Images wanted of Palos Park's past

Library, village compile historic photos for book

By Jeff Vorva

At one time, Palos Park was a place where buffalo roamed and marksman from all over the country with nicknames such as "The Terrible Dane," "The Stock Crank" and "Our Ammunition Factory" came to compete in sharpshooting contests.

It was once a place where writers such as Pearl S. Buck and Sherwood Anderson and sculptor Lorado Taft hung out.

In 2014, the village turns 100 years old and one of the special projects that will take place will be the debut of a book jammed with photos and stories about Palos Park's first century of existence.

While members of the Palos Park Public Library have been gathering material for this book in recent weeks, they are still seeking out more photos and information. They have pushed their original deadline from Jan. 31 to mid-February and people can share their history by dropping items off at the library, 12330 S. Forest Glen Blvd., or at the Kaptur Center, 8999 W. 123rd St.

The library requests that people place is the photos and information in an envelope marked "Palos Park Centennial Pictures" and to provide their name, address, e-mail address and phone number on the back of each photo and that the story is attached to the photo.

The library is working in conjunction with Arcadia Publishing, which has produced hundreds of books like this under its "Images of America" series, including books about nearby Worth and Oak Lawn.

Administrative Librarian Sheila Sosnicki and Public Services Librarian Jeannine Kacmar are helping to oversee the project.

"These books are usually a compilation of photos of an area," Sosnicki said. "We're looking at doing this for Palos Park. We also want to emphasize some of the interesting parts about Palos Park's history. Horseback riding was really huge back then. It was interesting to hear stories about farms that the families had. People are really interested in their history and they are happy to share their stories and talk. Someone brought in school pictures from the 1920s and from the 1940s and it was fun looking at those."

They discovered that buffalo had roamed in the village limits in the 1920s.

"The Cook County Forest Preserve stocked buffalo," Kacmar said. "I'm not sure why they did that, but we have photos of them grazing in the forest preserve. We have photos of people hunting them."

The village's rich history in shooting will be highlighted. Palos Park once housed the Sharpshooter's Association, which hosted competitions for regional and national shooters.

In the 1910s, the village hosted the George Washington Birthday Cup Shoot. Marksmen from all over the country to compete including C.T. Westergaard, who was known as the "Terrible Dane", C.L. Forsythe, otherwise known as "Our Ammunition Factory" and Frank Dulleck - a.k.a. "The Stock Crank."

The village has not announced any details about the 100-year anniversary celebration, but in 2012 officials said they were expanding their Autumn in The Park Festival in 2012 and 2013 in anticipation for the 100-year anniversary in 2014.

Orland Park Chili Challenge simmers

The aroma of simmering chili fills the Orland Park Civic Center on Saturday, Jan. 19, when the village of Orland Park hosts its annual "Chilly Willie Chili Challenge." Now in its eighth year, Orland Park's annual contest draws competitors from across the country.

"The village's Chili Challenge is an annual winter favorite," said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. "We have people from all over the country come to Orland Park to compete and our residents help by voting for their favorite chilies and serving as judges," the mayor said.

The village's competition is sanctioned by the International Chili Society (ICS) and the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI). The winner of the ICS Competition at Orland Park will qualify to compete in the World Championship Chili Cook Off. The top winners in the CASI competition receive points to add to their totals qualifying cooks for the national competition held in Terlingua, Texas.

Cooks may compete in ICS traditional red, salsa, verde or homestyle and/or in CASI traditional red chili. Cooks must be active ICS members to compete in the ICS Competition. Contestants must be 18 years or older to compete.

"Chili is an art form at Orland Park's competition," said Trustee Pat Gira, chair of the village's Recreation and Parks Committee. "Orland Park is thrilled to host this annual contest, which is a fun afternoon in the middle of winter for so many people," she added.

The International Chili Society has added a new category for 2013 - homestyle. Designed for locals who have always wanted to enter their chili in a contest, this category permits beans, which are normally not allowed in the competition.

Cooks may compete in either red chili or homestyle but not both. The cost is $20 to compete for ICS members and $40 for non-members, which includes the $20 membership fee in ICS Homestyle. The membership fee allows a cook to compete in any homestyle contest for a year. ICS membership applications appear on the village's entry forms or cooks may join the organization on the day of the event.

