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  • October is Manufacturing Month - Batavia is Rich in Manufacturing History

    October is Manufacturing Month. During October, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce will highlight our members who fall under the manufacturing designation. We thought it would be great to kick off the month with a short article about the history of manufacturing in Batavia as it played a major role in the economic development of our favorite Fox River valley city. We asked Mayor Jeffrey Schielke to do the honors of summarizing this part of Batavia’s history. Thank you, Mayor, for readily sharing your in-depth knowledge about Batavia and its history. Read on for the story:

    The Batavia story is one of heritage. Founded in 1833, it is the oldest city in Kane County. Our original founding father, a trailblazer named Christopher Payne, had participated in the founding of nearby Naperville, and after leaving his mark on Batavia, did a similar thing at the place which was to become Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

    Batavia began leaving its mark on the world early. Nicknamed “The Windmill City’, the title was justly earned by our industrial role at the turn of the century as the windmill manufacturing capital of the world. The popular Quarry Park Swimming Pool is another product of our past, for the stone mined from this earthly depression was used in large part to rebuild Chicago after the famous fire of 1871. Newton Wagons and Appleton Farm Machinery, two products which played a vital role in the settling of the American frontier, also had their origins in Batavia. The former Appleton building, which today is Batavia’s city and township government center at 100 North Island Avenue, was previously used in the 1960’s as an industrial complex where many of the rocket components were actually manufactured that first took U.S. astronauts to the moon.

    Today, Batavia remains the home of over 200 varied manufacturing, research and warehousing firms as well as proudly serving as hometown for the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, world-renown center for high energy physics research, and Mooseheart, the international ‘child-city’ of the Moose Lodge.

    Batavia maintains its own small-town character and ideals while striving to be in tune with the technologies and opportunities of modern-day life. Each of these intangible features makes our town a favorite place for living, working and raising a family.

    ~ Written By Mayor Jeffrey Schielke

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