November 16, 2023

Various Perspectives of Lake View

 North of Fullerton Avenue

This post reflects on how the Old Lake View area has been documented by the writers/authors and some residents

A Personal Account

by Diane Wasserman-Drell

I lived in the neighborhood (Patterson Avenue) from 1945-1955, and then my family moved to a house in suburbia. It was a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in at that time. Everyone knew their neighbors and everyone was friendly. There were all kinds of grocery shopping on Broadway -- everything you could imagine; a butcher shop, a fresh fish store, grocery stores, a huge Woolworths at Irving Park and Broadway. In the other direction was a couple of children's shoe stores, two drug stores on the corner of Addison and Broadway. Just to the south of Patterson on the east side of the street was Millie's dime store which was a tiny version of FW Woolworth's. At Patterson and Broadway was Borden's Dairy on the west side of the street. There was a large indoor parking garage there, and that's where my dad parked his car. The "streetcars" were on Broadway, then came the Green Hornets and then regular buses. It was a wonderful, much less stressful way of life. We were one of the first people on our block to get a television (10" screen), so all the kids hung out at our apartment. And..... I found a rent receipt in one of my mom's old cookbooks several years ago. It [our apt] was for $40.00 -- for a one bedroom, one bath apartment with a tiny kitchen, a large dining room, living room and a sun parlor. It also had a Murphy bed on the living room wall. We had radiators... and the coal was delivered to the basement where the washing machine (with wringers) was, and women used to hang their clothes to dry on rope with clothespins that was hung in the basement. My mother used to send a lot of her laundry out... linens, my dad's undershorts, rags and the shirts my dad wore to work. Such fond memories of a wonderful neighborhood and very decent people. I also went to LeMoyne school through 4th grade. At that time, the Chicago public schools were way ahead of the educational system in suburbia. Even though we can never turn back the clock, it's nice to reminisce about wonderful things and times in one's life. Thanks for filling in the blanks and sharing your information about the rocks and the totem pole." - Diane Wasserman-Drell  October 28, 2018 
A Chicago Tribune Personal Account 
published in 1928 
by Elizabeth Bialk
with some additional mapping
1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 
of Math Jung's Saloon
zoomed view below
2023 Google View of the location of Math Jung's Hall
A Chicago Tribune
Account of our Community
published in 1986
by reporter Abigail Foerstner
Catholic Parish Account 

a Community of Lake View 
This story is about a small triangluar garden space called Sheridan Triangle Garden located at inner Lake Shore and Sheridan Road. I drafted a short tale about the garden spaces history - its link to the Hotel Lake View, the namesake of the township (1857-87) and city (1887-89). The story was published by a local historical association called the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association and then a local newspaper called Skyline (p.11)
Below is a cut/paste version 
from their newsletter

Some photos of the celebratory event
A WBEZ Chicago
The Community of Bowmanville was once part of
 Jefferson Township that bordered with Lake View Township 
- Western Avenue was that border of each -
photo below - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
by Monica Eng
August 20, 2017 
image - Lycheerose via Zazzle
image - Esty
"In the decades following the city’s founding in 1833, Chicagoans drained swamps, and once they had gained metal-blade plows they worked the rich soil that lurked below a vast prairie. This farming continued for many decades, sometimes in land smooshed between roads and commuter rail lines. So, here’s a surprising twist to our answer to Barb: The city’s emergence as an agricultural center occurred at the same time the city was industrializing and, in fact, for some of the very same reasons. “If you think of it, all those things that made us this trading town, they also made us a very good place to export,” says Daniel Block, Chicago State University geographer and author of Chicago: A Food Biography. Specifically, these things included great railway access, abundant immigrant labor, central trading markets and processing facilities. Plus, Chicago had awesome soil and plenty of manure. If you’re inclined to think of 19th-century Chicago as a railway-tangled, smoke-belching industrial behemoth, here’s more about how it was also the first city of flowers, a pickle powerhouse and the heart of American celery. (Pun definitely intended.) 

