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South Chicago Parks
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South Chicago Parks Introduction
 Bessemer Park
Russell Square Park
Bessemer Park

View of Bessemer Park in the Early 1900's
     In the early 1900's immigrants needed to have activities outside their homes, which were crowded and lacked the accessories and conveniences that we have now. On May 10, 1901 the State Legislature approved the construction of local park districts in the city.   One of the districts was for the residents of the southern portion of the city. 
       Bessemer Park  was designed by the Olmsted brothers, who were famous park designers. Their work on the park started in early 1904 and finished late in 1905.
       Bessemer Park was named after Henry Bessemer, who was an English scientist who developed a new process for making steel. Bessemer Park  is also one of the largest parks in the Southeast Side.
       The official dedication opening Bessemer Park and honoring Henry Bessemer was a exhilarating occasion.  Over 15,000 people attended this huge celebration.  Among the participants were a choral group that sang "America". And Senator A.G. Clark and State Representative John F. Poulton who addressed the crowd.
       Bessemer Park later came into the jurisdiction of the Chicago Park District.  About this same time, in 1934, the facilities were repaired or replaced, to ensure the generation a secure place to play and learn.

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