About the Chain
Our History and Future
Fox Lake had a thriving chamber of commerce for nearly 102 years. Richmond Spring Grove was a flourishing chamber for 25 years. The visionaries could see that soon, two small chambers (under 200 members each) would not be able to offer businesses the education and connections without a new strategic plan.
Fox Lake Richmond Spring Grove Area Chamber of Commerce (FLRSGAC) was rejuvenated by combining.
- More networking events
- More efficient and influential
- Cost/resource savings
- Larger pool of volunteers
- Six signature events
The FLRSGAC later combined with Fox Lake and Volo to create one large consolidates chamber, the Chain O’Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.
What is the Chain O’Lakes?
The Chain O’Lakes, or simply “The Chain”, is a waterway system composed of 15 lakes connected by the Fox River and man-made channels.
The Chain encompasses more than 7,100 acres of water, 488 miles of shoreline, and 45 miles of river.
The Chain is THE busiest inland recreational waterway per acre in the United States. This is a big draw to the region.
Only one of the fifteen lakes, Pistakee Lake, lies within McHenry County.
About Spring Grove
Nestled within the beautiful surroundings of Northern Illinois and divided by the meandering Nippersink Creek, Spring Grove is one of the fastest growing municipalities in McHenry County. The Village’s current population is 5,778. Years of careful planning have rewarded the Village with an increase in both commercial and light industrial development. Increased residential developments have provided the Village with a high quality selection of housing.
In 1900, the railroad was extended to Spring Grove affording both passenger travel and freight service to the community along with the expectation of new growth and prosperity. The Village was incorporated on October 6, 1902 and was, by this time, a thriving agricultural community with working farms that concentrated on dairy production. In the early 1900s the downtown area held a bank, three general stores, a meat market, three taverns, a livery stable, a hotel, a barbershop, a blacksmith shop, and a shoe repair shop. Also opened in 1904, was Wieland Dairy, which employed about 20 men and produced two train carloads of milk, butter and cottage cheese per day destined for Chicago. It remained in Spring Grove until the mid-1920s, when it moved to Chicago and eventually became Borden Dairy.
From 1910 to 1940 the Village’s population held steady at about 200 people. In the late 1960s the train station was closed and many old downtown businesses went out of business with the exception of the corner general store and tavern which are both still in business today. The population started to increase in 1960 when Intermatic, once known as International Register Company, moved its production plant from Chicago to Spring Grove. International Register manufactured the coin-meter in the 1930s which collected daily payments (typically 25 cents) during the Depression to cover the purchase price of refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. The coin-meter provided an introduction to clock actuated devices from which its present business is derived. Foremost among their products are Malibu outdoor lighting and electronic timers. They now employ over 1000 people.
Spring Grove’s growth was set in motion as more industry came to the area and subdivisions started to be planted on the rolling green acres of rich farmland. Residents enjoy the rural feel of the one-acre per lot neighborhoods and move to Spring Grove for the beautiful countryside and small-town way of life. Now a once-again thriving Village of over 5,000 people, Spring Grove looks to the future with optimism, exploring new ways of developing traditional neighborhoods, building new parks and other recreation areas, and welcoming new stores and businesses while retaining the traditions and small-town friendliness of the past.