Homewood history

Homewood’s early years: The village begins to grow up

After Homewood was incorporated in February 1893, the village board debated for months on the details of construction of a village hall. There was little debate, however, when it came to the question of sidewalks and other improvements.

Feb. 11 is 125th anniversary of Homewood’s incorporation

Although settled in the 1830’s, it took almost 60 years for the area that would eventually become Homewood to officially form a village government. That milestone was reached on Feb. 11, 1893, and so Homewood is celebrating its 125th birthday this year.

New photo history of Homewood goes on sale

Homewood historian Jim Wright's latest book, "Homewood," went on sale Friday, Dec. 1, at several sites in the village, and the timing was not accidental. Wright said he hopes holiday shopping helps boost sales, but the book also arrived just a few weeks before Homewood's 125th anniversary year begins. 

Homewood was part of historic nuclear confrontation

"Thirteen Days in October," a 2000 Kevin Costner movie, chronicled the events in the Kennedy White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the “thirteen days,” Oct. 16-28, 1962, the world came as close to the brink of nuclear war as anytime before or since. Tensions were high throughout the world and in Homewood-Flossmoor, too.

Homewood’s Miller was the ‘Edison’ of roller coasters

John A. Miller is renowned in the amusement ride industry as the “Thomas Edison” of roller coasters and is widely considered as the “father of the modern high-speed roller coaster.” 

Washington Park afire

February marks the 40th anniversary of the largest fire in Homewood history. The fire destroyed the grandstand of Washington Park Racetrack, located on the west side of Halsted Street south of 175th Street.

Older residents probably remember the track and that fateful day. Saturday, Feb. 5, 1977, was a quiet day for the Homewood Fire Department. On-duty firefighters handled no calls during the bitter cold day. Before 11 p.m., the lull came to a wild end.

Century-old Funk's Hall hosted several firsts in Homewood

  Funk's Hall, on the right, as seen in the 1910s looking 
  east on Ridge Road, then Main Street.
(Photos courtesy 
  of the Homewood Historical Society)

 

6. A brief history of the community's investment in water

In the early 1980s, Homewood voters made a decision that directly affects the cost of water in Homewood and Flossmoor today: They decided to switch from well water to Lake Michigan water.

The vote wasn't even close.

Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld said the referendum passed with 90 percent or more of the votes in favor of the switch.

"It was overwhelming to go to Lake Michigan water," he said. 

The Rail Committee’s Hobo Night a hit with children and adults

The Railroad Park in Homewood was packed with families enjoying the annual Hobo Night celebration this past Saturday, Oct. 10. The event featured music, a toasty fire, s'mores and stories from the days when hobos rode the rails.

Memories of Homewood’s history kept current by historical society

The small brick house on the corner of the 183rd Street and Gottschalk Avenue was almost lost to bulldozers in the 1980s but now serves to keep Homewood history preserved and serves as a resource for the community.

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.

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The HF Chronicle
P.O. Box 461
Flossmoor, IL 60422