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Below is some general information about Winnetka:
Winnetka is a village in northern Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 12,187 at the 2010 census. An affluent North Shore village located approximately 16 miles north of downtown Chicago, Winnetka is thought to be the wealthiest town in Illinois. In addition, the town was featured on the list of America’s 25 top-earning towns by CNN Money in 2011. The area is one of the most exclusive and wealthy suburbs in the nation. According to Business Week, it is the 14th richest zip code in America.
The first houses were built in 1836. That year Erastus Patterson and his family arrived from Vermont and opened a tavern to service passengers on the Green Bay Trail post road. The village was first subdivided in 1854 by Charles Peck and Walter S. Gurnee, President of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Winnetka’s first private school was opened in 1856 by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peck with seventeen pupils. In 1859 the first public school building was built with private funds at the southeast corner of Elm and Maple streets. The first year’s budget for this school was two hundred dollars. The village was incorporated in 1869 with a population of 450.
The Chicago and Milwaukee Railway was built in 1855 through Winnetka, connecting its namesake cities. It eventually became the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. In 1937 the railroad tracks through Winnetka were lowered after people were hit at the grade crossings. Due to public interest both grade crossings in Winnetka and Hubbard Woods were lowered, with the station at Indian Hill located above grade level. In 1995 the C&NW was merged into the Union Pacific. Only Metra trains are operated on this track now; freight operations ended in the late 1980s. Winnetka has three Metra stations: Hubbard Woods, Winnetka, and Indian Hill. The Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee electric interurban was built through Winnetka and the North Shore in the first decade of the 1900s, and the line through Winnetka was removed in 1955. This is now the Green Bay Trail bicycle path.
In 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in Winnetka. A plaque dedicated to him is on the Village Green, a park in the town, where he spoke. Winnetka was the site of the Hubbard Woods Elementary School shooting by Laurie Dann in 1988. A song named “Big Noise from Winnetka” was recorded in 1938 by The Bobcats. Winnetka was named number 4 on the list of America’s 25 top-earning towns by CNN Money in 2007.
The Winnetka Public Schools system (District 36) consists of three elementary schools and two middle schools. Hubbard Woods, Crow Island, and Samuel Sewall Greeley (est. 1912) Elementary Schools serve grades kindergarten through four, students in fifth and sixth grades attend Skokie Middle School and seventh and eighth graders attend Carleton W. Washburne Middle School, named after educator Carleton Washburne. Winnetka’s schools were modeled after Washburne’s educational philosophy in an experiment called the Winnetka Plan. The town’s schools continue to reflect his educational philosophy. Winnetka is in New Trier Township, and public school students who reside in Winnetka attend New Trier High School for grades 9 through 12.
Source: Winnetka on Wikipedia