The territory which is now the Village of Bartlett was, at various times in the past, a part of Spain, France, Virginia, England, the Northwest Territory, Indiana, the Illinois Territory, and, finally, the State of Illinois. The area was at one time a camping and hunting ground of the Pottawatomie, Ottowa, Miami, and Cherokee Indians.
The original forty acre town site was owned by Mr. Luther Bartlett, a native of Conway, Massachusetts, He came to Illinois by way of Michigan in 1844. The Bartlett family used this site as a “woodlot,” the source of their lumber for buildings and wood for fires.
In 1873, Mr. Bartlett offered the Chicago & Pacific Railroad a right-of-way through his forty acres, as well as a train station site, as an inducement to bring the railroad to the town. The first train came through Bartlett that fall.
The Village was incorporated in 1891. (The original Minutes’ books and Ordinances are on file in the Village Clerk’s office.) The Village’s first President was George Struckman, who served until 1899 and again from 1901 - 1911.
Bartlett’s population has grown from 360 in 1900, to 3501 in 1970, to 36,706 in 2000. We have grown from a forty acre town site to an area covering nearly 16 square miles with over 100 miles of streets. The Village now lies in Cook, DuPage, and Kane Counties.
Bartlett’s future is one of continued, and controlled, well-planned growth. This growth includes an active program designed to attract business and industry to Bartlett, primarily along the western edge of the Village, and to expand the commercial and industrial tax base. Our projected population for the year 2020 is 47,500.
Bartlett: Our Past and Our Progress is the latest Fox Valley title in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. This pictorial walk through Bartlett's past is compiled by Village employees and longtime Bartlett residents Pamela Rohleder, Curator of the Bartlett History Museum, and Gabrielle Infusino, Community Relations Coordinator. More than 200 images capture the daily pleasures and impromptu moments of small-town life in Bartlett; from the beginning of the Village as a railroad depot at the turn of the century to the 1960s, these nine chapters represent all aspects of the community. The book is available at Bartlett Village Hall, 228 S. Main St. for $19.99. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Bartlett History Museum.
Visit the Bartlett History Museum Home Page.
There are many cultural opportunities in and around Bartlett:
- Arts in Bartlett is Bartlett's arts council and offers diverse activities to encourage appreciation and participation in the arts and multicultural experiences.
- The Bartlett History Museum, which is located in the Village Hall.
- The Bartlett Library maintains a revolving art exhibit featuring local artists.
- The Bartlett Park District offers classes in art, music, and dance, as well as several theatre productions each year.
- Elgin Community College features frequent performances by its various music ensembles, many student plays and regular art exhibits.
- The Della N. Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles features exhibits of local artists and professional theatre, symphonies, musicians, comedians, etc.
- Pheasant Run Dinner Theatre is located in St. Charles.