"Grayslake: My First Home: 1963" Grayslake by deecat

Grayslake Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 110 photos

A Lovely Example of A Northern Illinois Town

Today, August 23, 2006, I decided to peruse Grayslake, my first home after being married in 1963! Allan and I lived in Grayslake from 1963 until 1965 when we decided to return to school for our Master Degrees.

Both of us are teachers; I taught at Grayslake and walked the 3 or 4 blocks to the high school. Allan taught in Lake Bluff and drove the 10 miles to his school.

At the time we lived in Grayslake, it was a very small community, and the high school was also quite small. Since that time, Grayslake has experienced a "population explosion", and there are two huge high schools!!
In 2003, the census indicated that there were over 20,300 residents.

My favorite part of Grayslake is The Village Center which is located in the heart of the town. This area includes historic downtown, The Esper A. Petersen Foundation Family Aquatic Center, Grayslake Public Library, Grayslake Senior Center, Central Park (40 acres), Daniel Barry Memorial Skate Park, Grayslake Middle School as well as Grayslake Central High School.

I love American towns that have kept the "downtown" alive and vibrant....Grayslake is a good example of such a town.

However, Grayslake is quite spread out (12 square miles) and includes a second high school, many strip malls, abundant residential communities, several industrial parks, a new Lake Forest Hospital's "hospital campus, Grayslake". (By the way, that is where I go to see my doctor).

I had such a wonderful time today rediscovering the town where I lived so many years ago. Of course, it's changed in looks; however, it still has that small town feel; it still has the friendly citizens who smile, say "hello", and are eager to help.

My First Home on Lake Street in Grayslake

It was very strange to stand across the street to take a photograph of that first "home" that Allan and I shared as man and wife. There's new siding on the house; a newer garage is there now; the bushes hide the outside steps to the upstairs apartment where we lived; and the two grocery stores across the street and around the corner, are no longer there. Yet, it just seems like "yesterday" that we furnished the one bedroom, one bath, a kitchen, and a living room apartment with cheap furniture. Ironically, we ended up with more money each month back then than we ever have since that time!

1963-1965 Grayslake High School Where I Taught

Toward the end of the afternoon, I journeyed toward the location of the High School, the first teaching job I ever had. I certainly did not recognize this huge building. It actually takes up more than one block! It's the beginning of school right now, and I saw several athletes (both male and female). It was late afternoon, and the parking lot was quite full. I walked all around in utter astonishment....that once small high school has become a very large high school. More than that, another huge high school has been built for Grayslake; it is located out of the town proper.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small Town Atmosphere with Suburban Flair
  • Cons:Lots of Traffic
  • In a nutshell:Small town with a friendly attitude
  • Last visit to Grayslake: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (28)

Comments (30)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    The victorian homes, museums, charming quilting store look wonderful. That vintage book exchange would be fun to explore. You never know what you'll find in a feed store, pretty interesting places:) Excellent page Dee!

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    What a great town to be where you worked/lived when first married. Lovely page filled with in-depth information and wise insights.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Hi, Dee! ><>< Thanks for your wonderful page, my friend! ~ Take care ! ~

  • Nov 6, 2009 at 7:47 AM

    What a truly lovely small town in America. So good to go "home" to see the changes and to appreciate the beauty.

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    great little page - toffeecrunch indeed !

  • Jul 2, 2008 at 4:59 AM

    A lot of information! Excellent pictures too!

  • Apr 24, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Thanks for visiting my Sfikia-vilage page.Greetings from Greece Vangelis

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2008 at 9:21 PM

    You met THE Joan Hammel!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2006 at 11:54 AM

    A pleasure to read, and gives a real flavour of this small town and why it holds special memories for you Dee

  • tini58de's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2006 at 5:18 AM

    How wonderful to revisit your first hometown after being married! I am sure much has changed, but the way your write about it, it still seems to have a place in your heart! Plus it seems to be a pretty "sweet" place, too!

deecat Used To Live Here!


“Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow, a promissory note; today is the only cash you have; spend it wisely. Kay Lyons”

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