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About Town: Historical Society Highlights Old Church, Replicated Schoolhouse

Take a step back in time at the Tinley Park Historical Society, which includes artifacts donated by local families.

At almost 30 years old, the Tinley Park Historical Society is getting pretty good at preserving the past. 

Established in 1974 to "preserve and document the heritage of Tinley Park and its surrounding areas," according to its website, the TPHS is centered around the old Zion Lutheran Church and a replica of an early Tinley Park schoolhouse/village hall. Owned and maintained by the Tinley Park Park District, the Historical Society oversees and operates the museum and tours of the buildings.

Built in 1884, the old Zion Lutheran Church is a "prairie-gothic" style frame structure now known as "The Landmark." The church's stained glass Bible window above the front door was added to the facility in 1912, according to resources. The decorative pressed metal sheeting covering the walls and ceiling of the structure was added in 1920, and in 1938, the church's tall Gothic stained glass windows were installed. 

The schoolhouse-replica museum includes artifacts and information about Tinley Park and New Bremen's history was added in 1959 to the rear of the church. Additionally, the museum houses a research room open to students and those interested in the area's history and genealogy, according to the TPHS website. 

Although it already houses an impressive collection of historical artifacts, the TPHS is always continuing its search for more items from the past. In particular, the Historical Society is interested in Tinley Park area-related photographs, letters, deeds, contracts, postcards, calendars, old phone books, posters, store gift items, newspapers and more. Photocopies can be made of items that owners do not want to donate.

Located at 6727 W. 174th St., Tinley Park, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays; and from 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. Additional hours are available via appointment. While visiting the museum is free, donations are suggested.

The Tinley Park Historical Society relies on volunteers to assist with operations. For more information, call (708) 429–4210.

The Landmark Chapel and New Saeger Hall meeting and banquet rooms are available for private event rentals; for information, call (708) 429-4210.

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