Dear Members and Supporters of the Historical Society of Forest Park,
As we bid farewell to 2023, it is with great pride and enthusiasm that we reflect on the memorable events and moments that have defined our year at the Historical Society of Forest Park. Our community has come together to celebrate history, culture, and the remarkable individuals who have contributed to our shared heritage.
The year kicked off with a vibrant and educational Black History Month programming in collaboration with the Forest Park Library. Participants delved into the rich history of the Underground Railroad through engaging discussions on quilt patterns and came together to create a Gee Bend-inspired community quilt—a testament to the strength of unity and creativity within our community.
HSFP and Kiwanis Trivia Night at Duffy's had everyone searching their memories and counting the places in Forest Park you could get tacos. We'll be announcing the date for this years Trivia night soon.
During Women's History Month, Forest Park Public library hosted Amy Binns-Calvey, who spoke to a packed house about Emma Goldman, who rest sat Radical Row in Forest Home Cemetery. Women's history month was marked the release of the first volume of our zine, "7 Women Who Inspired Forest Park,"
In May, we honored John Rice at our May Day outdoor exhibit, presenting him with the esteemed "Mark Rogovin: Working Class Hero Award." Rice's tireless efforts, alongside Gladys Turner, to promote the legacy of Dr. Joseph Corbin, founder of the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, resulted in the well-deserved National Register of Historic Places status for this significant institution.
We marked the release of our latest Anthony Landahl film, "Bloomer Girls," our own League of Their Own with a screening at the Eagles Hall. Our Morning at the Museum event in May brought together enthusiasts and fans of 16 Inch Softball, celebrating its induction into the Hall of Fame.
German Fest provided a platform to share the history of the Haase family and Altenheim through our old-timey photo booth, bringing the past to life in a fun and engaging manner.
The Garden Walk, our most successful to date, owes much of its triumph to the generous support of sponsors like the Gillian Baker Team, Grand Appliance, and Lauren Burjan @Properties.
Our annual Scarecrows event, in collaboration with the Forest Park Art Alliance, once again transformed Forest Park into a whimsical and sometimes spooky display of creativity and community spirit. Throughout the year, we explored the Forest Home Cemetery through Haymarket Martyrs Monument tours, bike tours, school field trips, and walks with the library.
At our annual meeting, we were delighted to present Anthony Landahl with the prestigious Dr. Frank Orland Award for his outstanding contributions to researching, writing, editing, and narrating short films for the HSFP. Keep an eye out for our upcoming release, Coffins for Axis.
We played bingo and sang at the Eagles hall for our Member Appreciation Party in November.
In a heartwarming collaboration with Commissioner Michelle Melin-Rogovin, we participated in three Operation Rising Spirit events, collectively writing 257 cards for veterans in Illinois care homes—a small gesture of gratitude for their sacrifice and service.
As we look ahead to the new year, we are excited to kick off 2024 with our Speakeasy Prohibition Party on January 19th, promising another year filled with engaging events, community collaboration, and a continued commitment to preserving and sharing the rich history of Forest Park.
Thank you to our dedicated members, volunteers, and supporters for making 2023 a truly exceptional year for the Historical Society of Forest Park. Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and a Happy New Year!
Alexis Ellers, Executive Director and the Board of Director