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Oak Forest Historical Places and Oak Forest Historical Sites and Oak Forest History

Oak Forest Bygone Byways

Oak Forest Bygone Byways April 18, 2015 at 8:15am Old Midlothian Turnpike Area Much has been written about the northeast end of the old Midlothian Turnpike in Midlothian,Illinois due its proximity to Bachelor's Grove Cemetery.

Where did the road go to ? What was at the other (west) end ? In this google map you can see an aerial view of the area:

Here is a little help in the photo below... The Red line is the old Midlothian Turnpike which runs southwest from 143rd Street near Bachelors Grove Cemetery to what is now Harlem Avenue at about 149th Street. Harlem was not a thru street back before the 1940's and only ran to 159th Street. Travelling south on IL 43 into Tinley Park followed the Yellow path starting at about 148th and Harlem, merging into Oak Park Avenue (Bachelors Grove Road) at 151st street.

Note that in the photo above there is a schoolhouse on Harlem just north of 151st Street. This is the Bachelor's Grove Schoolhouse. Also the northern section of Bachelor's Grove Road is the pink line above 143rd street. This road was closed in the 90's, here is what it looks like today:

And here is what the west end area looked like in 1939 :

So what else can we still see today of the roadways at the west end of the old Midlothian Turnpike ? Lets start just southeast of 148th and Harlem on the old road (old IL 43) that connected Harlem and Oak Park Avenue. The Tinley Creek Bike Trail currently follows this roads old path. Looking northwest, notice that the bike trail veers to the right, but the old road continued straight a bit longer and then merged right, into current day Harlem Avenue:

Below is a photo from 1939 showing Harlem avenue (IL 43) curving off to the southeast toward Oak Park Avenue and the smaller street (currently Harlem Avenue) running straight south , headed toward the intersection with the old Midlothian Turnpike, then the Bachelor's Grove Schoolhouse before ending at 159th Street.

And a photo of the same area from 1951:

Looking southeast from our starting point on old IL 43, just southeast of 148th and Harlem, we see the path the road took toward Oak Park Avenue:

Moving a bit southeast down old IL 43 is the intersection with the old Midlothian Turnpike, here is what it looks like today, first looking southwest down the old Midlothiam Turnpike toward Harlem (the schoolhouse was south about 1 block on Harlem):

And then looking northeast up the old Midlothian Turnpike toward Oak Park Avenue and eventually 143rd Street:

Moving further southeast down old IL 43, toward Oak Park Avenue, we approach the merge with Oak Park Avenue:

Here is what the merge into Oak Park Avenue (Bachelor's Grove Road) looked like in 1939:

And the same area in 1951:

From here, access to the center of Tinley Park is about 3 miles straight South:



Historical places near Oak Forest, Illinois and Oak Forest history discussion.

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