The small village of Richmond is located in McHenry County in northern Illinois, approximately 60 miles north of Chicago, 60 miles south of Milwaukee, and 50 miles east of Rockford. This convenient location gives residents easy access to major metropolitan areas in two states, including O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and Mitchell Field in Milwaukee. Feeder roads provide swift transportation to major Interstates.
Many beautiful Victorian-era homes from the 1800’s line the streets creating a mecca for antique collectors. Richmond’s Bed & Breakfast Inns specialize in antique furniture, art, maps, and toys, surrounding visitors with reminders of the past. In 2000 the village was the first place winner in the Governor’s Home Town Award for Senior Citizens Involvement. The Richmond/Spring Grove Recreation Program provides a variety of quality programs for residents. Summer programs include golf, horseback riding, dance, and art. Richmond’s proximity to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin provides easy access to the indoor water park at the Grand Geneva Resort.
Major colleges and universities in Illinois and Wisconsin are within easy commuting distance, and the village continues to expand its commercial base. Residents can enjoy the benefits of a small, friendly town while enjoying the amenities of the larger cities nearby.
William A. McConnell, a 27-year-old carpenter from Pennsylvania, is credited with founding the village of Richmond. He arrived in the Richmond area on horseback in 1837, staked out a claim for land, and bought it when it became available in 1840 under the Blackhawk Treaty.
The village was founded in 1844 and named after the hometown of one of the pioneers who came from the state of Vermont. He won the right to name the town after placing first in a climbing contest. Richmond soon became a small town with a hotel, sawmill, doctor, lawyer, and a wagon maker. A cheese factory was built west of town. In 1972 Richmond was officially incorporated, and Dr. Fillmore Bennett was elected the first president of the village.
Today, hitching post remnants are still embedded in the sidewalks of Richmond’s Main and Broadway streets, and many original buildings still stand along with Victorian era homes. An old wooden railroad bridge over 100 years old also still stands.
Richmond Trivia & Fun Facts
Bassist Chris Stroud and guitarist/singer Jason Perry, two members of celebrated political indie rock band Resident Genius, originally hail from Richmond, IL.
Median resident age: 37.3 years
Median household income: $52,361 (year 2000)
Median house value: $140,100 (year 2000)
Richmond’s Glacial Park is a geologic wonder. It contains mounds called “kames” that are formed when glacial melt water deposits heaps of sand and gravel in depressions in the ice. The 100-ft high Cambelback Kame is said to have formed at the edge of a glacier as it receded 15,500 years ago.