Mount Greenwood is the far Southwest corner of Chicago. Compared to the rest of the city, it looks fairly new. Yet the community has a long history.
During the last half of the 19th Century, Chicago was the fastest growing city in the world. That meant a future boom for at least one type of real estate: cemeteries. In 1879, George Waite plotted a burial ground in a farming area near 111th Street and Sacramento Avenue.
Welcome to Mount Greenwood!
Waite named his cemetery Mount Greenwood. Within a short time, other cemeteries followed.
Funerals were an all-day affair then. To serve the mourners, a strip of restaurants and saloons developed along 111th Street. They also attracted patrons of the nearby Worth Race Track.
Despite all the dead residents, the neighborhood was getting a rowdy reputation. The Village of Morgan Park wanted to annex the area and shut down the saloons. But in 1907, local property owners beat them to the punch and chartered their own village.