The community of Oak Forest, Il., lies in southwest Cook County approximately 27 miles south of Chicago. The town is less than half an hour from Chicago Midway International Airport and under an hour from O’Hare International Airport. The Rock Island Railroad metro provides commuter rail service from Oak Forest to Chicago. Interstates 57, 80 and 294 are accessible from the city.
History of Oak Forest
The earliest settlement of Oak Forest dates back to the early 1800s. The town was called Cooper's Grove after one of its early residents and has been part of Bremen Township since its founding. By the late 1840s, the area was settled by German immigrant farmers who were attracted to the fertile soils and oak forests of the area. In 1848 the post office was renamed New Bremen and included Tinley Park, a nearby community. The village of Oak Forest was incorporated in 1947 and the city was incorporated in 1971.
Cook County Infirmary, also known as Oak Forest Hospital, was built in 1910 to serve the poor, indigent and mentally ill. The hospital was a major factor in the growth of the community. Over its history, it served as a poor house, a tuberculosis sanitarium and eventually developed into a regional medical center providing a range of medical services. The hospital was closed in 2011 and converted to an outpatient care clinic. The Oak Forest Hospital Cemetery, in use between 1911 and 1971, is still intact on the grounds.
Things to Do in Oak Forest
The annual Oak Forest Fleadh, held every year in March, celebrates the Irish origins of its modern-day residents with a 5-K run, family parade, bike rides and open house of many of the downtown restaurants and pubs.
More than 20 parks provide year-round activities for young and old. Swimming, team sports, fitness classes and golf are just a few favorite activities. The...