Southeast Historical Society
Volume XVI No. 2
A Few Words From the President:
The request made on
11, 2002 for the Illinois/Indiana Boundary marker’s designation as a
was favorably received and on July 31, 2002 the Chicago City Council
Chicago Landmark designation for this historic structure.
On August 31 a request asking for landmark
designation for the Columbus Monument/Drake Fountain was
Its original location in 1892 was in front of City Hall. In 1909
it was moved to its present location. An interesting fact is that
its original use downtown was to provide cool drinking water to office
workers thereby reducing their need to visit saloons during the
It also was the first statue of Christopher Columbus in Chicago.
We await the final disposition of this request.
The museum was open on September 7 during
the 5K run held in Calumet Park and we had quite a few visitors.
On September 13, Alex Savastano and I attended
the 4th District CAPS networking and luncheon reception at which we met
many fine people of the area.
The museum was open on September 14 for a
Chicago Park District ‘Hidden Treasures’ tour group who enjoyed their
Rod Sellers is involved with a group tour
visiting our area on October 22 and 23.
Our museum will be open on December 13 for
a Chicago Park District scavenger hunt.
You can see from the preceding and the
in the Southeast Chicago Observer that we are trying to give more
to our society and our museum.
Special thanks to our friends John Novak
and Al Lerch for making a display stand for a donated brass plaque that
came from St. Patrick’s Church. The plaque was obtained through
efforts of Frank Stanley and Alex Savastano this summer.
by Joe Mulac
Cultural Connections Program
The Center for Cultural Understanding and Change at the Field Museum of
Chicago operates a wonderful program which celebrates the cultural
of the Chicago area. The program is named Cultural Connections
is a partnership of over twenty museums and cultural centers.
Southeast Historical Society has been a member of the Cultural
Program for three years.
The program sponsors
a series of events which focus on a particular theme and are held
the year at the various partner institutions. The theme for this
year is “With Our Hands: Crafting Culture.” The year’s events
with a Kick-off Assembly which was held at the Field Museum on
14. Rod Sellers manned a table with information about our museum
and historical society as did other partner institutions. Our
for this year’s program will be a tour of the Southeast Side
on the built environment of the community. The tour is scheduled
for May 31, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. and will conclude with an ethnic meal at
a local restaurant.
A schedule of this year’s
events is available at the Southeast Historical Museum. If you
a member of the Southeast Historical Society you may attend events at a
reduced rate. Additional information may be obtained at
Know Your Chicago
The University of Chicago Know Your
program will be sponsoring a day long tour of our community entitled
Calumet: Where Industry Meets Nature.” The tour will visit
the Southeast Side on October 22 and will be repeated on October
Tour guides will include Rod Sellers, Frank Stanley, Alex Savastano,
Janecki, and Joe Mulac.
The museum continues to receive
valuable and interesting donations.
Thanks to Steve Katich who donated
a bound volume of the South Chicago Daily Calumet newspapers from
1902 to June 1902. It certainly makes for interesting
Steve said that he found them at a garage sale in the Bush. Don’t
forget that the museum also has other bound volumes of the Daily
Calumet. The collection is mostly complete from 1960 to 1979 with
additional volumes from the mid 1980's also available. There are
some regular visitors to the museum who spend hours reading the
stories in the “Cal” and researching community history.
Thanks to Geraldine Jolly who
donated her scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings about the “Little
Steel Strike” and the accompanying “Memorial Day Massacre” which
in May 1937. There are numerous interesting articles and
about one of the most important events in American labor history which
took place in our community. Geraldine was actually present on
day of the incident. The scrapbook also contains articles about
being chosen “Miss Tilden, 1936". Jolly was a student at Bowen
School and was accompanied to the Tilden Technical High School Annual
by her brother, David, a Tilden student. At the time Geraldine
her family lived at 11641 S. Burley Avenue. Does anyone remember
this small neighborhood between the East Side and Hegewisch?
