Vernon Hills is a suburb north of Chicago, Illinois in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 20,120 at the 2000 census, and 25,113 in 2010. Vernon Hills serves as a retail hub for its surrounding area (Libertyville, Lake Forest, Long Grove, Lincolnshire and Buffalo Grove).
The land that was to become Vernon Hills, founded by Richard Theodore Freese, Ron Freese, and Jim Carswell, began with the establishment of a 200-acre (0.81 km2) farm in 1857. Use of the land remained relatively static until the 1960s, when part of it was purchased for a residential community and golf course; the development was the first use of the name "Vernon Hills." On June 16, 1968, the village officially incorporated with 123 residents and 125 houses in a single subdivision built by Quinn Hogan and Barney Loeb. During these times, the village and police department were run from a local motel until 1971 when village trustees bought two portable buildings. It saw steady but slow growth until the annexing of a plot of land near the corner of IL-60 and IL-21 in 1971, which led to the building of 1,200,000-square-foot (110,000 m2) Hawthorn Center. By 1980, the village's population had grown to almost 10,000 residents, and by 2000, it had surpassed 20,000.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, the village grew geographically through the annexation of surrounding areas. This included land that would become the Corporate Woods business park and Centennial Crossing residential development (1986), a 1,200-acre (4.9 km2) section of Hawthorne-Mellody Farms (1988), and part of the village of Half Day (1994).