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Mettawa, Illinois

Coordinates: 42°14′38″N 87°55′4″W / 42.24389°N 87.91778°W / 42.24389; -87.91778
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Mettawa, Illinois
Location of Mettawa in Lake County, Illinois.
Location of Mettawa in Lake County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 42°14′38″N 87°55′4″W / 42.24389°N 87.91778°W / 42.24389; -87.91778
CountryUnited States
 • MayorCasey Urlacher
 • Total5.53 sq mi (14.32 km2)
 • Land5.45 sq mi (14.12 km2)
 • Water0.08 sq mi (0.20 km2)
 • Total533
 • Density97.78/sq mi (37.76/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
60045, 60048, 60052
Area code847
FIPS code17-48671
Wikimedia CommonsMettawa, Illinois

Mettawa is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States. Per the 2020 census, the population was 533.[2] The village maintains trails for pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian usage. Five forest preserves of the Lake County Forest Preserve District are located within village boundaries.



The name of the town derived from Potawatomi chief Mettaywah, who lived in the area before signing the 1833 Treaty of Chicago and being displaced to Kansas.[3] The traveler Colbee reported visiting the chief's village near the Des Plaines River and eating pork, cakes fried in pork fat, and a corn and bean dish.[4] Many Potawatomi returned to Illinois annually until the end of the nineteenth century to visit their burial grounds.[3]

Mettawa was founded by area residents in 1960 who worked together with a common goal of protecting their rural area from encroaching commercial development. Mettawa's first mayor was James Getz; subsequent mayors included Edward FitzSimons, Julius Abler, Barry McLean and Jess Ray. The current treasurer is Amy Weiland. Famous residents and property owners within the area now known as Mettawa have included two-time presidential nominee Adlai E. Stevenson, city planner Edward H. Bennett, and more recently, news anchor and rancher Bill Kurtis and Chicago Bears' linebacker Brian Urlacher (brother of current Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher) and running back Matt Forte.[5] Stevenson's Mettawa estate on the Des Plaines River is a designated Illinois Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Mettawa is governed by an elected Mayor and a six-member Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees
  • Carol Armstrong
  • Denis Bohm
  • Wendie Clark
  • Jan Pink
  • John Maier
  • Tim Towne

Mettawa lacks a dedicated Village Hall and has few paid administrative staff. Village meetings are held in a local hotel, and the Village contracts with an engineer, attorney, Mettawa Open Lands Association, and various consultants for operational services. In January 2009, the Village Board established its website which serves as a virtual Village Hall, providing official information including Village contacts, official documents and maps, meeting agendas and the Comprehensive Plan.

Conservation and recreation


Mettawa was founded by conservationist landowners and continues to be a center of land conservation and restoration activities. The village also supports a rural, equestrian-friendly lifestyle. Some residents maintain small farming operations, and there are eight horse stables within the village's borders.

The Mettawa Open Lands Association[6] (MOLA) is a non-profit organization which promotes quality open space within the village and encourages the protection of public and private open lands. MOLA supports Mettawa-area residents and open lands (including unincorporated housing developments that are surrounded by village land) with public workdays and educational programs, and provides quality open space management on village properties. In celebration of Mettawa's 50th anniversary in 2010, MOLA distributed complimentary wildflower seed packets to all village residents and to many residents in neighboring areas, and suggested that recipients plant the seeds along roadsides to help beautify the area.

MOLA maintains the Whippoorwill Farm Preserve, an open lands area owned by the village (just west of I-94 at the northwest corner of IL-60/Townline Road and Riverwoods Boulevard). Whippoorwill Farm is currently undergoing restoration to a native prairie/wetland habitat.

Stevenson's home in Mettawa, IL

The Lake County Forest Preserve District[7] maintains five forest preserves within village boundaries, including Old School,[8] Grainger Woods,[9] McArthur Woods,[10] Captain Daniel Wright Woods[11] and Adlai Stevenson Historic Home.[12]

Mettawa also includes nine areas designated as Illinois Nature Preserves,[13] one area within the Libertyville Township Open Space District, and the Covington Charitable Trust area (maintained by the Lake Forest Open Lands Association).

The Des Plaines River Trail runs through the western edge of Mettawa and connects with the village's own Mettawa Trail system, which is used by pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

Commercial development


Commercial development has occurred within and adjacent to Mettawa in recent years, despite resistance by residents and the Village Board). However, an unusually high percentage of the commercial structures are green buildings which have achieved high Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings. Tax revenues from businesses in Mettawa provide income to the village, which in turn provides eligible residents with a tax rebate.

