The area which is now Burr Ridge was once the home of the Sioux, Pottawattamie, Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. After an 1835 treaty, most of the Indians were relocated west of the Mississippi. In the early 1950's the area was sparsely settled and large tracts of land were devoted to farming. The gently rolling hills and wooded sections of the eastern portion of the area were, for the most part, divided into five acre tracts.
On October 20, 1956, in the garage of a residence on Drew Avenue, 143 residents of Robert Bartlett's Estates (the one square mile area bounded by Old Route 66, County Line Road, 79th Street and the easy line of the Denemark Farm, which is now Burr Ridge Industrial commons) cast their votes on the question of incorporation. Two days later, the results were official (76 votes for and 67 against) and on October 30, 1956, the incoporation of the Village of Harvester was confirmed. The new Village had approximately 75 homes and a population of less than 300.
In August, 1961, the territory north of Route 66, including the 414 acre International Harvester research facility (now the J.I. Case facility and the Fieldstone, High Grove, Oak Grove and Chestnut Hills developments), was annexed to the Village. The annexation included the area known as Burr Ridge Estates, which had been developed into five acre tracts in the early 1950s by the Busby family, whose farm included the ridge along County Line Road near Plainfield road that they called the "burr ridge" due to the large stand of burr oak trees. In August, 1962, the name of the community was changed to Burr Ridge. The burr oak leaf became the Village emblem. Its unofficial slogan - "A Very Special Place" - was the title of a small book written in 1976 to reflect on the Village's pride at the time of its 20th Anniversary.
It was a small start for the community which, in 1984, became the first in DuPage County to provide Lake Michigan water to all its customers and which would, by 1997, become known as one of the 300 wealthiest communities in America. With the goal of preserving the hallmark woodlands, ponds and wetlands, while permitting orderly and balanced low-density growth, the Village fathers, in the years after incorportation, monitored the transformation of large tracts of open farmland and woodslands that would, by the 2006 special census, become a planned community of approximately seven square miles, with 11,259 residents residing in 3,000 homes. Today, Burr Ridge is generally bounded on the east by Wolf Road, on the north by 55th Street, on the west by Madison Street (and Route 83 in the southern portion of the Village) and on the south by approximately 97th Street. Ideally situated at the intersection of the Tri-State Tollway and the Stevenson Expressway, Burr Ridge offers easy access to Chicago's Loop and airports.
The burr oaks still exist in Burr Ridge, along with fine homes on generous lots and distinguished townhome communities. Local shopping and high quality office parks have been blended into this natural setting, attracting those who become both residents and valued members of the business community. The well-balanced mix of the business and residential communities has allowed Burr Ridge to maintain a healthy corporate fund and one of the lowest tax rates in DuPage County.
Burr Ridge truly is "A Very Special Place."