Featuring a broad range of green thumbs, the fifth annual Garden Walk bloomed with hundreds in attendance in a day with perfect weather.
Rose and John on Ferdinand showcased their cottage garden with native plants found from the front through the back attracting native hummingbirds, goldfinches and monarchs. Their warmhearted patio built by hand endures guests with a genuine feeling of comfort. Further to the north Rick and John invited guests to explore their sanctuary which features a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures of coleus geranium and impatiens. The impressive Coleus canvas throughout is a magical experience.
Circle Ave featured two different approaches to landscaping on either side of the Ike. Lauren and Brad, who's dogwood, sedum, lavender and dahlias were being watched by a family of young birds who had nested in the hanging ferns on the porch. Baza and Vito, the french bulldogs have plenty of room to roam in the thick green grass that is well maintained. While Megan's perennial style fits in with hydrangeas, peonies and vegetables. With a crushed gravel base for her patio, Megan also had chickens which provide much delight to the family which appreciates being connected to earth.
Positioned corner to corner on Lathrop were two homes recently purchased with homeowners who love gardening and developing their stride. Casey and Nick have used containers and ground to create depth and dimension in their yard and embrace the white duch micro clover that is creeping it's way across the backyard. Adriane, blends natural and wild in her new yard and is getting familiar with the plants in the yard that are here.
Michelle, who's home on Dunlop was recognized as Best in Show, has a yard filled with character, pockets of intrigue and is an experience to be a part of. During the tour there were several sightings of hummingbirds in honeysuckle that day. Pollinator paradise and memory garden in honor of Mark, several sculptures and elements were tucked around and within the garden and guests became lost in a peaceful utopia.
With over 30 volunteers, eight gardens and two lemonade stands the garden walk gathered hundreds of visitors and neighbors from Forest Park and beyond. The plans are in the works for 2023 garden walk, and we are collecting names and locations now for next year's showcase.
Mark Rogovin Award
Forest Home Cemetery's monument to the labor movement, was a buzz on the chilly May Day. Haymarket Martyrs Monument, sculpted by Albert Weinert and paid for by the Pioneer Aid and Support Association nearly 130 years ago, is still the centerpiece of international labor history,
The Historical Society of Forest Park honored the graves of the men and women associated with labor history including Albert Parsons, Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, Ben Reitman, and residents of Radical Row with information about their lives and contributions.
The Mark Rogovin Working Class Heroes award was given to Carol Gulyas, who lead the effort in creating highway markers on 290 and on the streets of Forest Park to guide visitors to come to the U.S. National Park Service Historic Landmark. With gratitude, she recognized the Illinois State employees who helped make the signage possible.
With over 200 total visitors throughout the day, including a crowd of 'Wobblies," from the Industrial Workers of the World, who were roused by Rich Leib's speech and chant, "Leave the work at work!"
After the crowd took to trivia and a refreshing atmosphere at McGaffer's Saloon. Several people took advantage of the virtual tour of the monument available on our website. Join us on the first Saturday of the month at 11:00 am for our in-person tour or watch the virtual tour any time on our website.
Outdoor Exhibit at the Haymarket Martyrs Monument
Trivia at McGaffer's Saloon with the IWW
Those wishing to pay their respects at the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument will now get some help in finding it. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has installed “attraction signs” at Exit 21B (Harlem exit) on the 290 Expressway going to and from Chicago.
Sculpted by Albert Weinert and paid for by The Pioneer Aid and Support Association, the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument was dedicated on June 25, 1893. Over a hundred years later, in 1997, the monument was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Both the Historical Society of Forest Park (HSFP) and the Illinois Labor History Society (ILHS) helped to make this happen. They were supported in their efforts by Forest Park Commissioner Jessica Voogd, Forest Park Public Works head Salvatore Stella, and Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins. The signs were designed by Rafael Nieves.
Every year, the HSFP and the ILHS collaborate in hosting the May Day (May 1) event at the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument in the Forest Home Cemetery. On that same day, the HSFP features a tour of the Monument and of the resting places of the radicals of the era who chose to be buried next to the Monument. Visitors from all over the world come to pay their respects and celebrate the establishment of the eight-hour day for workers everywhere. May Day is regarded as Labor Day outside of the United States.
The Historical Society of Forest Park would like to express our deep gratitude to all who contributed to creating a successful Speakeasy event last Friday night at O'Sullivans. The event commemorated the passing the Volstead Act in 1920 which ushered in Prohibition. With local elegant ladies in 20's fashion and dapper gentlemen in bow ties, the live ragtime music by the Ragtime Roustabouts made for a swinging good time. A trip back into Forest Park's Prohibition days was presented by Jill Wagner to a rowdy crowd of delightful learners.
