Situated approximately 16 miles north of Chicago, the village of Winnetka is ranked among one of the wealthiest places in the nation and richest community in Illinois. An easy drive or train commute to the city, Winnetka’s strategic location frequently draws residents looking for the amenities of a larger city at a more leisurely pace. The school system has served as a model for educators across the country, while well-developed recreational facilities and parks delight locals and visitors alike.
The Winnetka suburb is located approximately 14 miles north of downtown Chicago, and is both the most affluent municipality in Illinois and second-most affluent in the United States. Vermont native Erastus Patterson and his family were the first American settlers to arrive, establishing a tavern for Green Bay Trail travelers in 1836. The town began to grow after being subdivided in 1856 by Charles Peck and Walter S. Gurnee, and it was incorporated as Winnetka in 1869. Population growth was gradual through 1900, when the Winnetka suburb experienced a rapid increase, tripling in size over the next two decades and nearly doubling that number by 1930—which remains its current population level. Today, Winnetka is known for its high standards of living and well-developed downtown area, which features several options for shopping, dining, and other recreations.
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