What originally started as a cottage town and summer retreat destination has evolved into the roughly 15,600-population village of Shorewood.
While Shorewood was incorporated on November 27, 1957, with just 177 ballots cast, it had a long history before that, according to the village’s website.
Shorewood began as a small fishing and resort community, known as Troy. Albert H. Bruning purchased farmland from the Meyer family in 1926 and subdivided the land, selling small lots along the DuPage River for summer cottages. These cottages today are charming year-round homes nestled in the Oaks along the DuPage River.
Lifetime resident Cookie Kirkland, also a village trustee, recently spoke with her mother about the area’s history. Her mother moved to the area in 1937. Her mother’s family rented a home on Grove Street before moving to a house on the water.
Kirkland’s mother shared that prior to the 1940s, families used to come out for the summer and stay in the beach cottages. Every year, the Shorewood Beach Improvement Association would dam the river and put rafts out for swimming and diving.
Somewhere around the 1940s, Kirkland’s mother said people began staying in the area year round. When those living in the community decided they wanted to incorporate the village, they had to raise the money to hold elections for incorporation, according to Kirkland.
When they still fell short, resident Edwin McHugh and Paul Puhl provided the rest of the money, according to Kirkland. At its incorporation, the village had a population of just 358 people.
“I love it here,” Kirkland said. “That’s why I never left. Even though we’re not so small anymore, I still feel like we have that small town feel.”
Deb Olson | 815-955-0428 | DebOlsonSellsHomes.com | Spring Realty, 852 Sharp Dr., Suite N, Shorewood, IL