Located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, Markham is a mid-size suburb of Chicago. Located just 18 miles south of Chicago, it provides convenient access to the big city, making it a popular home for commuters. A portion of the city is dedicated to preserved prairie lands, with the Sundrop, Paintbrush, Gensburg and Dropseed prairies comprising more than 2,500 acres of protected land.
The History of Markham
Markham was originally settled by German and Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s, although Markham did not become recognized as a distinct town until 1925. In that year, it incorporated under the name of Markham, named after Charles Markham, president of the Illinois Central Railroad.
Both the Illinois Central Railroad and the Rock Island Railroad ran through Markham, making it an attractive home to farmers who shipped their produce on the railroads. The city turned to a more industrial base in the early 20th century. After World War II, it grew rapidly, likely due to its reputation as an affordable bedroom community near Chicago. Markham was officially recognized as a city in 1967.
Living in Markham
Markham is a family-friendly community, with a higher-than-average percentage of homes with young children. Many families are attracted to the city for its affordability and convenient amenities, with everyday needs like grocery stores, schools, convenience stores and restaurants all within easy access of residential areas. There are also plenty of family-oriented activities to take advantage of in Markham.
The annual Youth Summit provides a series of safety-focused sessions for Markham's teenagers, demonstrating the city's commitment to educational resources. Summer camps operated by the city's parks and recreation department offer field trips, art, crafts and various activities. Or your child can join the local performing arts organization, which hosts music, theater and dance classes after school.
There's no shortage of local events and programs for adults, either. You can participate in the Citizens Police Academy, a weekly program that provides locals with an up-close look at a day in the life of the city's police officers. Special events like the Mother's Day Luncheon and the Father's Day Cookout make Markham an enjoyable place to live.
A few districts serve Markham, including the Prairie-Hills Elementary School District, Bremen High School District 228 and Hazel Crest School District 152 1/2. Private school options in Markham are very limited, with no large campuses falling within city limits. However, you can always travel to a nearby community to enroll your child in a private campus there.
Resources for Moving to Markham
Here's an at-a-glance guide to some of the city's basic services, to help you organize your move to Markham:
Utilities: Like most of the Chicago area, Markham receives electricity from Commonwealth Edison. The city's water department oversees residential water supply.
Garbage and Recycling: Homewood Disposal is contracted to provide trash and recyclables collection. You can also rent temporary dumpsters for large clean-up projects.
Transportation: Pace Bus provides public transportation service throughout Markham as well as several routes to other cities in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Markham is an extremely affordable place to live, with homes and rent costing just a fraction of the Chicago metro average. There's a variety of cozy, single-family homes on the housing market, most with two to three bedrooms and a small yard area. A large number of for-auction properties makes it possible to get a great deal on your future home.