How well do you know Forest Park history?

Opinion: Columns

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By Jill Wagner

Last Saturday night an adventurous group met at the Historical Society of Forest Park for a Progressive Tour. Guests began the night at Beacon Pub and traveled southwest to Old School for dinner, then dessert provided by Twisted Cookie. 

 The trivia contest was all locally inspired, with questions categorized according to the 1980s popular board game, Trivial Pursuit — Geography, Entertainment, History, Art & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. Using the photos from a recent donation by Tim Gillian and the Village of Forest Park, here is a sample of questions from the evening:

1 Geography: After Chicago cited the proximity of the burial grounds next to Lake Michigan as hazardous to public health in the 1850s, Chicago's sanitary superintendent, physician John Rauch, requested the abandonment of the city cemetery along the lakefront. What local cemetery on the banks of the Des Plaines River, 4½ miles west of Chicago, was founded in 1872?

2 Entertainment: After the sudden death of her husband, Michael Todd, in 1958, this Hollywood star buried him at Waldheim Cemetery. She visited his grave regularly and would be seen at Albrights (a diner that is now Angelo O'Leary's) or the Golden Steer during her visits. 

History: Does Forest Park have more roadways named after presidents, railroad stops, or early civic leaders/land owners?

4 Art & Literature: On the Ferrara Pan building are these motifs, which reflect the home of previous owner, Borden Dairy. Elsie the Cow was a Borden mascot developed in 1936. Elsie was so popular, she was given a fictional cartoon mate in 1940. He was lent to Borden's chemical division as the mascot for what back-to-school product?

5 Sports & Leisure: Eighty-five years ago, the Park District of Forest Park was founded. At that time, the locals would use that land near the municipal water plant, now known as the Community Center, as a popular place for this recreational sport.

Science and Nature: This photo shows the last days of a leaning tower, which was once a major manufacturing company of chicken feed, pig meal and other feed for animals. This company shared a business name with a fictional company used by Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons. What is the name of this company? See page 3 for photo.


 

Answers: 1. Concordia Cemetery, 2. Elizabeth Taylor, 3. Presidents (13 roadways named after Presidents: Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, Harrison, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower; roadways named after railroad stops 6 or 7: Elgin, Marengo, Belvidere, Rockford, Beloit, Dixon, possibly Harvard; land owners/civic leaders 8: Ferdinand, Hannah, Thomas, Troost, Brown, Wilcox, Dunlop, Bergman) 4. Elmer's Glue, 5. Acme, 6. Tennis

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