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The History of Elmwood Park

Please join the Northwest Chicago Historical Society as we present the History of Elmwood Park, Illinois.  Hear local Elmwood Park resident and historian Ken Knack shares some of the rich history of our neighboring suburb of Elmwood Park.  This is a free event and with a cash bar.

In less than 50 years, a blink of the eye in the history of mankind, Elmwood Park transformed itself from prairie to prosperity. Fertile lands once home to Native Americans sprouted a development unlike any that had ever been seen in the Chicago area. From being a rail-stop amid the farmlands to a modern community, Elmwood Park is a quintessential postwar bedroom suburb that attracted Italian Americans leaving old Chicago neighborhoods

The Westwood subdivision, started by John Mills just before the start of the Great Depression, resulted in the construction of over 1,500 brick bungalows in two years. A second postwar boom coincided with the Italian American migration from the old Chicago neighborhoods. The next 50 years would see continued growth and change. When people think of Elmwood Park, images of food often accompany those thoughts. Envisioning a barbecue pork sandwich or a combo, juicy, sweet and large ice, no-lid brings back memories of standing in long lines, cash in hand, among people of all races united in the desire to satisfy their appetites.

Ken’s book, Images of America – Elmwood Park will be able for purchase after this free event.

Note: Fischman’s has one of the larges selections of draft beer in Chicago. Please purchase a beverage or two for this presentation.

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  • Christine P

    Enjoyed the history and presentation. It was a perfect size audience-- to have introduce ourselves to each other. Let's do so next time.

    2 · April 8, 2014

  • susan

    Great venue! lots of history. Excellent lecture and I enjoyed the audience participation.

    1 · April 8, 2014

  • susan

    This was a great venue! Lots of history! The talk was wonderful and I really enjoyed the audience participation.

    1 · April 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Only the subject matter was interesting. Presentation was more as if I had walked in on someone's family gathering yet was ignored.

    1 · April 8, 2014

  • Linda W.

    Great ride down memory lane and early history

    1 · April 7, 2014

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