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Explore the Towns of the Fox Valley!Algonquin
Part of the trio known as the Tri-Cities, Batavia -- much like her sisters to the north, had its start in the first third of the 19th century when Christopher Columbus Payne settled here and built a cabin for his family in what was then referred to as "Head of Big Woods". He moved on within two years, selling his property to a Judge Isaac Walton who changed the name to match his former hometown of the same name in New York. The rich farmland, timber, water power and quarry stone -- Batavia had 10 quarries, many of which provided the City of Chicago with building materials for new construction after the Great Fire - were important resources. And many of the buildings in the downtown areas of all the Tri-Cities are also made from the same fine Batavia Niagara Limestone. Located about 40 miles west of Chicago, Batavia is situated in the heart of the Fox River Valley, just a few miles to the north of Interstate 88 Tollway.
It would seem that all three cities also have a bit of claim to fame when it comes to Mary Todd Lincoln, widow of the 16th President of the United States -- she once spent some time in Batavia's Bellevue Place, a sanitarium and rest home for the mentally ill.
But Batavia has other history to be proud of. Batavia was recognized as the leading windmill manufacturing city in the world and was home to the Campana Company (maker of cosmetic products). Riverbank Labs and Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co. are still located there. And Batavia and hosts world famous Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, at the city's southeastern edge, attracting nuclear physicists from throughout the world.
But don't make the trip solely for the history, culture, festivals, arts and local flavor, or even a bike trip along the scenic Fox River. Come to Batavia, Illinois for the fine dining, shopping and all the wonderful people that make it a friendly place to visit!