The first French colonist set foot in Waukegan, IL in 1673. Originally a Potawatomie Indian settlement and a French trading post known as “Little Fort”, Waukegan got its name after the community no longer wanted to be referred to as “little.” Waukegan actually means “fort” or “trading post” in the Potawatomie language. Located right on the coast of Lake Michigan, settlers were attracted to Waukegan because it was easy to ship produce and grain between counties in Illinois. The not so small town continued to expand and was officially incorporated as a city on February 23rd, 1858. Nowadays, people are drawn to Waukegan, IL as a budget vacation destination.