Bolingbrook Historical Museum showcases city's diversity

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The Bolingbrook Historic Preservation Commission (BHPC) is working diligently to educate and engage a wider audience of the community by sharing contents on social media and local news media.

The Bolingbrook Historical Museum located at 444 E. Briarcliff Road provides tours from to 1 to 3 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month and by appointment.

The BHPC is a true representation of Bolingbrook’s diversity. The commission consists of 20 commissioners who are of different ethnicity, educational, and professional backgrounds.

Some commissioners are newcomers to Bolingbrook while others are longtime residents.

One focus of BHPC is to raise awareness of our village’s diversity from a historical standpoint. A news release from the BHPC said Bolingbrook is the second most diverse community in Illinois.

Prior to development, this area was farmland dating back to the 1830's. Bolingbrook’s first unincorporated subdivision was known as Westbury. The houses were priced as low as $10,000.

Today, houses here sell from $140,000 up to over $2 million. Bolingbrook is known for having some of the best parks and library in the nation.

The opening of Interstate 55 in the early 1960s made the farm fields of Bolingbrook more accessible to Chicago, attracting developers and residents.

Incorporated in 1965, in less than ten years Bolingbrook grew from thinly settled farmland to the second-largest community in Will County after Joliet.

Agricultural ways of life also contributed to the growth of Bolingbrook. Due to all of the growth, Bolingbrook needed a new village hall large enough to accommodate its residents, the elected officials and staff. In 1972, a new village hall was constructed on East Boughton Road.

The need for additional schools also increased. The newly created School District 365U built more schools and implemented a 45/15 year round school year to accommodate the increased student population.

The many festivals organized by different ethnic groups include the Annual Village Picnic, the Pathways Parade, Juneteenth, Pakistani Fest, Piyesta Pinoy, Taste of Bolingbrook, Family Fest, International Fest, Joy Fest and El Grito honoring Mexican Independence Day.

BHPC also participates and assists in many events promoting Bolingbrook’s history and diversity.

For more information or to donate historic artifacts for display at the museum contact 630-226-8400, email bbhistpresscomm@yahoo.com or visit bolingbrookhistprescomm.org.