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Oak Forest is located in Cook County 18 miles southwest of Chicago and six miles east of Orland Park. The population is approximately 28,000 and it is part of the Chicago metropolitan statistical area. The southwest suburbs of Chicago, including Oak Forest, offer some of the most affordable areas with close access to Chicago's downtown Loop. The southwest suburbs also offer the appeal of small town living combined with great amenities, including parks, shopping, restaurants and entertainment, golf, Lake Michigan beaches and public transportation. In Oak Forest, 87 percent of commuters drive to work and 82 percent of homes are owned rather than rented. Homes tend to be newer in Oak Forest than in other cities and property taxes are higher than in most other Illinois cities.Oak Forest is considered one of the fastest growing communities in the Chicago metro area. Its great location is less than a half mile from I-57 and just south of Chicago and a Metra station is located at the town's Gateway entrance and provides commuters easy access to the railway system. Chicago O'Hare International Airport is less than an hour from Oak Forest. The prestigious George W. Dunne National Golf Course and the Forest Preserve of Cook County are located in the city of Oak Forest.

Oak Forest was originally called Cooper's Grove in the 1800s. Cooper's Grove was then bounded by Kenton, Cicero, Kilpatrick, Lamon, Lavergne and LeClaire Avenues. Mr. Cooper who settled here in the 1830s was said to have been the first resident of Bremen Township. A log cabin discovered by later settlers is believed to have been built by Cooper and was the first home built in the township. The community grew as settlers arrived to farm in the area sometime in the mid to late 1840s. The Cooper's Grove post office began service in 1848 and later changed its name to New Bremen. Neighboring community Tinley Park was part of the community known as New Bremen until it was later incorporated as Tinley Park in 1892. Christian Goesel settled along 147th and Oak Park Avenue (then Bachelor's Grove Road) in 1861 in a community named Goeselville. At its highest peak there were about 30 residents in this area with a few general stores to supply goods to area farmers. Goeselville was absorbed by Oak Forest with earlier settlements abandoned and forgotten. The earliest reference to the community as "Oak Forest" (most likely so named for its proximity to nearby forest preserves and mature oak trees throughout the surrounding region) is in an 1893 Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway timetable. Oak Forest was incorporated as a village in 1947, and then incorporated as the City of Oak Forest in 1971. It became a Home Rule Community in 1981. The first Oak Fest Celebration - now an eagerly anticipated annual event - was first held in 1987.

Oak Forest is a lovely community to live with all the advantages, culture and excitement of the nearby city of Chicago, yet the atmosphere of small town life. For a complete list of real estate agents in the city of Oak Forest, contact the Chamber of Commerce, 15440 South Central, Oak Forest, Illinois 60452, 708-687-4600.


 

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