Grayslake is a village in Lake County in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is located in the Chicago metropolitan area, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Chicago's downtown, 14 miles (23 km) west of Lake Michigan, and 15 miles (24 km) south of the Wisconsin border. The village's population at the 2010 census was 20,957.
Grayslake is home to the College of Lake County, the University Center of Lake County and the Lake County Fairgrounds. There are tentative plans to develop a lifestyle shopping center on the previous location of the Lake County Fairgrounds. At the south end of Grayslake, there are plans for a 640-acre (260 ha) development containing light industry, office space and residential space.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Public services
- 6 Drinking water supply
- 7 Politics
- 8 Schools
- 9 Sports teams
- 10 Houses of worship
- 11 Notable people
- 12 Recreation and amenities
- 13 Festivals and events
- 14 References
- 15 External links
In 1880, the Wisconsin Central Railroad built a line from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Chicago which passed by the east side of Grays Lake. In 1886, the railroad built a station there, naming it Grayslake. The village incorporated in 1895.
Grayslake is located at  in central Lake County. Neighboring communities include Libertyville, Mundelein, Round Lake Park, Hainesville, Round Lake Beach, Lindenhurst, Third Lake, Gages Lake and Wildwood. Grayslake is predominantly within the boundaries of Avon Township, with a small portion in Fremont Township.(42.348271, -88.032428),
According to the 2010 census, Grayslake has a total area of 10.078 square miles (26.10 km2), of which 9.87 square miles (25.56 km2) (or 97.94%) is land and 0.208 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 2.06%) is water.
Places to Live
Prairie Crossing. Prairie Crossing is a widely acclaimed conservation community in Grayslake, Illinois. The community was designed to combine the preservation of open land, easy commuting by rail, and responsible development practices. It is now considered a national example of how to plan our communities to enhance the environment and support a better way of life.
- U.S. Route 45
- Barron Boulevard/Ivanhoe Road
- Belvidere Road
- Buckley Road
- Washington Street
- Center Street
- Alleghany Road
- Midlothian Road
- Peterson Road
- Lake Street
- Atkinson Road
- Casey Road
As of the special census of 2003, there were 20,330 people, 6,503 households, and 4,948 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,969.2 people per square mile (760.1/km²). There were 6,642 housing units at an average density of 706.8 per square mile (272.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 91.00% White, 1.58% African American, 0.19% Native American, 4.23% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.70% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.97% of the population.
There were 6,503 households out of which 48.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.3% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.9% were non-families. 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the village the population was spread out with 33.1% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 40.4% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 4.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the village was $87,901, and the median income for a family was $100,746. Males had a median income of $60,857 versus $37,839 for females. The per capita income for the village was $28,898. About 2.4% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 US Census, there were 20,957 people residing in the village. The racial makeup of the village was 83.73% White, 3.3% African American, 0.25% Native American, 6.75% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.42% from other races, and 2.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.84% of the population.
Grayslake has a station on Metra's Milwaukee District/North Line which provides service between Fox Lake and Chicago's Union Station. It also has another station on Metra's North Central Service which provides rail service Monday - Friday between Antioch and Union Station with a stop at O'Hare Airport. There are also a few Pace bus routes through the town.
Campbell Airport is a small, privately owned facility southwest of town.
For many years, there has been discussion about extending the Illinois Route 53 expressway north to Grayslake. It would end at another proposed expressway, the Illinois Route 120 bypass that would go from Gurnee to Volo. In a county-wide referendum in April 2009, 76% of voters voted in support of the extension. However, there are still no plans to build those highways anytime soon.
The Village of Grayslake has a full-time police department and is served by a full-time fire protection district.
