Gurnee, Illinois

name = Village of Gurnee
native_name =
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category = Village
etymology =
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motto = Community of Opportunity
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image_size = 240
image_caption = "Welcome to The Village of Gurnee"

symbol =
country = United States
state = Illinois
region = Lake
region_type = County
district =
district_type = Township
municipality =
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lat_d = 42
lat_m = 22
lat_s = 25
lat_NS = N
long_d = 87
long_m = 56
long_s = 4
long_EW = W
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area_imperial = 13.4
area_land_imperial = 13.4
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population = 31,170
population_date = 2008 [cite news | url = | title = Gurnee offers more than shopping and amusement parks | date = 2008-5-9 | publisher = Daily Herald ]
population_urban =
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population_density =
population_density_imperial = 2151.6
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established = 1928
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leader = Kristina Kovarik
leader_type = Mayor
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code = 60031
area_code = 224, 847
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map_caption = Location of Gurnee within Illinois
map_background = Illinois - background map.png map_locator = Illinois2
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Gurnee is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 28,834 at the 2000 census, [cite web|url=|title=Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights: Gurnee village, Illinois|publisher=U.S. Census Bureau|accessdate=2006-11-27] and estimated to be 30,772 in 2005. The village borders the city of Waukegan and is considered a part of the Chicago metropolitan area. The village is home to many Chicago Bears players, including NFL recordholder Devin Hester. Gurnee has benefitted from its location as the midway point between Milwaukee and Chicago.


Gurnee is located at coor dms|42|22|25|N|87|56|4|W|city (42.373682, -87.934407).GR|1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.8 km²), of which, 13.4 square miles (34.7 km²) of it is land and 0.07% is water. Gurnee is located on the banks of the Des Plaines River and is split by Interstate 94 which divides the village into East (old) and west (new) sides.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 28,834 people, 10,629 households, and 7,716 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,151.6 people per square mile (830.8/km²). There were 10,929 housing units at an average density of 815.5/sq mi (314.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 82.12% White, 5.06% African American, 0.18% Native American, 8.20% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.15% from other races, and 2.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.03% of the population. 21.7% were of German, 10.0% Irish, 7.6% Italian, 7.3% Polish and 5.8% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 10,629 households out of which 42.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.6% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the village the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 37.2% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $75,742, and the median income for a family was $88,932. Males had a median income of $60,274 versus $38,713 for females. The per capita income for the village was $31,517. About 2.0% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.


Early settlers in the Gurnee area came by foot horseback and by "Prairie Schooners" drawn by oxen or via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. They came from the town of Warren, New York, which was named in honor of Major General Joseph Warren, killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Warren Township, formed in 1850, was also named after him. [cite web|url=|title=Gurnee History - Warren Township|publisher=The Village of Gurnee, IL|accessdate=2007-08-02] The first settlement of Warren Township commenced in 1835 in the vicinity of the Aux Plaines River (now the Des Plaines River).

In 1835-36, a land company from New York State erected a Community House (site of the old Gurnee Grade School) to accommodate families while they were locating and getting government land grants to their farms. Near the Community House there was a ford used by the Potowatomi Indians for crossing the river. A floating log bridge was built there in about 1842. Later a stationary wooden bridge was constructed, and still later an iron bridge was erected. With the erection of a permanent bridge, roads were established and this area became the hub of the township. It was at this junction that the Milwaukee Road crossed the river from west to east and then continued in a northeasterly direction to eventually join Chicago to Milwaukee. This road was "laid out" in 1836 by three early settlers, Thomas McClure, Mark Noble, and Richard Steele. The east-west road, now known as Grand Avenue, was a main route from McHenry County to the port of Waukegan. Stage coaches ran on this route as late as 1890.

The village is named after former Chicago Mayor Walter S. Gurnee.

Just east of the bridge, at the junction of Milwaukee Road and Grand Avenue, was the Mutaw Tavern, earlier known as "Marm Rudd's Tavern" and more recently as the Mother Rudd House. This was a stage coach stop between Chicago and Milwaukee and was a stopover for farmers from the west traveling to Little Fort (Waukegan) to barter their crops for supplies and to ship out from the ports. It also served as a stop during the underground railroad. This building was acquired by the Village of Gurnee in 1984, has been restored, and now houses the Warren Township Historical Society.

