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10 Interesting Facts About St. Charles, IL
StudioStyle.com is proud to have our office & manufacturing facility located in St. Charles, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. Just down the street from the Fox River, our community is filled with beautiful parks, scenic river views & a rich and interesting history. Here we'd like to share some interesting information about our city.
Saint Charles, Illinois - The Pride of the Fox
- Originally named Charleston, it was later discovered that another Illinois city had the same name. S.S. Jones, a local lawyer, suggested it be renamed Saint Charles in 1839.
- For over 40 years, St. Charles was the Pickle Capital of the World! While no pickles were ever known to be manufactured in town, PPI (Pickle Packers International) was a promotional marketing agency that laid its roots in St. Charles in the early 1960's. They promoted the benefits of pickles, producing pickle phones, purses, greeting cards and many more pickle branded items from the Pickle Packers International office on East Main Street in downtown. Although PPI moved to Washington, DC in 2004, the legacy remains.
- St. Charles is the site of the Richards Riot of 1849. Students of the Franklin Medical School, the first medical school in Illinois, stole a body from a graveyard to dissect in class. The family of the deceased, along with 100 residents from nearby Sycamore, journeyed to the home of the school's director and started a riot that consequently killed two people.
- St. Charles is the home of Civil War General John Farnsworth. General Farnsworth was the founder of the Republican Party, attorney, congressman and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and was his advisor during the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.
- A hideaway for Al Capone, it is rumored that he frequented a speakeasy and held bootleg parties at an establishment along Route 25.
- Scarecrow Fest, an annual fall event, attracts generations of locals who flock to downtown St. Charles for the enormous display of hand-crafted scarecrows.
- Established in 1881, the Cable Piano Company laid claim as the world's largest manufacturer of pianos & organs. In 1901 Cable built a factory along the Fox River in St. Charles. Shortly after the stock market crash, the factory began lay-offs and eventually closed its doors in 1938, at which time it was sold to Howell Furniture Company. Howell remained in St. Charles for nearly 50 years before it too closed its doors in 1980. The building was converted into a shopping center called Piano Factory Mall. The original site of the piano factory has been razed for condominiums & new shopping.
- The Arcada (Spanish for "arcade") is a historic 1926 Venetian-Spanish theme theatre inspired by the travels of St. Charles native Lester Norris. Norris traveled to Florida and studied Spanish-influenced architecture and brought his vision back to St. Charles to build this theatre. With seating for 1,000, the Arcada held many sold-out shows, drawing theatre-goers from Chicago & New York. Today the Arcada holds movie showings & concerts.
- John W. Scherer, the founder & celebrity spokesman for the popular Video Professor video tutorials, was born in St. Charles, IL.
- The city of St. Charles is the Water Garden Capital of the World. Home to Aquascape, Inc., America's leader in the water features industry, Aquascape is responsible for several public water garden installations within the city.