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Lena

Trip Planner USA  /  Illinois  /  Lena
(4.3/5 based on 35+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: nature
Lena is a village in Stephenson County, Illinois. The population was 2,912 at the 2010 census.HistoryIn 1853, a railroad survey by B. Dornblazer determined a course through present-day Lena. Samuel F. Dodds, who owned 80acre of land in the area, purchased an additional tract of 80acre on behalf of the railroad company and grading work was begun. Dodds owned a stone residence which still occupies Lot No. 1 on Lena Street, while Dr. F. Voightheld owned a log home (which has subsequently been demolished) near the train depot. At the time, these two buildings made up the extent of the town.The town was originally shaped as a parallelogram covering twenty-six blocks for a total of 304 housing lots. During the summer of 1853, lots sold rapidly, commanding prices varying from $50 to $150 each. On New Year's Day 1854, track was laid, and railway cars began running between Freeport and Warren. The population began to grow, mostly with English and Irish residents. In 1854, there were about a dozen families in Lena.During the summer of 1855, Reber & Cheney and Dodds erected a three-story brick building at the corner of Railroad and Schuyler streets. It was completed in the fall of 1856 at a cost of about $4,000. The building is still used by local businesses. The Panic of 1857 had little effect on the growth of the town, and rapid expansion continued through 1860.As growth continued after the Civil War, the first town newspaper called the Lena Star was established in 1867, with Dodds as editor. During its first year, the newspaper reported a local fire and called for a town water pump. Several fires erupted through 1868, and J.M. Shannon (who took over as editor of the newspaper) continued calls for a pump. The Lena Water Tower was finally established on May 15, 1868.
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