Sugar Grove Illinois History
The Village of Sugar Grove was founded around the same time as other Fox Valley communities. In 1833, six travellers from Ohio entered the region looking for a good place to start a community. The actual name of the community comes from the english translation of the indian name of the area – “Sin-Qua-Sip” – Sugar Grove – named for the many groves of sugar maples found in the area. The six travellers from Ohio came across an abandoned American Indian “sugar camp” and took shelter near the current site of the Bliss Woods Forest Preserve. American Indians had long known how to harvest and refine the sap of the Sugar Maple and built “sugar camps” where they could return in the fall to harvest sap, boil it down, refine it into cakes and use it for winter sustenence. The six friends liked the area – the ready sources of wood, lush farmland as well as Blackberry Creek made it a promising place to settle. Two of the settlers, James and Issac Isbell built a cabin and sent for other family members in Ohio. In 1835, their mother, sister, brother Lyman and his wife arrived – using the old indian trails as transportation avenues into the area.
The location of the new settlement – on the road west between Chicago and Dixon – made it a popular stopover for travelers. An inn was built in the area and became a draw for new settlers to the small village. Sugar Grove remained mostly a small farming community until the mid 20th Century. The village was only officially incorporated in 1957 with a population of 125. Shortly thereafter, several subdivisions were constructed along the intersection of Route 47 and 56. Along with several retail areas, these homes – built around the 1960’s and 1970’s formed what is commonly thought of as the “downtown” area of Sugar Grove.
Present day Sugar Grove real estate is on the forefront of residential development in the Chicagoland area. Several large subdivisions are currently being built in the community – including the sprawling Settler’s Ridge. Most of the homes in Sugar Grove feed into Kaneland School District 302 although some feed into the West Aurora School District 129. Sugar Grove is expected to grow rapidly through the next two decades. Community leaders have made it a priority to maintain the small-town atmosphere and to be selective about development – to allow the community to continue to grow, but grow with a plan. There is a good chance that the Village of Sugar Grove will join other local communities in population growth over the next 10-20 years.