The New England roots of the families who settled present day Geneva are evident in the well-preserved homes they built. Some, like the 1844 Sterling home on East Side Drive, are of stone quarried on the banks of the Fox River; others, such as the 1852 Isaac Wilson House, 115 Campbell, are of wood, made possible when a saw mill came in 1838. The Chamber showcases many of Geneva’s historic homes during the annual Christmas Walk.
Big Spring, the 1830s settlement on the banks of the Fox River, was renamed “Geneva” after being designated the Kane County Seat. The 1838 survey of the area between North and South Streets and the west bank of the Fox River to Ninth Street is Original Town; the lots and streets remain exactly as platted.
The extra wide State and Third Streets are evidences of the founders’ vision. State Street, with its well-maintained, multi-faceted business district, and Third Street, with both historic residences converted to unique shops and the recently added Dodson Place, are Geneva’s retail jewels; the many fine restaurants are her crowning glory. Randall Road’s more typical up-scale shopping venues are the bonus for residents and visitors alike.
The advent of waterpower, with the early building of the Geneva dams, brought the industry, essential for a well-balanced economy. The glucose plant, creamery mills and foundries of the 1800s were followed by Burgess-Norton in 1903, small office and manufacturing through the years and, in the 1990s, by Geneva’s Industrial Park. More employment and tax-sharing entities are being brought to the City of Geneva through its pro-active Economic Development Department.
Geneva’s historic significance, robust business climate, award-winning schools, and strong community involvement make it an ideal place to live, to work and to raise a family. Geneva is an excellent location for a business, either large or small, whether engaged in retailing or manufacturing or, perhaps, offering entertainment or services. Welcome, all, to this wonderful community!