We hope that’s not a bad omen or a symbol of doom and gloom to come, but the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest is shining a spotlight (well, hopefully, the sun) on those permanently settled in Forest Park’s Forest Home Cemetery who “worked for freedom, equality, and opportunity for all.”
The historical society’s 27th annual guided walking tour, known as the Cemetery Walk, takes place this Sunday at 1 p.m. Employing the theme “Truth, Justice, and the American Dream,” this year’s walk will tell the stories of nine fascinating folks, using actors in period costume to do the telling:
Lenin Pellegrino and his father Frank Pellegrino. Frank was an Italian immigrant and American Communist and his son was a doctor, a fighter for racial justice in Oak Park, and the owner of the Kingston Mines blues club;
The Humbrock Brothers, who made the ultimate sacrifice in WWII;
Dorothy Charlton Kerr, in 1927 the first woman elected to the Oak Park Village Board and president of the 19th Century Club when it opened its building;
Will Palmer, a prominent Oak Park African-American business leader in the early 20th century who helped found the all-black Mt. Carmel Baptist Church;
Martha Rayne, a pioneer female journalist who interviewed famous folk like Mary Todd Lincoln and founded the world’s first journalism school;
Edward E. Morrell, who spearheaded the construction of the World War I Monument in Scoville Park;
Joseph C. Corbin, an educator who battled racial discrimination after the Civil War to found what became the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a pioneering school for African Americans and alma mater of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis.
The 2018 walking tour kicks off at 1 p.m. with the last tour leaving at 2 p.m. Cost is $10 for members, $15 for others. For more information or tickets, call 708-848-6755 or visit www.oprfmuseum.org. No advanced reservations required. Forest Home is located on Desplaines Avenue, south of Roosevelt Road.
The tour, appropriately, is sponsored by Drechsler, Brown and Williams Funeral Home and American Wilbert Vault Corporation.