Explore Local History

Everywhere you turn in Oak Park and River Forest , history is all around you.  For many, that starts and ends with the fantastic architecture which lines the streets of our sister villages.  

Visitors come from across the Chicago region and around the globe to visit the local museums and enjoy walking tours of the homes and other structures that are located in our historic districts. 

Residents research their historic homes and try to trace the ownership, the original architect, or track down an early photo.  Many property owners become stewards of these properties, ensuring their maintenance, restoration, and rehabilitation so that they remain for another 100 years.  

All of this history was created by people—like you—who walked the streets before us.  The many fascinating people who lived in the area through the decades are a source of endless pride and discovery. 

The exploration of local history in communities like River Forest and Oak Park can be a passing hobby or a lifetime’s study.  The Historical Society offers residents and visitors alike numerous opportunities to find out more about these unique villages through this website, our museum and research center in Pleasant Home, and through special events and ongoing programs. 

This section of our website offers a glimpse of events and people who have shaped not only our communities, but the world as well.