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Known for its beautiful lakefront, the Village of Wilmette is located approximately 16 miles north of downtown Chicago and extends about 5 miles west from Lake Michigan. Residents enjoy diverse architecture, tree-lined brick streets, well maintained parks and excellent public and private schools.
The community is also committed to its history, preserving its brick streets and old fashioned street lights. In 1674, Father Marquette and his expedition beached their canoes and spent the night on the shores of present day Wilmette. In 1829, Antoine Ouilmette, a French-Canadian fur trader and his part-Indian wife, Archange, moved their family to a cabin near the foot of present day Lake Avenue. The first Wilmette public school opened in 1871. In 1872, the village was incorporated.
When the Chicago Sanitary District built the North Shore Channel and Wilmette Harbor in 1908-1910, the shape of the lakefront changed. The landfill created by construction of the channel was later developed into Wilmette’s magnificent Gillson Park.
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