About This Place
Ford Heights (formerly East Chicago Heights) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,456 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2007 estimate placed the population at 3,227. It is located approximately 25 miles south of downtown Chicago and is part of the Chicago–Naperville–Joliet, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.6 km²), all of it land. The village lies on the border of the Tinley Moraine and Lake Bottomland.
The area that would eventually become Ford Heights was first settled in the late 1840s. It served as a stopping point on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves fleeing to freedom. By the early 20th century, the area had developed into an agricultural community of farms operated mostly by Polish, Lithuanian, and Italians. After World War I, Blacks from the Southern U.S. migrated to the area and worked on the farms.