Delaware House on Shores of Wolf Lake
The Delaware House was relocated
by barge to Hegewisch from the Columbian Exposition held in Jackson Park
in 1893. The Delaware House graced shores of Wolf Lake until
the 1940's. The house was originally built by the state of Delaware
for the Columbian Exposition. At the 1893 World's Fair, the Delaware House
was located north of the Fine Arts Building (the current Museum of Science
and Industry), north of what is now 57th Street.
A French-Canadian fur trapper
and adventurer, Ellis Bennet, bought the house, put it on a barge, and
towed it down Lake Michigan right onto Wolf Lake. He set it on the
best piece of available land, even though he did not own it.
According to literature from the Fair, "the small state of Delaware
has a very creditable building representing a colonial cottage, and very
comfortable within, as we enter close by the door, on a piano, there is
a very beautiful stuffed silver fox, a native of the state, although now
very rare and valuable. On the mantle/shelf there is some china brought
from Staffordshire in England in 1688. The mantel itself is very attractive
of white and gilt, with a mosaic fireboard. Close by there is a cabinet
of very beautiful blue Delft- Ware over 150 years old, and of hat rich
color is very difficult to obtain. The rooms are finished with pine and
the walls repainted Egyptian red. In one room, an ancient banner was hung
by the first ladies of Washington. It was such importance because
it was carried by a Delaware regiment in the Battle of Brandywine.
In another room clothes over one hundred years old are hung for memory
of the great past."
The Delaware House was located
near 130th street and Wolf Lake in a spot from which many stories originated.
The house was placed in the worlds fair as the designated representative
for the state of Delaware. Since its relocation, the house has been occupied
by a tavern, restaurant, and living quarters. In the 1940's the house was
taken down by state officials after it had fallen into a state of disrepair.
Click on the links at the left to tour
Chicago's Hegewisch Community.