When large numbers of World War II veterans began returning home, authorities were hard-pressed to find housing for them all. Many newly returned vets found themselves living with in-laws or with parents.
One solution to the acute housing shortage was a series of temporary residences that were erected in forest preserves around the region. In the LaBagh Woods forest preserve on the Northwest Side near West Foster Avenue and North Pulaski Road, prefab housing was quickly assembled for the first of 200 returning vets and their families to move in just in time for Christmas.
By 1955, a combination of factors, including some “not in my backyard” sentiment from the neighbors, had made the temporary settlements obsolete.
The whitewashed homes vanished as quickly as they had appeared, and a picnic grove now stands where the returning vets once stoked the home fires.