It is claimed this area was a beach 10,000 years ago. After countless ages of geological swamps, marshes and sloughs, the prairies dominated the landscape with groves of trees, flowers and wild life in abundance!

Markham, at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, had been a crossroad for early pioneers. In 1861, a treaty was made with the Ottawa, Chippewa and Pottawatomi Indians which ceded a corridor of land located between the

mouths of Chicago and the Calumet Rivers

to the settlers. The southern boundary, known as the Indian Boundary Line was to run along a line which is now Interstate 57, which runs through our city.

The Village of Markham was established in 1925 with a population of less than 300. In the middle 1930’s the Croissant Park subdivision was built and increased the population from 349 to 1,388. After World War II, Markham’s population doubled to 2,753 residents by 1950. The village developed into a bedroom community as residents sought homes, not industry. An airport developed at 165th and Kedzie and was the nearest field to Chicago outside the urban smog range. The airport site was near the location which is now the Cook County Sixth District Courthouse. On August 24, 1967, the Village of Markham was incorporated, as a City.


In 1860 a German immigrant named Lawrence Roesner made his way to the southern boundary and settled on land located in the northwestern corner of Markham. He brought with him six seedlings from the Black Forest of Germany and planted them along the

Indian Boundary line. “This Lone Pine Tree” was adopted as the official City symbol in 1985. The lone survivor of six pine trees brought from the Black Forest in 1860, died in 1986. The Markham City Council appropriated money to get a replacement tree from the Black Forest in Germany, which the

Markham Garden Club planted that year.

Read more about the history of the City of Markham at Encyclopedia of Chicago