Memories Announcements

facebookWe are on Facebook!  Become a fan of  "Park Forest Historical Society" and of "1950s Park Forest House Museum!" We have joined Facebook (like us!) and have a Facebook page for the museum (like our museum page!). (Active links are further down the page.) There is a Facebook group, "Grew up in Park Forest".  It formerly had some wonderful memory streams going, but that changed with Facebook's new format.  It is still a place to reconnect with people who grew up here. We still accept memoirs sent to us via email.  We hope to get a "Park Forest Memories " group started sometime to capture those entries, but are looking at other social networking sites.  If you are interested in helping with that, contact us. We have joined Facebook (like us!) and have a Facebook page for the museum (like our museum page!). 

Remember to make a copy of your memory and submit it to us, too.  And, you will notice, you can write a much longer memoir to be put on our website to share with people.

If you see a topic there and want to expand on it, please share it with us!  Remember, many people are not on Facebook and don't read memories, there.  We may know something about your question.

I think the absence of emails to us is a result of the Facebook page, BUT if you have tried and we have not answered your email, please try again and put something in the subject line to draw attention to the fact. I have gotten some legitimate messages but a fraction of what I formerly received. I receive a lot of spam messages. I worry that I am missing some that don't come through as legitimate.


I will be adding the memoirs and sending you emails to let you know that yours is online. Hopefully this will go smoothly. When you get your email, please be sure to notify friends and relatives to come look at our site.

Let us hear from YOU!!

If you are reading and enjoying these memories, (and I can tell that you are by the web statistics) send yours along. You do not need to add your contact information for the website. Please let us know what information you want to include. Your memory can be a few sentences or an essay.  Our Memories stay up for years to come.


Be sure to read our story on this year-long project with South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society.  Our program on September 20 will be on this. Read more in News and Programs. Be sure to contact SSGHS or PFHS if you have any information on farms in the Park Forest area.

Do you have photos of St. Irenaeus School or your class photos from your time there? Please contact us through our link. The Class of 1959 recenetly had a reunion in Chicago and we discovered St. Irenaeus School history files at the church had inadvertently been thrown out. Please help us and St. I's reconstruct the files.

Did you or your family attend St. Anne's Catholic Church before St. Irenaeus was built? We have people looking for history and photographs of the church. Do you know what happened to the original building? The museum has a lovely painting of the church hanging in the bedroom, donated by Terry Ruehl who moved to PF in October 1948 and attended the church. Terry has since moved and passed on. If any of you can help reconstruct the history of St. Anne's please contact us.

On June 13, 2009 thirty-nine or more people came through the museum on a special tour arranged by Jack and Becky Black. The reunion first went on a tour of Rich East High School, then came to the museum on a bus provided by the high school. Everyone enjoyed sharing memories of their years growing up in Park Forest.
We have since had tours for the Classes of 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, and 1967.
Having a reunion?  Be sure to book your tour of the museum as part of your activities!
Class of 1964 Reunion 

The 1950s Museum is in GroupTour eMagazine, Spring 2013 issue, page 26.  You can download the issue here.

The 1950s Museum was in the Chicago Tribune Metro section on Sunday February 3, 2008. We had a color photo and text on the front page and more photos and text on page 5. If you go to, put "1950s Museum" in the search box, and you can go to the article, but now you have to pay to read it there. If you Search the internet for "1950s Museum" the article should come up in another site where you can read it for free.

Read more ...

Memories from Ann H. Rest

Sent September 3, 2008, upon reading of the death of Robert Dinerstein in the Minneapolis newspaper.

I graduated from Rich Township in 1960 and have attended every reunion of my class and the all school reunion of several years ago. Our class is now in the process of planning a 50th reunion in 2010. My family lived in Park Forest from 1957-1963 when my dad (a middle manager for Swift & Co.) was transferred to North Carolina. I was married at Faith United Protestant Church on June 24, 1964 with Dr. Engelmann presiding. My mother, Lillnette Z. Hiller (1917-2006), also a member of Faith, inaugurated the Living Nativity at the church, I believe, a year after our move from New Orleans, LA where she had started it there but OUTSIDE. I have visited PF occasionally over the years, usually in conjunction with reunions, but also to visit my high school English teacher, D. Stanley Moore and his wife Jan.

Read more ...

Over 50 Years and I Still Remember...

Louise Eddington wrote, March 2008:

I lived in Park Forest as a child during the early 1950s. My dad was in the military and had been sent overseas. Mom and my sister and I were living in Chicago and had a terrible experience with our landlord. My granddad made all the arrangements and helped us move. We felt like we had died and gone to heaven! We lived in the rental townhouses--I believe ours was on 26th Street, if I remember right. I attended 5th and 6th grade in Chicago Heights, Garfield Elementary School, I think it was. My sister was in kindergarten and 1st grades and attended an elementary school near our home. The school was so overcrowded there were THREE shifts for kindergarten instead of the usual two. I can still visualize our home there, despite all the years. I remember the large picture windows in the dining and living rooms. I remember riding my bicycle over to the shopping plaza. When my dad returned from overseas, we moved to San Antonio, Texas.

Over 50 years and I still remember!

Louise (Arnold) Eddington

Jerry's Memories

Memories from Jerry Novareio, St. Petersburg, FL March 10, 2008

I was thrilled to see your website in this month's copy of AARP.... Living in Park Forest from 1953 to 1976 were some of the best years of our lives. We moved to Allegheny St. in 1953 and I was transferred to Minneapolis in 1958, but returned to Park Forest in 1959 living on Dogwood. In 1961 we moved to N. Orchard Dr. until we moved to Palatine to be closer to work, staying long enough for our 3 daughters to finish High School. We made many friends, some of whom we are still in contact with although they have also moved to other places. I will notify them of your website and I'm sure you will be hearing from them.

Many good and wonderful memories.
Jerry Novareio

My First Memories of Park Forest, The Sandbox

Debbie Robertson wrote, March 9, 2008

My parents are Gloria and Alex Robertson. I am their daughter, Debbie. We lived in Park Forest in a townhouse ($101 a Month) from Nov. 1954-Dec. 1958. I was 2-6 years old. My Father was on a training program with The Pru in Chicago. I can still remember all the kids in the sandbox: Carl Ruckle, Patty Delp, Ingrid Bostrom. Their parents: Richard and Joan Delp, Paul and Ginny Schneider, Helen Bitner, Mary and Wally Ruckle. Those four years of bonding have remained as some of the happiest moments in our lives. We have spoken of these Park Forest friends for years as if it was yesterday. What a wonderful idea to pay tribute to a "sub-culture"of post war families.

Please contact if you remember.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Debbie Robertson

Great Childhood Memories 1957-1962

Julie Mays Frye March 12, 2008 1957-1962 resident of Park Forest Village

In the fall of 1957 our family moved from Dallas, Tx to 102 Chestnut Street. The day we moved in the snow began falling and we only had thin plastic galoshes on our feet. We knew we would need warmer clothes soon. Our tri-level home was bordered by the beautiful forest preserve where we played baseball in the mowed fields, and hiked the trails with abandon and no fear. Our father, Walter Mays, worked for Ford Motor Company in Chicago.

Read more ...