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
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.
Click on the links at the left to tour
Chicago's South Chicago Community.