Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest

Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest Founded in 1968. Beginning in 1970 operated a Museum, Research Center, and Archives in Pleasant Home in Mills Park. Moved from that long-time location in 2017 and opened the new Oak Park River Forest Museum after a $1 million renovation.

Operating as usual

A look at the new exhibit at OPRF Museum, courtesy of today's Wednesday Journal.  Come and check it out through October....
09/15/2021
Student 9/11 art therapy project, now a museum exhibit - Oak Park

A look at the new exhibit at OPRF Museum, courtesy of today's Wednesday Journal. Come and check it out through October. Details at oprfmuseum.org

https://www.oakpark.com/2021/09/14/student-9-11-art-therapy-project-now-a-museum-exhibit/

Just as many can still remember exactly where they were Nov. 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the fall of the World Trade Center is seared in the memories of those who were alive to witness it – even if some weren’t quite old enough at the time to fully grasp the […]

This Saturday Sept. 18 at 3 p.m. we welcome journalist and educator Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi to OPRF Museum to discuss he...
09/13/2021

This Saturday Sept. 18 at 3 p.m. we welcome journalist and educator Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi to OPRF Museum to discuss her book "Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence that Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago." Recounting an almost forgotten chapter in Cook County’s history and the two very different women who were its central figures--both Italian Americans and one a young Oak Park attorney--"Ugly Prey" is a thought-provoking look at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, class, and the American justice system. oprfmuseum.org to learn more.

This Saturday Sept. 18 at 3 p.m. we welcome journalist and educator Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi to OPRF Museum to discuss her book "Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence that Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago." Recounting an almost forgotten chapter in Cook County’s history and the two very different women who were its central figures--both Italian Americans and one a young Oak Park attorney--"Ugly Prey" is a thought-provoking look at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, class, and the American justice system. oprfmuseum.org to learn more.

Roosevelt Middle School art teacher Sally McPartlin knew that her 8th grade students would struggle to process thoughts ...
09/10/2021

Roosevelt Middle School art teacher Sally McPartlin knew that her 8th grade students would struggle to process thoughts and emotions triggered by the tragedy of September 11, 2001. So she asked her River Forest students to create art collages to express something that was so hard to put into words. The teacher donated this artwork to Oak Park River Forest Museum and they are on display through October from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. oprfmuseum.org

Roosevelt Middle School art teacher Sally McPartlin knew that her 8th grade students would struggle to process thoughts and emotions triggered by the tragedy of September 11, 2001. So she asked her River Forest students to create art collages to express something that was so hard to put into words. The teacher donated this artwork to Oak Park River Forest Museum and they are on display through October from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. oprfmuseum.org

This Saturday learn about the history of the CTA Blue Line, which cuts through south Oak Park to its western terminus.  ...
09/07/2021

This Saturday learn about the history of the CTA Blue Line, which cuts through south Oak Park to its western terminus. Author and Historical Society member David Wilson shares stories from his new book "From Garfield "L" to Blue Line Rapid Transit" at 3 p.m. on Sept. 11. Details at oprfmuseum.org

This Saturday learn about the history of the CTA Blue Line, which cuts through south Oak Park to its western terminus. Author and Historical Society member David Wilson shares stories from his new book "From Garfield "L" to Blue Line Rapid Transit" at 3 p.m. on Sept. 11. Details at oprfmuseum.org

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on this day in Chicago in 1875. He created Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, writing many st...
09/01/2021

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on this day in Chicago in 1875. He created Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, writing many stories while living in Oak Park. Check out the exhibit at Oak Park River Forest Museum or find out more at oprfmuseum.org

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on this day in Chicago in 1875. He created Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, writing many stories while living in Oak Park. Check out the exhibit at Oak Park River Forest Museum or find out more at oprfmuseum.org

Thanks to the homeowner and congratulations to all involved!  What a way to celebrate Women's Equality Day.
08/27/2021

Thanks to the homeowner and congratulations to all involved! What a way to celebrate Women's Equality Day.

08/27/2021
Pomeroy Foundation Letter

OPRF Museum Operations Manager Rachel Berlinski helps dedicate the Grace Wilbur Trout marker at 414 Forest in Oak Park yesterday. Nice job, Rachel! Hats off to amazing volunteer Mary Ann Porucznik who spearheaded the project along with partners Nineteenth Century Charitable Association and League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest.

Join us Friday at 11 a.m. for a free virtual program from OPRF Museum on the theme "from yesterday's headlines to tomorr...
08/26/2021

Join us Friday at 11 a.m. for a free virtual program from OPRF Museum on the theme "from yesterday's headlines to tomorrow's history." Frank Lipo and Rachel Berlinski will talk about how current events and history intersect as we tell stories about the COVID-19 pandemic and Black history in our community. Get the free link at oprfmuseum.org

View past episodes of our web series "Ask the Historians" and "Inside OPRF Museum" on our YouTube channel.

