Sandwich is a city in DeKalb and Kendall counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 7,421 at the 2010 census. The town’s history is tied to politician “Long John” Wentworth and his efforts to move the Illinois border with Wisconsin from being even with the bottom of Lake Michigan to its present location. If those efforts had not been successful, the state line would reside along the LaSalle-DeKalb County border, placing the incorporated community in Wisconsin. The community was established when Almon Gage sought a railroad stop on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad that ran through town. Originally naming it Newark Station (not to be confused with the nearby village of Newark) he and Wentworth worked extensively to create the community and also to get the railroad stop created. In honor of his efforts, Wentworth was given the opportunity to name the town.
He named it after his home of Sandwich, New Hampshire. The city’s Wentworth Apartments and Wentworth Street are named after Mr. Wentworth. Sandwich is the home of the Sandwich Fair, which first started as an annual livestock show in DeKalb County. Originally known as the Union Agricultural Institute, it first opened in 1858. Since 1888, the Sandwich Fair has been held yearly on the Wednesday-Sunday after Labor Day. It is one of the oldest continuing county fairs in the state of Illinois, drawing daily crowds of more than 100,000, with the top attendance days reaching more than 200,000 fair-goers.
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