Downtown sign-1920s-2

Crystal Lake History
The City of Crystal Lake can trace its origin story back to two separate communities, established in the 1800's, called “Nunda” and “Crystal Lake”. In 1835, Ziba S. Beardsley witnessed the lakeshores and commented the water looked “clear as crystal,” which gave the lake its name.

In 1836, the first settlers, Beman and Polly Crandall as well as their six children, traveled from New York State to Crystal Lake in a covered wagon. The Crandall’s original cabin was built in the vicinity of today’s intersection between Virginia Street and Van Buren Street.

The town was first known as Crystal Ville, but sometime before 1840, the name changed to Crystal Lake. In 1856, the first train depot was established. The depot, called the Crystal Lake Station, shipped from Chicago on a flat car.

The villages of Crystal Lake and Nunda incorporated in 1874. In 1908, the name of the Village of Nunda changed to “North Crystal Lake.” Finally, after much disagreement, the Village of North Crystal Lake annexed into the Village of Crystal Lake in 1914, and a new city form of government established.

Thank you to the Crystal Lake Historical Society for this information.