Highland Park as a Summer Resort: The Wildwood Experience, The Origins of Chicago’s Jewish North Shore
Highland Park Historical Society will host on Wednesday February 17th at 7:00 PM ‘Highland Park as a Summer Resort: The Wildwood Experience, The Origins of Chicago’s Jewish North Shore,’ presented by Leah Axelrod, which was researched and written by Elliott Miller.
Why did many in Chicago’s Jewish community choose to move to Highland Park? The answer lies in the city’s appeal as a summer resort area. In 1900, the extended Foreman family (Foreman, Schwab, Leopold, and Steele) purchased a half block of land in Highland Park and built their own private summer resort, complete with a common kitchen and dining hall in a central club house.
Before 1900 the number of Jewish families in Highland Park could be counted on one hand. By the 1920’s there were two Jewish country clubs and a synagogue in the area and there was a year round Jewish community as well as the summer residents. The Wildwood story epitomizes this transition.
Leah Axelrod has lived in Highland Park since 1957. Her lifelong interest in history led her to become a founding member of the Highland Park Historical Society and served as President for eight years. Axelrod is a founder of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society and serves on the board as tour chairman. Serves as President of My Kind of Tours and Events. In addition, she has been a member of the Historic Preservation Commission of Highland Park and is now a citizen adviser for that commission.
Elliott Miller has served for eight years as a commissioner on the City of Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission, including one term as Chair. He has also served eight years on the Board of Directors of the Highland Park Historical Society, including one term as President.
‘‘Highland Park as a Summer Resort: The Wildwood Experience, The Origins of Chicago’s Jewish North Shore,’ will be presented at the Highland Park Public Library Auditorium 494 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park. For further information, please contact the Highland Park Historical Society: 847.432.7090 or [email protected]. Admission is free.