Join us Friday at 11 a.m. for a free virtual program from OPRF Museum on the theme "from yesterday's headlines to tomorrow's history." Frank Lipo and Rachel Berlinski will talk about how current events and history intersect as we tell stories about the COVID-19 pandemic and Black history in our community. Get the free link at oprfmuseum.org

View past episodes of our web series "Ask the Historians" and "Inside OPRF Museum" on our YouTube channel.

Tomorrow  join members of The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, the Nineteenth Century Charitable Associa...
08/25/2021

Tomorrow join members of The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, the Nineteenth Century Charitable Association, and the Oak Park-River Forest League of Women Voters to celebrate the installation of the National Votes for Women Trail Marker honoring renowned local suffragist Grace Wilbur Trout at 414 Forest Avenue.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and refreshments follow at the Nineteenth Century Club. This is only one of 250 women’s suffrage sites across the country being recognized with a Trail Marker. RSVP at oprfmuseum.org/events/grace-wilbur-trout-plaque-dedication

Tomorrow join members of The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, the Nineteenth Century Charitable Association, and the Oak Park-River Forest League of Women Voters to celebrate the installation of the National Votes for Women Trail Marker honoring renowned local suffragist Grace Wilbur Trout at 414 Forest Avenue.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and refreshments follow at the Nineteenth Century Club. This is only one of 250 women’s suffrage sites across the country being recognized with a Trail Marker. RSVP at oprfmuseum.org/events/grace-wilbur-trout-plaque-dedication

Looking for a little exercise this weekend?  Have you ever wondered about who walked the streets or paths before you? If...
08/20/2021

Looking for a little exercise this weekend? Have you ever wondered about who walked the streets or paths before you? If so, we have two walking tours for you!

Evans Field Walking Tour, 10 a.m. Saturday, August 21
From Wallace Evans Game Farm to to CCC camp, from Native Americans to today's nature lovers, learn stories about this parcel nestled along the Des Plaines River

Ridgeland Ramble Walking Tour, 2 p.m. Saturday, August 21

Start at OPRF Museum at Lake and Lombard and stroll around the east central end of Oak Park, learning about Oak Park's largest employer in 1900, the West Suburban Jewish Community Center, and the boy who started a successful pheasant farm in his Harvey Avenue yard.

Details and tickets at oprfmuseum.org

Last month OPRF Museum Executive Director Frank Lipo was interviewed by an NBC correspondent for a story about famous Oa...
08/18/2021
5 Trailblazers You Should Know From Oak Park, Illinois

Last month OPRF Museum Executive Director Frank Lipo was interviewed by an NBC correspondent for a story about famous Oak Park residents. Here is the story that was filed by Visual Storyteller Jalyn Henderson, the reporter-producer who trekked to the corner of Lake and Lombard in Oak Park to film Frank and a lot of cool objects and exhibits. Visit us 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays to see for yourself! oprfmuseum.org

https://www.nbcchicago.com/lx/5-trailblazers-you-should-know-from-oak-park-illinois/2562890/?_osource

Just 10 miles from the city of Chicago, the village of Oak Park has been a home to people like architect Frank Lloyd Wright, author Ernest Hemingway and Dr. Percy Julian, a researcher who helped develop treatments for glaucoma and rheumatoid arthritis. More recent residents include Ludacris, Betty W...

OPRF Museum invites you to learn about Oak Park's lost Opera House on Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. CDT via Zoom.  Volunteer Mary A...
08/18/2021

OPRF Museum invites you to learn about Oak Park's lost Opera House on Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. CDT via Zoom. Volunteer Mary Ann Porucznik will tell you about these original opera house seats and so much more. The 30-minute program is free but those interested must register at http://oprfmuseum.org

OPRF Museum invites you to learn about Oak Park's lost Opera House on Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. CDT via Zoom. Volunteer Mary Ann Porucznik will tell you about these original opera house seats and so much more. The 30-minute program is free but those interested must register at http://oprfmuseum.org

Come on out to Forest Home Cemetery this Sunday July 25 at 1 p.m. for a special walking tour west of the Des Plaines Riv...
07/22/2021

Come on out to Forest Home Cemetery this Sunday July 25 at 1 p.m. for a special walking tour west of the Des Plaines River. The tour also will be offered on Aug. 29 and Sept. 26. And mark your calendar for Oct. 17 for the 30th annual Tale of the Tombstones walking tour, which includes actors bringing stories to life.