HSBC completed construction of its North American headquarters in Mettawa in 2008. Although no longer corporate headquarters, the building remains partially occupied by HSBC. This building achieved LEED Gold Certification and in March 2009 was named Green Development of the Year by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).[14]

The W. W. Grainger company's headquarters is located on unincorporated land enclosed within Mettawa's borders. In 2008 this building was updated to achieve its 2009 Gold LEED certification. Grainger purchased 535 acres (2.17 km2) of land in Mettawa (1993–1998), then disconnected from the village to become part of unincorporated Lake County. In 1996, all of this land was annexed back into the village, with the exception of the 155 acres (0.63 km2) office campus. Grainger donated 257 acres (1.04 km2) to the Lake County Forest Preserve District. The resulting Grainger Forest Preserve hosts an equestrian center and includes open lands filled with rare ecosystems and species.[9] The remaining Grainger acreage is within the village and zoned 5-acre (20,000 m2) residential. Major businesses are also located near the busy intersection of Interstate 94 and Illinois Route 60 in Mettawa.

Residential development


The village maintains a low-density five-acre zoning requirement for residential development. Most of Mettawa's Planned Unit Developments (PUD) have included conservation easements and land restoration.

The Deerpath Farm[15] conservation community, Mettawa's largest (200-acre (0.81 km2)) PUD, includes 140 acres (0.57 km2) of restored open lands managed by the Lake Forest Open Lands Association,[16] and also sponsors community workdays and nature education events. In 2006 it was named Development of the Year by the Lake County Stormwater Management Association for its innovative hydrology management based on wetland restoration.

Other PUDs within Mettawa include Sanctuary Estates and Mettawa Woods.

Notable people




Mettawa is located at 42°14′38″N 87°55′4″W / 42.24389°N 87.91778°W / 42.24389; -87.91778 (42.243972, -87.917909).

According to the 2010 census, Mettawa has a total area of 5.39 square miles (13.96 km2), of which 5.31 square miles (13.75 km2) (or 98.52%) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) (or 1.48%) is water.[17]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
2010[19] 2020[20]

2020 census

Mettawa village, Illinois – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[21] Pop 2010[19] Pop 2020[20] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 340 450 409 92.64% 82.27% 76.74%
Black or African American alone (NH) 0 10 4 0.00% 1.83% 0.75%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 0 0 1 0.00% 0.00% 0.19%
Asian alone (NH) 9 25 55 2.45% 4.57% 10.32%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 0 0 1 0.00% 0.00% 0.19%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 3 2 6 0.82% 0.37% 1.13%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 15 60 57 4.09% 10.97% 10.69%
Total 367 547 533 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

2000 Census


As of the census of 2000, there were 367 people, 135 households, and 108 families living in the village. The population density was 67.1 inhabitants per square mile (25.9/km2). There were 141 housing units at an average density of 25.8 units per square mile (10.0 units/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 95.64% White, 2.45% Asian, 1.09% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.09% of the population.

There were 135 households, out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.6% were married couples living together, 1.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.3% were non-families. 16.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 24.0% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 36.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $127,388, and the median income for a family was $153,129. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $51,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $89,104. About 3.1% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Adjacent communities include Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, Libertyville, and Green Oaks.

As of the 2010 US Census, there were 547 people living in the village. The racial makeup of the village was 89.95% White, 1.83% African American, 4.57% Asian, 1.83% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.97% of the population.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Mettawa village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Madigan, Tim (December 5, 1992). "Richest suburb regrets its wealth of publicity". Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Benton, Colbee (1957). A Visitor to Chicago in Indian Days: "Journal to the 'Far-Off West'". Chicago: The Caxton Club. pp. 82–83.
  5. ^ "The Bears' Matt Forte Just Bought a Secluded Mettawa Home". Chicago magazine.
  6. ^ "Mettawa Open Lands Association". mettawaopenlands.org.
  7. ^ "Preserves & Facilities, Recreation, Conservation - Lake County Forest Preserves". lcfpd.org.
  8. ^ "Old School Forest Preserve, Libertyville - Lake County Forest Preserves (Illinois)". Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Grainger Woods Conservation Preserve, Mettawa - Lake County Forest Preserves (Illinois)". Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  10. ^ "Forest Preserve Land Purchases and Donation - News Release 16-Jun-06 - Lake County Forest Preserves (Illinois)". Archived from the original on April 30, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  11. ^ "Wright Woods Forest Preserve, Mettawa - Lake County Forest Preserves (Illinois)". Archived from the original on June 23, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  12. ^ "Adlai e. Stevenson Historic Home, Mettawa - Lake County Forest Preserves". Archived from the original on July 8, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  13. ^ "DNR". Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  14. ^ "HSBC North American Headquarters". e-architect. March 20, 2009.
  15. ^ "Deerpath Farm Conservation Community". deerpathfarm.com.
  16. ^ "Lake Forest Open Lands Association". lfola.org.
  17. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  19. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Mettawa village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  20. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Mettawa village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  21. ^ "P004: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Mettawa village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.


  • Haines, Elijah M., "Historical and Statistical Sketches of Lake County, State of Illinois," (1852) Waukegan, Illinois: E.G. Howe, Part II: Town of Vernon, page 95