Located just south of Chicago, Olympia Fields, Illinois is a small, affluent village with a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. From its origins as a country retreat for Chicago’s elite to its present-day reputation as a tight-knit community with a commitment to excellence, Olympia Fields has a story worth telling.
In the late 1800s, Chicago’s wealthiest families were looking for a place to escape the city’s bustling crowds and pollution. One of these families was the Pullman family, who commissioned the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design a country estate for them. Olmsted, best known for designing New York City’s Central Park, created a stunning landscape that included a natural lake, rolling hills, and an abundance of trees.
The Pullman family sold their estate in 1892 to a group of investors who envisioned a grand resort for Chicago’s elite. They named the property Olympia Fields, after the ancient Greek site of the Olympic Games. The resort included a hotel, golf course, and clubhouse, attracting visitors from across the country.
In 1914, Olympia Fields incorporated as a village, with a population of just over 200. The village remained small and exclusive throughout the first half of the 20th century, with many of the original estate homes still standing.
In the 1950s and 60s, Olympia Fields experienced a period of growth as the post-war baby boom led to increased demand for suburban homes. The village’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and historic charm, however, remained steadfast. Today, Olympia Fields is known for its well-manicured lawns, tree-lined streets, and large, elegant homes.
One of the village’s most notable landmarks is the Olympia Fields Country Club, which has hosted several major golf tournaments over the years, including the 1928 U.S. Open, won by legendary golfer Johnny Farrell. The club’s picturesque, tree-lined fairways and challenging greens have attracted golf enthusiasts from around the world.
In addition to its golfing legacy, Olympia Fields is also home to several parks and nature preserves, including the Thorn Creek Trail and Nature Center. The center offers educational programs and guided hikes, providing visitors with a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area.
Throughout its history, Olympia Fields has maintained a reputation for excellence and prestige. The village is known for its excellent schools, low crime rate, and high standard of living. Its commitment to preserving its natural beauty and historic charm has made it a sought-after destination for those seeking a peaceful, yet luxurious lifestyle.
Olympia Fields, Illinois has a fascinating history that dates back over a century. From its origins as a country retreat for Chicago’s elite to its present-day reputation as a tight-knit community with a commitment to excellence, Olympia Fields is a unique and charming village that continues to attract visitors and residents alike.