The changing face of Will County continued into the twentieth century. From a backwater to a city with one of the best colleges of art & photography in the State. In the early 1900s, the economic base shifted as manufacturers and refiners opened and operated sites, being lured to Will County by the new transporation afforded by the Sanitary Canal. Military production during World War II contributed to the further industrialization of the area, with the population growth mirroring the economic and industrial growth.
Declining industrial economic conditions in the 1970s and 1980s, however, brought yet another change to the county. As the population of the county seat in Joliet fell, the population in Lockport, Romeoville, and other Joliet suburbs expanded rapidly. Residential and commercial developers grabbed much of the unincorporated areas. The population of Will County is now anticipated to double — from 600,000+ to over 1.2 million — over the next 25 years.
The Des Plaines, Illinois, and Kankakee Rivers remain the same river trails that they were hundreds of years ago and the photographic opportunities here are endless. “Settlers” in modern day Will County, however, now find themselves at the crossroads of a different set of land “trails” — Interstates I-55, I-57, and I-80.