Hinsdale is a community with a history unlike that of Chicago’s newer suburbs. The village was founded on the Cook/DuPage County line in 1873, shortly after the Burlington Northern Railroad laid tracks in the area. This makes Hinsdale one of the oldest commuting suburbs with a 25 minute ride to Chicago’s Loop.
The prestigious western suburb of Hinsdale has small-town friendliness, restored shops with winding streets lined with stately oak, elm, and maple trees. It has been named one of the ten (10) best places to live. Wooded and hilly, Hinsdale is the picturesque village where business people and professionals come home after daytime deals and concerns. There are distinguished executive homes, a lush rolling countryside, and an affluent citizenry.
Hinsdale has been captured on film by Hollywood and Hallmark Chartered in 1873, the village has been an executive community since the 1920’s. It began as a stop first on a stagecoach route and then on the railroad. Hinsdale was also a stop on the underground railroad before and during the Civil War. Judge Joel Tiffany was the first village president The library was built in 1887, a golf course was constructed in 1894, and the hospital in 1904.
The history of the village is comprised of two entirely different communities, which became one in 1923. The first was a community called “Brush Hill” or “Fullersburg” and was founded in 1835 by Benjamin Fuller. The focus of that settlement was primarily agricultural. The Grant Mill, used by those farmers to grind their grain crops, still stands just north of where Spring and York Roads meet. Today, it is a museum and host to thousands of visitors each summer.
The second community was founded by a real estate investor, William Robbins, in 1862. He paid $20 for an acre, and gave the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad the right of way through the property. He built the first school, where the present Middle School is. It developed along the railroad line as a bedroom town from where people traveled to Chicago to work every day. The two communities became one in 1923, and remains today a bedroom community.
The village’s recreation department maintains 18 parks on over 120 acres, and runs programs for all ages. The Fall Family Festival and the Winter Carnival are but two of the special events the department puts together every year. Tennis courts, swimming pools, athletic fields that in the winter become skating ponds, and a sledding hill are some of the offerings of the recreation department, along with District sponsored cross-country skiing, swimming, archery, and horseback riding.
Hinsdale also boosts a community center, fine hospital, churches, a well-regarded public and parochial school system, a post office, a modem fire and police station, a Village Hall, a new library, a movie theater, a model animal shelter where the original Morris the Cat was discovered), a cultural arts center; a newspaper, retirement homes, fishmarkets, financial institutions, food shops, grocery chains, and retail shops. It is also filled with professionals – physicians, attorneys, accountants inhabit the buildings and offices. Three miles north is the Oak Brook Center which has many famous stores including Marshall Fields, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstroms, Lord and Taylor, etc.
The village also has excellent schools. Hinsdale High Schoolstudents rank very high in ACT scores. More than 87 percent of graduates go to college. Children attend elementary schoolwhere gifted programs, computer classes, and foreign languages are offered. At the two high schools, more than 80 percent of the educators have advanced degrees. There is a middle school and five elementary schools along with several parochial and private schools.
Commuters catch the Burlington Northern railroad (RTA Metra) at two stations in Hinsdale, and reach Union Station in 22 minutes express, or in 40 minutes on the local. O’Hare Airport is a 2O minute drive via the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) which borders the village to the east. Hinsdale is also close to the Eisenhower and Stevenson expressways (I-290 and I-55).
Most businesses are located in the original three-by-three block commercial district along the railroad tracks, although there are smaller commercial areas scattered in other areas. Despite the success of its commercial sector, only 3 percent of the land in Hinsdale is devoted to commercial development.