Village History

The Village of Round Lake, founded in 1908, is steeped in history...Round Lake-Bird





In 1901, Armour and Company completed work on a five acre ice house in Round Lake and was said to be the largest in the world.  The plant made 100,000 tons of ice each winter and provided employment for many people in the area.

Armour & Company View from Water


One-hundred-and-eighty tons of ice were hauled out of the lake each day.  A large guest house adjoined the plant that was home to some of the 300 employees who worked at the ice house.

Armour & Company Guesthouse


On the night of August 19, 1917, a fire destroyed the ice house.  The building was never rebuilt because manufacturers were then able to make ice by electric refrigeration. Remodeled in 1917, the guest house became a retreat for women employees of Armour's Chicago plant.  

Oval Lodge ViewIt continued to operate as a vacation spot and remained a private resort called the Oval Lodge. In 1928, Armour and Company sold it to the owners of the Alpine Country Club.  Today, Alpine Country Club operates as a family-oriented club focusing on bocce, boating, and relaxing weekends.

Armarias WhiteThe Village of Round Lake owes its existence and growth to the far-sighted efforts of Amarias M. White and a small group of men who foresaw the importance of rail transportation.  It was White who convinced railroad officials to locate a depot in Round Lake and who gave the land for that purpose.

The Lake, Cook, and McHenry Counties Railway Company was formed in 1899 to build a branch of the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, from Libertyville to Janesville, Wisconsin.  Initially, a station was planned for Hainesville.

Round Lake Locomotive-1903


Hainesville was already a thriving village and the oldest in Lake County.  As the track neared closer to town, A.C. Goodnow, head of the railroad company, began bargaining with George B. Battershall, Hainesville merchant and owner of much of the land in that area.  Battershall set a high price on his land. A boxcar was set up beside the tracks in Hainesville to provide a temporary headquarters, but Battershall refused to lower his price.

Round Lake Train Depot

At this time, White offered the railroad a free site for the station if they would locate it in what is now Round Lake. Goodnow accepted the offer on the condition that White would have several streets laid leading to the station.  White agreed and the line was finished and deeded on July 1, 1901.

In honor of the railroad official, White named the west boundary after Goodnow and presented him with a choice lot at the corner of Nippersink and Cedar Lake.

A few years later in 1908, Amarias White, the Amann brothers, Will Rosing, A.J. (Del) Smith, John Hart and others went around the countryside trying to convince their neighbors to incorporate.  White and his cohorts presented the necessary documents of incorporation to the Honorable D.L. Jones, judge of the court at Waukegan, on November 19, 1908.  Judge Jones found everything to be in order and called for an election to be held at Paddock's Hardware Store on December 9, 1908. 

Dowtown Round Lake-Main Street





Judge Jones appointed John Hart, Will Rosing, and Walter White as judges of the election. 66 people voted: 51 'for' and 15 'against' incorporating the village.  Claus Junge, Sr was appointed village president.
Downtown-Horse & Carriage

Another election was held on January 7, 1909 and only 29 people voted.  Amarias White was unanimously chosen as village president.  The trustees were Walter White, S.C. Litwiler, Edward Hendee, Martin Thelen, Edward Luby, and Frank Amann. They held the first board meeting on February 6, 1909.