South Holland, IL
The area currently occupied by South Holland, Illinois, was first settled in 1846 by immigrants from South Holland, Netherlands. When the community formally incorporated as a village in 1894, its population was about 1,000. Originally a general farming community, it later specialized in vegetable growing, especially onion sets. By the 1940s South Holland was known as the “Onion Set Capital of the World”. The town was built on low ground near the Calumet River and was originally called de Laage Prairie (Low Prairie) to differentiate it from another Dutch settlement further north on higher ground and called de Hooge Prairie (now the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago).
In October 2007, Forbes.com declared South Holland to be the “Most Livable Metro-Area suburb” of the Chicago metropolitan area.
South Holland is an anomaly in Chicago Southland because of its laws. All businesses (except travel-related establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and gas stations) are closed on Sunday. This can be seen easily when driving on one of the village’s main thoroughfares—162nd Street or South Park Avenue. South Holland is a “dry” municipality; that is, no alcohol is sold anywhere within the village limits. Zoning restrictions do not allow the development of apartment buildings or condominiums. These laws are a remnant of the village’s religious roots as a settlement of conservative Dutch Reformed immigrants. Even today, South Holland’s motto is “A Community of Churches”.