Originally named after the Scottish tune “Elgin”, Elgin is the 8th biggest city in Illinois serving as home to just over 110,000 people. Much of its growth can be attributed to the milk and dairy product industry. In fact, Gail Borden, for which the local library is named, established a condensed milk factory here in 1866. It wasn’t long before the famed Elgin Watch Company stole the limelight as the producer of the finest watches in the United States, having employed three generations spanning from the late 19th to the mid 20th century.
Education is the pinnacle of pride in Elgin, with Elgin Academy being the oldest coeducational, non-sectarian college preparatory school west of the Allegheny Mountains, and Elgin High School boasting five navy admirals, a Nobel Prize winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, a Tony Award winner, two Academy Award–winning producers, Olympic athletes and a General Motors CEO among its alumni.
In keeping with the tradition of its neighbors, Elgin is ranked number one in the Chicago metropolitan area in new home starts. With a focus on the future, Elgin recently completed the Central Business District Streetscape Improvement Project and the Riverside Drive Promenade, providing a city Elginites can be proud of. Elgin is also home to the Grand Victoria Riverboat Casino, which has proven to be a significant source of income for the city, and it’s no wonder as the fifth most popular attraction in Illinois.
Culture also abounds in Elgin, Illinois with the Hemmens Cultural Center, The Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Elgin Community College which includes a vibrant Visual & Performing Arts Center, hosting dozens of performances every year ranging from Chicago’s Hubbard Dance Company to comedian Bill Maher. The Elgin Sports Complex (complete with The Hill BMX track), Nature preserves and a connection to the Fox River Trail bike path lure the sports and nature enthusiasts year round to the town of Elgin.
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