Celery: Miracle food meets Lake Michigan

The city’s remaining link to its once-vast celery industry may be the celery salt finish on Chicago-style hot dogs. But 150 years ago the city was at the heart of a celery craze that had spread across the United States. “Celery was huge, kind of like kale today,” says food historian Bruce Kraig. “It was this big 19th-century food fad because people thought it had miraculous health properties. I think it’s because it was so fibrous and you had to chew it so long.”

Folks ate celery at restaurants, used special crystal celery vases and consumed celery pills and tonics like Paine’s Celery Compound advertised as “a positive cure for dyspepsia, biliousness, liver complaint, neuralgia, rheumatism, and kidney troubles.”

So, Chicago — with its celery-friendly sandy soil, abundant fresh water and national rail transportation — was a perfect spot to grow and export the vegetable to an often dyspeptic nation. Plus, celery could be harvested as late as January during a mild winter, so long as it was packed in sand or soil. Hundreds of Chicago immigrant farmers grew the vegetable on what became the city’s North Side. According to 19th century Chicago horticulturist Edgar Sanders, Lakeview Township soil was “black,” “boggy” and “plentiful mixed with sand.” He added: “There is no land which can compete with such as this for celery culture.” By the end of the century, though, other lands stole Chicago’s celery crown. Kalamazoo, Michigan, had cheaper land, as did California, which had also had an advantage of a year-round growing season. Farmers in what became the Edgewater neighborhood grew celery well into the 20th century. In an essay for the Edgewater Historical Society, Carl Helbig recalls that his father grew it in manure-filled hotbeds over “black and sandy” soil as late as the 1930s. But he admits the crop was already well on the way out. “I venture to say that my father was the last one to grow celery in that large a volume in Edgewater,” he wrote. 

photo with edit - Etsy
pp. 708-724

Pickles: Agriculture Meets Industry

In the late 1880’s Chicago was home to no fewer than three nationally famous pickle brands: Budlong, Squire Dingee and Claussen. These operations thrived in Chicago for several reasons: European pickle know-how; a robust local salt processing industry; rail and other transportation options; and — early on, at least — productive pickle farms. In 1903, the Chicago Tribune reported that there were “12,000 bushels of onions and cucumbers picked and sacked in a day” during the busy season on North Side farms that stretched from Bowmanville (around Foster and Western) to Evanston. Lyman Budlong became an industry leader shortly after he arrived in Chicago. In 1859 he established a pickling business near Foster and Lincoln avenues in the middle of his Budlong Pickle Farm, which, by some accounts, stretched across 700 acres. By the turn of the century, though, a pickle blight forced pickle-makers to import cukes from outlying farms. Still, according to Eleanor Atkinson’s 1912 The Story of Chicago and National Development, Budlong’s farm kept growing other crops. “The farm is occupied profitably with raising every kind of garden truck [vegetable] which can be persuaded to grow, most of it going to city tables, but some shipped to distant points in the U.S. and Canada. This farm gives employment to about 2,000 hands in the busy season and affords healthful and remunerative employment to those who toil in the city during the winter and can get out to the pickle farm for air and ready money when the work is slack in town and the city is stifling with dust and heat in its crowded quarters.” But such a large farm couldn’t last forever in the expanding city. By the 1920’s the Budlong Farm had become a golf course and was later subdivided into a residential area called Budlong Woods. Squire Dingee also moved its operations out of Bowmanville to Lincoln Park and eventually merged with Beatrice Foods.

 The Budlongs 

photos - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
Lyman Budlong [with the support of his wife] became an industry leader shortly after he arrived in Chicago. In 1859 he established a pickling business near Foster and Lincoln avenues which by some accounts, stretched across 700 acres. 
The photos of the Budlongs & farm are from 
 photos - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection

The farm's boundaries were Bryn Mawr Avenue on the north (5600 north); Foster Avenue on the south (5200 north); Western Avenue on the east (2400 west); and Kedzie to the west; (Budlong  Woods western boundary was changed a little to the east when the North Shore Channel was completed in 1910) - edited map below
(article continues)
Vegetables for any season: 
Chicago’s climate meets European Innovation

Even though Chicago had the fertile soil and infrastructure needed for farming, the city lacked year-round warmth. So local truck farmers (those who “trucked” produce to Chicago’s central markets) turned to greenhouses to supply lettuce, tomatoes, peas and other veggies in the off season. It was a popular European technology that could be fueled cheaply by Chicago’s abundant coal supply. “Illinois ranked first among other states in area covered by glasshouses. … A large percentage of these [were] in neighborhoods of Chicago, and several firms have each over a million square feet of glass,” Cathy Jean Maloney writes in her book Chicago Gardens.