Thank you to the Gillian Baker Team, the vintage décor on loan from neighboring Studio 8, and two outstanding ice sculptures from Nadeau's Ice Sculptures. Many thanks to O'Sullivan's Public House and manager, Anthony Crawford who bartended and provided creative cocktails specifically designed for the event. Several raffle winners went home with prizes.
We are grateful to all our friends and neighbors who support the Forest Park Historical Society, and apologize for any inconveniences or disturbances created by the live music, which came to an abrupt end as guided by a visit from Forest Park's finest just at the close of the "When the Saints go Marching In."
Anthony Crawford, the general manager of O’Sullivan’s Public House in Forest Park, has been named this year’s recipient of the Dr. Frank Orland Award, as presented by the Historical Society of Forest Park.
A pillar of Forest Park, Dr. Frank Orland, founder and first president of the historical society had a mission of sharing the history of his town. He collected stories, treasures and moments, and researched with a passion and eccentricity that was beloved.
Every year, the HSFP honors an individual or group who has shown the same devotion, unique energy and talent.
Crawford has devoted his bartending skills and curious nature to build an annual prohibition fundraiser to mark the Volstead Act period. Crawford not only has added his own charm and creativity in crafting the drinks, he has also partnered with several local businesses to build the event.
Using ice from Nadeau’s, furniture from Studio 8, glassware and record player from the Forest Park Emporium, he created an experience even when the world turned virtual. He even created mixology videos with special historical notes with every signature drink.
Crawford grew up in Forest Park.
Forest Park Review
November 22, 2021
2021 was the first year for the Invasion of the Scarecrows fundraiser for the Forest Park Arts Alliance and the Historical Society of Forest Park. The 100 scarecrow kits the two local organizations created sold out quickly, and Forest Park residents who decided to become part of the “Invasion” and display scarecrows in front of their homes showed off their creativity, talents, and pride in Forest Park. Some of their creations were funny, some were scary, some were very clever, and all were very unique.
Forest Park residents and non-residents alike were able to find the scarecrow locations on an online interactive map on the historical society’s website, and they were also able to vote for their favorites in four different categories online
All four winners received merchandise and/or gift certificates from local businesses. The Historical Society of Forest Park and the Forest Park Arts Alliance are grateful for merchandise donations from the following local businesses and organizations: Brown Cow, Exit Strategy, Kribi Coffee, Jimmy’s, Maison de Bonbon, McAdam Landscaping, O’Sullivan’s Public House, Starship Subs, as well as several anonymous individuals. The Forest Park Art’s Alliance and the Historical Society of Forest Park also donated prizes. A special Thank You goes to the sponsors Ed’s Way and Jimmy’s for their extremely generous donations.
100 more scarecrow kits will be available for purchase starting next July. The Arts Alliance of Forest Park and the Forest Park Historical Society hope that this year’s “invaders” will want to be involved again in 2022 again as well, and that 200 new scarecrows will be invading Forest Park next fall.
Congratulations to our Best in Show winners Donna Kruse and her granddaughter Hailey Rodden. Donna was on a Forest Park garden walk back in the 1990s, we were so happy to have her on our 2021 walk with the help of her granddaughter.
The Fourth Annual Historical Society of Forest Park Garden Walk on Saturday July 17th had perfect weather and was attended by over 300 people. Eight homes on the north and south side of Forest Park were showcased and included both small and large garden spaces. Besides the outdoor garden space, the history of the homes and the families that lived there was also presented to participants in the program book. From 10:00 am until 4:00 pm visitors strolled through the gardens, were able to ask the homeowners questions and were greeted by volunteers at the front of each home. The visitors to the garden walk were given flower stems at one home, compliments of the Forest Park Eagles Club, refreshments at another home and a virtual “garden experience” through one garden. Besides the gardens, the Historical Society provide each ticket holder one free raffle chance at winning a $500 Southwest gift card and other prizes.
Following the event, on Monday July 19th, volunteers and garden walk participants attended an “after party” at McGaffer’s outdoor patio and announced the “Best in Show” winning home. Even though all the homes were winners, the home that received the most votes was Donna Kruse and her granddaughter Hailey. Working together on the corner lot garden, Donna and Hailey’s garden was a mixture of natives, annuals, perennials, and vegetables that received the most votes for favorite garden.
The Garden Walk, which is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Historical Society of Forest Park, raised over $6,500 and plans are already starting for the 2022 walk. If you would be interested in participating in the July 2022 walk, please email us at email@example.com
Thank you to our Sponsors
In celebration of Juneteenth, we invite you to participate in “Ribbons in the Sky,” an interactive public art project at Circle and Harrison. June 12th thru June 20th. Read the accountability pledge from Forest Park Against Racism, take a ribbon and sign your name, and then tie your ribbon to the fence as a sign of your commitment to anti-racism. Find anti-racism resources at fppl.org/juneteenth.
