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Palatine is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a northwestern residential suburb of Chicago. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 68,557, making it the seventh-largest community in Cook County and the 18th-largest in the state of Illinois.
The first European-American to settle in Palatine is generally thought to be George Ela, who built a log cabin in the area now called Deer Grove. Ela was one of the first of a wave of pioneers to migrate to northern Illinois following the Black Hawk War. A road which passes through the western edge of Palatine is called Ela Road in his honor.
The Palatine Metra station along the Union Pacific Northwest Line.
The Village of Palatine was founded in 1866. It was built around a station on the new Chicago and North Western Railway. Joel Wood surveyed and laid out the village, earning him the title of Palatine's founder. One of Palatine's original downtown streets is named after Wood.
Palatine's first suburb-style subdivision was called Palanois Park, built shortly after World War II. The town has experienced rapid growth since the 1970s, part of Chicago's growing suburban sprawl. Palatine was home to the Cook County Fair from 1914 to 1931. The fairgrounds are now a subdivision, Fairgrounds Park, whose name pays tribute to Palatine's former fairgrounds.
During the early 1990s, Palatine along with neighboring Rolling Meadows and far northern suburb Zion were sued by atheist activist Rob Sherman over its village seal and seal-defaced flag, which had a Christian cross, among other things, inside an outline of an eagle. A 1992 advisory referendum to keep the seal passed, but another referendum to use public funds to defend the seal failed, leading the village to drop the seal. While Rolling Meadows and Zion developed new seals with the crosses removed, Palatine has since been without an official seal or flag, and is Illinois' largest city or village to be so. The French tricolor reflecting the village's sister city relationship with Fontenay-le-Comte, France, has flown at times on the flagpole meant for the village flag outside the village hall.
Palatine has been in the process of revitalizing its downtown area since December 1999. This process has spawned a new passenger train station, a nearby parking garage, and several new condominiums, rowhomes, and commercial buildings.
In 2008, Palatine made news by threatening to secede from Cook County over the latter's sales tax hike; as a result of the tax hike, Palatine's sales tax is 9.0%. In 2009, residents of Palatine Township (which includes the village of Palatine) overwhelmingly voted to pass an advisory referendum stating that they would like to secede from Cook County.
According to the 2010 census, Palatine has a total area of 13.763 square miles (35.65 km2), of which 13.62 square miles (35.28 km2) (or 98.96%) is land and 0.143 square miles (0.37 km2) (or 1.04%) is water. Palatine's shape resembles that of the head of an axe.
Palatine is in a wooded marshland where several streams rise around the village. Most of these streams meet up with Salt Creek which rises at Wilke Marsh on the village's east side. The most notable exception is the northeast side, where its streams lie in the Buffalo Creek watershed. A small part of the east and southeast sides lies in the McDonald Creek watershed.
There were 26,876 households, out of which 33.2% had any child under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were headed by husband-wife couples, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.3% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals living alone, and 7.5% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54, and the average family size was 3.16.
In the village, the population was spread out, with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.8 years. Of the total population, 49.4% were male and 50.6% were female.
According to the 2011 American Community Survey, the estimated median income for a household in the village was $63,756, and the median income for a family was $74,915. The per capita income for the village was $30,049. About 8.2% of families and 9.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
The village is home to a large Sikhgurdwara on its northwest side that is visited by Sikhs from across the country.
Streetfest- Similar to Taste of Chicago, this event includes lines of food vendors down the streets of Downtown Palatine, with music playing and games and other fun activities going on at the same time. This happens at the end of every summer (August) every year and is meant for families and friends to enjoy.
Fourth of July Celebration- Another tradition of Palatine is the schedule of Fourth of July events that occur every year. From an annual parade, to fireworks which traditionally occur on the third of July, to the carnival that comes into town, Palatine is full of the traditional celebration of every Fourth of July holiday. Events are for members of all ages, and are things that occur every year.
Oktoberfest- A newer tradition, this celebration started in 2008 and is hosted by the Rotary Club of Palatine. Live German music, craft and imported beer, and local food vendors celebrate Palatine's German roots. This is an all-ages celebration, but Family Day on Saturday morning has activities geared toward younger folks. The event begins Friday night on the third weekend in September.
Parks and recreation
Cottonwood Park is one of many parks operated by the Palatine Park District.
The Palatine Park District operates swimming pools at Family Aquatic Center, Birchwood, and Eagle, as well as recreational centers at Community Center, Birchwood, and Falcon Park - which opened in January 2010.
Palatine operates under the Council-manager form of local government. Six councilmen are elected from their respective districts, while the entire village elects the Village Clerk and the Mayor. The council then hires a Village Manager to oversee the town's day-to-day operation. The current mayor is Jim Schwantz.