Since 1930, Lombard has played host to the Lilac Festival and Parade. This annual event has resulted in Lombard’s loving designation of the ‘Lilac Village’. Served my several train lines and expressways, Lombard is a commuter’s dream with easy access to the city. Incorporated in 1869, Lombard sits about 23 miles outside of Chicago. The village was home to Ellen Martin, the first woman in Illinois to vote, and Harold Gray, the creator of the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip!
Lombard, "The Lilac Village", is a suburb of Chicago in DuPage County. In the mid-1830's, early settlers were attracted to Babcock's Grove, (as Lombard was called at the time) by rich farmland; more settlers came when the railroad route westward from Chicago followed the St. Charles Road Trail. In 1927, Colonel William R. Plum bequeathed his home and adjacent lilac gardens to the town as a park and library site. As a result of Colonel Plum's bequest, the Lombard Park District was established by court order in 1927. A tour of the historic downtown area, within walking distance of the commuter train depot, highlights the significant heritage earlier residents left to contemporary Lombard: the historic Lilacia Park, Lombard Historical Museum, Helen M. Plum Memorial Library as well as the Maple Street Chapel, a historic landmark in the spired Gothic style built as the original First Church of Lombard in 1870. Each year during Lilac Time, which occurs during May, Lilacia Park exemplifies the historic beauty of Lombard in bloom. The 8.5 acre park is fragrant with flowering lilac bushes, 75,000 tulips and other spring-flowering plantings. Lilacia Park is the focal point for residents and visitors alike during Lilac Time as well as throughout the changing seasons. Lombard has been home to some prominent figures, including Ellen Martin, the first woman in Illinois to vote, and Harold Gray, the creator of the "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip.
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