June 15, 2015

The Township Communities

The Neighborhoods of that Day
from Devon to Fullerton,
the existing lakefront to Western Avenue
1862 Township Map
W.L. Flower Map-Library of Congress
The Township Borders 
A More Detail Map View in 1869
 northern section with Devon Avenue once 71st Street as the border between what was once Evanston Township
the midsection of Lake View Township
 below the lower section
Van Vechten's 1870 map below
 with the communities of Pine Grove, Ravenswood
 & Andersonville clearly indicated
1870 Van Vechten Map 
via David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
with zoomed views below ...
northern section
 mid section above 
with lower section below with ther red line 
that indicated the border with Chicago at Fullerton Avenue 
& the north branch of the Chicago River
Sanborn Fire Map Views
1894 Sanborn Fire Map listing communities from 
Graceland Boulevard to Devon Avenue/Church Road
(five years after the annexation of City of Lake View)
1894 Sanborn Fire Map listing the area from 
Graceland Boulevard to Fullerton Avenue

text by Dominic Pacyga & Ellen Skerrett 
- Chicago: City of Neighborhoods
An Area Map View of Old Lake View
The boxed addresses on this map are Western at the top 
& Devon, Fullerton on the right side.
(click to enlarge) image - unknown
The Community of Andersonville
or is it spelled Andersenville according to the latest research
and its restoration
After raising monies from the community 
a new water tower will emerge in 2017
2017 total of 4 photos by Greg O'Neill 

its new location on top of the Swedish American Museum

photo - Edgewater Buzzthanks Bob!
Read more about the exact borders 

One of the first schools of the township and apparent meeting site of the formation meetings prior to 1857.
Foster and Clark Street as of 1914
According to one urban legend the Andersonville may have been named after a Norwegian minister named John Anderson. Mr. Anderson purchase property just south of Foster Avenue east of Ashland Avenue in the late 1840’s. Apparently, one of the first schools in the township was Conrad Sulzer School (Ravenswood Elementary) the other, was named after Mr. Anderson simply called Andersonville School. This school once located on the southwest corner of Foster and Clark Street (1855-1925) served as a meeting place for township civic leaders (p.263) in those early days that include early settlers like I.S. Skippy, John Mauritzen, and Dr. Conrad Sulzer who organized Lake View as a township.