Historical Society President Peggy Tuck Sinko has mapped the route and will lead the July 25 tour. She built the tour on research developed by former Historical Society President and cemetery guru Laurel McMahon. We look forward to exploring this section of the cemetery with you! Tickets at oprfmuseum.org

Come on out to Forest Home Cemetery this Sunday July 25 at 1 p.m. for a special walking tour west of the Des Plaines River. The tour also will be offered on Aug. 29 and Sept. 26. And mark your calendar for Oct. 17 for the 30th annual Tale of the Tombstones walking tour, which includes actors bringing stories to life.

Historical Society President Peggy Tuck Sinko has mapped the route and will lead the July 25 tour. She built the tour on research developed by former Historical Society President and cemetery guru Laurel McMahon. We look forward to exploring this section of the cemetery with you! Tickets at oprfmuseum.org

Lots about the Scoville family and its impact on Oak Park on display at Oak Park River Forest Museum at 129 Lake Street ...
07/22/2021
The Scoville influence on Oak Park - Oak Park

Lots about the Scoville family and its impact on Oak Park on display at Oak Park River Forest Museum at 129 Lake Street in Oak Park. Visit us 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays or by appointment to learn more.

https://www.oakpark.com/2021/07/19/the-scoville-influence-on-oak-park/

A longtime Oak Parker wrote to Wednesday Journal reminiscing about reading in a comfortable chair by a fireplace in the old Scoville Mansion, which stood where today’s Main Library is, and wondered if the village’s memory for that building and its legacy have faded as newer buildings rotate thro...

Come on by Oak Park River Forest Museum at Lake and Lombard between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Juneteenth and get a free copy...
06/18/2021

Come on by Oak Park River Forest Museum at Lake and Lombard between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Juneteenth and get a free copy of this 16-stop, self-guided Black History Bike Tour and a sticker marking Oak Park's first official municipal celebration of the holiday. And bike around the village on a beautiful summer Saturday and learn these important stories.

Join us via Zoom for our 2021 Annual Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday June 30.  Details here.http://oprfmuseum.org/events/...
06/16/2021
Annual Meeting | Oak Park River Forest Museum

Join us via Zoom for our 2021 Annual Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday June 30. Details here.

http://oprfmuseum.org/events/annual-meeting-0

Annual Meeting Date: June 30, 2021 - 7:00pm — 8:00pmDescription: Mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 30 at 7 p.m., when The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest will host its 2021 Annual Meeting. The meeting will include a brief business session to accept nominations of new board m...

Start your Memorial Day on Monday morning by attending the River Forest and/or Oak Park solemn ceremonies remembering th...
05/31/2021

Start your Memorial Day on Monday morning by attending the River Forest and/or Oak Park solemn ceremonies remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our nation

Details here:

https://oprfmuseum.org/events/memorial-day-services-oak-park-and-river-forest

Start your Memorial Day on Monday morning by attending the River Forest and/or Oak Park solemn ceremonies remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our nation

Details here:

https://oprfmuseum.org/events/memorial-day-services-oak-park-and-river-forest

In commemoration of Memorial Day, we want to share a recently acquired collection of military medals from the Trout Fami...
05/31/2021

In commemoration of Memorial Day, we want to share a recently acquired collection of military medals from the Trout Family. Eleanor and John Trout both served in WWII and were heavily involved in Oak Park veteran organizations for more than 50 years. Never forgetting those who lost their lives in service, they helped organize Memorial Day activities in Oak Park, River Forest, and the Chicago area.

Their collection contains the WWII medals of John Franklin Trout (1914-1999), who served on Okinawa and his wife, Eleanor Mach Trout (1914-1986), who served as a WAVE on the Naval Base in Jacksonville, FL. In addition, there are medals from John’s father, John D. Trout, who served as a U.S. Marine in the Philippine Insurrection during the Spanish-American War and the Chinese Boxer Rebellion campaigns from 1899 to 1904. Eleanor’s father, Edward Mach (1879-1948) served in the Spanish-American War. During his service, he was part of an expedition to Mindoro Island in the Philippines.

In commemoration of Memorial Day, we want to share a recently acquired collection of military medals from the Trout Family. Eleanor and John Trout both served in WWII and were heavily involved in Oak Park veteran organizations for more than 50 years. Never forgetting those who lost their lives in service, they helped organize Memorial Day activities in Oak Park, River Forest, and the Chicago area.