Numerous articles were donated
to the museum from the estate of Paul Haller who was active in several
community organizations and businesses in South Chicago and the East
Among the items were Bowen yearbooks from 1950 to 1953, a jacket from
Chuck Motors football team, a softball uniform from the Hilltoppers,
many items related to the South Chicago Kiwanis Club and the South
Chamber of Commerce. There were also several old cameras
will be added to our growing collection of vintage photographic
Thanks to the “mystery donor”
who left copies of the 75th and 100th Anniversary books from St.
Catholic Church. The books were left at Calumet Park and the
did not leave a name. Please let us know who you are so that we
thank you for your donation. We are still seeking donations of
histories and church materials for our collection. For example,
Michael’s had a wonderful 50th Anniversary book which we do not have in
By Barney Janecki
One of the most interesting
of volunteering to work in our museum is the opportunity to meet some
Diane Casey of Phoenix visited
recently looking for information about the Dolatowski family who lived
in South Chicago. She was very happy to find several pictures of
family members in our files.
Bob Sheldon is a researcher whose interests
are local racetracks. He brought copies of articles and
related to the Roby Race Track, the Wolf Lake Speedway, and the Hammond
Speedway. The Roby Race Track was located between 108th Street
112th Street just east of the state line. It closed in about
The Wolf Lake Speedway was located in Wolf Lake on the Indiana side of
the lake near the current location of the Whiting beach in Wolf
The Hammond Speedway was located between Calumet Avenue and Sheffield
in the mid 1930's. This would later be the site of the 41 Outdoor
Movie Theater. If any readers have information or material
about any of these or other racetracks please contact museum
Bob also donated a book which he wrote about race tracks.
Mike Wayne has been researching
a relative, Ernst Hummel, who was an early East Side businessman and
The site at 100th Street and Ewing Avenue which once was the location
the Host House for the 1933 Century of Progress and currently contains
a Veterans Memorial, tank and a community sculpture is formally known
Hummel Square. Mike has created and donated an exhibit about the
life and accomplishments of Ernst Hummel which may be seen at the
Our web site generates numerous compliments and requests
information about the history of the Southeast Side. Perhaps our
readers can help with the following:
Roy Sye is doing research
on athletic teams from the Calumet area in the 1910's and 1920's.
Does anyone have information about the following:
Hegewisch Athletic Association
Hegewisch Lightning Athletic Club
Hegewisch Burnham Athletic Club
South Chicago Athletic Club
South Chicago Dellwood Athletic Club
South Chicago East Side Maroons
South Chicago O’Conner? Boosters
South Chicago Orpheums
South Chicago Panthers
South Chicago Trumbull Tigers
South Chicago Whales
Phyliss Funk of Berryton Kansas asks:
Do you have an address for the First Evangelical Church of South
My grandmother, who later married a Baptist minister and became one
attended that church as a young girl in Chicago.
Marsha Fogarty who grew up in South Deering and now
lives in central
Illinois tells this story: “When I was still in elementary school we
a visiting priest say mass at St. Kevin’s. I do not remember his
name but he told this story when he gave his first homily. He
that people felt sorry for him for being assigned to our parish, but he
said that when he came across the 103rd Street bridge and saw smoke
over the neighborhood, he saw the Holy Spirit hovering over us. I
was shocked that anyone would think Irondale was not the best place in
the world to live.”
Last year’s Museology class completed their year long project which was
entitled “Chicago’s Southeast Side: Cultural Institutions”. A
and a historical calendar were produced and are available at the
Saint Patrick’s Church
St. Patrick’s parish is the oldest church on the Southeast Side and was
founded in 1857. The area was known as “The Village of Ainsworth”
at that time. The church was originally located at 93rd and South
Chicago Avenue across the street from the site of the current South
Fire Station. The church remained at that location until 1878
it moved to 95th and Commercial Avenue. In 1880 St. Patrick’s was
remodeled into a combination building using the first story as a school
and the upper one as a church. In 1883 seven Sisters of Mercy
the school with an enrollment of 207 pupils. A high school
in 1889. It was the first Catholic high school in Chicago.