The Grayslake Police Department employs 32 full-time sworn police officers, 3 part-time sworn police officers, and 3 non-sworn staff members that are dedicated to providing protection, crime prevention, and social service programs to the residents of Grayslake and Hainesville. The department's bureaus are: Detectives, Bike Patrol, DARE, School Liaison Program and Directed Traffic Patrol. All police dispatch is handed by the Village of Glenview. The recently retired Chief is Larry Herzog and the current Chief is Phillip Perlini. The Grayslake Police Department is fully accredited by the National Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Fire protection district
The Grayslake Fire Protection District currently serves 24 square miles (62 km2) in central Lake County, including the village of Grayslake. There are 30 career members and 30 part-time members. Career members include 19 firefighter/ paramedics, 3 Battalion Chiefs and 9 Lieutenants, all working 24-hour shifts on and 48 hours off. These 24/48 hour shifts allow staffing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Grayslake Fire Protection District has three fire stations, with the headquarters station located in downtown Grayslake. They work with three engines, one ladder truck, four advanced life support ambulances, one brush unit, a water tender (tanker), two rescue boats and a number of staff and command cars. Through automatic aid agreements with the surrounding area, the village receives optimal emergency service. Communications are handled through Foxcomm, a dispatch center offering Enhanced 911 service, giving dispatchers the ability to quickly locate a caller. Dispatchers are Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) trained, allows them to give critical life-saving directions over the phone as paramedics respond. The current Chief is John Christian.
Drinking water supply
- Grade schools
- Grayslake Middle School
- Park Campus K–8
- Westlake Christian Academy K–12
- St Gilbert (Catholic) preschool–8 (2–3 classes per grade)
- Prairie Crossing Charter School K–8
- High schools
- College of Lake County (associate degrees)
- University Center of Lake County (bachelor and graduate degrees)
Grayslake is home to AYSO region 396, a national soccer organization. The youth football team is the Colts. Grayslake Youth Lacrosse Association is the local youth lacrosse program. Central High School's teams are the Rams, and North High School's teams are the Knights. The high school ice hockey club is called Lakers Hockey (this club is a joint venture consisting of Grayslake Central, Grayslake North, Lakes, Antioch, and Grant).
Grayslake Youth Baseball Association (GYBA) is the largest volunteer organization in Lake County. It has girls' and boys' T-ball and baseball included in its programs. In 2008, the Grayslake Park District opened a new sports complex on Alleghany Road across from Campbell Airport. The facility includes five baseball/softball fields, tennis courts, a small recreational pond, numerous soccer fields and a concession stand. More baseball fields are planned for the future.
Houses of worship
- Crossroads Church (Non-denominational )
- Faith Church (General Baptist)
- Maranatha Baptist Church (Independent Fundamental Baptist)
- St. Gilbert's Catholic Church
- St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
- Sure Foundation Church
- One Heart Community Church
- Treasure Seekers (Church of God)
- United Protestant Church (United Methodist, United Church of Christ)
- Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church (ELCA)
- Lord of Glory Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod)
- Grace Community Bible Church (Non-denominational)
- Living Waters Assembly of God
- Congregation Or Tikvah (Conservative Judaism)
- Hindu Mandir of Lake County
- Chinmaya Mission of Chicago (Hindu)
- Hope Church (Evangelical Presbyterian Church)
- The Chapel (Grayslake Campus)
- Prairie Circle Unitarian Universalist Congregation
- Wildwood Presbyterian Church
- Gages Lake Bible Church
- Hope Presbyterian Church (OPC)
- Jubilee Community Church (United Methodist)
- Hispanic Church of God Pentecostal
- Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
- Chevelle, alternative metal band
- Sandy Cole, state representative
- Sworn In, a metalcore band
- Michael Bond, state senator
- Jim McMillen, guard for the Chicago Bears for seven seasons. Also former mayor of Antioch, Illinois 
Recreation and amenities
Grayslake provides fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities in the summer and ice fishing, skating, and hockey in the winter. There are two public golf courses in Grayslake: Carillon, a nine-hole facility run by the Park District, and Brae Loch, a Lake County Forest Preserve course. There are numerous tennis courts run by the Park District, and both high schools feature over eight courts each, open to the public. Most neighborhoods have their own parks with recreational equipment. The Northbrook Sports Club is a private skeet and trap shooting facility, located near Campbell Airport.
