Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Mettawa, IL
Mettawa, IL

Mettawa, IL

Lake County, 29 miles NW of the Loop. East of the Des Plaines River and west of present-day Interstate 94, tall trees and large lots continue to line the few main roads of Mettawa.

The village was named for a Potawatomi chief who resided there in the 1830s. Irish farmers followed the Potawatomi into the area. After 1900 Lake Forest residents began hunting pheasants and picnicking in Mettawa's woods. In the early 1930s Harold Florsheim, shoe magnate, established Harham Farms.

In 1938, Adlai Stevenson II constructed a metal house on his 70-acre property along the Des Plaines River. “The Farm” was eventually purchased by the Lake County Forest Preserve, along with the Daniel Wright Woods and the 490-acre MacArthur Woods Forest Preserv.

Mettawa incorporated as a village in 1960. In 1990 the population was 348 residents, of whom 20 percent owned horses. Only a mile wide and three miles long, Mettawa earned the distinction of being the wealthiest community in the six counties of the Chicago metropolitan area. The village has no stores, offices, or town hall and in 1994 there were only 189 homes. In the 1990s, however, Newton F. Korhumel won a suit to build a commercial development on the 125 acres he owns on Mettawa's east side on Highway 60 west of the Tri-State Tollway.

Mettawa, IL (inc. 1960)
Year Total
(and by category)
  Foreign Born Native with foreign parentage Males per 100 females
1960 126  
1990 348   4.0% 107
  305 White (87.6%)      
  3 American Indian (0.9%)      
  12 Asian/Pacific Islander (3.4%)      
  7 Other race (2.0%)      
  3 Hispanic Origin* (0.9%)      
2000 367   18.3% 104
  351 White alone (95.6%)      
  9 Asian alone (2.5%)      
  4 Some other race alone (1.1%)      
  3 Two or more races (0.8%)      
  15 Hispanic or Latino* (4.1%)      
Clipping files. Vernon Area Library, Vernon Hills, IL.