If you are looking for a family friendly place to live with a small-town vibe, look no further than Roscoe, Illinois. Not to be confused with the neighborhood of Roscoe Village in Chicago, Roscoe is a suburb of Rockford, Illinois. Roscoe is about an hour and a half drive from the City of Chicago.
Roscoe is a happy medium area for those who want to be near two large cities, but don’t want to deal with living in one. With Chicago and Rockford only a drive away, it makes for a nice balance of quiet suburban living and hustle and bustle nearby.
In recent years, Roscoe has been growing rapidly while still staying a small-town with a rural and suburban mixture of places to live and things to do. There is rich history in Roscoe, including some key players that helped make the village what it is today. Let’s take a look at some of the history of Roscoe and what makes it a special place.
Roscoe is a village located in Winnebago County. It has a population of 10,785 and has been growing steadily with commercial and residential developments. Roscoe was first settled in 1835 on the Rock River, and was a main stop in the interurban railway through Rockford, Beloit and Janesville.
When automobiles were invented, the interurban railway went out of business and the trains did not pass through Roscoe any longer. In fact, the last train car passed through Roscoe in 1930. The railway is still a large part of the history of Roscoe.
Roscoe was not incorporated as a village until 1965, but it has been growing at a steady pace ever since. Roscoe was named after the Roscoe Township, and remains a suburb outside of Rockford. While it has been slow going, the village continues to grow and change and be a great home for small businesses and families.
Robert J. Cross
If you visit the website of the Roscoe Township Historical Society, you will see a page dedicated to a man named Robert J. Cross. Cross played an integral part in the formation of Roscoe. Cross was on the first election board for Winnebago County, and was a delegate at the convention to frame a constitution for Illinois. Cross was also one of the members of the General Assembly.
In more recent history, Roscoe was hit by an EF-1 tornado in 2011. The tornado hit the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department, but no injuries were reported. The tornado had a path of 1 mile and a width of 50 yards. It was pretty big!
Living in Roscoe
If you want to live somewhere with rich history that is close to major cities, but still considered a small town, Roscoe could be for you. Between the historical society and other historical attractions, there’s lots to see and do living on the Rock River.
Roscoe is also an affordable place to live, being about 10% cheaper than the average cost of living. Most of the residents of Roscoe own their homes, and there are not many renters. It is a place people move to and they don’t leave.
If you want some great places to get outdoors in Roscoe, check out our Top 5 Places to Get Outside in Roscoe IL article.
To sum it up, Roscoe, Illinois is a good middle ground if you do not want to live in a city. It has been around for a long time, but has never grown larger than a ten-mile radius, so it will continue to stay a small town for years to come, but with that there is still growth.
Come pay Roscoe, Illinois a visit and learn more about the history and fun things to do in this lovely village.
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