Individual Author Record
Thomas E. Ferraro was born and raised in Niles and is a "life member" of the Niles Historical Society.
Biographical and Professional Information
Thomas is an author and local historian. Ferraro uses photographs from the archives of the historical society, longtime Niles residents, and his extensive personal collection to tell the fascinating story of Niles in the years before 1955. He works with the Illinois Secretary of State Police.
Niles: The Early Years, Arcadia Publishing, 2012
Titles At Your Library
Niles: The Early Years (Images of America)
Arcadia Publishing. 2012
The village of Niles began during the Black Hawk War of 1832 as the pioneer settlement of Dutchman’s Point on the North Branch of the Chicago River. Incorporated in 1899, the new village’s thriving business district was established along Milwaukee Avenue. During Prohibition, Niles was the gateway to “rural bohemia,” the roadhouse district of suburban speakeasies and resorts north of Chicago. Niles’s Tam O’Shanter Country Club, arguably the birthplace of modern professional golf, rose to international prominence during the Great Depression and continued to host the sport’s most exclusive tournaments long after World War II. Behind the village’s colorful past, another Niles existed, grounded by strong agrarian values and a deep sense of community pride―the truck farms of Maine and Niles Townships. These gentleman farmers and their families formed the backbone of local culture, and their influence is still felt today.