All chili must be cooked from scratch on site on the day of Orland Park's Chili Challenge. Beans, macaroni, hominy or other similar ingredients are only permitted in the homestyle category.

"Every year, we hear about the many great chili cooks in Orland Park," McLaughlin said. "It's nice that the ICS has opened its competition, enabling local residents to compete with their homestyle recipes," the mayor said.

Contestants are required to cook a minimum of two quarts of competition chili plus an additional gallon for the People's Choice/Public Tasting. Judging is based on aroma, consistency, color, taste and after taste. Awards are presented to the top winners in each category.

Approximately 100 judges are needed to judge the event. Individuals interested in helping to judge Orland Park's competition should contact Patty Vlazny at 403-6145. Judges must be 18 years and older.

Public tasting at the competition begins at 2 p.m. and continues until the chili runs out. All-you-can-eat tasting cups will be available for purchase for $5 each with proceeds benefiting the Village of Orland Park Special Recreation Program.

"We encourage those who want to taste the chili to come as close to 2 p.m. as possible because this is a very popular event," Gira said.

The Orland Park Civic Center is located at 14750 South Ravinia Avenue, one block west of La Grange Road. Registration information and further details are available by calling the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department at 403-7275.


Last week's Whatizit?" was a Gerber Daisy, a fact known, as far as we're aware, only by Chicago Ridge resident Kathy Higgins and Palos Hills resident Lois Faragher. We also have to extend our compliments to Robert Solner, Dan and Kathy Higgins, Lois Faragher, and Carol and Jerry Janicki for getting answering the Dec. 20 "Whatizit?" correctly. Our deadline day that week was Christmas Eve, so any responses that came in after noon on Dec. 24 were not included in last week's paper. Same goes for this week, responses received after noon on Monday will not be included.

This week's clue is: Right 'round, baby, right 'round! Send responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the subject "Whatizit," and include your first and last names and where you live.

Library Notes

Chicago Ridge

The library is accepting donations for its Hat and Mitten Tree. New and handcrafted winter wear such as hats, mittens, gloves and scarves for adults and children will be accepted at the library through December. All donations will be distributed to local families.


The Chicago Ridge Library is at 10400 Oxford Ave. The phone number is 423-7753.

Evergreen Park

A fter School Homework Help is offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both teachers are bilingual (English and Spanish).


The library will, through December, showcase art by Evergreen Park High School students.


The Evergreen Park Public Library is at 9400 S. Troy Ave. The phone number is 422-8522.

Green Hills

The library has an eBook service, Axis 360, through which users can download bestselling eBooks for as many as 21 days directly onto a device using the Blio software application. Titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Place holds on items that are checked out. Service is only available to Green Hills cardholders. To start browsing visit For more information call 598-8446.


The library is collecting first-person accounts of stories of military service to be donated to the Veteran History Project of the Library of Congress. The library is seeking photos, memoirs, and wartime diaries from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Call 598-8446 for more information.


The library's Media on Demand program enables patrons to download best-selling and classic audiobooks, eBooks, music and video. No late fees. Works include best-selling novels, well-known classics and self-improvement guides. For more information visit


The library has a scanner available to the public. Pictures, documents, etc., can be scanned and sent to an email, printer or USB device.


The library offers Tumble Books!, a collection of animated talking picture books with fiction, non-fiction and foreign language titles, and read-alongs (chapter books with sentence highlighting and narration but no animation). Visit or call 598-8446, Ext. 117, for more information.


The Green Hills Public Library is at 8611 W. 103rd St. in Palos Hills. The phone number is 598-8446.

Oak Lawn

Registration for winter/spring youth services programs continues through Sunday, Jan. 13 or until classes are full. Child's library card must be presented at registration. Additional information regarding activities and events is listed in a program booklet available at the library or


Accountant Gerald Knight of Tax Busters will present FAFSA Seminars at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, and Monday, Jan. 28. Knight will demonstrate how to estimate an expected parent contribution before submit a FAFSA application. Strategies for becoming more eligible for financial aid, as well as an explanation of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, will be included.


A free concert: "Fascinatin' Rhythm: From Ragtime to Rap" presented by Chicago pianist Richard Sladek will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Selections will include the George Gershwin songbook as well as Scott Joplin, Dick Hyman and Billy Joel.