While Mr. Anderson’s fame maybe in doubt there is no doubt of the contribution of Pehr Peterson who established an estimated 500 acre nursery that probably serviced the new cemetery of Rose Hill by 1859 among other institutions in the township and the City of Chicago. Dr. Conrad Sulzer regarded as the grand-daddy of the establishment of the township also owned a nursery but serviced the new Graceland Cemetery as of 1861. 
The sub-division of Andersonville began to flourish after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. After the fire the city building codes changed and wooden sidewalks and buildings needed to be more fire resistant and more costly to build. Not so in Lake View Township until after the annexation of the township in 1889 by the City of Chicago. 
Still, Andersonville subdivision remained a ‘backwater’ community until 1910. To learn more about history of this community visit the Edgewater History Society as well as the neighborhood websiteRead about the removal of the iconic water tower that was a landmark of the community.
January 6-7 1918 snowstorm along Clark Street
photo - Edgeville Buzz
This community should have been part 
of the 77 communites of Chicago
a 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
roughly bordered on Lawrence (E. Jefferson) to the north 
and Montrose (E. Sulzer) to the south; Clark to Lincoln Avenue with a section from Ravenswood to Clark south to Irving Park Road once known as Graceland.
a 1929 article about its beginnings 
13 years after the fomration of the township
1894 Sanborn Fire Map
five years after the annexation to Chicago
In 1868 a group of real-estate speculators (p. 712) formed the Ravenswood Land Company and purchased 194 acres of farmland in west central Lake View Township. As a note, the area west of Commerical Avenue (Hermitage Avenue) was not part of the land purchased. The area east of Hermitage to Clark Street, Montrose to Graceland Avenue (Irving Park Road) is currently called the West Graceland in the neighborhood of Lake View.
Map of the area highlighting Graceland Cemetery and the community of Ravenswood - 1879
Sulzer=Montrose & Shippery=Lawrence
Green Bay Road=Clark Street
Graceland Cemetery: A Design History - Christopher Vernon
Martin Van Allen, leader of the 
Ravenswood Land Company 
1875 News in the Community of Ravenswood
(click to enlarge)
While the Ravenswood Land Company built a schoolhouse the main sewer systems and roads and most of the civic infrastructure was incurred by the residents’ own financial contributions. 
By 1884 the Ravenswood Historical Society - pp. 713-714, presently called the 'Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association' was established and was to be located in a 30 x 40 two story brick building on the southwest corner of Commercial and Graceland (Hermitage $ Irving Park Road). Apparently, the building included a ground floor library and reading room and the top floor a lecture hall and doubled as a concert hall. The present collection of photography, maps, and publications are located at the Sulzer Regional Library in Community of Lincoln Square called the Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection & currently with a most larger collectioin called the Northside Collection.
The images above are the following: 
 Ravenswood M.E. Church, H. L. Harmount & Co. Real Estate Office, Bennett Block, Library Hall, 
and All Saint's Episcopalian Church - 1890
Built in 1872 in the Township of Lake View - unknown date 
Apparently, as late as the 1920’s open ditches and muddy streets were alongside the manicured and stately lawns, gardens and homes, a work in progress. Apparently, the above image is the area on north side of Lawrence Avenue between Damen Avenue and  Ravenswood Avenue. - Calumet 412. According the publication Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler residents got their water from the river and had a difficult time acquiring it. The township next door, Jefferson Township, wouldn't (or couldn't - funds?) install sewers for this new area until the annexation of both Jefferson & Lake View Townships in 1889.
Note: Half of Patrick Bulter's book tells the tale of now fragmented former township community. 
Also, read the ever changing borders of this original township community as of 2015 with the DNAifno article.
Other Views of late 19th Century Ravenswood
This photo must have been taken from the 
original Wilson-Ravenswood rail platform 
