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History

History

Oak Forest and Crestwood share a similar heritage, with histories stretching back to the early 19th century. Around this time, the region was speckled with farms and new towns began springing up with the coming of the railroad. Many of Oak Forest (originally known as Cooper’s Grove) and current-day Crestwood’s earliest settlers traveled from Germany to take advantage of the region’s high quality land – as many of these settlers were farmers.

By the early 20th century, the area began experiencing much in the way of residential development. The Midlothian Country Club was established, and in 1927, residents living around the country club incorporated as the village of Midlothian. A small population just north also chose to incorporate as a village – and thus, in 1928, the village of Crestwood was born.

In 1947, Oak Forest incorporated as a village. Between 1950 and 1970, both Oak Forest and Crestwood’s population doubled. More subdivisions, the Oak Forest Hospital, a new high school district and many other new conveniences were all significant products of this era. Additionally, road improvement projects were set in place throughout the area, and the much-anticipated Interstate 80 opened the area to further development. In 1971, the village of Oak Forest was officially incorporated as a city.

As 2000 approached, the mass exodus into many southern suburbs gradually decreased—but not here. Oak Forest and Crestwood continue to grow and develop, as many young families are establishing households here. The area attracts new residents and businesses for the same reasons that it had originally been sought out – its natural beauty, ideal location, the availability of affordable real estate and, most importantly, its valued residents.

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