Forest Glen is a neighborhood in the Forest Glen community area of the Far North Side of Chicago. Officially, it is in Community Area #12. It is a small, quite suburban, largely residential neighborhood and one of the oldest neighborhoods in the now-obsolete Jefferson Township. Jefferson Township was annexed by Chicago in 1889. Prior to that Chicago stopped at Fullerton. The neighborhood of Forest Glen is bounded by Lawler on the north, the Edens Expressway on the east, Elston Ave. on the south, and the railroad tracks on the west.
Forest Glen’s history goes back to 1866. It was in that year that Capt. William Cross Hazelton, a Union veteran of the American Civil War, built the first structure in the neighborhood, a barn, at the vicinity of what would now be Foster and Lawler. Capt. Hazelton is pictured at left in the uniform of an officer in the 8th Illinois Cavalry in what I take to be a mustering-out photo. Folklore says that he received land in the neighborhood for his service but I have not been able to locate a record of his receiving any public domain land. What I believe to be the case is that he used his mustering-out pay to purchase the land which he would farm and which would later become the town of Forest Glen.
Capt. Hazelton was an enterprising sort. By 1881 he had not only the farm but had also built the first general store. His farm was said to have become the chief supplier of cherries for the Chicago market. In that same year he built a house which is pictured on the right in a photo that I estimate to have been taken sometime between when the house was built in 1881 and 1886. In roughly 1883 he was also postmaster for the community and was receiving a pension from the federal government for his services during the Civil War. Here is the house as it appears now:
The Congregational church he built for the community stood until 1955 when it was destroyed by fire. The original church is pictured below in a photo of a reunion of the 8th Illinois Cavalry Veteran’s Association taken in 1910.
In this picture Capt. Hazelton is pictured sitting on the ground with his daughter and granddaughter on either side of him.
The present 1st Congregational Church, pictured on the left, is on the site of the original church. As befits a neighborhood largely settled by people of English and Swedish descent, the neighborhood includes a Congregational church and has a large Lutheran church on its southern border but not a Catholic church. The neighborhood is and always has been dry.
The original homes in Forest Glen were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A number of them still stand. In 1920 the Hazelton house was moved from its original location to its present location at 5453 N. Forest Glen Ave. It has been designated a Chicago landmark. The house faces the forest preserve, giving it a rather rustic, picturesque view. There was another round of home-building in the 1950s.
As you can see the neighborhood includes homes built in vernacular, Spanish revival, Chicago bungalow, Tudor revival, brick Georgian, and ranch styles. Its streets are lined with mature trees. According to the 2010 census the median family income for the neighborhood was approximately $80,000. There is one small strip mall in the neighborhood which includes a Chinese carry-out, a pizza place, and a laundromat.
Taken from the corner of Berwyn and Lamon.
Same corner, reverse angle
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