Dr. Frank Van Allen (and family), a graduate of Lake View High School & Yale University Medical School.
 His father, Martin Van Allen, 
was a leader of the Ravenswood Land Company.
Ravenswood Cornet Band 1892 
when the old township was referred 
to as the Lake View District after 1889
Ravenswood Station (Post ofc) Mail Carriers 
The District of Lake View 1894
Below is a 1954 Chicago Tribune article about the neighborhood of Lincoln Square that includes parts of the original Ravenswood community. Several other communities lay claim to now unofficial community as well such as the neighborhoods of Lake View and North Central. When the 77 communities of Chicago were proclaimed Ravenswood lost its vintage title as a official community after its annexation.
(see link above for enlargement)
 The Community of Summerdale
1894 Sanborn Fire Map
(five years after the annexation to Chicago)
This small community had its begins in 1875 according to the Chicago Daily News article I found online. 
(Read the last paragraph ...)
1889 photo University of Chicago Map Collection
The bold printed titles on the map indicated a community of its day. Summerdale is located north of Ravenswood 
and near Mt. Pleasant and Andersonville 
(Northwest Company rail line) train station by Foster Avenue.
'The second stop was added in 1875 and was called Summerdale, named by the developers of 'Clybourn Addition' to community of Ravenswood, which was located south of Foster and west of the tracks. The station however, was located north of Foster but south of Farragut and originally on the west side of the tracks' according to Edgewater Historical Society. According to the same source, 'The origin of the name Summerdale is not known, but the son of one of the Edgewater developers thought it was chosen because it "sounded pleasant". Also according to sources from the Edgewater Historical Society, ‘the community [even] in 1904 as “…a sprawling area of truck gardens with an occasional house. The streets were all laid out and paved with macadam. There were even sidewalks, some of them concrete. But there was no gas, no electricity.From Rosehill Drive to Lawrence Avenue, there were no more than twenty buildings along Ashland Avenue.”’
1900 photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection 
some kids of Summerdale
photo 1888 - Sulzer Regional Library
The Community of Buena Park
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map
five years after the annexation to Chicago
Graceland Avenue = Irving Park Road
a modern illustration from Lisa von Drehle 
via Buena Park Neighbors Community-Facebook
In 1887 James B. Waller, a long-time resident of the Township of Lake View began to sell of his property by subdividing his 35 acres to land speculators and developers. The original Waller home is now the site of St. Mary of the Lake Catholic church built and dedicated in 1917. Including in the 35 acres was a "pebbled crescent shaped beach" along the lakefront per a Daily Tribune 1889 article. 
other views ...
 photos - Chicago Public Library
Delectable Ballad of the Waller Lot Fry, 
Rowena, circa 1898-1990 - artist
 Chicago History Museum 1951
Buena Park (view link illustrations) and Robert Waller were amortized by Chicagoan poet Eugene Field in a 1894 ballet called 'The Delectable Ballad of the Waller Lot' ...
'Up yonder in Buena Park! 
There is a famous spot,in legend and in history,
the Waller lot' 
The poets' home was located in Waller's subdivided property near the intersection of Clarendon and Hutchinson Avenues near the historical Hutchinson Street District.
This 1894 Sanborn Fire Map shows the Waller Estate 
(the sole dwelling surrounded by vacant space). 
(Edgecomb Court is now Culver Avenue and Evanston Avenue now called Broadway) 
Most of his lakefront property was on a ridge that overlook the lake that had a view of a small harbor yards away of Marine Hospital near Graceland (Irving Park Road) Avenue and Lake Michigan now the home of Disney Magnet School. 
photo - Ebay
This federal hospital was built in 1875 located between Graceland (Irving Park Road) and Sulzer Road 
(Montrose Avenue). Read more about this hospital in my other post called The Federal Hospital.
The intersection of Evanston (Broadway) Sheridan Road and Montrose Avenue - Lake View District 1891
front and back of same photo
and someone's back yard in1907
Hazel Avenue in 1911 
image - Ebay
 Buena Park by 1910's - from Ebay
photos - Art Institute of Chicago