"Get Organized to Reduce Stress" will be Monday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. Beth Randall, a certified professional organizer and owner of Joe Organizer, will discuss the benefits of getting organized to reduce the stress.


A free movie screening of "Arbitrage" (R) will be at 2 and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15. A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help. Starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon.


A discussion of SWAN library accounts including how to log in, reserve items from any of 80 SWAN libraries, pay fines and change PINs will be at 2 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17. Light refreshments will be served. A question-and-answer session will follow each demonstration.


The library now offers movie check-out for free. Check-out periods are seven days with no renewals. Oak Lawn residents may check out up to 10 films at a time.


The library offers "Temporary Online Patron Registration." Fill out a registration form at oak, and visit the Circulation Desk within 14 days to receive a permanent card. Proof of residency in Oak Lawn is required.


The library has the newest and most popular titles and resources in its collection of eBooks, Blu-Ray and DVDs (movies and TV series), CDs for a range of music interests, and hard copy books. The library also has a language learning program and databases. During September, new library card-holders will add a leaf to the tree in the Cook Avenue foyer and be eligible to enter a drawing for a book of their choice (one child prize and one adult/young adult prize up to $35 value each). Cards are available to Oak Lawn residents at the Circulation Desk. Bring an ID and proof of address.


Books, tapes and CDs not found at the library can be requested online from another library. For more information call the Interlibrary Loan department or stop by the Help Desk on the first floor.


"Images of America: Oak Lawn" by Oak Lawn Library local history coordinator Kevin Korst contains more than 200 photographs with captions and chapter introductions, and highlights the many aspects of Oak Lawn's history including Round-Up Days and the 1967 Tornado. The book is available for purchase at the library's Reception Booth for $21.99 (cash or check). Book sales benefit the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation. A corresponding photo exhibit is on display and features more than 100 historic Oak Lawn images and dozens of artifacts. The display is in the Local History Room on the library's second floor. For more information contact Korst at 422-4990.


The library offers "Accessible Archives," an electronic resource available at Click on the "Research" tab and select the icon for "Accessible Archives." The collection features historic periodicals and books and provides eyewitness accounts and editorial observations of events, genealogical records, county histories and Godey's "Lady's Book" - a magazine published to entertain, inform and educate women of America. The Civil War collection is noteworthy and presents coverage based on various historical perspectives.


The Oak Lawn Public Library is at 5300 W. 95th St. The phone number is 422-4990.


T he library subscribes to Zinio, an online magazine stand that enables patrons to read magazines on computers, tablets or phones using web browsers and apps. Must have Worth Library card. Zinio is accessible at


T he library offers Try-It Illinois, which allows access to 300 free databases from more than 40 vendors. Access Try-It at (login and password is available at the library).

Area students accepted into academies

U .S. Rep. Dan Lipinski D-3, Western Springs) has nominated 16 high school seniors in the 3rd Congressional District for admission to U.S. Service Academies in 2013. The nominees, by school, are: Air Force Academy - Aaron Brown of LaGrange Park (Lyons Township High School), Mark John Cavaleri Jr. of Hickory Hills (Stagg High School), James Chamberlin of Ellsworth, S.D.; Kevin Goosherst of Chicago (St. Rita High School) and Brett Heimerdinger of LaGrange (Lyons Township); Military Academy - Jordan Daniel Douglas Carbol of Chicago (Brother Rice High School), David B. Jackson Jr. of Chicago (Brother Rice) and Nicholas Scott Paneral of Berwyn (St. Laurence High School); Merchant Marine Academy: Zachary Maderak, of Chicago, St. Rita High School); Naval Academy - Raymond Antos of Riverside (Riverside Brookfield High School), Daniel Drew of Chicago (Marist High School), Daniel Joseph Hecker of Burbank (St. Laurence), True Merrit of LaGrange Park (Lyons Township), Mark Milavickas of Hickory Hills(St. Laurence), Kevin Moss of Tinley Park (Marist High School), and Ryan Speir of Burr Ridge (Lyons Township);

S een here are Antos (top, from left), Drew, Douglas Carbol, Maderak, Lipinski, Paneral, Mark and Goosherst; and Jackson Jr. (bottom, from left), Hecker, Cavaleri, Speir, Heimerdinger, Merritt and Moss.