Wooded ravines, natural springs, and fertile farmland attracted the first settlers to Palos Park in the mid-1800s. With the Wabash Railroad expansion in the 1890s, Chicagoans seeking relief from crowded urban conditions traveled 20 miles for the great outdoors. The Sharpshooter’s Club opened in 1894 as the first recreational development in the area. Soon after, the village of Palos Park incorporated in 1914, and the forest preserves were formed, attracting weekend Prairie Club hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to the trails and the Swallow Cliff toboggan slides. Artists such as Claude Buck, Felix Russmann, sculptor Lorado Taft, and author Sherwood Anderson, along with his young protégé Ernest Hemingway, retreated from Chicago to summer cottages in Palos Park seeking the beautiful, serene setting for their work. Many historic homes and buildings still exist, including the McCord House and the Plush Horse ice cream parlor.
About the Author
The photographs used in Images of America: Palos Park were donated by residents and organizations. Author Jeannine Kacmar works as the public services librarian at the Palos Park Public Library and recently completed her master’s degree in library and information sciences with a concentration in archival studies; she also completed an internship at the National Archives in Chicago.
Table of Contents
1 Forging a Community 9
2 Landmarks of a Community 27
3 Outdoor Recreation 47
4 Civic Pride 67
5 Swallow Cliff Toboggan Slides and Ski Jump 81
6 Social Organizations 91
7 Schools 103
8 Artists, Authors, and Architecture 115