In 1902 the church and school were destroyed by fire. The pastor,
Father Van de Laar, had a new combination church / school building
at its present location. Saint Patrick’s conducted a renovation
in 1950-51. As part of that program, four large brass plaques
displayed on the north and south walls at the entrance to the
The plaques contained the names of parishioners who donated towards the
renovations. After Saint Patrick’s closed on March 16, 1986, the
plaques were removed. Henry DiCristofano, organist at Immaculate
Conception Church and nephew of Alex Savastano, former president of the
Southeast Historical Society, told Alex that the plaques were in the
of Immaculate Conception Church. Alex and Frank Stanley made
to pick up the plaques and to bring them to the museum. One of
plaques was cleaned and mounted on a movable display designed and
by John Novak and Al Lerch. The other plaques are in storage at
museum. Visit the museum and see this new acquisition from the
church on the Southeast Side. Thanks to all who were involved in
this historical preservation effort.
by Alex Savastano
Besides the Museum of Science and Industry, the Columbian
of 1893 left us another well known area landmark no longer in
Name it and give its location.
Courtesy of Gloria Novak
In the April newsletter a request was made for
our members and readers to share their memories of the history of our
Mr. Robert Dettmer of Nashville, Tennessee responded with these
My most vivid recollections of that big,
fire-engine red No. 5 street car was taking it to the old Bowen Branch
High School at 93rd and Houston Avenue. Since I lived at 103rd
Avenue L (10307), I had only a short walk to catch old No. 5 at 103rd
Ewing Avenue. I believe the front end destination sign read
Grove - Downtown.” In any case getting to school was a major
Down Ewing it went, then turned on 95th Street, where always, always, a
“ding-ding, ning-nar” alarm and crossing gates would announce the
of a freight train - always, always, with 125 cars - hopper cars (“coal
cars”, as we called them); gondola cars, heaped with “slag” from
the steel mills, cattle cars (now obsolete), oil tanker cars , and, to
me, the most exciting - box cars, when advertising was permitted on the
sides - Old Dutch Cleanser, Ceresota flour, Schlitz Beer, etc. as well
as many, many “automobile cars”, not double decker carriers, as today,
but regular box cars, all from the Ford Motor Company. (I have no
idea how they loaded them or how many automobiles one box car could
Finally, as the “drawbridge” went up after the little red caboose went
by, we were back on the way down 95th Street..... after seeing the last
of the freight train, when, after proceeding on old No. 5, for a short
block - another “ding-ding, ning-nar” and the 95th Street bridge is
up, to allow a barge, steamship, or what have you through!
there I was - 30 minutes late again for class, with my usual daily
about railroads and bridges!
.....years before air conditioning came into being, riding the
old No. 5 was a pleasure - late at night, coming home from a movie in
Chicago or even downtown - or even a day at Riverview Park - sitting on
those comfortable old straw seats, with cool night breezes blowing in
those criss-cross mesh windows! The route of the old No. 5,...is
easy to tell - from the East Side, down Ewing Avenue to 95th street...,
and on down Commercial Avenue, turn on 91st Street, on past main Bowen
High School, to South Chicago Avenue , on to Cottage Grove Avenue and
As for South Chicago stores, of course I
Gassman Brothers, where my mother bought me my first suit with long
for grammar school graduation - all of $17, when I was thirteen.
Also bought a class ring, pin, or something at Cole and Young
Oh, and the Saturday nights at Gayety’s candies - waiting in line for
heavenly ice cream sundaes loaded with hot fudge, nuts, and mounds of
cream! YUM! Most of our South Chicago shopping was limited to
Kresge’s, and Scott’s 5 & 10, before they burned down. And of
course, everybody’s old stand by - Goldblatt’s!
