First named Columbia Heights after Chicago's World Columbian Exposition of 1893, the village of Steger straddles both Will and Cook Counties, and is located 29 miles south of downtown Chicago. The town was eventually named after John V. Steger, a factory owner. Steger lies close to the Indiana border; nearby (Illinois) towns include... Show all »
First named Columbia Heights after Chicago's World Columbian Exposition of 1893, the village of Steger straddles both Will and Cook Counties, and is located 29 miles south of downtown Chicago. The town was eventually named after John V. Steger, a factory owner. Steger lies close to the Indiana border; nearby (Illinois) towns include Crete, Chicago Heights, Park Forest, and University Park. The population of Steger is 10,201 (2004). John Steger played an important role in the development of the village. He opened a piano factory on 20 acres of land alongside the railroad station, was instrumental in planning a residential subdivision, and he encouraged home homeownership and commercial development. As village president, Steger also oversaw the development of a volunteer fire department, water and sewer facilities, as well as a unique system of underground pipes, which provided steam heat for workers' homes. He recruited German craftsmen, developed assembly-line manufacturing of pianos and designed special railcars for shipping them. By 1920, the village of Steger was the "piano capital of the world," producing more than 100 pianos a day. In 1910, the Steger building was completed at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Wabash Avenue in downtown Chicago. The building served as Steger's administrative office and as a piano display center; this 19-story structure still stands. In terms of leisure activities, residents of Steger have a number of options. They can take advantage of the area's forest preserves that offer hiking, biking, skating, horseback riding, picnic facilities, fishing, cross country skiing and toboggan slides. They can also search for antiques in Crete and other nearby communities, play a round of golf at the various area golf courses, view some horse racing at Balmoral Park Race Track, see a play at The Center for Performing Arts at nearby Governors State University in University Park, and eat a variety of cuisines at area restaurants. « Show less
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Data last updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 8:30 PM