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Kane County, Illinois



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Transportation and Surrounding Settlements had a great impact on Kane County, hence their inclusion here.

Water Ways of Northern Illinois


Chicago area Water Ways

I & M Canal (Includes History of Chicago Land)

Pottawatomi Indian Transportation


Indian Trails &


Early Roads

A plank road was started to connect St. Charles with Sycamore.  It ran from Main Street west to 8th Street where a toll gate was located, then it followed what is now Dean Street.  It continued three miles west of town where it ended, some miles short of Sycamore.  Heavy wagon traffic caused the road to fall apart and was torn out some eight years later, a failure.


Lincoln Highway (Route 31 N. Aurora)  - part of historic transcontinental highway


Stage Coach Lines



Early Public Transportation


       1840 circa - Weekly, Frink & Walker, stage coach ran from Chicago to McCarty's Mill (East Aurora)         and         on to Galena.

       1849 - 1860 Branch rail road operated in St. Charles.

       1880 - Great Western Railroad in St. Charles

       St. Charles - The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad offered to lay tracks through St. Charles but the City Fathers declined wanting highway traffic for business.  This caused many business' to fail.          Elgin raised the money for the railroad allowing Elgin to expand.

       The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad ran through Geneva and Aurora won the Burlington Railroad.  St. Charles eventually got a branch line of the Chicago Northwestern from Geneva.



       Electric railways and the automobile came in the late 1800s.  Electric trolleys connected every community between Aurora and Elgin, and from Aurora and Elgin to nearby counties.   The street car line connecting Aurora & Elgin came to St. Charles in 1896. The line went down main street turning north on 5th Ave (Hwy25) and south along 3rd Street - to Anderson Blvd in Geneva.

       The old bridge on Main Street in St. Charles collapsed under the weight of the street car in 1902 causing much excitement.  

       About 1908 a new line was under construction connecting Woodstock to Sycamore.   Construction was to begin linking Elgin to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and the resorts.


        The A.E. & C. Railway company bought the Aurora-Elgin Line, the Belvidere line and the Aurora, Elgin & Chicago third rail.  Trains left every hour for Chicago, with the trip taking 1 hour and 25 minutes.


       Today train service runs from Aurora to Chicago; Geneva to Chicago & Elgin to Chicago.  A bus runs between Carpentersville and Aurora.  Many of the abandoned rail lines have been converted to beautiful bike paths.



       Aurora Municipal Airport - near Montgomery - general aviation

       DuPage Airport is just east of the St. Charles border.- general aviation

       Elgin Airport

       Several private grass strips

       O'Hare International Airport - Chicago

       Midway Airport - Chicago





Pottawatomi Indian Transportation


Trolley - Yorkville to Carpentersville

Electric Interurban - Aurora-Kaneville-Maple Park-De Kalb; Aurora-Plainfield-Joliet



       Burlington Railroad - Aurora

       Chicago NorthWesterns  

       Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway

       The Milwaukee Road


       RailRoad Records

       RailRoad Info Cyndis List

       Walter Payton's Roundhouse Complex - Aurora


       RailRoad Retirement Information


Source Kane County History, Joslyn & Joslyn, 1908, Reflections of St. Charles by Ruth Seen Pearson 1976, personal knowledge.

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Last Updated 4-Nov-1999