The first permanent settlement in the area began in the early 1830s by German immigrants. The Village was first called "Bremen" to reflect the community's German roots. The town grew rapidly when it became the hub of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad lines. Early Tinley Park was the home of innovative leaders who developed valuable inventions such as Ironite, an additive for waterproofing cement used to build the Hoover Dam. Modern Tinley Park has been the home of five Indianapolis 500 racecar drivers including Melvin "Tony" Bettenhausen. Today, the Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center is a gathering place for sports enthusiasts from all over the city.
In 2009, Tinley Park was named by BusinessWeek as the “Best Place in America to Raise Kids” in the state of Illinois. Winners of this honorable title are selected based on the city or town’s real estate market, quality of schools, crime rate, and job diversification, among a list of other factors. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Tinley Park has a family-friendly atmosphere that welcomes you once you step foot into town.
Recreational opportunities are nearly endless in Tinley Park. Three challenging golf courses -- Graystone Golf Links, White Mountain and Odyssey -- are located within the city. White Water Canyon, a four-acre outdoor water park, and the Tinley Park Historical Society and Museum housed in the Landmark Church, are also popular destinations. Of course, Tinley Park's hospitality corridor along I-80 makes it quick and easy to take in a Bulls basketball game or a lively game of Bears football. The South Suburban Opera, American Dance Ballet Company and the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra offer equally stimulating cultural events.
Entertainment and culture are certainly close at hand in Tinley Park. In celebration of its German heritage, Tinley Park enjoys a Sister City relationship with Budingen, Germany, and annually hosts Oktoberfest, one of the largest and liveliest family events in the region. For a little diversity, the riverboat casinos in Joliet, Route 66 Raceway and the Chicago Motor Speedway are minutes away.
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