On the north side of town is Rollins Savannah, a county forest preserve of 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) with a bird observation deck, trails and walkways through wetlands. Immediately east of the old downtown district is Central Park, which contains many recreational facilities, including:
- The Esper A. Petersen Foundation Family Aquatic Center, opened in 2000. It features two water slides, recreational and lap swimming facilities.
- The Daniel Barry Skate park located across from the aquatic facility and next to a community garden.
- Grayslake Library was moved to a brand new building in 1997. This large facility, in addition to a huge book collection, features meeting rooms and computer/internet resources.
- Central Park has baseball and softball fields and a football/soccer/lacrosse field with lights for night games, a concession stand, a band shell, a playground with a water feature for small children. There is a bocce court and shuffleboard court, and there is a disc golf course in the woods throughout the entire park. This is all within a walking distance of the Grayslake Senior Center.
Festivals and events
Grayslake Days generally takes place in mid-August for two days (Friday and Saturday) in the Municipal Parking Lot off Center Street in downtown Grayslake. This family music festival consists of music and fun activities for the whole family. The booths at the festival range from carnival games, to arts and crafts, beer and local food vendors. In addition, Grayslake days hosts the annual Bike and Pet Parade on the Saturday of the festival, usually from mid-morning to early afternoon. Children will decorate their bikes, and families will put their pets in their best costumes and parade them throughout the downtown area. The festival also hosts the "Grayslake's Got Talent" contest. The final parade of the festival, the Summer Days Parade, generally kicks off on Saturday evening.
Taste of Grayslake
Similar to Grayslake Days, Taste of Grayslake is held in late June (usually the weekend prior to Independence Day) in Grayslake's Central Park. This festival's primary purpose is to showcase all of the local food vendors Grayslake has to offer. In addition, Taste of Grayslake features live entertainment throughout the whole day of the festival. The festival also offers many kid friendly activities for the family including, but not limited to: face painting, balloon animals, various obstacle and climbing courses. The Taste closes with a fireworks show around dusk.
Grayslake Arts Festival
Grayslake's annual Arts Festival has been held for nearly two decades. Taking place in downtown Grayslake on Center Street every June, Grayslake offers arts and crafts from over 70 juried artists, and an art exhibit from the local high schools. In addition to the art, this festival offers entertainment throughout the day, various local food vendors and activities for the children.
The Great Grayslake Tornado of 2015
Grayslake was hit by stiff wind, or what meteorologists called an "F1 tornado". No one was injured and Grayslake was misspelled on the news for a record-setting full 24 hours. Grayslake Central Theater's roof was removed by the storm, hurting the Drama Club's September production of Fiddler on the Roof. Central Park's 4th largest tree was also destroyed in the Tornado, the tree is the longest actual resident of Grayslake, next to Ethel Beavers, 91 of Saddlebrook Farms. Local stoners and soon-to-be members of the heart disease community rushed to the aid of their beloved Taco Bell, to find it completely fine. The baseball field of Grayslake Central was destroyed in the storm, but was rebuilt the next day due to the never-ending fundraising, that is being a member of the Grayslake Central Baseball Team. Locals speculate that this storm might have been the work of the Class of 2015 as a final senior prank, though those sources are unconfirmed at this time. The storm did little to calm down the line outside Tastee Freeze, observers still stated that the line "reached the fire station" even as the storm approached. The thunderous storm did destroy the local skate park, which at that point, was the only place in town where 24 year old pizza delivery drivers can meet the 16 year old of their dreams. The storm did have a profound effect on some local businesses though, Emils saw a large uptick for the need for "wildly-average pizza" post-tornado. This storm did bring everyone together for 1 day, many homeowners in the Manor broke bread with the people of Haryan Farms for the first time since that neighborhood was constructed in 1993, but reverted back to looking down on them the following day.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Grayslake village, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- Pfannkuche, Craig L. "Grayslake, IL - Encyclopedia of Chicago". Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
- Information about Gray's Lake Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "Prairie Crossing events, Grayslake, IL". www.prairiecrossing.com. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.