June 15, 2015

The Township Communities

The Communities Within
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
below text by Dominic Pacyga & Ellen Skerrett 
- Chicago: City of Neighborhoods

The Community of Andersonville
or is it spelled Andersenville??

"In 2013 winter caused irreparable damage to the original tank, which was made of wood and iron. The tank’s base cracked under a thick piece of ice, allowing water to leak directly into the museum. "The 'Polar Vortex' was too much for the water tower tank," said  Abercrombie. "It damaged the wood and it wasn't safe and secure anymore." Although restorative work was completed on the tank just a few years ago, the average life span of water tanks built in the early 1900s is no more than 100 years. Because of this, museum officials are in the process of designing an alternative replica, which will not be a functioning water tower, but will serve as a neighborhood landmark and an ode to the neighborhood’s Swedish roots."

its new location on top of the Swedish American Museum

dedication photos by Greg O'Neill

Vintage Andersonville in Maps

An Article about the Borders

photo - Edgewater Buzzthanks Bob!
'Surprisingly, an old map was uncovered by Edgewater’s own Thom Greene of Greene & Proppe Design, Inc. The map, circa 1883, will blow all conventional ideas of where Andersonville boundaries were back then. According to the document, Andersonville was located from Clark to Ravenswood and Foster to what appears to be Ainslie. This map shows that the original Andersonville did not include any land North of Foster, but that Andersonville must have grown into its present day boundaries after business’s along clark street in the 1960’s resurrected the Andersonville name to market the commercial area.' Read more about the exact borders 
Vintage Andersonville in Photos

One of the first schools of the township and apparent meeting site of the organization meetings of the township prior to 1857.
Foster and Clark Street as of 1914
negative - Chicago History Museum
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 that serviced the new Graceland Cemetery as of 1861. 
The then area 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 City of Lake View in 1889 by the City of Chicago. Still, even then Andersonville remained a ‘backwater’ community until 1910. 
January 6-7 1918 snowstorm along Clark Street
photo - Edgeville Buzz
This community should have been part 
of the 77 community's of Chicago, in my humble opinion
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. 
This book was written about the County of Cook by historician A.T.Andreas and mentions Ravenswood in it
This map of the area highlights Graceland Cemetery and the community of Ravenswood in 1879
Notes: 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)
The Ravenswood Land Company financed a schoolhouse, the main sewer systems, roads and most of the civic infrastructure was incurred by the residents’ own financial contributions. 
By 1884 the Ravenswood Historical Society 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 photo above include 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.

"Is it the sliver of land between Foster, Montrose, Ashland and Damen? Or a vast expanse that stretches all the way from Peterson to Irving Park Road and Clark Street to the Chicago River?How about any area that touches Ravenswood Avenue — all the way from Wellington Avenue on the south to Estes Avenue on the north — or runs along the former CTA Ravenswood Line (now Brown Line)? Will the real Ravenswood please stand up?In search of clarity, we first turned to no less an authority than the Ravenswood-Lakeview Historical Association, founded in 1935.  Back in the 1920's, the University of Chicago divided the city into 77 well-defined "community areas." Ravenswood didn't make the cut as a standalone entity, rather it was folded into Lincoln Square. In short, according to U. of C., Ravenswood is a subset of Lincoln Square.The Ravenswood Community Council is clear on this point: "The name Ravenswood remained in popular use, even after the area was officially designated part of the Lincoln Square community area." Note the emphasis on "part of," not equivalent to."

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 newly formed District of Lake View 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 Lake View and North Central. When the 77 communities of Chicago were proclaimed the old community of Ravenswood lost its vintage title as a official community after its annexation.
'Comic Art' of Ravenswood
(see link above for enlargement)
 The Community of Summerdale
1894 Sanborn Fire Map 
according to the Chicago Daily News article I found online
(Read the last paragraph ...)
1889 map University of Chicago Map Collection
The bold printed titles on the map indicated a community in its day. Summerdale was located north of Ravenswood 
and near Mt. Pleasant and Andersonville 
The North Western Company RR station 
was located by Foster Avenue
'Summerdale, named by the developers of 'Clybourn Addition' to community of Ravenswood, was located south of Foster and west of the RR tracks. The community's station was located just south of Farragut and originally on the west 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 was described 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 
kids of Summerdale
photo 1888 - Sulzer Regional Library
The Community 
of Buena Park
 1894 Sanborn Fire Mapf
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 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 then existing lakefront per a Daily Tribune 1889 article. 
other views ...
Fry, Rowena, circa 1898-1990 - artist
 Chicago History Museum 1951
Buena Park 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 poet's 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 = Culver Avenue 
and Evanston Avenue = Broadway) 
Most of his lakefront property was on a bluff that overlook the lake which had a view of a small harbor very near the federal administrated hospital called Marine Hospital once located north of Graceland (Irving Park Road) Avenue and then existing lakeshore 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 intersection of Evanston (Broadway) Sheridan Road and Montrose Avenue - Lake View District 1891
front and back of same photo
and someone's back yard in 1907
Hazel Avenue in 1911 
A company that hightlighted the community 
image - Ebay
 Buena Park by 1910's - from Ebay
photos - Art Institute of Chicago

