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River Forest in Cook County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

River Forest, Illinois

Proud Heritage – Bright Future

 
 
River Forest, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul Fehrenbach, May 5, 2016
1. River Forest, Illinois Marker
Inscription.  The site of present-day River Forest was once home to prehistoric Native Americans, who constructed large effigy mounds throughout the region. Soon after the American Revolution Chippewa, Menominee, and Potawatomi Indians moved onto the landscape, but by 1835 most native tribes were gone, complying with terms of the 1833 Treaty of Chicago.

On the east bank of the Des Plaines River, a steam powered sawmill built in the 1830s provided lumber for an expanding population. Its future co-owner, Ashbelle Steele, was the first European settler in the county, arriving in 1836. In 1859 he contracted for the landmark brick “Harlem School.” The Pennsylvania Turnpike (now Lake Street), was laid out in 1842 and one of the first planked roads in America. In 1880 prosperous settlers influenced by the temperance movement incorporated River Forest. The town installed electric street lights in 1890. In 1914 the River Forest Park District purchased Washington Square to prevent an ice manufacturer from coming into town. Likewise, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County purchased a portion of Thatcher Woods in 1917 to preserve an oak savanna.
River Forest, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul Fehrenbach, May 5, 2016
2. River Forest, Illinois Marker
looking north along Forest Ave.
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The town grew from 1,000 residents in 1894 to 8,829 by 1930. The River Forest Tennis Club (1905), with its showcase Frank Lloyd Wright clubhouse, was home to the National Clay Courts Championship from 1935-1966. Trailside Museum, a converted Victorian mansion built by Abraham J. Hoffman in 1874, is a local nature center.
 
Erected 2012 by Patrick Yerkes, Troop 65, Eagle Scout Project, Illinois Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable PlacesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1835.
 
Location. 41° 52.942′ N, 87° 49.267′ W. Marker is in River Forest, Illinois, in Cook County. Marker is on Forest Ave, 0.1 miles south of Washington Boulevard, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: approx 125 Forest Ave, River Forest IL 60305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Historic Maywood Home for Soldiers' Widows (approx. 0.9 miles away); Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument (approx. 0.9 miles away); Birthplace of Oak Park (approx. one mile away); Oak Park Station (approx. one mile away); Continental Divide
River Forest, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul Fehrenbach, May 5, 2016
3. River Forest, Illinois Marker
looking south along Forest Ave.
(approx. 1.2 miles away); The History of Austin Gardens (approx. 1.2 miles away); Moore-Dugal Residence (approx. 1.3 miles away); Grace W. Trout (approx. 1.3 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Marker is a part of Illinois State Historical marker series.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2016, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 6, 2016, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 5, 2022