EconomyElgin is a rapidly growing city and is slated to be one of the top three largest cities in Illinois within the next three decades. There is a strategic plan in place to achieve this under the Far West Development Strategy undertaken by the city council. More agricultural land is slated to be converted to housing in the coming years.
ClimateTypical of northern Midwest, Elgin furnished apartment residents can expect a wide variety of temperatures throughout the year. Elgin enjoys a continental climate influenced heavily by Lake Michigan. Spring is mild with temperatures ranging from March highs of 45°F, to lows of 47° in May. Summers are warm, reaching a high of 84° in July, while fall averages 75° in September to lows of 40° in October. Winter stretches from December to March, with the coldest of 22° occurring in January.
HistoryThe original Indian settlements and grounds were legislated out of the Chicago area by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. After the Black Hawk Indian War of 1832, the Indians were conclusively removed from the area and Europeans arrived to settle on the fertile banks of the Fox River. The exact spot for the city was chosen because it was the shortest distance across, and most appropriate location to build a bridge to cross the river. Elgin was named by James and Hezekiah Gifford in honor of the Scottish hymn of the same name.The fertile grounds resulted in agriculture flourishing here and alongside it. Elgin was famous for its butter followed by its condensed milk. However, prominence shifted to the Elgin Watch Company which soon became the world’s largest watch factory. Union Station in Chicago still uses the Elgin wall clock, although the company itself has long been closed.Elgin’s history includes prominent academic and educational institutions. One of the oldest co-ed preparatory schools is located here. The academic institutions here have produced Nobel prize winners alongside Pulitzer winners as well as Academy and Tony Award winners.Places to Eat in ElginVenture out of your Elgin corporate apartment and give one of the restaurants that Almost Home recommends a try.
- Jimmy’s Charhouse on Point Blvd: The lobster is tastefully prepared here, as are the steaks. In addition to the surf and turf, desserts are a favorite, especially the Cheesecake. They offer carry out, but the food is better eaten in. The dining hall is clean and inviting. Weekend crowds hang out for dinner and drinks.
- Al’s Cafe & Creamery on Dupage Ct: Al’s is an old school cafe that specializes in home-style cooking. Locals are especially drawn to the homemade ice creams and the various flavors they come in. The malt milk shakes are another favorite here. Ingredients are fresh and the portions are large.
- Ray’s Family Restaurant on St Charles St: Ray’s is a popular diner in town. It’s crowded on the weekends and weekday mornings. Service is fast and efficient. The dining area is comfortable, and the food is served in healthy portions.
- Alexander’s Restaurant on N State St: Alexander’s servers American classic recipes in a clean and friendly environment. The restaurant has been here for some time and has a loyal following. Make reservations if you are in a hurry, or be prepared to wait for seating.
- Toom Toom Thai on S Groove Ave.: Authentic Thai food with special flavors are served here, unlike most commercialized restaurants. The restaurant carries the name of the chef and owner and she goes the extra mile to make sure her customers are fully satisfied. Fresh ingredients and fast service are the rule here.
Things to do in Elgin
- Museum: The Elgin Public Museum of history and anthropology is located within the luscious 108-acre Lords Park. Admission is just $2 for adults and $1 for children below the age of 12. The museum is located in the same area as Elgin’s Park
- Theater: The Hemmens Cultural Center on Symphony Way is where the local orchestra is based. It is also a place where visiting performances are staged. Broadway performances and operas are regularly showcased in this comfortable, modern facility with good quality sound.
- Shopping: The Elgin Shopping Mall is small compared to most towns its size. The mall consists of a number of retail outlets including restaurants.
- Golf: The Highlands on Sports Way is an 18-hole course set stop mildly rolling hills. There is a practice range near the clubhouse. Restrooms and conveniences are near the 14th and 9th holes. There are also challenging sand traps, lakes and streams that punctuate this par 72 course but minimal trees between the fairways.
- Parks: The 108-acre Elgin Park dates back to 1892. The park has a museum, a zoo and the Lord’s Park Aquatic Center. The land is covered by mature oak and hickory with large natural lakes and significant indigenous wildlife. It is a popular picnic spot in the summer.