Waukegan Illinois is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, 36 miles north of Chicago and 60 miles south of Milwaukee. Waukegan is one of the oldest communities in Illinois. Early explorers visited the area in the 1650s. By 1725, traders had established a French trading post and Potawatomi Indian settlement known as Little Fort. In 1849 the residents of Little Fort changed the name of their town to Waukegan, the Potawatomi word for fort/trading post.
The town continued to grow and diversify. Waukegan incorporated as a city on February 23, 1859. Waukegan became a thriving center of industry. By the mid-nineteenth century, Waukegan harbor was one of the busiest on the Great Lakes. Industrial growth was further stimulated by construction of the railroads.
Today Waukegan is a culturally diverse city with a population of over 90,000. It is largely a residential community with shopping districts, industry, financial, governmental, health care and legal services. Waukegan's historical downtown area is undergoing a revitalization and preservation through the volunteer-based, non-profit Waukegan Main Street Organization. Waukegan is a great place to live and work!
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