The Lake Zurich area includes the villages of Lake Zurich, Kildeer, Long Grove, Hawthorn Woods, and Deer Park in Ela Township, Lake County, Illinois. The area is centered around Lake Zurich and is located about 37 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, Illinois. Over 35,000 people live in the area.
Ela Township is named after George Ela, an early settler who arrived in the area in 1835. At the time, Lake Zurich was known as Cedar Lake. In the last 100 years, Lake Zurich has evolved from a farming community and resort town to a modern, well-developed community of homes, schools and businesses.
*Information from Lake Zurich Village Profile
Safety and Disaster Preparedness
Be Informed, Get Involved
Disaster preparedness starts locally. Thanks to an Illinois state grant, the Ela Area Public Library will offer a range of safety and disaster preparedness information, activities and training for the Lake Zurich area community. Plan to attend the Library's free programs and visit this page for the latest information.
Visit our Safety and Disaster Preparedness page for more information.
Lake Zurich and Beyond
Check out our dining page for online resources providing restaurant reviews for both local and Chicago area establishments.
One of the "Best Affordable Suburbs in U.S."
Did You Know?
The Story Behind "Old Maud" *
When Henry David Thoreau spoke of the railroad in 1854 he said, "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us." Never were these words more true than in the creation of the Palatine, Lake Zurich and Wauconda railroad (PLZ&W).
The PLZ&W officially rode into Lake Zurich on August 25, 1912, the result of a dream of Robert D. Wynn, and Justin K. Orvis. The original plan was for an electric rail line spanning 75 miles of Lake and McHenry counties and connecting other commuter lines. The result was an 11 mile stretch of steam-run railroad from Palatine at the Chicago Northwestern station to the resorts in Lake Zurich and Bangs Lake in Wauconda. The Lake Zurich connection would help deliver mail between the communities and transfer freight to the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern (EJ&E) freight line.
*One in a series of articles by Nancy Burgess originally printed in the no longer published HOMETOWN Lake Zurich magazine.
Learn more about the plans for Lake Zurich's downtown by visiting the Downtown Revitalization Web site. The groundbreaking ceremony for the residential townhomes along Lakeview Place took place May 4, 2006.
Lake Zurich Area History
Text and Images
Browse our local history page containing links to information and images related to the history of Ela Township, including the Lake Zurich area. Much of this information is courtesy of the Ela Historical Society, the Chicago Historical Society, and local residents Clayton W. Brown and Nancy Burgess.
Lake Zurich Area
Take our virtual tour of the Lake Zurich area and view over 30 photographs from throughout the year.
Surf the Web Safely
Internet Safety & Cybercrime
Visit our Internet Safety page to learn what you need to know to keep yourself, your family, and your computer safe while connected to the Internet. Also, learn what to do in case you become a victim of identity theft or any other form of cybercrime.