Winnetka, IL is a village in the state of Illinois located about 21 miles north of Chicago’s ‘loop’. As of the 2010 census 12,200 people resided within the village.

The first houses within Winnetka were built in 1836.  Winnetka’s first private school was opened in 1856 by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peck with seventeen children. In 1859 the first public school building was built with private funds at the southeast corner of Elm and Maple streets.  The village was incorporated in 1869 with a population of 450.

The Chicago and Milwaukee Railway was built in 1855 through Winnetka, connecting its namesake cities and eventually became the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. In 1937 the railroad tracks through Winnetka were lowered after people were hit at the grade crossings.  The North Shore electric line was built in the first decade of the 1900s, and the line through Winnetka was removed in 1955. This is now the Green Bay Trail bicycle path.

Noteable events in Winnetka include: n 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in Winnetka. A plaque dedicated to him is on the Village Green, a park in the town, where he spoke; Winnetka was the site of the Hubbard Woods Elementary School shooting by Laurie Dann in 1988;  a song named “Big Noise from Winnetka” was recorded in 1938 by The Bobcats.

Additionally, The bulk of the film Home Alone and the beginning of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York are both filmed in Winnetka at 671 Lincoln Avenue; films Ocean’s 12, Breakfast Club, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Risky Business, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, She’s Having a Baby, Uncle Buck, and contagion.

Noteable residents include: Adam Baldwin, actor; Ann-Margret, actress; Jay Cutler, quarterback for the Chicago Bears; Bruce Dern, actor; Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago; Charlton Heston, actor; Rock Hudson, actor; Virginia Madsen, actress; John Moore, defenseman with the New York Rangers; Chris O’Donnell, actor; Bruce Rauner, billionaire;
Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense; Marc Trestman, head coach of the Chicago Bears; Rocky Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks.

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