In May 2004 Gurnee received major rainfall, causing the worst flooding in eighteen years. The flood caused major building damage and flooded roads that overpassed the Des Plaines River. At the intersection near Viking Middle School (Grand Avenue and O'Plaine Road), people had to canoe to get out of their house. Fact|date=February 2007

Notable institutions

Gurnee is home to Gurnee Mills, the fourth largest shopping mall in Illinois, [cite web|url=|title=Illinois: Top 10 Shopping Centers|publisher=CoStar Realty|accessdate=2006-11-25] and Six Flags Great America, a large amusement park. KeyLime Cove, an indoor waterpark, hotel, and conference center, opened in 2008. In January 2007, KeyLime Cove broke ground just north of Six Flags. [cite web|url=|title=About KeyLime Cove|accessdate=2007-05-07] [cite web|url=|title=KeyLime Cove Resort Expected to Cost $125 million|publisher=Chicago Tribune|date=2006-05-10]

The majority of the eastern half of the village is served by Gurnee School District #56. Four schools make up District #56. They are: Gurnee Grade School (grades K-8), O'Plaine School (grades 3-5), Spaulding School (grades PK-2), and Viking Middle School (grades 6-8). [cite web|url=|title=Gurnee School District #56|accessdate=2006-11-27]

The western section of Gurnee, along with portions of the village's eastside is served by Woodland Grade School District #50. Woodland comprises Woodland Middle School (grades 6-8), Woodland Elementary School (grades 1-3), Woodland Intermediate School (grades 4-5), and Woodland Primary School (K). Woodland is primarily the larger school. [cite web|url=|title=Woodland School District #50|accessdate=2006-11-27]

The village is served by Warren Township High School which is made up of the O'Plaine Road Campus (freshmen and sophomores) and the Almond Road Campus (juniors and seniors).

According to the 2007 state report card, Gurnee School District #56 has full recognition. Woodland District #50 also has full recognition. Warren High School District #121 is in the second year of Academic Watch Status. Warren has this status because the district failed to meet the minimum standards of No Child Left Behind for five years in a row. [cite web|url=| title=ISBE eReport Card Public Site| accessdate=2007-12-03]

Gurnee has been served by the Warren-Newport Public Library District since 1973.


Interstate 94 (The Tri-State Tollway) is the main interstate servicing Gurnee, allowing easy access to Milwaukee and Chicago.

Gurnee is notable as being one of the only major Chicago suburbs that is not serviced by Metra, although there are nearby stations in Waukegan, Grayslake, Prairie Crossing, and Libertyville.

Drinking water supply

The Village of Gurnee water supply comes from the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency (CLCJAWA) located in Lake Bluff, IL. CLCJAWA purifies water from Lake Michigan.

Mayors (Past and Present)

*Leo Felton 1928-1941
*Dr. W.W. Smith 1941-1942 (Resigned to enter Armed Services)
*Wm. Barnstable 1942-1949
*Gordon D. Gillings 1949-1973
*Richard Welton 1973-2001
*Don Rudny 2001-2005
*Kristina Kovarik 2005-Present

Notable residents

*Kevin Anderson, actor
*Devin Hester, wide receiver and return man for the Chicago Bears, NFL record holder
*Chris Harris, former cornerback and safety for the Chicago Bears
*Robbie Gould, kicker for the Chicago Bears]
*Rob Boras, tight end coach for the Chicago Bears]
*Dave Toub, special teams coach for the Chicago Bears]
*Tommie Harris, defensive tackle, pro bowler for the Chicago Bears
*Brian Seymour, CEO Seymour Enterprises


External links

* [ Village of Gurnee Official Website]
* [ Warren-Newport Public Library District]
* [ Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency]
* [ Information about the Waterparks in Gurnee, IL from]
* [,-87.950792&spn=0.021936,0.052357&z=15 Google map of Waterparks in Gurnee, IL]

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