In the mid-1830's, early settlers were attracted to Babcock's Grove, (as Lombard was called at the time) by rich farmland; more settlers came when the railroad route westward from Chicago followed the St. Charles Road Trail.
In 1927, Colonel William R. Plum bequeathed his home and adjacent lilac gardens to the town as a park and library site. As a result of Colonel Plum's bequest, the Lombard Park District was established by court order in 1927.
A tour of the historic downtown area, within walking distance of the commuter train depot, highlights the significant heritage earlier residents left to contemporary Lombard: the historic Lilacia Park, Lombard Historical Museum, Helen M. Plum Memorial Library as well as the Maple Street Chapel, a historic landmark in the spired Gothic style built as the original First Church of Lombard in 1870.
Each year during Lilac Time, which occurs during May, Lilacia Park exemplifies the historic beauty of Lombard in bloom. The 8.5 acre park is fragrant with flowering lilac bushes, 75,000 tulips and other spring-flowering plantings. Lilacia Park is the focal point for residents and visitors alike during Lilac Time as well as throughout the changing seasons.
The lilac tradition is never complete until the last unit of the annual favorite Lilac Parade has made its way down Main Street. Estimates boast that 55,000+ spectators line the parade route to view and cheer on the various bands, floats and business and civic participants of the ever-growing parade.
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