Antioch is located in Lake County, Illinois, which is about 50 miles NW of the Chicago Loop. To be exact, Antioch village is located in the northwest corner of Lake Count in the region which is called The Chain of Lakes. The really good thing about Antioch's location is that it is midway between Chicago and Milwaukee.
I just recently discovered that Highway 173 was once an Indian trail and Highway 83 was the Muquonago Trail!
From what I know, the first settlers to come to this location were the Gage brothers, and they build houses along the Sequoit Creek . By the way, the high school athletic teams are the Sequoits!
A reminder of this long ago time is evident in the Hiram Buttrick Sawmill which was built by Hiram Buttrick on Sequoit Creek in 1839.. He built this mill to provide the area with lumber for steamboats, log home, split-rail fences, and locomotive furnaces. This helped to make Antioch a center of commerce. Today, this Sawmill is one of the most lovely sights in Lake County. Located a few hundred feet downstream from where the original stood, An authentic reproduction was built in 1976 as Antioch's Bicentennial project.!
Fondest memory: By 1885 Tourism had come to Antioch, probably because of the railroad station for the Wisconsin Central that ran between Chicago and Stevens Point, Wisconsin. There are so many lakes in and near Antioch, that Chicagoans came to the area to hunt, fish, and go boating. By 1892, most new settlers were mostly of English and German descent.
Ice harvesting became an industry due to the area lakes and the rail service to Chicago. Oh, and let's not forget that during Prohibition, Al Capone owned a summer home on nearby Bluff Lake!
Antioch was basically a village with a "small-town character and slow growth until the mid-1980s". However, after 1990, residential development exploded, and by 2000 the population was almost 9,000. Today, there are about 13,000 residents!
Even though the population has grown rapidly, the "hometown atmosphere" still exists. The downtown area is still vibrant with new restaurants and shops opening regularly.
When I returned to visitAntioch in November of 2007, I noticed many new housing developments and commercial developments as well. I was surprised to see a new Super Wal-Mart, new restaurants, and discovered that a new Target, Best Buy, and Pet Smart are on the way.
The five photographs that appear on this page and representative of Antioch, Illinois They are all quite different, but when I think of Antioch, these are some of the sights I remember.
1. Gazebo in front of Village Hall on the west side of Main Street [Route 83]. It is decorated to match the season. Note that I took this photo in the Fall. At Christmas, it is a delight to see how it is decorated. Just a small town "touch" that I enjoyed.
2. 1863 Meeting House. This is a renovated church that features military artifacts from Civil War to the present. There is a large display of local industry items. It is also available for community events, meetings, and weddings. The Lakes Region Historical Society owns and operates it. It is an AWARD WINNING RESTORATION PROJECT. Another example of a community that values its past and tries to save its history. Located on Main Street next to Antioch Floral.
3. P.M. & L. Theatre. The initials mean:"Palette, Masque, and Lyre" This wonderful little theatre was founded in 1961 after an Antioch High School PTA held open auditions for a theatre production fund-raiser. Hundreds of people came to audition; thus the need for a community theatre was evident. The PM&L Theatre group was created. At first this theatre survived with donations from local merchants. As time past, it became more and more popular within the community.
They put on six yearly productions, and each one runs about 3 weeks in duration. There are dramas, comedies, and musicals. Seniors and students receive reduced rates. Full season and mini passes can be purchased at the box office. Located at 877 Main Street.
Fondest memory: 4. I remember how impressed I was when I lived in Antioch that someone had the foresight to use the old Bank rather than to tear it down. The bank was turned into a restuarant. That restaurant is called Frye's Restaurant, and it is open seven days a week. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is also a bar within this restaurant located at 934 Main Street.
5. The small war memorial that is located in front of village hall speaks of the patriotic spirit found in Antioch. The 1969 memorial is in the shape of a tombstone and engraved on it is:
"In honor of all who served their country in time of need".
All of these places show the small town that is Antioch, Illinois.
There are many positives about Antioch, Illinois. It is small town with small town values. It has a vibrant downtown area. It is surrounded by many beautiful lakes which provide boating, swimming, and fishing for those who love the outdoors.
But it also has some unique positives. One such positive, in my eyes, is The Antioch Theater. It provides a superior movie going experience like I remember when I was a child. It's a small theater with just a single screen. The ticket booth also serves as a candy counter. The prices are much, much lower than the mega theaters. But, most importantly, SERVICE is terrific.
It recently was gutted and renovated, installing new sound and picture equipment. They enhanced it with movie memorabilia. It is now more comfortable, cleaner, but they kept the low ticket prices. It's important to note that their movies are FIRST RUN.
For instance, they have matinees for $2.00!
I notices that they are promoting a free holiday movie in November at 10:30 am if you bring two food items for "Open Arms Food Pantry". This is what I'm talking about...they are a true part of the community.
It is located at 378 Lake Street [near corner of Lake Street and Main Street [Route 83]. The phone number is: 847-395-0218.
Another real positive about Antioch is its newest park called William E. Brook Wetland Sanctuary & Entertainment Center located in the downtown area. It is located on 9-acres and includes an educational wetland sanctuary with a boardwalk, interpretive nature signs, two ponds, walking path, and an entertainment center.
Fondest memory: Another positive about Antioch is how involved the citizens are in preserving the small town ambience. The Village of Antioch as well as Antioch Chamber of Commerce and other community organizations sponsor special events throughout the year. Some of these are
"It's Thursday" concerts held at the William E. Brook Entertainment center. The "Taste of Summer" takes place in the park area of the William E. Brook Wetland Sanctuary too. Christmas time in the downtown area reminds me of my childhood. They go all out to make it very special.
Yes, positive is a word to use when discussing Antioch, Illinois