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Old 11-28-2006, 09:30 AM
 
3 posts, read 20,318 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi,

My wife and I will be moving from PA to Sterling, IL at the beginning of the year and I was hoping to get a feel for the area. Id appreciate any general impressions you could provide.

Also, is there any area within a 30 to 45-minute radius of Sterling that really stands out as a nice place for a young couple to live (nice neighborhoods, low crime rates, things to do nearby)?

Thanks in advance for your help
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,942,110 times
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Ive been through Sterling a few times and to be honest I hated it. I dont know where youre from in PA, but I dont think youll like it. There is no scenery, jobs are not good, schools are not either. There is little to see or do. The closest larger town is Dixon, and thats nothing special either. A 30 minute drive east towards DeKalb and Sycamore is about the closest you can get to some decent shopping, etc (along Rt.23). Im from Chicago's burbs, so Im accustomed to having every amenity in the world at my doorstep, so heading out that way was a big culture shock. Rock Falls is the next town past Sterling and it literally is the worst town Ive seen in Illinois. Everyhome is ancient and decrepid and its just a slum IMO. I havent been out there for a few years, so I cant really tell you if theyve done anything out there, but I dont think theyd even have the revenue to do anything to improve that place.

As far as living, Sycamore is one of the nicer towns outside Chicagoland. The schools are decent and the town only has about 18,000 people or so now. Its growing like a weed and there are lots of nice new condos and apartments along the DeKalb (home of Northern lllinois University) border.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:47 AM
 
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Thanks for the input. I appreciate your candor.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:05 AM
 
265 posts, read 763,437 times
Reputation: 217
Default Local Perspective

Just wanted to give some balance compared to the previous message. I'm formerly from the Chicago burbs and I hated it there. So moved to the Dixon IL area. Sterling is just west of Dixon. In between , you do have some regional shopping . There is a Super WalMart, movie complex, and the usual other chain type stores.

The previous poster is correct that Sycamore is a nice town just north of DeKalb. But is would be about 1 hour plus drive to Sterling. I'm not that familiar about better neigborhoods in Sterling, but Dixon does have some newer areas both just north and south of town.

Actually I like the town of Dixon. The major local shopping areas are located on the north end of town. Also a new Super Wal Mart has just gone in at the south end of town. Other shopping areas are being built around it, so there is new construction activity there.

I live in the Lost Lake development which is on the east side of Dixon. It would be about a 40 minute drive to Sterling. It is a small gated community around a small made man lake. The west side does have newer homes being built. The community has a nice mix of retired people and young families. Great place to raise children. Very low crime rate.

The area around the Dixon and then north toward Oregon and Byron Illinois is a very nice rolling hills and wooded area along the Rock River. So there are recreational facilites available. Lots of good fishing in the river. Also there is the Castle Rock State park along the river. You can even take a paddleboat ride on the river for fun.

From the area i live in , its about 45 minutes north to Rockford where you can find all the larger stores for shopping. Also about 45 miles east to DeKalb where Norther n Illinois University is located. shopping there also.

Just wanted to give more balance about the area compared to the negative post above. As you can tell, I love living in the area. Life is slower paced than Chicago. If you like little traffic, low crime, and the smaller town atmosphere, I think you will like the area. I would admit that Rock Falls is not that great, but Sterling is somewhat better. Then Dixon and finally Oregon are better areas. You really need to see to get a better idea. Hope this helps.

Jim

ps Forgot to mention that from Sterling you could drive the interstate to Moline for regional shopping also.
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,942,110 times
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Youre correct about the hour drive, its pretty far, but its worth it not to live in Sterling.

I used to live in Lost Nation/Lake. I lived on Sangamon, know where thats at?
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:12 AM
 
3 posts, read 20,318 times
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Thanks for your input Jim. I certainly appreciate all of the information provided, but I must admit that your post made me feel a little more comfortable about the move. Ill check out the Dixon and Oregon areas once we get out there. Thank you.
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Old 12-22-2006, 02:59 PM
 
12 posts, read 63,081 times
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The only reason that Sterling existed was Northwestern Steel and Wire. When that steel mill closed in 2001 so did the heart of the town.

The whole Dixon, Sterling, Rock Falls area was never known for its friendliness, but Sterling was particularly surly. It was gotten worse since the mill closed.

But, heh, there is a Super Wallmart in the area so that makes up for everything- or you can work in the prison in Dixon...
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:58 PM
 
265 posts, read 763,437 times
Reputation: 217
Default Guess I am fighting an uphill battle

in trying to give a good impression of the Dixon area. The oldengineer is particularly surly. Each to his own.

I have lived in the general Dixon area for the past 4 years. The area is definitely changing for the better. There is a brand new Super Walmart at the south end of Dixon. New businesses are being built in the area. In addition there is a new commercial area just south of the interstate which promises to bring new jobs to the area.

There are also new housing developments underway at both end so town. Many people from the Chicago area are finding cheaper and better living in these small towns away from the crowds. I find it very different than the Chicago area which I originally came from.

I can vouch for better times in Dixon and Oregon. Of the Sterling Rock Falls area , I am more unsure of. Mainly because I don't get out that way very often. So perhaps the negative comments about those areas are justified. But for Dixon and Oregon, any negatives are outweighed by the positives.

Jim
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,762 times
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Default Sterling Il

I was born in Dixon and grew up in Rock Falls moved from there to Chicago where I lived for 25 years.I moved back to Sterling and worked at Northwestern Steel. I can tell you the Mill was the heart of Sterling and Rock Falls, when it closed the area became depressed. I remember when I was a child, up town at Christams, music playing over speakers outside and people walking from store to store through the snow. The town Christmas Tree. Then along came WAL MART this was the begining of the end of up town USA. So no matter where you live there is no small town America any more only WALLY WORLD. I hated to see life as it was end. I now live in Arkansas and still miss home. Good luck
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,698 posts, read 34,851,784 times
Reputation: 7940
I have good friends who were teachers in Milledgeville and lived in Sterling. They liked it very much, just got better jobs elsewhere and moved.
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