About 330 people braved a cold early May to embark on the annual Oak Park and River Forest Historical Society Spring Home Walk, which featured historic homes in the western part of the River Forest.
The house walk was titled ‘The Tales Our Houses Tell’, after the historical society’s aim to tell stories about the people who lived in the houses over the years and how they fit into the history of the community, said Frank Lipo, executive director of the Oak Park River Forest Museum, which the society operates, before the visit.
“We had a lot more attendees this year than in recent years, and I think that has a lot to do with the appeal of the fantastic homes we’ve been able to showcase,” said Rachel Berlinski, the museum’s operations manager. “We also included more houses than usual, with a total of seven. This made for a busy and lively afternoon full of storytelling.
She noted that the houses help illustrate the early development of River Forest, both in the architectural styles and the families who built and lived in them.
“Thanks to our volunteer researchers who delved into the history of each of these houses, we have a great new opportunity to share stories about some of the people who had so much to do with the development of River Forest in the early days of the village. — especially the many branches of the Thatcher family,” Berlinski said.
She expressed her gratitude to the owners for opening up their homes and being good stewards of them.
“Thanks to the efforts of current and past owners to preserve the integrity of these homes, much of (their) history is still visible,” she said.