Tinley Park Historical Society Landmark Chapter & Museums is a historic jewel nestled within the side streets of this popular growing community. Built in 1884, the quaint chapel glows in the beautiful stained glass throughout, a pressed tin ceiling, and an organ to fill the air with music.
The Tinley Park community had its roots in the founding of the town of New Bremen in the mid-1840s. It all began when a German immigrant named Kittle opened a general store on the Illini Trail, just west of Bachelor Grove Road. Soon, other businesses followed to serve the needs of the area farmers, mostly of German origin. The coming of the Rock Island railroad in 1852 made the village a center for commerce, with farmers sending grain, milk and meat to Chicago and the eastern markets. By 1890 there were blacksmith shops, general stores, wagon shops, bottling works, shoemakers, three hotels, five saloons, a grain elevator and a grist mill.
The 20th century brought major commercial developments including an airplane factory, the Diamond Spiral Manufacturing Company (washing machines), and an Ironite factory (an additive used to strengthen concrete used in the construction of the Hoover Dam). By 1930 the first housing developments would drastically alter Tinley Park’s future, with the construction of Vogt’s and Elmore’s subdivisions. Significant housing expansion followed the Second World War, beginning with the Parkside area. Since the 1970s, residential growth has expanded the village boundaries far to the west. Our village continues to grow, and was even recognized by Business Week magazine as the “Best Place in America to Raise Your Kids.”
We invite you to tour our facilities and experience our rich history! The Tinley Park Historical Society maintains two museums on our campus, the chapel museum and adjacent schoolhouse museum. Exhibits on display include relics from early businesses, farms, schools, churches, and everyday life; our library includes family histories and reference materials pertaining to Tinley Park and surrounding areas. To learn more about the Tinley Park Historical Society, please visit our Contact page for opening hours and contact information.