Aurora, Illinois is the second largest city in the state. With the 2010 Census documenting over 195,000 residents, the city surpasses even the sizable Rockford in population. Aurora, made famous by Saturday Night Lives' ever popular Wayne's World skit and film franchise, is a western suburb of Chicago and is directly connected to the city via rail and other modes of public transportation.The city can trace its roots back the first decades of the 19th century, when tribes of Native Americans originally settled along the Fox River in the area where downtown Aurora now stands. The first known settlement was established in 1834, with the foundation of a saw mill built by brothers Joseph and Samuel McCarty. In those days, two small villages made up what we know today as Aurora, with the McCarty brothers owning most of the land on the east side of the river and the Lake brothers having built a saw mill of their own on the west side. The western side of the river was officially named Aurora when a post office was established in 1837 and by 1857, both villages would be lumped together into one city.
Positions associated with the railroad would account for a majority of the jobs in the area from the 1850s through to the mid-20th century. Railroad jobs would also attract a large population of immigrants from various regions of the world, including: Great Britain, Italy, and parts of Central and Eastern Europe. As industry in Aurora boomed and the population would grow and diversify, the city would embrace the arts and a rich tradition of entertainment would follow. Various opera houses and theaters sprang up around the turn of the 20th century and would entertain the residents of the city for years to come.Because of its rich past, Aurora boasts a thriving tourism industry. Many visitors are attracted to the various historical buildings, museums, and theaters in the area. Public parks, a bustling downtown region, and a zoo boasting of many regional species of animals will appeal to kids and adults of all ages. A wide variety of restaurants in the area will satisfy even the most discerning of tastes. Day trips to Aurora can easily be planned through the Aurora, IL yellow pages and Aurora, IL business directory.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan