The Town Of Gilberts, Illinois
Located in rural Kane County, 41 miles from the Chicago Loop, the Village of Gilberts is a fast-developing area with a population of approximately 5,000. Feeling the effects of urban sprawl, the Village is carefully planning for increased growth. Major housing developments are in the planning stages, as well as schools, parks, and commercial areas. A short drive from Interstate 90, Gilberts is conveniently located along Route 72 and is close to major shopping areas and O’Hare International Airport. Commuters to Chicago have easy access to the Metra rail station in a nearby town.
Families are being drawn to Gilberts by its beautiful countryside, character, excellent school system, and quality of life. In spite of its growth, the Village of Gilberts is working diligently to maintain the values and traditions of the past.
Before the War of 1812, the hills of the Kane County region were occupied by the Blackhawk, Algonquin, and Pottawatomie Indians. After the War of 1812, the Indians were chased out of the area, and pioneers from other states and countries began arriving in the 1820’s. The history of the Village of Gilberts began in the spring of 1836 when E.R. Starks and Elijah Rich filed land claims. As was common in the area in the mid-1800’s, farming was the way of life in Gilberts with a few businesses to serve the farmers.
By 1852, St. Mary’s Catholic Church was built, Route 72 was in the early stages of development, and construction of the Chicago and North Western Railway continued through the Village. Once completed, the railroad enabled the local farmers to ship their goods to market in Chicago. In 1868, Haegar Pottery, the largest tile and brick factory in Illinois, was being constructed. Gilberts was becoming a prosperous community with a train station, blacksmith shops, a feed mill, live stock sales barns, a drug store, milk processing companies, and an elementary school.
The Great Depression came in 1929 and devastated life in Gilberts. Businesses were closed, and transportation to surrounding communities was eliminated resulting in the end of the transportation of milk to Chicago. Things started looking up again in the early 1930’s when Route 72, the Village’s first paved road, was completed and electricity was brought to the area. In 1956, the construction of the Chicago-Northwest Tollway spurred interest in the further development of Gilberts. In the mid 60’s, subdivisions were built along with light industrial manufacturing. The 70’s brought further industrial development. Village improvements continued to be made into the 1980’s such as a new water system. Over 20 years later, Gilberts continues to grow yet maintains its small town charm.
Gilberts Trivia & Fun Facts
In 1871 Haeger Potteries in Gilberts fired the first of millions of bricks needed to rebuild the city of Chicago after the Great Fire destroyed more than 17,500 buildings.
The median household income in Gilberts is significantly above state average.
The median house value in Gilberts is significantly above state average.
The unemployed percentage is significantly below state average.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Gilberts was built in 1841 by the early Irish settlers and is one of the oldest and most historical rural churches in northern Illinois.