Oak Forest, Illinois

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About Oak Forest, Illinois

Oak Forest is a city located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Situated 24 miles (39 km) south-southwest of downtown Chicago in Bremen Township, Oak Forest had a population of 27,478 according to the 2020 census.


Human habitation in Oak Forest dates back to the early Holocene, as evidenced by the discovery of hunting camps on the future site of the city's hospital. Thousands of years later, the last known indigenous settlement in Oak Forest, a Potawatomi longhouse village, was established nearby but abandoned by the 1620s.

The origins of present-day Oak Forest can be traced back to a railroad whistle stop on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, located 1 block south of the intersection of 167th street and Central Avenue. Initially serving local dairy farmers, this stop was situated in a densely forested area known as the Cooper's Grove Stand of Timber. By the 1880s, this wooded area became known as "Oak Forest" due to its abundance of oak trees. A portion of the former "Cooper's Grove Road," running parallel to the railroad track from 66th Court to 167th Street in Tinley Park, was named "Oak Forest Avenue" as it was the route from the Village of Bremen/New Bremen (now Tinley Park) leading to the "Oak Forest."

Education and School Options in Oak Forest, Illinois

Public elementary school districts in Oak Forest comprise Forest Ridge School District 142, Arbor Park School District 145, and Tinley Park Community Consolidated School District 146.

Additionally, Oak Forest hosts one parochial Pre-K through 8 elementary school, St. Damian School, which is named for its affiliation with Oak Forest Hospital.

Oak Forest is the location of Oak Forest High School, one of the four high schools within Bremen Community High School District 228. Some areas of Oak Forest are zoned for Tinley Park High School, while a portion west of Ridgeland Avenue is assigned to Victor J. Andrew High School. A small section of Oak Forest is also served by Carl Sandburg High School.

Within Oak Forest, Community College District 510 (South Suburban College) provides access to higher education. Furthermore, opportunities for tertiary education are available through the South Suburban College University and College Center, along with satellite campuses of University of St. Francis, Chicago State University, Governors State University, and Illinois Institute of Technology.

Oak Forest Homes For Sale

Oak Forest July 23, 2024
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