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Antioch's hometown feel attracts residents, visitors
By Sherry Giewald | Daily Herald Correspondent

The Chain O' Lakes brings countless recreational opportunities to Antioch.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Hiram Buttrick built this sawmill along Sequoit Creek in 1839.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Pickard China, creating place settings in Antioch since 1937, has an outlet store and museum open to the public. For information, visit pickardchina.com.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Antioch's Metra train leaves the downtown station and takes residents to Chicago and points in between.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

A Metra train stops at the Antioch station before heading to Chicago.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Newer subdivisions like Red Wing View along Route 173 join older neighborhoods in Antioch.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

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Published: 8/21/2009 12:01 AM

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Facts and figures

Population: 13,724

Largest employers:

Advertiser Network

State Bank of the Lakes

Village of Antioch

Raymond Chevrolet Kia

Famous sons:

Al Capone owned a summer home on Bluff Lake during Prohibition.

Favorite annual events:

Fourth of July celebration

Thursday concerts

Taste of Summer

Farmers Market

Fall Fest

Holiday Parade

Santa's Castle

With a small hometown feel, quaint downtown, plenty of parks and Chain O' Lakes recreation, Antioch attracts both new residents and out-of-town visitors.

"Everyone says, 'Oh I love Antioch; it's so cute,'" said Pat Ciko, broker-associate with RE/MAX Advantage Realty. Ciko agrees. "It's one of the nicest towns on the Chain O' Lakes," she said.

Teresa Worklan, broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Hometrust Realtors Inc. moved to the area 30 years ago and loves it as much now as she did then. "It's a nice downtown with wonderful shops, resale, nice restaurants, fitness clubs, bistros. It's nice - something like you'd see in Lake Geneva.

"We've got the only PML theater right downtown where they have live shows all the time. And we have a one-show movie theater, Thursday concerts and people sitting outside in front of restaurants.

"I'm from Minnesota, so it gives me that atmosphere where I don't feel rushed. It's a slow pace, but if you want a fast pace, that's only 20 minutes away."

Ciko believes affordable housing is also a big draw for the community. Although many sales have been short sales and foreclosures priced under $200,000, Antioch offers a wide range of homes at varying prices.

"We have very elegant homes, newer homes and affordable homes," Ciko said. "We have in-town homes with character and waterfronts on the Chain, which will be pricier."

More specifically, Worklan says," homes run about $120,000 in an unincorporated area, $250,000 in newer subdivisions, $400,000 to $500,000 for exclusive homes while some homes on Lake Antioch go for $500,000 to $600,000. We've had a lot of contracts go through in the last couple of months."

Residents enjoy 15 developed parks with the newest the Brook Wetland Sanctuary and Entertainment Center located in the downtown area. The Entertainment Center hosts "It's Thursday" concerts while Taste of Summer, carnivals and special events take place at the park.

Family activities abound with the car and boat show, fishing tournaments and all the programs they have for kids, Worklan said. "We just had the Lions Club barbecue. It's such a well-rounded community."

Along with neighboring Fox Lake, Antioch hosts several pro and amateur national fishing tournaments. Every Fourth of July fishers come from all over the world to try to catch the legendary batman fish on Loon Lake. Kite flying is also a popular sporting event on the lake during Labor Day weekend.

The Chain O' Lakes state park offers a mecca of year-round recreation. Tourism has always been an important aspect of the local economy with many campgrounds and marinas large area employers.

One of the most scenic sights in Lake County is the Hiram Buttrick Sawmill. The authentic reproduction was built in 1976 as a bicentennial project.

The village has some small industry, including the world famous Pickard China factory. Pickard, one of the finest china companies in the country, makes place settings for presidents, foreign embassies and countless family Thanksgivings. It is also a popular destination with a showroom located north of Route 173 on the east side of Route 83 at 782 Pickard Ave.

Antioch's retail growth continues along the Route 173 corridor, and an industrial park along Anita Avenue contributes to the tax and employment base.

The downtown Metra is a big asset, and a lot of people use it, Worklan said. "I hop on the train to O'Hare and take a bus to the terminal. The bus runs every five minutes. It's so convenient."

Antioch timeline

1838: Gage brothers build a cabin on Sequoit Creek, the first permanent white settlement.

1839: Hiram Buttrick builds a sawmill along Sequoit Creek.

1856: John Elliott construct a steam gristmill to accompany the sawmill.

1892: Antioch is incorporated and the village grows as new settlers establish farms and businesses.

1800s: In the late 19th century, Antioch becomes a popular vacation spot for Chicagoans.

1905: Town rebuilds with brick after being destroyed by a series of fires.

1913: Volunteer fire department forms.

1937: Pickard China moves from Chicago to Antioch and expands its operation. The company remains in business today.

1945: Chain O' Lakes becomes a state park.

1950s: Village develops the large industrial park along Anita Avenue.