Westmont was originally known as Gregg’s Station, a “cream-and-eggs” stop for the train to Chicago. It was named after the Gregg Brickyard, from which Chicago imported bricks to rebuild after the fire of 1871.
The village has a long history of settlement. Glaciers deposited mounds of clay in the Westmont area during the Ice Age, making it one of the highest elevations in the area. Pottawotomi Indians lived in the area until 1833. At that time, they were moved to reservations elsewhere in the country. Their two major trails became Ogden Avenue and Route 66. Farmers immediately came to the area, in search of more fertile land. The first farmer was Henry Faul. In 1834, two stagecoach routes were opened. One became the future Ogden Avenue, and the other later developed into Naperville Road.
In 1862, the future of Westmont was paved by the construction of the Chicago Aurora Branch of the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad, completed in 1864. Brick manufacturers bought land in Westmont in 1871, in order to supply bricks for the rebuilding of Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire. William I. Gregg was the most influential of the businessmen. His name was left behind in the area, with Gregg’s Milk Station, Gregg’s School, and Gregg’s Road (later Cass Avenue).
In the Spring of 1920, Arthur McIntosh started laying out the streets and sidewalks on his 80 acre property in the village. Westmont proper was founded in 1921. Additional sidewalks were laid in 1923, and Cass Avenue was paved in 1927. Many of the longtime residents live on tree-lined streets in the older homes. There are more recent residents, living in the newer homes and high-rises. Finally, there are the relatively younger and wealthier families living on the new, curvilinear streets in the subdivision in the southern part of town.
Reflecting its varied population of nearly 20,500, Westmont has a healthy mix of commercial, light industrial, office, and research parks. Growth in the commercial and industrial area has allowed the village to reduce its tax rate.
Housing also varies. There is a mixture of new and old single-family homes, apartments, and planned condominium developments. There are approximately 2,000 rental units in the village. The residents are able to use the facilities in the village’s 15 parks, encompassing 80 acres. Community sponsored events include Pow Wow Days, an annual festival featuring music, food, and fireworks held in September.
Like the neighboring towns and villages, Westmont’s schools enjoy a good reputation. District 201 has four (4) elementary schools, a junior high school, and Westmont High School, Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale South High School, and Downers Grove North and South High Schools. Pupil – teacher ratio is 14 to 1 and the district spends more than $3,200 per student annually. Parochial education offers one Catholic and one Lutheran elementary school. A new Westmont Library facility has recently opened.
Westmont is part of the DuPage Water Commission and receives Lake Michigan water.
Opportunities for shopping abound. Small stores line Cass Avenue in the central district and there are several medium centers, including major grocery chain stores. Regional shopping is available at Oak Brook and Yorktown shopping centers.
Neighboring Hinsdale and Downers Grove both have full service, comprehensive hospitals, Hinsdale Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital. Westmont has two medical buildings and three convalescent homes.
The 35-acre park district includes organized activity programs. There are several golf courses, recreational clubs, pools, and skating rinks in the immediate area.
Westmont is only 20 miles from the Chicago Loop. It is well located for commuters. Driving time to the Loop, via the East-West-Tollway (Interstate 88), and the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) is about 45 minutes. The Burlington Northern railroad has a station in Westmont. The travel time via the train is approximately 35 minutes to Chicago. Three Pace bus routes bring commuters to the train station. O’Hare Airport is only 20 miles away, via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294).