When the Illinois Central railroad and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad intersected, a need for station was established and upon completion was given an Indian name meaning, “Where two trails meet.” This is Mendota. Established in 1853 and incorporated as a village in 1855. Mendota was to grow quite rapidly, boasting a population of 3,736 by the turn of the century. D.D.Guiles was the first settler and started a store in partnership with George Wells. In 1867, the village became chartered as a city and Boyd Lowe was elected to be the first mayor. website
Mendota is strategically located, with 90 minutes easy access to 5 major markets: Chicago, Rockford, Quad Cities, Bloomington-Normal and Peoria. It has an excellent location at the junction of 1-39 and Rt. 34 with 1-80 only 12 miles to the south via I-39 and I-5, 28 miles to the north via I-39. Highways that intersect in Mendota are U.S. Routes 251, 52 and 34.
Mendota is served by 2 railroads. The Burlington Northern provides freight service and reciprocal switching. Passenger service is provided by Amtrak with daily trains to downtown Chicago.
City - Mendota's 7,272 residents are governed by a mayor and 8 aldermen. The city, known as the "Worlds Greatest Little City," is host to the annual Sweet Corn Festival, attracting more than 60,000 visitors to the community on the second full weekend in August is a not-to-be missed event. Event sponsored by the Mendota Area Chamber Of Commerce. website
Education - The public grade schools, and one parochial (Catholic) grade school, comprise the elementary system. Mendota Township High School opened the doors to a new building 2003. Facilities are modern and well equipped. Illinois Valley Community College, a Junior College is only 20 miles away.
Parks & Lakes – The city maintains 327 acres of parkland, 71 of which are lakeside. Lake Mendota Park is 68 acres, Snyders Grove Nature Area 104 acres and Lake Kakusha 140 acres. The Lake area provides playgrounds, scenic picnic areas, volleyball courts, a skate park, ball diamonds, soccer fields, bicycle and hiking trails, and game fishing. There are four city parks. Starved Rock State Park, 25 miles southeast of Mendota. White Pines State Park, 35 miles northwest.
Museum - The Mendota Museum and Historical Society's Hume-Carnegie Museum displaying commercial, historical, and industrial history of the area. The MMHS’s Union Depot Railroad Museum, operates as an AMTRAK Station and has been restored to its former beauty of the 1940's. It features a HO Scale model of Mendota in the 1930's, along with a telegraph office, railroad memorabilia and rolling stock. website
Religion- In Mendota, churches are an important part of the city's culture. A variety of Christian denominations have churches in Mendota and they offer more than just weekly worship services. Church-sponsored events, youth services, and volunteer opportunities are just a few of the features offered by the churches of Mendota.