Washington stands in Tazewell County, in North Central Illinois. It lies immediately southwest of Eureka and northeast of East Peoria at the intersection of Route 8 and Highway 89. Discover this charming, rapidly growing community of more than 16,500 people along U.S. Route 24.
A Fascinating History
A blacksmith named William Holland, Sr. reportedly founded this small town in 1825. Designated as Holland’s Grove in 1833, the village changed its name to “Washington” just five years later. Residents sought to honor President George Washington posthumously.
During the 1920s, the small Illinois town gained notoriety as the site of one of the most prominent Shetland Pony farms in the United States. The Heyl Pony Farm stood along North Main Street. George Heyl sold his purebred stock to an international clientele.(1)
Unfortunately, in 2013 the community sustained a tragedy. It suffered severe tornado damage. The storm caused an extensive loss of property and ultimately resulted in three fatalities. Extensive rebuilding has occurred since the disaster.(1)
Today, this lovely Illinois community supports a rapidly growing, affluent population. The town witnessed an astonishing 55.1% rate of growth since 2000.(2) The median age here falls close to the state’s median at 37.7 years. Women outnumber men by a narrow margin.(2) In 2016, residents enjoyed an estimated per capita income of $34,795, a significant improvement (over $10,000) above the 2000 estimate.(2) Today, the community boasts a median household income of $71,702.(3)
The community supports six public elementary and middle schools and one high school. Well over 3,000 students attend classes full-time at these institutions. Several hundred pupils attend St. Patrick School, a local private school serving children from preschool through eighth grade.(2)
City Transportation And Infrastructure
Although the City does not maintain a bus system, residents do enjoy access to several important interstate highways. Interstate 74, Interstate 155, and Interstate 39 furnish rapid access by auto to other parts of the state, including Peoria, Springfield, and Chicago.
The City provides an excellent public library system. It offers a network of parks and green spaces. It also maintains a public water and sewer system. Full-time emergency, firefighting, and police departments also serve residents.(3)
Fun Local Attractions
The beautiful Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area lies a few miles south of this location. It offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including some charming hiking trails of interest to bird watchers and animal photographers. Residents easily reach access roads for two other state parks by driving north along Route 89: Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area and Woodford State Fish and Wildlife Area. All these natural areas stand within an hour’s drive of town.
Residents of this community also easily access shopping, fine dining, concert, and sports watching opportunities in nearby Peoria. Additionally, the Sunnyland Plaza Shopping Center offers local shopping outlets on the far western edge of the community. It includes restaurants and retail sites.