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Lake Bluff is a village in Lake Countymarker, Illinoismarker. It is the closest moderate-sized town near the Great Lakes Navy Basemarker. The population is 6,056 according to the 2000 census. The town has a volunteer fire department, and police department.


In 1836, John and Catherine Cloes were the first to claim land, 100 Acres, in the area that would become Lake Bluff. In 1855, the first railroad in Lake Countymarker was completed between Chicagomarker and Waukeganmarker. When the railroad depot was built in Lake Bluff, the land became known as Rockland; although the village is no longer known by that name, there is still a Rockland Road in the unincorporated section of Lake Bluff, Knollwoodmarker. The area had previously been known as the Dwyer Settlement, and Oak Hill. The Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association was formed and the little settlement of Rockland was renamed "Lake Bluff." The Association planned a resort similar to the Chautauqua movement in the east, one that would provide not only religious activities but also social, cultural, educational, and recreational programs. In 1895, Lake Bluff ensured its future as a suburb and incorporated as a Village. Charles Trusdell, the first Village President, built his home at 115 East Center Avenue. The East School opened in September 1895. In 1904, the brick railroad station was erected, and in 1905 the present Village Hall was built.

Lake Bluff also played a major role in alcohol smuggling during Prohibition. Chicago crime boss Al Capone brought shipments of alcohol from Canada, down Lake Michigan, to the shores of Lake Bluff to saturate the streets of Chicago.

Knollwood, an unincorporated residential neighborhood west of Lake Bluff but within Lake Bluff's park and school districts, made unsuccessful petitions for annexation in 1978, 1982, and 1996.


Lake Bluff is located in the North Shore area, more precisely, (42.281122, -87.849019)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.5 km²), all of it land. It is bordered by Lake Michiganmarker on the east, Great Lakes Naval Training Stationmarker and unincorporated Lake County (Arden Shores) to the north, Lake Forestmarker, Illinoismarker to the South and unincorporated Lake County (Knollwoodmarker, Illinoismarker) to the west.


As of the census of 2000, there were 6,056 people, 2,118 households, and 1,743 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,492.0 people per square mile (575.9/km²). There were 2,202 housing units at an average density of 542.5/sq mi (209.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.29% White, 0.51% African American, 0.03% Native American, 3.30% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population.

There were 2,118 households out of which 45.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.3% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.7% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the village the population was spread out with 32.9% under the age of 18, 2.9% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $114,521, and the median income for a family was $124,674. Males had a median income of $93,794 versus $50,352 for females. The per capita income for the village was $54,824. 1.1% of the population and 0.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 0.6% are under the age of 18 and 0.0% are 65 or older.



Lake Bluff has Interstate Highway access via U.S. Route 41 and directly west of Lake Bluff is Interstate 94, both providing access for commuters to Chicagomarker or Milwaukeemarker.


Until its bankruptcy in 1964, the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee interurban railroad made a stop in Lake Bluff. As of 2007, the Union Pacific Railroad (Formerly the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad) runs through Lake Bluff. The Union Pacific line is currently used by the Metra commuter rail agency, providing access to Chicago and Kenoshamarker, Wisconsinmarker. Although not a passenger rail line, the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railroad has trackage in Lake Bluff as well.


Lake Bluff East Elementary School, originally known as "Lake Bluff School", was the first school in Lake Bluff. In 1963, Lake Bluff West Elementary School was built for children living in west Lake Bluff, also known as Knollwood, Illinoismarker. In 1967, Lake Bluff Central Elementary School was constructed for students in north Lake Bluff. In the 1970s, West School was shut down, and held many other titles, and the whole system moved from geographic centers to grade=specific attendence centers. In April 2007, a referendum passed by only 22 votes to build a new school. In a land swap with the park district, District 65 acquired land adjacent to the old Central School and gave up land adjacent to the old West School. West School was sold in May 2007 for approximately 1 million dollars, which was also the minimum bid for the property. The new Lake Bluff Elementary School (grades k-5th) opened on September 28, 2009. Additions and remodeling were also made to the Lake Bluff Middle School (grades 6-8). East School held its final classes through September 2009. The cost of the new Lake Bluff Elementary School was approximately $20 million and is 82,000 square feet.

School System:




Media Associated with Lake Bluff

  • The comedy film A Wedding was filmed almost entirely in Lake Bluff, near the border between Lake Bluff and the Great Lakes Naval Facility.
  • The Academy Award winning film Ordinary People was filmed mostly in neighboring Lake Forest and nearby Fort Sheridan and Highland Park, although some scenes were filmed in Lake Bluff.
  • Ray Bradbury chose Lake Bluff as the location of his short story The Lake (1944).

Notable residents


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