Dean Larson in front of the American Legion Post, December 1999. He was instrumental in having the cupola restored and replaced. Photo: Sarah Hoskins
First settled in the early 1830s and incorporated
in 1882, the Village of Libertyville has preserved its past while
developing its future. In 1834, early settlers found the George
Vardin family occupying a one-room cabin on the site. The Vardins
moved out of the area the following year, and the log cabin became
Libertyville's first post office.
The Cook Mansion, a typical Victorian-era residence
and the first permanent dwelling in Libertyville, is located in
Cook Park, a gathering place and home to the Men's Garden Club Rose
Garden. The mansion was built in 1878 by Ansel Cook, an Illinois
state legislator and contractor by trade. Cook, before moving to
Chicago to work as a contractor, had farmed 448 acres near
Libertyville. When he returned to Lake County in 1869, he was
elected to the state legislature from that area. Chairman of the
Libertyville Building Committee, Cook worked with Illinois
architect William W. Boyington to plan the Libertyville Town Hall,
which is now the Libertyville American Legion Hall. In 1996, the
cupola was restored to the historic old Town Hall. Today the Cook
Mansion serves as headquarters of the Libertyville-Mundelein
Historical Society. The ongoing rehabilitation of late 19th century
buildings in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods reflects
the community's interest in maintaining its historic identity.
Modern-day Libertyville has a strong industrial base,
and is home to a new Motorola facility which has created over 4,000
jobs within the Village. Downtown Libertyville is the site of over
50 days of public events and programs annually, including
Libertyville Days; "Out to Lunch," Friday noontime cookouts in the
park; a summer-long Farmers Market; a summer concert series; the
Harvest Festival; and the month-long Dickens Holiday Festival.
These events attract over 50,000 guests annually. Libertyville
prides itself on its small-town, home-town feel. While the main
streets of many towns of its size have dried up and died,
Libertyville's Main Street, known as Milwaukee Avenue, is vibrant,
a place where small businesses can flourish and thrive.
Project documentation includes sheets on Libertyville
Facts and demographics, testimonials of local business owners and
residents, a fund-raising brochure for the Old Town Hall Cupola
Restoration project, brochures on the historical society and Cook
Mansion, and 17 6 x 10" black-and-white photographs with
Originally submitted by: Richard J. Durbin,Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.