photo - Uptown Update
Robert A. Waller (relation to James?) was a major landowner 
who influenced township/city community affairs for decades
The Greenlee home along the lakefront
below - The Jenney Home
along the lakefront
A Llyod Wright designed home?
composite - Allen Juris 
via Forgotten Chicago Discussion Group/Facebook
One of Many Survivors of that Time
View more building of the neighborhood via Fickr
St. Mary's of the Lake
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 that survived to the present.
Below is a 1985 Chicago Tribune article about the late 20th century rebirth of the community is currently within 
the Community of Uptown
The spirit of the community lives on in 2013
The following information and maps are primarily 
and History of Cook County by A.T. Andreas
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.' 
Cochran - 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.'
Map of Lake View Township in 1862
Edgewater is not yet part of the landscape
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:
of Argyle Park
of High Ridge
 of Rose Hill
What's in a Name 1880
The Community 
of Henrytown
Van Vechten's 1870 map
of Pine Grove 
Van Vechten's 1870 map
Van Vechten's 1870 map that highlights the Lake View Hotel that was once located at the edge of the existing lakefront on Grace Street
text below - LakeView Saga 1837- 1985

Lake View House (Hotel)
Community of 
also known as Wright Grove
The Home of Camp Fry
Camp Fry - US Civil War
(Facebook Album)
photo via Stephen Osman
text below - Wikipedia
This Community that
must be Mentioned
Bownanville was then 
located in Jefferson Township - west of Western Avenue
but before that (like Lake View) was part of the original Township of Ridgeway
This is one of the oldest communities to influence 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 what if may appear to be both sides of Western until the annexation of both townships to the City of Chicago. By 1930 the neighborhood of Bowmanville would be  located east of Western Avenue. 
If territorially not part of old Lake View Bowanville dicated enormonus influence over former township by using Green Bay Road-Clark Street and Little Fort Road-Lincoln Avenue as routes to the Chicago markets for its products from its' territory.
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-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 1900's, people had been digging up ancient artifacts in their backyards. 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 ...

Bowmanville in Maps
below is a 1862 W.L. Flower Map
and zoomed - Library of Congress
1894 Sanborn Fire Map below
Bowmanville in Photos
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). 
Some greenhouses remained as late as 1980's.
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 below - 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

Post Notes:

A Glimpse Inside Camp Fry, March 1865  

by Stephen E. Osman

Minneapolis, MN

6 March 2018

The 156th Illinois Volunteer Infantry was a one-year regiment and the last Illinois infantry unit raised for the Civil War.  It was formed at Camp Fry in late February and early March 1865.   

Once uniformed, equipped, armed and given some basic drill instruction the regiment took trains to the Nashville area where it was broken into small commands to guard the strategic railroads outside that fortress city.  The regiment returned to Illinois in September to be mustered out.

This paper albumin photograph originated in the estate of Marcus L. Bosworth, a private in Company F.  Inscribed on the back in very faded pencil is Bosworth’s signature, “Company Picture” and “March 1865.”  Company F was composed of many men from Kane and Kankakee Counties; Bosworth himself was from Manteno.  Following a January 19, 1865 order from Illinois Governor Oglesby Camp Fry was designated an additional camp of rendezvous, and recruits from the first, second, third and sixth congressional districts were to muster there. 

There is little published information on the mustering and service of this final 1865 unit.  But the Chicago Tribune has been digitalized by the Library of Congress on their Chronicling America website.  A search for 156th Illinois, and then Camp Fry confirmed their service there.  On the evening of March 15, 1865, the nearly 1,000 men of the 156th marched out of Camp Fry in a pouring rainstorm to begin their six months of service in the south.  

The barrack in the background was no doubt occupied by Company F.  Each vertical board and batten wood frame quarters for a 100-man company had a tarpaper roof and no insulation.  Inside were triple tier bunks, each shared by two men, plus tables and benches. Poorly heated by coal stoves, the barracks must have been drafty and miserable in late winter 1865.  

Most of the men are still wearing their overcoats in this early March photo.  Surprisingly many appear to be wearing mounted pattern boots rather than the laced ankle bootie typically issued to infantrymen.  Their uniforms and equipment are new; canteen straps have not yet been shortened and only a couple men have substituted felt hats for the just issued forage cap.  Only two men carry their muskets and they were probably detailed for armed service that day but wanted to be in the photo with their comrades.  The company officers – Captain Henry J. Allen probably flanked by Lieutenants William E. Craib and Narcisse Reeves – are front and center.  

Scholars are fortunate that one private in that company saved this unique photograph that documents the Civil War camp in Wright’s Grove – now the intersection of North Clark, Broadway and Diversey Parkway. 

by The Edgewater Historical Society

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