In 1870 the John C. Moninger Company was founded in Chicago and would become one of the nation’s biggest greenhouse manufacturers. Immigrants from Luxembourg ran many of the greenhouses on Chicago’s far North Side and its northern suburbs.

Thousands of Luxembourgers settled around Ridge and Devon Avenues, where the ground was higher and good for planting outdoors as well. In the Encyclopedia of Chicago, author Kathleen Neils Conzen writes that there were “Perhaps a hundred greenhouse clusters stretched from Rogers Park northwest through West Ridge, Niles Center, and Des Plaines, most in Luxembourg hands by 1919 when their growers’ association numbered some 1,200 families.”

Jim Leider of Leider Horticulture is a third-generation Chicago grower. But he says his tropical plant business today is different from his Luxembourgish grandfather’s turn-of-the-century truck farm with a greenhouse in Rogers Park. “My grandfather tells a story that he had to get up early, early in the morning to take his produce down to South Water Market,” Leider says. “He’d load it up on the horse and buggy, sell it there, and come back home. He said that he was so tired by the time he was going back to Rogers Park that he would fall asleep, but the horse knew the way home.”

Chicago’s greenhouse culture wouldn’t last forever. Once refrigerated trains could efficiently import cheaper produce from across the country, there was less need to grow off-season produce locally. “Plus, the cost to heat them in the winter was getting prohibitive,” Leider says, “and rising real estate values in the city made it more attractive for people to just sell them.” 

Flowers: Infrastructure and technology allow Chicago to bloom

It may be hard to believe, but for several decades Chicago was the nation’s flower capital. One of the earliest citizens to grow commercial flowers, especially roses, was Dr. John A Kennicott. In 1837, he settled in what is now the village of Glenview — specifically a National Historic Landmark called The Grove. In 1881 his descendants built a wholesale business that served flower farms across the city and suburbs. Great-great-grandson Harrison “Red” Kennicott says Chicago was the nation’s floral capital for some familiar reasons. “For one, Chicago was a railroad hub and that was the main means of getting flowers to other localities,” he says. “There was also a very inexpensive local source of coal to fuel the greenhouses. And there was also a plentiful supply of labor to work in the greenhouses.”

Like a lot of Chicago’s flower growers, Joseph Budlong (the brother of pickle-maker Lyman Budlong) started his Bowmanville greenhouses to grow vegetables, but when their profitability declined, he transitioned to flowers exclusively by 1880 with the Budlong Nursery around Lincoln and Foster Avenues. A 1907 description in American Florist magazine estimated that the Budlong Nursery housed 30,000 grafted rose plants (mostly American Beauty and Richmond) in its dozens of glass houses.

In the early part of the 20th century flower greenhouses covered swaths of the North Side and northern suburbs. And there, Kennicott says, growers produced hundreds of thousands of roses and carnations that would find their way to tables, weddings and graves all over the country. But by the 1950’s, affordable and reliable air shipping shifted the center of flower production to California and later South America. Block says remnants of Chicago’s greenhouse past linger in legacy flower centers along the Chicago border; they include Clesen Wholesale in Evanston and Urhausen Greenhouses in the village of Lincolnwood. Perhaps the oldest legacy of Chicago’s floral past can be seen in the annual Chicago Flower and Garden show, which started in 1847 as the Chicago Horticultural Society’s “Exhibition of Fruits and Flowers.” 

Fields of produce: Dutch and German truck farms feed the masses

In the mid 1800’s, rural immigrant farmers from Holland, Germany, Sweden, and Luxembourg flocked to areas just outside the city limits to establish truck farms. Geographer Daniel Block notes that a legacy of this Dutch farming hung around the Chicago area well into the 21st century; the DeJong Brothers spinach farm in Lansing didn’t close until 2015.

