Welcome to Lombard, Illinois!
The lure of fertile farmland and plentiful timber drew settlers to the Lombard area in the 1830’s. Lombard shares its early history with Glen Ellyn when brothers Ralph and Morgan Babcock settled in a grove of trees along the DuPage River. In what was known as Babcock's Grove, Lombard developed to the east and Glen Ellyn to west. In 1837, Babcock's Grove was connected to Chicago by a stagecoach line which stopped at Stacy's Tavern at Geneva and St. Charles Roads.
The 1848 arrival of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad provided local farmers and merchants rail access to Chicago, and commercial buildings soon sprang up around the train station. Lombard was officially incorporated in 1869, named after Chicago banker and real estate developer Josiah Lombard.
Lilacia Park, Lombard, Illinois
It is impossible to separate Lombard from its lilacs. Lombard owes its collection to Colonel William Plum and his wife Helen. On a visit to France, the Colonel admired the French hybrid lilacs in the Lemoine Gardens in Nancy and began to import them to plant at his Lombard home. Eventually collecting 150 varieties, his collection was at one time believed to be the largest in the world. Upon his death in 1927, he bequeathed his home and the adjacent lilac gardens to the town as a park and library site.
As a result of Colonel Plum's bequest, the Lombard Park District was established in 1927. Each year during ‘Lilac Time’, which occurs during May, Lilacia Park exemplifies the historic beauty of Lombard in bloom. The 8.5 acre park is fragrant with flowering lilac bushes, 75,000 tulips and other spring-flowering plantings. Lilacia Park is the focal point for residents and visitors alike during Lilac Time as well as throughout the changing seasons.
A tour of the historic downtown area, within walking distance of the commuter train depot, highlights the significant heritage earlier residents left to contemporary Lombard: in addition to Lilacia Park there is the Lombard Historical Museum, Helen M. Plum Memorial Library as well as the Maple Street Chapel, a historic landmark in the spired Gothic style built as the original First Church of Lombard in 1870.
Lombard's high schools belong to Glenbard Township High School District 87. They are shared with the neighboring town of Glen Ellyn, thus the creation of the word "Glenbard". Lombard's elementary and middle schools (K-8) belong to Lombard School District 44 or DuPage School District 45.
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Updated: 18th June, 2019 12:50 PM.