Forest Glen History

5453 N Forest Glen Ave Chicagoundefined

Walk The Line/Forest Glen History
Good City Group
Written By Good City Group

The Good City Group is a salon-style urban design group of architects, industrial designers, urban planners, design strategists, IT professionals and policymakers from diverse practice areas dedicated to healthy, sustainable cities.

In 1865, Captain William Hazelton (1832-1918) acquired land in Forest Glen with his Civil War settlement. He moved there from Massachusetts with his parents, sister and wife Franny, and built the Glen’s first farm and orchard. His farm became an important suppliers of cherries and other fruit for the Chicago market. The second farmhouse Hazelton built in 1881 is now the oldest house in the neighborhood. When Hazelton gave part of his land to the Forest District of Cook County in 1817, the house was moved across Forest Glen Avenue to its current  location. It is now a Chicago historic landmark, having been designated in 1995, thanks to the effort of its current owners, Gene and Marilyn Mikota.

Part of Captain Hazelton’s property was bought by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and a station built in 1883 allowed for goods and people to travel to Chicago's downtown markets.  While access to transit could have allowed Forest Glen to develop quickly, the resident population remained relatively stable for the first 50 years.

One explanation for the slow growth is that Captain Hazelton chose the buyers of homes in his subdivision very carefully, making sure they would respect the principles of his own faith, that of the Congregational Protestant Church. The station was demolished in the early 1970s and made room for the three apartment buildings on Metra property at Catalpa and Forest Glen.

The current Congregational Church of Forest Glen was built in 1956 to replace the original one, which had burned down the year before. The first church was built in 1895 on land donated by Captain Hazelton after a group of members from the Jefferson Park Congregational Church decided to create their own community and Sunday School. The church has been instrumental in conveying a strong sense of community among neighbors, providing social spaces for meetings and educative programs. In 1945 the 50th anniversary of the church was celebrated in the presence of Captain Hazelton’s oldest daughter Ellen, the first child born in Forest Glen, in 1866.

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Forest Glen History

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