photo - Uptown Update
Robert A. Waller was a major landowner 
who influenced township community affairs for decades
The Greenlee home along the lakefront
below - The Jenney Home
along the lakefront
composite - Allen Juris 
via Forgotten Chicago Discussion Group/Facebook
One of Many Survivors of that time
View more homes in this Historical District via Fickr
Note: The entire neighborhood is listed in the National Register of Historical Places since 1984. It is interesting to view the dwellings that were listed in 1984 and discover which ones survived to the present.
Below is a 1985 Chicago Tribune article about the late 20th century rebirth of the community is within 
the neighborhood of Uptown
The spirit of the community lives on - 2013
The following information and maps are primarily from the Edgewater Historical Society
In 1885, John Lewis Cochran (p. 769) purchased vacant land to build a subdivision called 'Edgewater'. East of Broadway and bounded by Bryn Mawr and Foster Avenues, this new community was the first planned development to have paved streets, electric lighting, drainage system, street cleaning and tree trimming. 
Station House 1905 - Daily News Archives
by The Edgewater Historical Society
In 1885, John Lewis Cochran, a tobacco salesman for the McDowell Tobacco Company of Philadelphia began to purchase land along the lakeshore from Foster Avenue (once called 59th Street in the Township of Lake View) to Bryn Mawr, a street he named. This land west of what is now Sheridan Road was his first purchase and he named it Edgewater. He had a vision of a suburb much like the suburbs of Philadelphia that extended out from that city along a railroad called the Main Line. The train line that ran through Edgewater was the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul line. Cochran persuaded the railroad to open a station at Bryn Mawr which he had built of wood and stone in the Eastern architectural style called Shingle Style. At the same time he built a large recreation and business building he called the Guild Hall in the same style. He had engaged an architect, Joseph Lyman Silsbee to design this and some houses which were built on Kenmore and Winthrop. 
his photo - Wikipedia
Cochran subdivided the land and improved the area with sewers, stone sidewalks, macadam streets and electric power. He offered no-interest loans and advertised this community in the newspapers. He maintained an office in the Loop and one at the Guild Hall. Although he had persuaded the railroad to stop at Bryn Mawr there were only a few trains each day. He began by building homes along Winthrop and providing electricity to them so that those riding by the community would recognize it as an appealing place. The lots were fifty feet of frontage along the streets and many of those attracted to the area bought at least two lots; some purchased as many as four. In 1887, Cochran completed the purchase of land north of Bryn Mawr to a point in the middle of the block between Ardmore and Thorndale. Cochran named these streets as well as Berwyn, Balmoral and Claremont, now Catalpa. In his next addition in 1889 he added the land from the first addition north to Devon with streets named Glenlake, Grand and Rosemont. After a short time working with Silsbee he found that many buyers wanted more options in the designs of their homes. He fired Silsbee and hired George Washington Maher as lead architect. Maher worked in the area for many years though any homes he designed for Cochran did not have his name as architect. Cochran was the holder of the building permit. Every lot that Cochran sold had a covenant on it with a restriction that the buildings could only be single family homes. The length of time for this restriction was 20 years. When homes were resold after 20 years the restriction was lifted. This time limit on the restriction was the factor that changed Cochran’s beautiful suburb into the urban area it is today. Cochran himself lived to see this transformation which began in 1908 when the train tracks were elevated and Edgewater was connected by the “L” system to downtown Chicago. That connection created a pressure for more housing units and flats as more and more people moved to Chicago. Even as some builders were building flat buildings other were building large single family homes along the newly opened section of Sheridan Road south of Bryn Mawr. Years later some owners began selling their side yards to builders of apartment hotels and the density of the area increased. On some of the remaining empty lots large apartment homes were built. The units in these buildings had three to five bedrooms and maid’s quarters. By the 1920's the variety of housing in the area ranged from large single family homes and two flats to large apartment homes and apartment hotels. Cochran’s suburb of Edgewater became an urban neighborhood.
1885 - Edgewater Historical Society maps
1894 Sanborn Fire Map
In 1886, the first ten houses and a commercial building called the Guild Hall was built along with a train station at Bryn Mawr to offer transportation south to Graceland Avenue (Irving Park Road) along Evanston Avenue (Broadway Avenue) to Diversey Parkway. This community was known for its horse stables and 'horse and cycle clubs' such as the Edgewater Stables and the Saddle and Cycle Club.
For a more depth view of this neighborhood browse 
through their historical society's website with
the Edgewater Stables in 1880's below
Other Notable Communities of Old Lake View:
Community of Argyle Park
 Community of High Ridge
Community of Rose Hill
What's in a Name 1880
The Community of HenryTown
Van Vechten's 1870 map
 Community of Pine Grove 
Van Vechten's 1870 map that highlights the Lake View Hotel 
The road that connect Chicago along the lakefront
images - LakeView Saga 1837- 1985
formerly known as Wright Woods and Grove
(Facebook Album)
A Mustering Encampment
text below - Wikipedia
This Community must be Mentioned
Most if not all of Bownanville was then 
located in Jefferson Township - west of Western Avenue
This is one of the oldest communities in both the old townships of Lake View and Jefferson. In fact, this community was founded in what was once Ridgeville Township (1850-1857). In 1857 that township was basically split in two. Western Avenue was the border of both Lake View & Jefferson Townships with the community of Bowmanville located on both sides of Western until the annexation of both townships to the City of Chicago. After the establishment of official neighbors by 1930 the neighborhood of Bowmanville was located east of Western Avenue. 
Pre-European History to be Re-discovered
"There aren't many accounts of the prehistoric connection to Chicago—especially for the city's Bowmanville neighborhood, just south of the proposed park site—but for decades, neighbors have known of the area's prehistoric legacy.
"I was really fascinated to learn that our entire neighborhood had been a part of a native habitation," said 20-year Bowmanville resident Barry Kafka. "I’m frustrated that we don’t know more about it," Kafka said. Oral history in the neighborhood suggested that since the early 1900s, people had been digging up ancient artifacts in their back yards. But, unfortunately, history had never been properly recorded to help reconstruct the lives of humans who lived thousands of years ago in what is now modern Chicago." Read more ...

