Yogurt Comes to St. Charles!
Farmer's Markets: Fresh Fruit
& Veggies for the Fox Valley
Explore More Fox Valley Towns
home to the Pottawatomie – the Neshnabi, as they called themselves – St.
Charles, Illinois is situated along the banks of the Fox River, about 40
miles west of Chicago. The river, as the Pottawatomie well knew, was a
tremendous asset, and white Anglo-Saxons were quick to discover this.
Not only was the river a source of water power, the land around it was
an abundant source of firewood, game and fresh spring water and
limestone – one of the major building materials still seen in numerous
area dwellings today. Moving into the area in the 1830’s, these early
European pioneers eventually drove the Native Americans from their home.
In 1836, the
first dam was completed in what was then Charleston. It was a great
source of power to grind flour and cut wood, both necessary to a growing
town which, in 1839 changed its name to St. Charles. 1857 saw an iron
bridge constructed across the Fox River, replacing several failed wooden
ones, during a time when the city experienced great growth, aided by the
influx – not unlike sister city Geneva to the south – of hard-working
Swedish immigrants. The years of 1920-1940 brought now-familiar names
like the Cable Piano Factory and Moline Malleable, Hotel Baker and Arcada Theatre to St. Charles, the philanthropic contributions of the
Gates, Norris and Baker families.
Charles has experienced incredible growth, it still has the small-town
allure that brought to its borders people from far and wide. There is
an abundance of recreational areas – including Pottawatomie Park –
picture-postcard scenic views along the Fox River,
great shopping opportunities and some of the friendliest folks in the