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More information about Elwood

Elwood was founded in 1854, and incorporated as a village in 1869. The completion of the Joliet-Bloomington railroad played a major role in the founding of Elwood. By 1900, Elwood was a small farming community with a population of about 400. In the late 1930s, the federal government acquired nearby land for troop training and weapons production, on which site the Joliet Arsenal was built and commenced operation in 1940. Arsenal construction played an important role in the development of Elwood and brought about 175 people into the area. In 1942, a massive explosion at the arsenal killed 42 workers and caused widespread damage. In 1954, the village celebrated its centennial, and 20,000 people gathered to watch the parade. By 1970, Elwood had a population of about 750.On May 8, 1988, a tornado touched down about three miles (5 km) north of the village, uprooting large trees and heavily damaging a few homes and pole buildings.In 1990, the village began to experience more rapid growth. By 1996, Elwood's population rose to nearly 1,423, and is presently estimated at 2,300, with development accelerating due to the construction of the Centerpoint intermodal freight facility. The Northern Illinois Planning Commission estimates that Elwood will have a population of nearly 20,000 by 2030.
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