Learning about Northbrook, Illinois

Located along the Southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, Northbrook, Illinois is home to a Nutrien corporate sales office that supports agricultural efforts in the Midwest US. Though it’s considered part of the Chicago suburbs, Northbrook has its own identity, and even a Hollywood connection! Let’s see what makes Northbrook special. 

The earliest recorded residents of the Northbrook area were the Potawatomi tribe. At the time of white settling of the area, their leader was Chief Shabbona. Even though he assisted settlers when possible and even aligned with the US for a time, they pushed more and more into their land. After several violent encounters, in 1836 the tribe relocated to Council Bluffs. There is a historical trail outside of Northbrook called the Shabbona Trail to commemorate this trek. 

One of the first settlers to purchase a large amount of land in the area was Joel Sterling Sherman, who bought up 159 acres in what is now the central business district of Northbrook. Soon after, a man named Frederick Shermer donated land for the first railroad station built in the area, and the town was named Shermerville in his honor. After a few years the town decided that the town name didn’t have the best reputation, so they voted to hold a naming contest to start fresh with a new name. Northbrook was the most popular choice and the town was officially renamed in 1923. 

By the time of its official naming of Northbrook, there were about 500 residents. Since, the town has grown into a cozy community of 33,000. There are many beautiful parks in the area to enjoy, and even though in-person events were canceled, the community can enjoy theater by the Northbrook Park District Performing Arts staff broadcast via Zoom! There will also be an outdoor performance of We Are Monsters at the end of October.

Northbrook has a history of welcoming actors – if you were to visit their high school, you might even recognize it from an 80’s teen classic movie! Scenes for Ferris Bueller’s Day off were filmed at Glen Brook North High School! 

And they don’t just open their doors for Hollywood, either. Northbrook is an accepting place that encourages interaction among residents of all backgrounds. In August, the ribbon cutting for an all-abilities playground took place at Maple School, a middle school in the community. It is a unique place, with adaptive play equipment for students of all physical abilities to come together. Though you don’t often see a playground at a middle school, district officials that spearheaded the project believe that students of all ages can be enriched through physical activity and play. We think that these play structures are just what the community of Northbrook, and our Nutrien team there believes in – welcoming everyone.