June 19th, 1865 (Juneteenth) is when enslaved African Americans of Galveston, Texas learned they were free - the news erupted into a history-making celebration known as “Juneteenth.” The formerly enslaved African Americans rejoiced and declared that day “Freedom Day,” “Emancipation Day,” or Juneteenth (“June” plus “nineteenth”). It had been nearly 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation that enslaved Texans learned that they were in fact free. That hopeful day in June marked the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom.
Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates black culture and reinforces black history as American history. Juneteenth creates space for education, advocacy, and healing. Celebrating Juneteenth provides a unifying platform for all Americans to celebrate our common bond of freedom.
In 2008, along with a group of community residents, then Commissioner, Mayor Rory Hoskins founded the Annual Forest Park Juneteenth Pool Party. Since then, the annual event has energized other surrounding communities to host their own celebrations in honor of Juneteenth’s historical significance.
In celebration of Juneteenth, we invite you to participate in “Ribbons in the Sky,” an interactive public art project at the top of Circle Avenue Bridge across from the CTA station exit from June 12-20. Read the accountability pledge below from Forest Park Against Racism, take a ribbon, and sign your name. Then, tie your ribbon to the bridge as a sign of your commitment to anti-racism. Check out the Library’s Anti-Racism Resource Guide for more information.
You can pick up a ribbon on the bridge beginning June 12, or stop by the Library to pick one up.
I understand that systems and power structures in our society are designed to favor those with more privilege over those with none.
Therefore, I pledge to work towards eliminating the injustices, inequities, and misconceptions that come from the systemic racism rooted in our society.
I personally will work towards positive and transformational change through the following:
Education: learning about racism in our nation’s history, how it is ingrained in our institutions and society at large, and how it has led to injustice.
Active listening: spending time with, connecting, and listening to directly impacted people from communities who have been marginalized and criminalized by systemic racism.
Stepping up and speaking out when encountering racist remarks.
Acknowledging that I have privilege and power that can be used towards building a more just and equitable community where we can all hold each other accountable.
In signing this pledge, I commit through my intentional actions to work towards dismantling systemic racism in my community, in justice for all.
Entiendo que los sistemas y estructuras de poder en nuestra sociedad están diseñados para favorecer a quienes tienen más privilegios que a quienes no los tienen.
Por lo tanto, me comprometo a trabajar para eliminar las injusticias, las desigualdades y los conceptos erróneos que provienen del racismo sistémico arraigado en nuestra sociedad.
Personalmente trabajaré hacia un cambio positivo y transformador a través de lo siguiente:
Educación: hacer todo lo posible para aprender sobre el racismo en la historia de nuestra nación, cómo está arraigado en nuestras instituciones y la sociedad en general, y cómo este mismo conduce hacia la injusticia.
Escuchar activamente: escuchar a las personas directamente afectadas de las comunidades que han sido marginadas y criminalizadas por el racismo sistémico.
Dar un paso al frente y hablar firmemente cuando escuche comentarios racistas por parte de otros.
Reconociendo que tengo privilegios y poder que pueden usarse para construir una comunidad más justa y equitativa donde todos podemos responsabilizarnos mutuamente.
Al firmar este compromiso, me comprometo a través de mis acciones e intenciones al trabajo para desmantelar el racismo sistémico en mi comunidad, con un enfoque de justicia para todos.
Read more about Juneteenth in Forest Park at the Forest Park Review
“Quilting a Beloved Community” began on February 21, 2021 as part of the Black History Month programming created by the Historical Society of Forest Park, Forest Park Against Racism, the Forest Park Public Library, and What is Juneteenth? This event was created by Dr. Melissa Blount, an Evanston-based psychologist, artist, and activist, and led by Rachel Wallis. Prior to the program each participant picked up a kit from the Forest Park Public Library with all the supplies they would need to create a quilt square. Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, began the event by sharing the inspiration she had received from quilts given to her by different communities through the years. Rachel Wallis led the group through the history of quilts in Black communities and then provided a lesson in basic embroidery technique.
After our virtual sewing circled logged off, each participant continued to work on their quilt block independently, creating 25 unique pieces. A community quilt is special because of all the different artist interpretations, color choices, and skill levels. Each block represents a unique person, and together they create a quilt in the same way that the individuals of Forest Park create a community.
The blocks were returned to the Library and sewn together to create the quilt top you see here today on Juneteenth, 2021. Next the quilt will be layered with cotton batting and backed with fabric from Afrique Clothing Store. This fabric is composed of feathers of different colors and sizes, representing the diversity of our community. All three layers will be quilted together and the binding will be added to finish the quilt.
This quilt will be displayed throughout our community every Black History Month. The Historical Society of Forest Park, Forest Park Against Racism, the Forest Park Public Library, and What is Juneteenth? hope to lead the community in creating a new quilt each Juneteenth, and to display it alongside the previous years’ quilts. We hope that next year you will join us.