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 ...


by Deborah Lewis Dougherty Posted 9/15/05

My family moved to Park Forest in the summer of 1956. My father, Paul Lewis was with the Prudential Insurance Company and moved us so that he would be able to make it home for dinner every night. My mother, Doris Lewis, was a stay at home mom, like so many women in those days. We lived at 462 Talala, in a long ranch house that sat on what appeared to me at the time, to be a very high hill. The house had a sunroom instead of a garage, with what looked like leather walls and a beautiful bar. When we stepped out of the side door, there was a red patio in the shape of a round balloon. I thought it was just heaven!

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Garry's Memories of Park Forest

by Garry Klein Posted 5/9/05

My family moved to Park Forest in 1955 or 1956, shortly after my older sister was born. My grandfather lonaed my folks the down-payment and the rest was worked out with the GI Bill, as my father was a "between the wars" GI who was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.

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More than a Liquor Store: First Retail Store Opens in Park Forest!

Following is my speech at the 2003 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. by Tom Taradash Posted 7/31/03

Recently, an old friend of my father reminded me of the time in 1949 that he was planning Thanksgiving dinner at his new home in Park Forest. He and his wife wanted to show off their home and their young children playing in their backyard. That afternoon, as his wife prepared the dinner and set the table, they realized that they needed glassware for 15 or 20 people. In addition, they had forgotten the ice, liquor and wine -- and; they did not have enough snacks to go around.

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Michael Road

by William Hunt Posted 2/8/05

My name is William Hunt and I lived in Park Forest from 1958 until 1961 at 19 Michael Road. My father was in the army and assigned  to Fifth Army in Chicago. I guess I remember most is the clock tower, especially at Christmas with Santa up on it looking like he was coming out of a huge chimney. I also remember the penny candy store in the plaza- what a great place for a kid!!! And who could forget Rudys Supermarket with those neon stars!! I recall wonderful picnics in the Forest Preserve. And we had some great meals at Mickleberrys.

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Childhood Memories of Park Forest

by Lee Mannheimer  May 20, 2003

My name is Lee Mannheimer. I was born in February of 1943. My father was at war in the Panama Canal Zone and my earliest memories are those of moving to Park Forest when I was 5 years old in 1948. We lived at 93 Forest Boulevard in a duplex, which to me was very large home. It had three bedrooms and a full basement. Next door our neighbors were the Riordans. John Riordan was with the FBI and would eventually head the Illinois Bureau of Investigation.

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