Lisle is the town I have called my home for the past twenty-two years. As I'll soon be moving into my new house in Aurora, it seems only fitting that I write about the place I'm leaving.
When I was young, Lisle was the world. Lisle is technically a suburb of Chicago, but just far enough away that it always had a bit of a small-town feeling to it... or so I thought, anyway. Maybe it was because my school, church, park district and library were all easily within walking distance. Maybe it's because the high school I attended had a graduating class of approximately 150 people. Or maybe it's just because even nearby suburbs such as Naperville are large enough to seem like cities of their own in comparison.
But Lisle is definitely a far cry from the usual "small town". With a population of over 21,000 (at this writing), Lisle is home to corporations such as Servicemaster, Tellabs, Molex and Lucent Technologies. Lisle's motto is "The Arboretum Village", called so mainly due to its proximity to the Morton Arboretum.
Note: the following historical information is largely paraphrased from the "History of Lisle" website, http://www.vil.lisle.il.us/histr1.htm.
The first permanent settlers in what is now the Lisle area were James and Luther Hatch, who arrived here in 1832. By 1833, the First Congregational Church of DuPage (County) was established; and by 1837, it is said that the first frame schoolhouse in the county was constructed there. Marc Beaubien's Tavern-Inn became an important waypoint for pioneers journeying to the West, along a plank toll road extending west from Chicago along what is now Ogden Avenue. Adding to Lisle's use as a transportation hub was the train station along the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Chicago-Aurora railroad line, completed in 1864. The Township of Lisle was formally established in 1850, but it wasn't until over one hundred years later, in 1956, that the Village of Lisle was incorporated.
But all of that old history won't be what I think of when I reminisce about Lisle. I'll remember sneaking back with my father to an old, abandoned quarry to skip stones across the surface of the water; playing games in the creek alongside my house; watching fireworks and hot air balloons fill the sky on the Fourth of July; and staring up at the stars in my backyard. It may be paraphrasing an old cliche, but although I may be leaving Lisle, Lisle will never leave me.
P.S.: Naperville, Illinois can claim that they're home to Lucent all they want, but most of the I-88 "technological corridor" (which is largely huge vacant buildings after the DotComDisaster) lies within Lisle or Warrenville borders. They'll just have to be content with being the multiple birth capital of the world.