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Zion was founded by John Alexander Dowie who named the town after Mount Zion in Israel. Dowie was a Scottish faith healer whose family moved to Australia. He found his way to Illinois and bought land to create the town of Zion. He planned the town before building it, using the Union Jack flag as a map to lay out the roads. North-south roads have Biblical names apart from Caledonia and Edina which are Scottish in origin. All original east-west roads start with the number one, though the numbering system was diluted by names as roads were added over the decades.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Zion is slightly lower than the U.S. average and housing makes up the largest portion of that cost. However, houses in Zion are very affordable with the housing stock mostly made up of single-family homes. Buyers can choose from small mid-century ranch homes, 1970s split-levels, modernized farm homes, simple Victorians, and multi-family properties. Property taxes are very reasonable even on homes that have more square footage and property. This area of Lake County is historically not as populous as the communities further south and has fewer legacy issues that require higher taxes to repay.
The town is well-served by all forms of transportation including rail, bus, and roadway. Sheridan Road, the easternmost street, runs north and south to Racine, WI and Chicago respectively. Green Bay Road runs parallel to Sheridan Road and ends in a similar fashion in either direction. Route 173 is an east-west road that intersects with Highway 41 and I-94 to the west. The Metra train station on Eden Road has a train on the Union Pacific North route that runs between Chicago and Kenosha. A Pace bus travels a route that stops at the Metra station, major destinations in Zion, and travels to nearby Waukegan.
Elementary-aged students living in Zion attend the Zion Elementary School District 6. High school students attend Zion-Benton Township High School. Both the elementary school district and the high school have room for improvement. Average spending on individual students tends to be lower than nearby communities. Low test scores speak to the lack of student and teacher engagement as well as a lack of AP enrollment.
The eastern portion of Zion butts up against Illinois Beach State Park and Illinois Beach Nature Preserve. Together they make up a section of land that creates a buffer between Zion and Lake Michigan while preserving beachfront access for all. There are three privately owned golf courses located along the western edge of Zion and all offer a challenging round of 9 or 18 holes. Every June sees the return of Nostalgia Days, a classic car event that takes over the town for two days. Local radio stations do live broadcasts, food vendors set up booths, and a cruise of the cars commences on Sunday. While not exactly a carnival, it is a unique event and a good excuse to hang out in downtown and look at the amazing array of cars. Zion always has something interesting going on and the surrounding landscapes that are open to the public ensure that the town is never boring.
Disclaimer: School attendance zone boundaries are supplied by Maponics and are subject to change. Check with the applicable school district prior to making a decision based on these boundaries.