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Does your college town suck? Northwestern University

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The stadium has a great name, but that’s about where the good things end.

New to the line up this season: we will be examining the various college towns of Wisconsin’s opponents. We’ll be answering all of the important questions – Is it a state capital? What is the population? Does it have a Culver’s?

Facts:

City: Evanston, Ill.

Size: 7.803 square miles

Location: 42°02′47″N 87°41′41″W

Population: 78,110 (2020)

State Capital? No

Time zone: Central Standard

Landmarks: Grosse Point Lighthouse, Dearborn Observatory, Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, American Toby Jug Museum, Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park

About:

Evanston is home of “Chicago’s Big Ten Team”… or so they say. However, according to our friends at The Champaign Room, Northwestern doesn’t even have much representation in Chicago...

Riddle me that.

The University of Illinois-Chicago (Go Flames) and Loyola University Chicago (Go Fighting Sister Jeans) have more Chicago cred than Northwestern…

Anyway, per the city of Evanston’s very own website, Northwestern University was founded before Evanston.

In 1851, the plans for Northwestern began and in 1855 Northwestern opened its doors. The founders of the university submitted to the county judge their plans for a city and their wish was to rename the town Evanston in 1854.

In 1857, the town of Evanston was named.

That’s right, according to fine people at the city of Evanston, Northwestern opened BEFORE Evanston was named, but really one year after it was named and they wished to rename it to Evanston, three years after it was named Evanston.

Evanston, if that is even it’s real name – I honestly don’t know what to believe anymore…has a thriving business economy, with nine different business districts, giving residents and visitors plenty of options for their shopping and eating/drinking enjoyment.

Evanston is set on the shores of Lake Michigan, with six public swimming beaches and plenty of opportunities to enjoy lake life.

While Evanston has many things to see and do, one of the more interesting attractions is the American Toby Jugs Museum.

Now, you may be wondering, what the hell is a Toby Jug… well, it is a figural ceramic pitcher molded in the form of a popular character, whether it be historical, fictional or generic. Tobies date back to the 1760’s. The first of its kind were made in the form of a seated jovial, stout man dressed in the attire of the period. The Toby wore a tri-corn hat, puffing on a pipe and holding a mug of ale. These were referred to a the “Ordinary Tobies.”

Well, that’s unsettling...

The hat formed a pouring spout, with the handle attached at the rear. Tobies have evolved over the years.

You may also be wondering, is it a jug or a mug. Well, the museum has you covered - “Jugs are used for pouring; mugs are used for drinking. To determine if a piece is a jug or a mug, look at the top rim. If the opening has a spout, it’s a jug. If not, it’s a mug.”

You can imagine how upset hundred’s of Northwestern’s frat bros are when they get to the museum and realize its for another kind of jugs...

If you’re a fan of the these kind of jugs…creepy, or historically creepy. You’re in luck.

Bars:

Thanks to urbanmatter.com, there is a list of the best bars to party at or lick your wounds at following a Northwestern game.

Ten Mile House, which is an upscale tavern with plenty of beers and some of the best drunk food around. While Ten Mile House is more of a swanky establishment, Bat 17 has more of a college bar and restaurant vibe.

Bat 17 has also received quite a few accolades, such as being named the best overall restaurant in Evanston by students from 2012-2021. Going to Bat 17 was also rated the No. 1 thing to do by Chicago Magazine in 2013.

While Evanston does not have a Culver’s, nearby Skokie does.

Stadium:

Ryan Field (great name, by the way), is the home stadium of the Northwestern Wildcats and seats 47,130.

It was originally named Dyche Stadium from 1926, until 1996 when it was renamed after Patrick G. Ryan, who was a chairman of Northwestern’s board of trustees. Other members of the board made the decision to rename the stadium due to his contributions to Northwestern University.

However, the name change did come with some controversy. Renaming the stadium defied the university’s own 1926 resolution that forbade such a change. School officials said that a private institution can override previous board’s decisions. The Dyche family was not notified of the change, despite living in Chicago and being listed in the phone book. Following some protest from the Dyche family, Northwestern installed an informational plaque at the stadium, noting its former name.

How nice of them…

Still, great name.

Does your college town suck?

Yes, absolutely. Their own city web site is confused on how time functions. Evanston’s structure of time does not follow a Jeremy Bearimy design. That is reserved for the Good Place.

Evanston is the Bad Place.