Another legacy of Chicago truck farming remains on the North Side to this day. The Meinke Garden Center stands where Henry Meinke’s grandfather started a farm on Chicago’s border with Niles on Touhy Avenue in the 1870’s. “Back when I was a boy, we grew beets, carrots, onions, and tomatoes, and took them down to the South Water Market,” says the 91-year-old third-generation farmer. “Later, we started a farm stand on the property here in 1929.” Before World War II, Meinke says, “this whole area was German and Luxembourger farmers,” and they were growing for a clientele with largely European roots. But today, Meinke says, his family’s garden center caters to a new wave of Chicago immigrants.

“We sell a lot of hot peppers and bitter melon plants because we have a diverse group of customers these days,” he says. “One new plant we are raising this year is a moringa tree. It’s native to India, grows quite rapidly, and is supposed to be very nutritious. … You see, people, they like to have the plants that they are used to from their home country.”

by A.T. Andreas 
Mr. Andreas wrote a book on Cook County
 of which Lake View Township is mentioned
pages 708-744
The First Township Election was held in 1857
 Being a General Survey of Cook in 1909
The City of Lake View was annexed 
to the City of Chicago in 1889.
that Matter
These maps will give the reader of the scope of area written about by me, the researcher. All these maps have a link to the entire map. I will edit each map of relevence. 
The State of Illinois is divided into counties and within each county the area is divided futher into townships. Ridgeville Township was established in 1850. By 1857 this township was subdivided in (South) Evanston Township and Lake View Township where are histoircal story of Lake View begins.
The Township Lake View was established by the State of Illinois in 1857 by some influencial landowners of this area. This area ranged from Fullerton Avenue to the south, Devon Avenue to the north, Western Avenue to the west, and the existing lakefront to the east. I mention the word 'existing' due to the fact that Lincoln Park, the park was landfilled decades before there was a Sheridan Road North Lake Shore Drive during the mid 1890's.
Map of 1887
(You need a Chicago Library card number to access this map)
This is a Rascher's Atlas
As mention about the borders of Lake View Township ranged from ullerton Avenue to the south, Devon Avenue to the north, Western Avenue to the west, and the existing lakefront to the east. The park, Lincoln Park was landfilled northward, now at Diversey Parkway. The township communities were at the height of their formation. The communites included Pine Grove, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Argyle Park, Summerdale, & Rose Hill (former HenryTown). Endgewater would shortly follow. Roads like Sheridan Road and Lake Shore Drive still did not exist but were planned by Chicago, Lake View & North Chicago Township - this townships' taxing bodies would pay for the initial amenties to the park, Lincoln Park. The Illinois government created an authority called the Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners that would supervise and through legal means guide the park, Lincoln Park northward. This included the construction of Sheridan Road & North Lake Shore Drive. Riparian Rights was a major issue for this Board. In 1887 the voters of the township voted for a city charter. The City of Lake View lasted two years from June 1887-November 1889 when the city was annexed to the City of Chicago.
Map of 1894
(You need a Chicago Library card number to access this map)
These 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are located in 
Volume A & Volume 9. Sanborn would hand-draw maps 
for 1891 (revised 1886) 1923 & 1950 (1923 revised).
Volume A
(northern area of the former township/city of Lake View)
(southern area of the former township/city of Lake View)
The former City of Lake View was referred for decades as the District of Lake View by the press and govermental officials. Residents would continue to use the former township/city community names. By the late  1920's the City of Chicago would adopt 75 (later 77) Communites names such as Lake View, Uptown, Lincoln Park, North Central among others. The Community of Lake View borders would be Diversey Parkway to the south, Ravenswood to the west, the lake to the east and Irving Park Road (lake to Clark Street, Clark Street north to Montrose and Montrose Avenue west to Ravenswood. By the end of the 20th century neighborhoods within each Community would be created by mostly by real estate agencies to localize ideal locations. Within the Community of Lake View their are neighborhoods such as Lake View East, Boystown/North Halsted, Wrigleyville, Graceland West, and Southeast Ravenswood each having their own Chambers of Commerce and local identities.
The Map of the Community of Lake View
an artists' view
from School Street Posters

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