Batavia, founded in 1833, is located in northeastern Illinois in eastern Kane County
just west of Chicago
along Highway 25 on the banks of the Fox River
. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 22,306, an increase of 5,230 since 1990.
The city's nickname is derived from the fact that it was the "windmill manufacturing capital of the world" in the early 1900s when waterpower drove most of the growing industries around the country. The "Windmill City Festival" in mid-July pays tribute to the bygone era.
The town has experienced rapid growth over the past few decades but at one time Batavia was in a more pastoral setting, so much so that it was once the subject of the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
Today, Batavia is home to more than 200 manufacurers, reseach firms and warehouse operators. Included in that number is the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, world-reknown center for high-energy physics research.