Located along busy North Avenue between First and Fifth Avenues, less than 10 miles west of Chicago’s bustling downtown area and only minutes away from O’Hare airport, Maywood Park can trace its harness racing roots back to a time when the racetrack was surrounded only by forest preserves and farm land.
Maywood Park was originally the home of Cook County Fairgrounds, where in 1932 and during Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition years of 1933 and 1934, non-wagering harness racing purse programs were held both in the afternoon and evening under the lights during the Great Depression Era.
The owner of the Maywood Park real estate was Arthur T. Galt, Sr., born in Chicago in 1876. A lawyer, real estate developer and amateur sulky driver, Mr. Galt established the plant’s first racetrack when Maywood Park was issued Illinois’ first harness racing license in 1946.
Receiving his Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and his law degree from Northwestern University in 1901, Mr. Galt opened a law office in Chicago and soon thereafter began investing in real estate in the Chicago area and Florida.