McHenry is an Illinois city located in the Chicagoland metropolitan area. Nearly 30,000 residents call McHenry home, which is located in McHenry County, though it is no longer the county seat. The city is named for Major William McHenry, a historical Indian fighter.
White settlers came to the McHenry area in the 1830s. Some of the first families included the McCulloms, McLeans, Boones, and Wheelers, some of whom have descendants in the area today. A man named George Gage came to the area in 1835 and purchased a plot of land he called Gagetown. Gagetown eventually became West McHenry. Gage was instrumental in bringing the railroad line to the area. The first newspaper edition of the town was published in 1875 and was called the McHenry Plaindealer.
McHenry is characterized by its proximity to natural lakes and streams, grassy hills, gravel banks and shallow nutrient-rich peat bogs, which are all remnants from receding glaciers of the last ice age. The town is famous for the Count’s House, a historical landmark mansion built sometime before the Civil War by Austrian Count Oskar Bopp von Oberstadt, which was designated on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
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