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History of Milledgeville
Many cities and towns had their earliest beginnings along the banks of a creek or river where early settlers would have easy access to water. Milledgeville was no exception.

In this area, settlers began arriving from the East and Canada in the early 1830's to claim government land grants. An enterprising millwright by the name of Peters sae the possibilities, and settled on Elkhorn Creek bottom in 1834. Falling sick, Peters gave up his claim to Jesse Kester, who improved the property by building a saw mill. It was from this mill - and the settlement which grew at the edge of it - that "Mill-edge-ville" soon derived its name.

Kester's saw mill was siad to be the first in the country to be run by water power. The mill son had a large business, and people for miles around brought their logs by ox team or horse drawn wagon to be sawed into lumber for their homes. The logs were cut from the groves of trees which stood in the area.

Kester subsequently sold out his claim to Adam Knox, who added a grist mill. Settlers hauled their grain to the mill to be ground into flour, took home what they needed, and left the rest at the mill to be sold. The mill soon became the nucleus of the settlement of Milledgeville, and was where people came to do their trading and get their mail which was brought by stagecoach.

The mill had a number of owners over the years, and during the boom years of the 1880s, and addition was built onto it. With the installation of mill rollers, and 1885 issue of the Milledgeville Free Press described the mill as having "the latest in equipment for making flour." It was said, in its day, to be one of the best-equipped mills in Carroll County.

Eventually the production of wheat by area farmers dimished, and whne there was no more need for a flour mill, the old mill finally closed down for good in 1901. Within five years the mill was dismantled, and sections of the original building were moved to various village locations to create structures for new businesses and serve as portions of private residences.

Milledgeville enjoys proximity to many wonderful attractions, enhancing the quality of life for area residents and adding considerable options for activities and entertainment in this scenic, comfortable corner of Illinois.

The Mississippi River - Less than 30 minutes away on the county's western border flows the majestic Mississippi River, a marvelous natural resource for water activities of every kind. Whether you enjoy in its beauty for a day, the Mississippi River has something for you.

Nearby State Parks - Along the Mississippi and the Great River Road to the north in Carroll County is the Mississippi Palisades State Park, consisting of 2,550 acres acquired by the State of Illinois for the scenic beauty and recreational adaptability which abounds within. The park takes its name from the sheer vertical columns of rock which border the property to the Mississippi River, providing a breathtaking overlook view for visitors. The incredible variety of flora and fauna, and wide range of recreational alternatives available here attracts visitors and area residents to this facility in all seasons. Also within 20 minutes of Milledgeville are the White Pines State Park, east of Polo, and the Morrison-Rockwood State Park, at Morrison.

Timber Lake Playhouse - An exciting cultural attraction to the area is Timber Lake Playhouse, located 15 minuted away in rural Mount Carroll. Illinois' oldest semi-professional summer stock theatre, the Playhouse produces a marvelous range of quality contemporary and traditional theatre producations each summer - including dramas, comedies, mysteries and Broadway musicals - in its 400-seat air-conditioned theatre.

National Register Historic District - Mount Carroll, the nearby County Seat, has numerous historic homes, buildings and structures that have caused a mjor portion of the town to be named a National Register Historic District. In the district and throughout the county are a number of small museums featuring the historic heritage of the area.

Carroll County Fair - Without a doubt, summer wouldn't be the same without the rural American tradition of the county fair - and it's a your doorstep each August right here in Milledgeville. Considerable premiums for judging competition and appearances by big-name talent make fair week something to look forward to.

* Of course, the nearby Sterling-Rock Falls area also features its own variety of attractions for the enjoyment and entertainment of area residents.

Park Facilities
The Milledgeville Park District encompasses two lighted regulation-sized ballparks for league play and public use, a 10-acre patk with fitness trail, and two lighted outdoor tennis courts to hep you keep in shape and while away the summer youth activities, swimming classes in conjunction with the Sterling Park District, and sponsorship of numerous leagues.

Sports Centers
Hazelwood Court in downtown Milledgeville is open for public use seven days a week and features a regulation-sized raquetball court complete with viewing mezzanine, weight room, full locker room facilities for men and women, and a tanning bed. On-going aerobic fitness classes plus a variety of competitive league play also sponsored.

Golf Courses (All within 15 minutes)

  • Oakville Country Club and Inn, Mt Carroll, public 9-hole golf course with clubhouse and dining facilities.
  • Emerald Hills Country Club, Sterling, public 18-hole golf course wit clubhouse, pool, bowling alley and dinner theatre.
  • Lake View Country Club, Sterling, public 18-hole course with swimming pool and dining facilities.
  • Lake Carrol Golf Course, Shannon, semin-private 9-hole course with swimming pool and limited dining facilities.

    *An hour away is Eagle Ridge Golf Course located near Galena, Illinois, ranked among the top ten new golf courses nationally by Golf Magazine.

    In the Area - Lake Carroll, located near Shannon just 15 minutes away, is ideal for wintetime cross-country skiing. Its Plum Tree Ski Resort has 4 beginer and intermediate runs for downhill skiers, and is equipped with tow bar, chairlift, and ski equipment.

    Milledgeville's proximity to the Mississippi River means opportunities abound here for fishing, boating and other water sport activities to be enjoyed by the whole family.

    And for the more serious athletic ehthusiast, a wide variety of recreational facilities are available through the YMCA, YWCA, park District and commercial sports complexes located in nearby Sterling.

    Clubs and Organizations - A variety of active clubs and organizations porvide fun and fellowship and add to the richness of life in Milledgeville. among the groups in which many participate are: Rotary, Lions, Jaycees, American Legion, American Legion Auxillary, Grange, Masonic Lodge, two groups of Home Extension, Mother's Club, 4-H Clubs, PTO Woman's Club, TOPS, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Brownie Scouts. Auxillary clubs affiliated with the Milledgeville schools include Athletic Boosters, Band Boosters and Music Boosters.

    Business and Industry The gently rolling acres of rich loam soil in Carroll County surrounding Milledgeville supports an agricultural industry that grosses over $90 million annually. There is little wonder that Milledgeville's loyalties are strong in that area, but diversification in business and industry is definitely encouraged.

    Municpal services which include highly-sophisticated, significant-volume waste water treatment capabilities are a plus for specific industry location to Milledgeville. Ample property is zoned for commercial use, and a variety of commercial sites is available in industrial parks and other locations.

    *Milledgeville's own Economic Development Commission is happy to assist in locating businesses and companies to the area. For more information, contact the Commission, % Village of Milledgeville, 344 Main Avenue, PO Box 639, Milledgeville, Illinois 61051, phone 815/225-7231. Or, contact the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCAA).

    Among Milledgeville's current industrial partners is Moldmaster Corporation, designer and producer of aluminum tooling for plastic and styrofoam forms, which serves major companies throughout the U.S. and in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Austrailia.

    Retail Businesses / Shopping
    Milledgeville's variety of shops and businesses can accomodate almost all your needs. Primarily located in the village's downtown area, all are characterized by a friendliness of merchants which, along with townspeople, give you a sense of belonging.

    Major shopping mall alternatives are available just 20 minutes away in the Sterling area.

    The Agricultural Base
    With 95% of Carroll County's total land area in farms, agriculture represents the major base of the regional economy. Annually, county farmers raise nearly 210,000 acres of corn, hay, soybeans, oats, and wheat. Market value of agricultural products in 1983 totaled over $90 million. The county ranks fifth in the state in sales of all livestock and livestock products, and is third in cattle production with 72,000 head, and ninth in dairy. The average Carroll County farm is about 320 acres.

    Milledgeville Government Officials
    Milledgeville Community Profile