Crystal Lake is a northwest suburb of Chicago, located in southeastern McHenry County about 50 miles from the Loop. The name for the lake comes from Ziba S. Beardsley, who saw it on his way to Naperville in 1835 and claimed the “waters were as clear as crystal.” The city began in the mid 1800s as two separate towns, Crystal Lake and Nunda. In 1874 the villages of Nunda and Crystal Lake were each incorporated, and 38 years later Nunda changed its name to North Crystal Lake. In 1914, after several attempts and much debate, North Crystal Lake was annexed to the village of Crystal Lake, and the city of Crystal Lake was born. The city entered a period of rapid development as the Chicago metro area spread into McHenry County. Today, Crystal Lake is the largest municipality in McHenry County and serves as a regional business and retail hub. The city still retains its small town charm through numerous events and a revitalized downtown.