The Lincoln Museum and
Dana Thomas House
Explore the Fox Valley!
Part of the trio known as the
Tri-Cities, Batavia – much like her sisters to the north, had its start
in the first third of the 19th century when Christopher Columbus Payne
settled here and built a cabin for his family in what was then referred
to as “Head of Big Woods”. He moved on within two years, selling his
property to a Judge Isaac Walton who changed the name to match his
former hometown of the same name in New York. The rich farmland, timber,
water power and quarry stone – Batavia had 10 quarries, many of which
provided the City of Chicago with building materials for new
construction after the Great Fire - were important
resources. And many of the buildings in the
downtown areas of all the Tri-Cities are also made from the same fine
Batavia Niagara Limestone.
Located about 40 miles west of Chicago, Batavia
is situated in the heart of the Fox River Valley,
just a few miles to the north of Interstate 88 Tollway.
It would seem that all three cities also have a bit of claim to fame
when it comes to Mary Todd Lincoln, widow of the 16th President of the
United States – she once spent some time in Batavia’s
Bellevue Place, a sanitarium and rest home for the mentally ill.
Batavia has other history to be proud of. Batavia was recognized as
the leading windmill manufacturing city in the world and was home to the Campana Company (maker of cosmetic products).
Mifflin Publishing Co. are still located there.
And Batavia and hosts world famous
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory,
at the city's southeastern edge, attracting nuclear physicists from
throughout the world.
But don't make the
trip solely for the history, culture, festivals, arts and local flavor,
or even a bike trip along the scenic Fox River. Come to Batavia,
for the fine dining, shopping and all the wonderful
people that make it a friendly place to visit!