Incorporated in 1914, the Village of Chicago Ridge is located in the southwestern portion of Cook County in Illinois and is about 20 miles southwest of the Chicago Loop. The village takes its name from ridges left when trainloads of dirt were brought out by the Wabash Railroad during construction of the Columbian Exposition of 1893.
In the 1840s settlers came to the area through to work on the Stony Creek, the feeder canal for Illinois & Michigan Canal that stretches from the Little Calumet River through the Saganash-kee Slough.
German and Dutch farmers began to settle the area a decade later and with the coming of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroads in 1882, the area saw its first real boom.
Soon rail yards began to become prolific in the village. A prominent manufacturer, Paul E. Berger Company established headquarters near the villages railroad. Out of necessity, the company began building housing for its employees. The resulting settlement established a community in the area built around the factory with grocery stores, a tavern, rooming house and a post office in the factory itself.
After the incorporation of Oak Lawn (1909), Chicago Ridge began to explore the possibility of a move to an incorporated government that could deal with the problems of a growing municipality and offer locally elected officials that would be accountable to its citizens for local issues.
Years later, the area began to see real development with expansion, civic improvements (sewer systems, street lights and sidewalks) and water from Lake Michigan brought to the area.
Demand for housing grew with further expansion of the roads and expressways. Industrial and commercial growth followed. There was a dramatic population increase from 1960 with 5,748 people to the year 2000, when the village held 14,127 people. A 2010 census reports Chicago Ridge containing a total area of 2.25 square miles, all land.
The village rests 18 miles southwest of the Chicago Loop. The village is bound by Oak Lawn on the north, Bridgeview and Palos Hills on the west sides and Worth on the south.
The village is governed by a President and a Board of Trustees. The village boasts recreational amenities that include beautiful area parks and a library. One of the more prominent businesses that call Chicago Ridge home include Landis Plastics, Inc., a plastics injection molding and plastic packaging plant for dairy products and foods with five domestic facilities.
Chicago Ridge boasts an industrial park located off Southwest Highway at 103rd Street. It features rail transport and access to major highways (including the Stevenson and Eisenhower expressways).
One of the biggest attractions in the area is the Chicago Ridge Mall, which has over 130 stores and a six-screen movie theater. The mall is located at 95th and Ridgeland. The Chicago Ridge Commons is located at 99th and Ridgeland with over 55 strip stores and commercial development is currently focust on the industrial sector, the Park at Chicago Ridge.