Welcome to the Village of Pecatonica
Pecatonica has a population of about 2000. Local leisure and recreation attractions focus on traditional family fun. Two miles east of town is Westlake Village, a golf course / lake community. The Winnebago County Fairgrounds are on the west side of town, adjacent to Sumner Park. Sumner Park is a linear park access along the Pecatonica River and is a common meeting and excursion point for adventures on the "Pecatonica Prairie / Bike Path" . A real piece of America's historic tradition lives on with Pecatonica's Annual Memorial Day Parade. The second largest in the state of Illinois. They come from 3 states to participate in a long standing small town tradition!
Sumner Park with it's Ball fields, Tennis courts, Horseshoe pits, Children's playgrounds and a traditional grandstand with track, connects with the recently acquired Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve, both to the west and across the river to the south. Pecatonica Wetlands is made up of 1047 acres of flood plain forest, oxbow pond marshes and upland forest along the Pecatonica River. The site has outstanding spring flora and birdlife. Site development is still in progress but when complete will include fishing access, hiking and equestrian trails, picnic areas and wildlife areas. Also, The Seward Bluffs Forest Preserve is located nearby. The combined Public Parks and the Recreation Bike and Prairie Path offer a wide variety of recreation. It is a favored fishing spot along the Pecatonica River.
Special events at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds fill 3 seasons. The "PEC THING" in the spring and again in late summer is one of the "hottest" junktique markets in the tri-state area. The Annual Main Street"Memorial Day Parade" is one of Illinois largest, lasting an hour and a half. Pecatonica also boasts their local Youth Sports Program.
The name Pecatonica can be traced to the Indian word "peeketolika", meaning "crooked river". Early settlers first arrived in the area in 1835. The first settlement was about 2 miles southeast of town. A small stone tavern was located there from 1842 to 1914, and was the halfway point on the Chicago to Galena stagecoach trail.
On July 1, 1845, President James K. Polk deeded 56.56 acres of "Indian territory", that is now downtown Pecatonica, to Dan Reed and his wife, Polly. Dan Reed "laid out" the roads and lots of a town he called "Peckatonick”.