Settled in 1836, Riverside, known then as the Aux Plains, first welcomed the Forbes family to its serene riverbanks and beautiful forest areas. Others soon discovered the desirability of the area. However, only a handful of individuals held large land holdings in Riverside, and consequently, land development from approximately 1840-1868 was minimal.
In 1869, the Riverside Improvement Company was incorporated and set forth to fulfill the company's dream of developing "a perfect village in a perfect setting."
Frederick Law Olmsted
The company selected Frederick Law Olmsted as their architect of choice, and based on Olmsted's plan, the community began to take shape and resemble the Riverside we know today.
Village of Riverside Incorporation
In 1873, the Riverside Improvement Company failed, creating conditions that warranted Village incorporation in order to carry on municipal functions. On June 25, 1875, the Cook County Court was petitioned to organize the Village of Riverside, and soon after, on August 8, 1875 the first Village President, Carol Gaytes, and first trustees were elected.
Over the past 130 years since incorporation, Riverside has matured into a beautiful, vibrant "Village in the Forest." Many of the original elements of Olmsted's plan, including expansive green parkways, gas-lit street lanterns, and curvilinear streets, are still intact, and as a result, the Village has enjoyed a National Historic Landmark designation since 1970.