public Library started

1946
Grayslake Community High School became a reality

1948
Grayslake celebrated Douglas Getchell Day

1949
Village delivery of mail began
Village celebrated A.A. McMillen Day
Fort Hill School District 45 consolidated with Grayslake District 46

1950
Congregational and Methodist Churches merged to form United Protestant Church
Grayslake had 1970 residents

1952
Sewer system moved from Center Street to Route 83
Municipal garbage collection started

1955
Wilbur Lumber Company burned

1959
Grayslake Park District organized
Burgess Vibrocrafters Inc. burned

1960
Grayslake had 3762 residents

1962
Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church signed church charter

1963
Grayslake honored Jay Hook with a parade

1965
Soo line passenger service ended

1969
College of Lake County opened its doors
Grayslake Junior High welcomed students at 400 N. Barron Boulevard

1970
Grayslake celebrated its Diamond Jubilee
Grayslake Bowling Alley burned
Grayslake had 4907 residents

1974
Faith Baptist Church became a religious entity
Grayslake Recycling Center opened
Hook Lumber Company (former Wilbur Lumber) burned

1976
Grayslake took part in Bicentennial Celebration
Grayslake Fire Protection District approved by voters
Initial service of Living Waters Assembly of God Church took place

1977
Lake County Area Vocational Center began classes

1979
International Fire Chief Rockenbach honored with a parade

1980
Grayslake had 5260 residents
Electra Restaurant burned
New police facility on Hawley Street dedicated to former Chief Gordon Shattuck

1984
Lake County Fairgrounds on Route 45 annexed to the village
Grayslake hired first village manager

1988
Avon School District 47 merged with Grayslake School District 46

1990
Johnny D’s Restaurant burned
Grayslake had 7388 residents

1991
911 installed as emergency phone number

1992
Lake Michigan water came to Grayslake
Water treatment plant dedicated to former Mayor Edwin Schroeder
Grayslake Village Hall moved to 33 S. Whitney Street

1993
Grayslake Municipal Historical Museum dedicated, managed by Grayslake Historical Society

1996
Meadowview School started classes
Metra passenger service began on Soo Line tracks

1997
Police Department moved to Whitney Street

2000
Grayslake had population of 18,506
Construction of Frederick School completed

2001
University Center broke ground for classroom building

2002
Prairieview School in Hainesville opened
Lakeview School closed
Grayslake Post Office moved to Commerce Drive
Senior Center opened at Library Lane

2004
Grayslake North High School opened for freshman only
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital opened

2006
Stratford Hall razed to make room for new Village Hall on Seymour Avenue
Washington Street train station opened

2007
Grayslake Park District opened Recreation Center at 240 Commerce Drive
Park School opened
Former bank building at 201 Center demolished

2008
Alleghany Park opened
New police station added to Grayslake Village Hall
New Lake County Fair Grounds dedicated
Oasis Youth Center opened at 151 Hawley

2009
Lakeland Publishers building (former Battershall building) on Whitney Street demolished

2010
Grayslake had population of 21,101

2012
Lake Street train station re-dedicated

2013
Former Sears Mansion razed
Rockenbach Chevrolet sold
Last Chance Saloon closed
Grayslake Centennial Park moved and became Centennial Plaza
Atkinson Road extended

2014
The Museum Annex was rededicated and opened with improved lighting, air conditioning and new exhibits highlighting Grayslake’s farming background and the Society’s collection of horse-drawn vehicles.
Wilbur, the fire truck made in Grayslake, celebrated its 60th birthday.

2015
EF1 tornado touched down in Grayslake.