But back to the good old East Side shops! Who could forgot
Helbing’s Department Store at 105th and Ewing with overhead trolley
that would transport cash from various departments to the cashier’s
up front to make change. George Hanson, haberdasher, Juluis Cohen
Dry goods, Rust’s Drug Store, Shaver’s Drug Store, Brin’s Pharmacy,
Willy Hardware - I remember them all. Sweet old time memories!
Claude Siegler’s East Side Theater.)
P.S. I would love to hear from any old East Siders
(Contact the museum for Mr. Dettmer’s address.)
Happy Birthday to Dorothy Anna Hagberg who celebrated her
on September 28, 2002. Dorothy was married to Grant Hagberg,
owner of Hagberg Dry Ice & Fire Extinguisher Company, a long time
Side business. Grant Hagberg was a Southeast Sider who attended
High School. Dorothy was originally from Rockford, Illinois and she
Grant in 1939. They started their own CO2 business in 1948.
Dorothy worked in the business until she retired in 1988. Her son
Grant Jr. and her grandson Grant III continue to operate the family
which is currently headquartered in Griffith, Indiana.
Triv. Ans: Delaware House - 130th Wolf Lake
On July 14, thirty people visited our museum
part of a bus tour sponsored by the Chicago Park district. Some
said that they had never been to the area before and were pleasantly
James and Coral Sandilla sent greetings to their old friends
here in Chicago from their home in Mesa Arizona.
On August 22 Lorraine Morgan Terp and June Hansen Terp visited
our museum. Lorraine now lives in San Diego and June lives in
Illinois. Jean Stanley and Lorraine reminisced about the World
II years when they worked at U. S. Steel South Works and sang in the
chorus entertaining service men at Great Lakes and other
June was pleased to see many of the items donated by her family proudly
displayed for all to see. Her father was George Hansen, well
haberdasher and community leader on the East Side.
Michael Hummel Wayne recently gave our museum a beautiful display
of his grandfather’s life and accomplishments. The display
from Michael’s intense study and research with our archival materials
elsewhere. Ernst Hummel was the first full time alderman of our
He also owned and operated the South Chicago Brewing Company and was
as Cook County Treasurer and also Chicago City Treasurer. He was
an active member of Saint Petri Church, the East Side Chamber of
and other community organizations. The triangular piece of
at 100th Street and Ewing and Indianapolis Avenues was originally named
Hummel Square in honor of Ernst. This site once was the site of
Chicago Host House built for the Century of Progress in 1933.
Roy Kosic has been one of the custodians at the Calumet Park
Field House for 31 years. He has been very helpful to our museum
staff since our opening on Labor Day, 1985. Good luck, good
and many thanks to you Roy.
by Frank Stanley
The Lake Shore Model Railroad
(www.lsmodelrr.org) will be holding an Open House on Saturday November
2 and Sunday November 3 from 11:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. at the Calumet Park
Field House. There is no charge for admission. Come and see
an amazing railroad layout and stop by the Southeast Historical Museum.
The East Side Library is sponsoring a panel
discussion by local authors tentatively scheduled for Saturday,
16 at 2:00 p.m. Check with the library for any last minute
James J. Klekowski
author of South Chicago U. S. A.
author of Always Bring a Crowd
author of Degrees of Murder
co-author of Chicago’s Southeast Side and author of Chicago’s
Southeast Side Revisited.
Rod Sellers will give a slide
about the Southeast Side at the Homewood Public Library on Saturday
23 at 10:00 a.m.
Lifetime Membership Dues Increase
It was voted at our Annual Membership
held on March 16, 2002 to increase Life Member dues from $50 to
Yearly dues remain $5. Are your dues paid up? If not stop
the museum or mail your dues in.
Requests for Information
If you have something of historical interest and value please consider
donating or loaning the items to the museum. Loaned items can be
copied on our high quality scanner without any damage to the original
Check your attic, basement, and other storage areas for those hidden