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Primary Keyword: Community of Inverness, Chicago Secondary Keyword: T. McIntosh, Illinois, Chicago, Inverness, Page Title: The Community of Inverness Sub Title: Inverness Way Thompson In the 1920s, Arthur T. McIntosh, a developer from Scotland traveling in the U.S., passed through the North West corner of Cook County in Illinois. During the course of his travels, he paused briefly to look at the area’s wooded and rolling hills. Although McIntosh had made his journey to the U.S. with the intention of helping his family to find a place to which they could all retreat, still the rolling hills of the area captivated the developer. They reminded him of the hills around Inverness, Scotland. McIntosh suddenly felt compelled to develop this area north of Chicago. McIntosh had no trouble coming up with a name for his vision of a development. He called it Inverness. By 1926, McIntosh had purchased the first of 11 farms in that area. Those were the farms that McIntosh would gradually divide-up and develop. Then McIntosh worked with Way Thompson to create a development that typified the traditional New England setting. The pair made roads that wound around the Inverness hills. They took several steps in order to insure that only a limited number of those roads actually led into or out of the Village of Inverness. Hence they guided the builders of the development toward the creation of a very private region, an area with only limited vehicle traffic. When McIntosh divided up the land on those rolling hills, putting on the market some lots for future land owners, he chose to have every lot cover an acre or more of the old farmland. He also established some simple but firm rules. One of those rules, called the no fence policy, prohibited the building of a fence or wall between two different lots. McIntosh also forbade the building of curbs and the installation of streetlights. He did lend his assistance to the planting of trees. Many of the trees he planted in Inverness were Norway pine. Because McIntosh asked such a high price for the homes in his development ($9,000 to $20,000), only the wealthy moved into the development of Inverness. The high home prices also forced the residents of Inverness to remain content with minimal diversity among the faces of the population. Thus, this village became a place of escape for the wealthiest and for those with the most cultural influence. The community around Inverness, a suburb of Chicago, soon echoed the exclusivity found in the Red Line, a wealthy suburb of Philadelphia. Inverness became incorporated in 1962, although it has never had an industry that served as a source of income. The private county club in Inverness has served as the Village’s only economic base. Although most every resident of Inverness is familiar with affluence, the Village itself has become dependent on assistance from neighboring towns. The schools of Palatine educate the children of Inverness. The fire departments of both Palatine and Barrington respond to calls from residents in Inverness. And Inverness shares its Police Department with the residents of Barrington. Inverness became a region of Chicago land that contrasted sharply with the diversity and the modesty of the town to the north east, the town that included the American Baha’i Temple. The gentleman who laid the cornerstone for that Temple held values that differed greatly from those of most residents of Inverness.
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