Barrington Hills is an affluent village, located about northwest of Chicago, Illinois, that straddles approximately in Cook, Kane, Lake, and McHenry County, Illinois. The population was 3,915 at the 2000 census. The Village of Barrington Hills was incorporated in 1957.
The rural-suburban area is part of the greater Barrington area and many affluent residents live there on large estates within commuting distance of Chicago. There is a minimum five-acre zoning restriction on building houses and both farming and horse raising are allowed. Homes are on individual septic system and water wells.
The Village is home to Hill 'N Dale Farms, belonging to Richard L. Duchossois, owner of the Arlington Park racetrack, and Bill McGinley's Horizons Farms. The community's identification with horses can be seen in names like Broncos and Colts for school teams, stores catering to saddlery and riding outfits, and subdivisions with street names such as Steeplechase and Surrey Court.
Barrington Center Church was built in 1853 and used as an army recruiting station during the American Civil War. A memorial plaque outside the church lists 91 area residents - one woman and 90 men - who served in the Civil War. Since the 1980s, the church building has been used by a Korean congregation, the New Friends Wesleyan Church.
In 1860, about 18 immigrant families of Czech ancestry settled along the east side of the Fox River, near the future site of Fox River Grove. In 1867 land was purchased at the southwest corner of Church and River - Algonquin Roads and construction was started on St. John Nepomucene Chapel named after the patron saint of Bohemia. It was completed in 1873 and still survives today in Barrington Hills. The chapel was never served by its own priest, and currently services are scheduled only once a year. The chapel and its cemetery are owned by the St. John Nepomucene Catholic Cemetery Association, making it the only privately-owned Catholic chapel and cemetery in the Rockford Diocese.
Industry came to the area in the 1890s, when American Malleable Iron Company built a plant on the northern fringe of Barrington Hills along U.S. Highway 14. The company hired hundreds of Hungarian workers and constructed a residential community for their workers which they called Chicago Highlands. The foundry closed in 1903.
Starting about 1900, business executives from Chicago, many of whom were tied to the railroad industry, purchased the rolling farms and subdivided them into large summer estates. One such individual was Spencer C. Otis, who by 1910 is credited with purchasing some thousand acres of farmland along what was then Goose Lake Road but is now known as Otis Road and creating Hawthorne Farm. Otis was a "gentleman farmer" of the era. He worked in Chicago commerce, but his hobby was dairy farming on his large country estate. Several of his business associates, including George E. Van Hagen, also built large estates in the area and ran their summer homes as year-round dairy farms.
In 1921 the Barrington Hills Country Club, with its eighteen-hole course, was established on 200 acres of unfarmable land between County Line Road, Oak Knoll Road, and Northwest Highway. The land was donated by three of the club's early founders: H. Stillson Hart, who owned the farmstead known as Hart Hills just to the east of the club; George E. Van Hagen of Wakefield Farm, who owned the land just to the west of the club; and J.R. Cardwell, whose Oak Knoll Farm swelled along the winding Oak Knoll Road on the club's northern end. Van Hagen became the club's first president. Noted Chicago architect Robert Work, who was associated with David Adler, designed the first clubhouse, which was opened in 1926 and burned to the ground in 1930. Work designed the second clubhouse as well, which opened in 1931 and still stands today.
Eventually, land use in Barrington Hills changed away from agriculture toward horse breeding and riding. By the 1920s residents began marking bridle paths. The Fox River Valley Hunt Club, founded in the late 1930s, helped continue the development of trails which used both private property and forest preserve land. By the late 1980s over of paths were in use.
The Barrington Horse Show began in 1945. It was held on various estates until 1965, when the 15 acre Barrington Countryside Riding Center became its permanent home. The Center is owned and managed by the Barrington Countryside Park District.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 28.4 square miles (73.6 km²), of which, 27.9 square miles (72.2 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it (1.83%) is water. The Village is located within the Fox River watershed of the greater Illinois River waterway. There is about of shoreline along the east bank of the Fox River. Locally there are two perennial stream courses known to the west as Spring Creek and to the east as Flint Creek. Over the years Flint Creek has been impounded such that along its course in the Cook County portion of the Village are substantial sized lakes names as Hawley, Hawthorne and Keene.
Forest preserves cover 6,000 acres (24 km²) (42 percent) of the village area. The largest is Spring Creek Nature Preserve, which measures 4,000 acres (16 km²) of prairie, swamp, woods, streams and lakes. Another is Crab Tree Nature Preserve and Helms Woods. The latter is attributed to be the location for the White Fringe Prairie Orchid which is a threatened plant species.
Into the 1990s farmers still worked about 3,000 acres (12 km²) of land. Residential properties of over one acre covered 30 percent. There is no downtown center, but the village has a small shopping strip along Route 14. With a population of 3,915 in 2000, Barrington Hills has kept its rural flavor as industrial and commercial development has sprung up around its borders.
The village is bordered on the west by East Dundee, Carpentersville, and Algonquin; on the north by Fox River Grove, and Lake Barrington; on the east by Barrington, Inverness, and to the south and southeast by South Barrington, and Hoffman Estates.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,915 people, 1,381 households, and 1,168 families residing in the village. The population density was 140.4 people per square mile (54.2/km²). There were 1,456 housing units at an average density of 52.2/sq mi (20.2/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 94.30% White, 0.46% African American, 3.91% Asian, 0.74% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.92% of the population.
There were 1,381 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.9% were married couples living together, 3.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.4% were non-families. 12.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the village the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 20.0% from 25 to 44, 37.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $145,330, and the median income for a family was $156,002. Males had a median income of over $100,000 versus $56,167 for females. The per capita income for the village was $73,629. About 0.9% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.