Village History

Some of the following information is contained in an unpublished manuscript written by Lee Schinleber. A life-long resident of Northbrook, Mr. Schinleber was one of the many volunteers whose dedication and hard work established the Northbrook Historical Society.

1818 – Illinois admitted to the Union.
1829 – Northfield Township area ceded by the Potawatomie Indians
1829 – Cook County created from Putnam County
1833 – Town of Chicago incorporated
1836 – Northfield Township’s 36 square miles surveyed and opened for settlement
1837 – First settlement, Church and cemetery established near Wheeling (now Dundee) Road and Chicago, Waukegan (now Sanders) Road
1840 – First Post Office established – called Sherman
1843 – First Land Patents issued for land in Northfield Township
1850 – Northfield Township organized
1850 – Township population , 1850 Census, 1,013
1853 – Sherman Post Office name changed to Northfield
1855 – All of section 1 and east half of Section 12 in Northfield Township annexed by New Trier Township
1860 – Township population, 1860 census, 1,537
1867 – December 2nd – Northfield Post Office name changed to East Northfield
1870 – Township population, 1870 Census, 1,703
1871 – October 8th – Chicago Fire
1872 – Single track Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul Railroad begins operation
1880 – Township population, 1880 Census, 1,807
1882 – Shermer Station railroad stop renamed Shermerville
1885 – November 6th – East Northfield Post Office name changed to Shermerville
1890 – Township population 1,855
1892 – Chicago, Milwaukee, and St Paul Railroad adds a second track
1900 – Divine Word Missionaries starts building on Glenview Ave. (name changed from Timber to Glenview Ave in 1900. Now Waukegan Road.)
1900 – Township population – 1900 census, 2323
1901 – November 18th – Shermerville incorporated
1902 – Chicago Telephone Co. obtains a permit to install telephone wires in the village
1902 – Ordinance passed for cinder sidewalks
1903 – Ordinance passed to light village streets
1903 – Notice to be placed on Main (Shermer) Street bridge prohibiting driving over the bridge faster than a walk
1906 – a concrete sidewalk program begun
1910 – Shermerville population, 1910 census, 434. Remaining Township population, 1,590
1913 – Bonds issued for construction of a water system
1920 – Township population 3,438
1923 – Northbrook News began publication.
1923 – The Village of Shermerville changed it name to Northbrook. The name Northbrook comes from the river that runs through town – the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River.
1925 – First Northbrook Days held in Barrenscheen’s Grove
1926 – Ordinance passed to eliminate all out houses within six months
1929 – Ordinance assigning house numbers within the Village of Northbrook limits
1930 – Township population 5,387
1932 – The Forest Preserve District purchases 112 acres on the Des Plaines River and 86 lots south of Dundee Road east of Skokie Boulevard
1933 – Works begins on the Skokie Marsh. Several thousand CCC workers camped in Northfield Township
1934 – WPA plants elm trees on parkways throughout the Village
1936 – Culligan Zeolite Company established
1939 – Permits issued to build fifteen homes in Northbrook Highlands
1940 – Northbrook population, 1,200
1945 – Junk yards prohibited in Northbrook
1950 – Once a day mail delivery begun
1950 – Northbrook population, 3,319
1951 – Bond issue for a public library passes by 6 votes – 135 yes, 129 no
1952 – Northbrook High School closes
1953 – Glenbrook High School opens
1954 – Village population 6,013
1954 – Church Street Shopping Center opens
1955 – Village population 8,148
1957 – Construction begins on Cherry Lane underpass
1959 – Cherry Lane Shopping Center opens
1960 – Village population 11,635
1963 – Water plant opens and Northbrook becomes first off-shore community to get water directly from Lake Michigan.
1962 – Second District 225 High School opens. Glenbrook High School renamed Glenbrook North High School
1963 – Sally Probst becomes first female Village Board member
1965 – Construction begins for Chicago Botanic Gardens
1965 – The Northbrook Rotary Club chartered
1966 – Diegem, Belgium becomes Northbrook’s Sister City
1967 – Congregation Beth Shalom, Northbrook’s first Jewish congregation formed.
1968 – Full-Time Fire Department begins
1969 – Library opens at corner of Cherry and Cedar Lanes
1969 – Northern Suburban YMCA opens on Techny Road
1971 – Dundee Road Fire Station built
1971 – Linda White becomes first female Park Commissioner
1974 – Historical Society incorporated
1975 – Northfield Inn moved from Shermer & Waukegan Roads to Village Green as home of Historical Society
1975 – First addition to the Northbrook Library
1976 – Northbrook Court Shopping Center opens
1976 – The Islamic Cultural Center opens on Pfingsten Road
1977 – Oaklane School closes
1978 – Northbrook Park District purchases Sportsman’s Country Club
1979 – Crestwood School closes
1979 – Sheely Center for the Performing Arts opens at Glenbrook North High School
1980 – Village population, 30,735
1980 – Northbrook Symphony Orchestra began
1980 – Northbrook Post Office opens on Dundee Road
1980 – The Civic Foundation allows women members
1982 – Cherry Lane underpass fills to top after major rainstorm on July 23 1985 – Crestwood Place opens
1987 – Wayside Farm, the last working farm in Northbrook sold
1987 – Last Round-Up Days held
1988 – Emergency 911 phone system approved by voters
1988 – Gazebo dedicated in Village Green
1988 – Techny annexed to Northbrook
1987 – Cherry Lane underpass fills to top after 8.41 inches of rain on Aug, 13 & 14
1990 – Village population, 32,308
1990 – New Metra station dedicated
1990 – New Village Hall opens on Cedar Lane
1990 – Recycling begins
1991 – Techny Barns torn down
1994 – Edens Theatre and Strike n’ Spare Bowling Alley on Skokie Highway demolished.
1995 – Glenview Naval Air Station closes
1995 – The “Triangle,” which was Northbrook’s first park, demolished when Shermer Road was reconfigured
1996 – Fire Station #10 on Huehl Road and Station #12 on Shermer Road dedicated.
1997 – Public Safety building at Landwehr and Walters converted for Police Department Headquarters
1997 – President Clinton visits Northbrook to announce Northfield Township 8th grade students tested first in the World in Science and second in math
1998 – Library moves to closed Jewel Food store while the library building undergoes remodeling
1999 – Northbrook Public Library re-opens after completion of a major addition
2000 – Residents approve Park District purchase of 60-acre Anetsberger property
2000 – Bebb Oak named the official tree of Northbrook and the Red Flame Zinnia named official village flower.
2000 – Village Population, 33,345
2001 – Northbrook Centennial celebration
2001 – The West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River undergoes riverbank stabilization and beautification
2006 – The American Legion Hall is sold and closed
2008 – Tonelli’s Restaurant closed
2008 – Building housing the Northbrook Garage is sold. The Garage is oldest family run business in the state of Illinois.
2009 – Northbrook Garage closes after 165 years servicing the transportation needs of the Village.
2014 – The Northbrook Historical Society celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Shermer monument at St. Peter Cemetery on Shermer Road was refurbished by the Society as an anniversary gift to the community.
2015 – On Jan. 5, Chad Raymond retired from the Northbrook Public Library after 29 years as Executive Director. He oversaw the growth of the Library’s collection, a temporary move to the Jewel, and two additions. His retirement came a few months shy of the new auditorium’s completion.