“Location...Location...Location,” is the age old adage of real estate and Jefferson Park's location, affordability, safety and access to transportation are the primary factors that lure people to this lovely corner of the Northwest Side. In fact, Jefferson Park has long been one of Chicago's transportation hubs, earning the neighborhood the nickname: “The Gateway to Chicago,” but to the locals, it is endearingly known as “Jeff Park.”
Nestled partly between two major interstates, it's simply difficult to imagine a simpler commute, whether heading downtown or to the northern or northwestern suburbs. If you're looking to lessen your carbon footprint, you can hop on either the Metra or the Blue Line, which share a Jefferson Park station. In fact, until the CTA extended its tracks to O'Hare in the mid-1980s, this was for more than a decade the final stop on the elevated train lines. And if the two trains don't provide enough mass-transit options, the station acts as the terminal for almost a dozen bus routes.
Settlement in the vicinity of Jefferson Park began in the 1830s with John Kinzie Clark and Elijah Wentworth, whose claim was near what is now the Jefferson Park train station, where they operated a tavern and an inn. The tiny settlement of traders, hunters, and farmers consisted of simple one and two-room log cabins until Abram Gale, for whom Gale Street is named, built the first frame house in Jefferson. Jefferson Park became the hub of an independent township that was incorporated at the nearby Dickinson Tavern as Jefferson Township in 1850 until annexed by the city of Chicago in 1889.
The area was once home to a significant population of Volga Germans, and one of the area's one time local landmarks was a local apartment building in the vicinity of Jefferson Park along Higgins Avenue dubbed by locals as "the Russian Hotel."
Jefferson Park is also, appropriately enough, home to the Northwest Chicago Historical Society which is dedicated to preserve the area's rich history as well as most historical events and lectures