Fermilab History and Archives Project


Return to Site History

Village of Weston

This image in other sizes: 1000x1126, 2000x2252, 3101x3492

Top of Page


The trustees of the village of Weston held their final board meeting in the NAL village Wednesday night, November 26 (1969).

Early notice of future use of NAL site. 1968
Early notice of future use of NAL site. 1968

The meeting represented one of the final steps in the formal dissolution of the village which has since become the NAL Village, headquarters of the National Accelerator Laboratory. Weston is part of the 6,800-acre site on which NAL is constructing the 200 billion electron volt proton synchrotron - the world's largest.

To make it legal, the five-man board first met in the former Village Hall of Weston. This building has since been taken over by Experimental Facilities.

In final business directed by Arthur Theriault, Weston Village president, the board voted to approve an ordinance to vacate the streets in the Village. This was a part of the legal necessity to properly turn over the entire site to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission by the state of Illinois, which had purchased the entire acreage.

The board, representing the 450 persons who formerly lived in the village, also approved paying $4270 in various bills. Money the village had in the general fund and from the motor fuel and utility tax revenues was divided equally between West Chicago elementary school district 93 and West Chicago High School district 94. Each district received a check for $1,775 at the meeting.

Theriault, who now resides in West Chicago, was named trustee of the village account to handle final village matters.

Robert Wilson with Early Staff

Just before the meeting was adjourned, State Rep. Lewis V. Morgan, Jr., (Republican, Wheaton), hailed the turning over of the Weston site to the NAL as "the scientific gift of the century." Mayor John Downs, of West Chicago, called the event a "solemn occasion dedicated to progress."

The Laboratory was host for a small reception at the end of the meeting. Former residents of the village sat around and reminisced. Francis T. Cole, assistant director of NAL for technical affairs, represented the Laboratory at the board meeting.

Cole presented each of the trustees with a letter to them from Robert R. Wilson, NAL director. It read:

"This evening will be the last meeting of the Village Board of Weston. I want to take this occasion to thank you, as a member of the Board, for your help to us during the difficult period when the Village was being transformed into the National Accelerator Laboratory.

It was hard for the people of Weston to give up their homes for the Laboratory site, and hard for those who were still in residence with their families during the period in 1968 when we were occupying some houses, moving others and putting up new buildings which we had to do if we were to keep our schedule. The Laboratory will always be indebted to you for the positive attitude with which you approached our mutual problems."

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 1 No. 6, November, 1969

Top of Page


A 1970 aerial view of the NAL Village. Batavia Road linking the Village with the Main Site is at the top of the photo
A 1970 aerial view of the NAL Village. Batavia
Road linking the Village with the Main Site is
at the top of the photo

Click on the photo for a larger view

Fort Fortitude

For months, the center of the National Accelerator Laboratory's administrative activities has been located in what is formally known as the NAL Village while the post office address is P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL., 60510. Yet, the mass media and others continually seem to refer to NAL as being at Weston. Well, it's official now. The Village of Weston was officially dissolved last week, 22 months after the last of some 400 residents of the DuPage County suburb moved out to make way for acquisition of the site by the state of Illinois for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Circuit Court Judge Bertram Rathje, in Wheaton, signed the dissolution papers after the 1970 census figures reported that nobody lives in Weston any longer. Weston was formed in 1963; it passed into history seven years after its birth.

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 2 No. 37, September 17, 1970

Top of Page


Arthur Theriault, former Mayor of the Village of Weston, visited his former "home town" last week as a guest of the Laboratory. Theriault was a catalyst in "selling" the location of NAL in Illinois. Now a bank official in Chicago, he resides in nearby West Chicago.

Weston's formal affairs have now been officially wound up and the village has been officially dissolved.

In a brief ceremony in front of the Director's complex in the NAL Village (formerly Weston), Theriault was presented with a plastic-encased B-2 magnet outer coil as a memento of his early association with the Laboratory. In return, Theriault gave the Laboratory the original charter of incorporation for the Village of Weston, dated October 23, 1963, and the former village's corporate seal. Both will become a part of the NAL Village Exhibit Hall.

Theriault's family then toured the village and the main site. They were joined by the Rev. Henry Wilkening, of St. Mary's Roman Catholic church, West Chicago, and Mayor John Downs, of West Chicago.

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 3 No. 11, March 18, 1971

Top of Page