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 ...

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.

I walked to Hickory Hills School and had a crush on Mr. Brudnicki and enjoyed sledding on the hill behind the school. My best friends were Karla Yale and Debbie Scanlon. My sister, Diane, modeled for Marshall Fields and we would ride our bikes to the shopping center to scan the aisles at the 5 and 10 for baby clothes for our dolls. We swam at the Aqua Center and my brother Brian led the football team as quarterback to a championship. He was all state quarterback for Rich High School and went on to Iowa on a football scholarship. He also worked at the first McDonalds on Western Ave. IC pizza was the best and Charles Chips delivered fresh chips to our home. We attended Steger Central Jr. High School and I played clarinet for the Sailors in the band with Mr. Cizek as our director. My dad had the best garden and my mother prepared a wonderful home life for us inviting many friends into our home. I wonder where Freddy Larson is now? We attended Homewood Baptist Church where we met many lovely people. In 1962, after only a short year at Rich High School, we moved to Ohio. I will always remember the five years we lived there and the joy it was. My husband and I drove through the town several years ago and it looked a little rundown. Smaller, too. I hope it is refurbished into a lovely community again.

Julie (Mays) Frye
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