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At Bill Walsh Ford, we couldn't be more proud to call northern Illinois our home. Our hometown of Ottawa is just a short drive from the big Windy City, but we're just as happy to visit any of the noteworthy cities that surround it. Take, for instance, Aurora, Illinois, one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.

Aurora was officially founded in 1837 when its first post office was erected. At that time, the city was actually made up of two villages-East Aurora and West Aurora. The Fox River was the dividing line between the two sides. The two villages joined in 1857, two decades after the post office was built. Naturally, the two villages argued about which should host the public buildings, so Stolp Island-a section of land in the middle of Fox River-was the perfect compromise. Today the 41 buildings on Stolp Island are on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Aurora continued to grow and became the home to many immigrants, as well as many businesses and lots of local factory work. In 1908 it was nicknamed the "City of Lights" for being one of the first cities to use electric street lights. Aurora is the second most populated city in Illinois, and continues to expand.

With that in mind, it's no surprise that there's plenty to do in Aurora, Illinois. For one thing, you can visit the city's impressive collection of architecture by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and other well-known names. If you're in town and looking for something to do with the whole family, you can visit the admission-free Phillips Park Zoo, or head to one of the city's beautiful parks. There are, of course, plenty of delicious local restaurants, so if the weather's nice, grab your food to go and have a picnic outside! No matter what your interests are, we're confident that any visit to Aurora is sure to be a pleasant one.