Their collection contains the WWII medals of John Franklin Trout (1914-1999), who served on Okinawa and his wife, Eleanor Mach Trout (1914-1986), who served as a WAVE on the Naval Base in Jacksonville, FL. In addition, there are medals from John’s father, John D. Trout, who served as a U.S. Marine in the Philippine Insurrection during the Spanish-American War and the Chinese Boxer Rebellion campaigns from 1899 to 1904. Eleanor’s father, Edward Mach (1879-1948) served in the Spanish-American War. During his service, he was part of an expedition to Mindoro Island in the Philippines.

Did you ever wonder why the lot sizes on the east side of Home Avenue between Madison and Harrison are such a unique siz...
05/27/2021

Did you ever wonder why the lot sizes on the east side of Home Avenue between Madison and Harrison are such a unique size?

Find out more tomorrow morning, Friday May 28, at 11 a.m. during this month's free "Ask the Historians" when volunteer researcher Frank FioRito will share his research. You must register in advance for the 30-minute program at oprfmuseum.org and we will send you a link.

Did you ever wonder why the lot sizes on the east side of Home Avenue between Madison and Harrison are such a unique size?

Find out more tomorrow morning, Friday May 28, at 11 a.m. during this month's free "Ask the Historians" when volunteer researcher Frank FioRito will share his research. You must register in advance for the 30-minute program at oprfmuseum.org and we will send you a link.

"Summer Landscape" by Oak Park artist Jess Hobby, shown here, was donated to OPRF Museum this month by noted Chicago are...
05/19/2021

"Summer Landscape" by Oak Park artist Jess Hobby, shown here, was donated to OPRF Museum this month by noted Chicago area art collector M. Christine Schwartz. And the stories of Trinity High School in River Forest will be better told in years to come thanks to a generous donation of yearbooks. Learn more tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the free virtual program "Inside OPRF Museum." Details at oprfmuseum.org

"Summer Landscape" by Oak Park artist Jess Hobby, shown here, was donated to OPRF Museum this month by noted Chicago area art collector M. Christine Schwartz. And the stories of Trinity High School in River Forest will be better told in years to come thanks to a generous donation of yearbooks. Learn more tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the free virtual program "Inside OPRF Museum." Details at oprfmuseum.org

Address

129 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL
60302

Opening Hours

Tuesday 1pm - 5pm
Wednesday 1pm - 5pm
Thursday 1pm - 5pm
Friday 1pm - 5pm
Saturday 11am - 5pm

Telephone

(708) 848-6755

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20th Century Railroad Club's First Virtual Zoom meeting is Wednesday! Our inaugural monthly Zoom meeting begins 6:30 p.m.(Central) Wednesday, March 10. Dan Bartlett of the Elmhurst History Museum presents the history Galena Chicago Union Railroad from the comfort of your own home. Getting on Zoom is easy! Simply follow the following link: https://tinyurl.com/25x9nb3c If you are asked for it, the Meeting ID is: 843 8719 5344. And the Passcode is: 193616
I'd like to participate in today's Zoom presentation. OPRFHS Class 1976
A visit to the Historical Society of OP could be a nice diversion as we begin to venture out. See below details.
Flash back 1970's--Do you remember the "Oak Park Mall"? The Lake Theater has been an anchor for many years with staying power. And some favorites that are no longer on the mall-Katey's Country Candy, Just Jeans, Spire Shoes, Murphy's Burgers, the Peacock boutique, Littons Clothing store, and of course the old Marshall Fields are a few that come to mind for me.
We would like to join your group. Do we need to fill-in some forms? We are the owners of 165 y.o. Land Surveying & Map Making business, that is still operated by the members of the same family. We have gigantic archives of old maps/plats, atlases, photos, engineering instruments, etc. We believe your members might be interested to see our posts. WE ARE NOT TRYING TO SOLISIT NEW BUSINESS - WE ARE RETIRING... for more info visit: www.DonaldSmithSurveyor.com & see pictures here
Hi, could you please give me news about the shipping of my order #442 of the three Chris Ware posters? As you may understand, I’ve paid a lot of money and I would really like to know whether you dispatched the posters and you could give me the tracking code. Thank you very much. Paolo
I'll be at this on Saturday... Economy Shop Exhibit Opening Reception and Fashion Show at the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest!
My husband, Paul Obis started Vegetarian Times in 1974 and was a real force for The Vegetarian Movement that led into the Vegan Movement. He died in June 2018. I wrote an Interactive, Virtual Memorial www.paulobis.com. I thought this worthy group would be be interested. Best, Janeen Obis
Does anyone know anything about the River Forest Lodge Building Corporation in 1923?
I don't think i knew about this Historical Society and museum. Nice to know. Such great memories of Oak Park.
Vehicle Sticker from 1976