Community, Local, Organizations, Park Forest

The Dixie Highway in Illinois Program Runs Sunday at St. Mary’s, Park Forest

The Dixie Highway in Illinois by James Wright
The Dixie Highway in Illinois by James Wright (Arcadia Publishing)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A program on the history of the Dixie Highway in Illinois will run this Sunday, September 26, at St. Mary’s Church in Park Forest. The event, sponsored by the Park Forest Historical Society, will take place immediately after the Park Forest Historical Society elects board members during its brief Annual Meeting, which begins at 2:30 PM.

Local author James Wright will speak on “The Dixie Highway in Illinois.”  The program is based on his book by the same name, from Images of America title published by Arcadia Publishing.  Mr. Wright will have some copies of his book for sale.

Following the program, attendees will be invited to tour the 1950s Park Forest House Museum exhibit “It’s Halloween at the Museum.”

James R. Wright is a local historian and author and has been a member of the Homewood Historical Society since 1983. He is a lifelong resident of the community, and the Dixie Highway has played an important role in his life. Hardly a day goes by that he is not “drivin’ the Dixie,” according to information provided by Arcadia Publishing.

The society operates the museum and the Park Forest Local History Collection and Archive in St. Mary’s.  September marks the 23rd anniversary of the museum which opened during the 50th Anniversary of Park Forest in September 1998.

The society will also launch a recording of a program from 2005, “50 years of the Park Forest Aqua Center” on YouTube which will be available indefinitely. Participants of the panel were Jane Nicoll, Barbara Pennington, Arta Dickerson, John Joyce, and via video, Kris Martin.

September also marks the beginning of the Historical Society’s membership year.  Attendees will have an opportunity to join the society, but membership is not required for attendance.

Information is with Jane Nicoll via email at

St. Mary’s Church is located at 227 Monee Road in Park Forest.