below is a 1862 W.L. Flower Map
and zoomed - Library of Congress
1894 Sanborn Fire Map above
(five years after the annexation to Chicago)
Bowmanville was originally located around Foster Avenue and Western Avenue and was established in 1850's by Jesse Bowman, a local lodge keeper. Although his claim to the land was later found to be illegal, it did not prevent the area from becoming a bustling settlement. Jesse Bowman was a man who was passionate about getting things done fast -- and not necessarily by the books. In the early 1850's he unofficially cultivated the dirt paths through the forest near present-day Foster and Ravenswood avenues. He laid claim to many of the imaginary plots in the area without actually owning any of the property. He then sold the land 'that wasn't his" to unwitting buyers, and the later skipped town or according the publication Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler or disappeared "any of the victims had anything to do with Bowman disappearance".
After the legal issues were resolved the area became a stopping point for farmers delivering their goods to markets in Chicago. Numerous saloons and taverns sprang up, among them an establishment owned by Hiram Roe, locate on Roe’s Hill. The original name of the area was later misspelled Row’s Hill and then Rose Hill, which became the name of the train depot in the community. The name eventually became Rosehill, as in Rosehill Cemetery. This was one of the earliest communities before Lake View Township & Evanston Township were once part of the first township in northern Illinois - Ridgeville Township 1850-1857.
P.L. Miller Fancy Groceries and Meat Market
The grocery store was situated on the northeast corner of Foster and Wolcott Avenues -1860's?
Other businesses included lodges/roadhouses, carpenter shops (for coffins), stone mason shops (headstones) greenhouses (flowers and vegetables) to name a few. This was the same time that a doctor from Switzerland and his family located south of Bowmanville; later to regarded as the official founder of Lake View Township - Conrad Sulzer. During this time period Chicagoans who lived in then dense communities of the city began to move where the land was rural and inexpensive. This community was one of the three.
The above aerial photograph showing farms, homes, streets, telephone poles, and open land were apparently the L.A. Budlong Company, a first successful commercial greenhouse in the township. The company at one time occupy 400 hundred acres of  land. According the publication Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler "the workers were originally paid at the end of the day in silver dollars, known as 'Budlong Dollars' or simply 'Budlongs' ". Also, the book mentions that "by the turn of the century, they had between eighteen to twenty greenhouses described by one visitor as a 'virtual village of glass'"(p.122). The remaining greenhouses remained as late as 1988.
Known as Bowmanville School 
during the early years of the township 

Donated in 1960 while photo date probably 1890's 
Devon Avenue east of Western Avenue - Bowmanville 1914
Jerri Walker - Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
Join the conversation on Facebook!
“This is Devon Avenue in 1914 looking east from about Claremont, just east of Western Ave. The people are from L to R my great aunt, my Mother, my grandmother, Uncle, and another grand aunt. They are walking from Angel Guardian /St Henry’s church (steeple way barely visible in the background) back to a truck farm on the SW corner of Rockwell and Devon where my grandparents worked.
How Devon has changed!” – Calumet 412
4800 North Lincoln Avenue
1910-ish located in the new District of Lake View
photo - Chuckman Collection
a later view of the intersection of Lincoln/Lawrence/Western at the edge of the District of Lake View - Bowmanville 1920's
Follow the conversation on Facebook of this photo!
A Look Back
The Chicagoan, edited

2013 photo - DNAinfo
2013  Native American artifacts were discovered near the current neighborhood of Bowmanville on property the was once owned by Rosehill Cemetery. 

Post Notes:
by The Edgewater Historical Society

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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