Rod Sellers
Southeast Historical Society
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Southeast Historical Society Newsletter
December, 1999                                                        Volume XIV No.3

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

Last Minute Gifts

We have two last minute gifts on hand that you will be thanked over and over again for:

Chicago’s Southeast Side by Rod Sellers and Dominick Pacyga
$18.99 to members
$20.65 to non-members
(We have mailing envelopes for $.50)
Always Bring a Crowd
by Beatrice Lumpkin
$10.00 including tax

This is the story of Frank Lumpkin and his struggle to get Wisconsin steelworkers their just due after the mill closed its gates on March 28, 1980.  We will be open Thursdays from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM and if you can’t make it to the Calumet Park Field House, call one of our volunteers at 773-721-7935 and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

We hope you attended “LET US NOT FORGET”, the Community Millennium Celebration on September 18, 1999 at the William Powers Conservation Area.  There are no more programs available but we will photostat ours for you on request.  Rod Sellers’ Historical Commentary and a brief news release are available at the Southeast Historical Museum. 

We were honored and humbled when John Krilich borrowed our ship’s bell to give homage to 42 shipmates of the U.S.S. Walke D.D. 723, killed in action in WW II and Korea. Over a hundred people from all over the country attended the 10th annual reunion recently at Navy Pier. 

We welcome donations, and interesting ones keep coming in.  Recently, someone left, outside our door, Jimmy Johnston’s autograph book, Taylor, 1974;  a book Sky Hostess; Bishop Noll Marquette, 1954; a maroon jacket, Coaching staff, St. George - Taylor League Champs, 1983; amd a T-Shirt, Dago Park - USA Athletics.  We are thrilled to have them, but we would like to thank you, and properly label the gifts. 

Mary Wilkowski, among other things, gave us a 1917 typewriter!  You’ll have to see it - it can’t be described. 

Barney Janiecki Reports on an Outstanding Contribution to the Museum

     The Southeast Historical Society wishes to extend its thanks especially to Robert Bednarek in donating memorabilia of the Boys Alliance Club Drum and Bugle Corps.  It was organized in 1933 and its musical director was Stanley M. Pinski, a well respected and reknowned citizen.  Many articles were donated, such as trophies, medals, batons, and even a cape worn by one of the members.  Robert also donated many scrap books and albums, which follow the history of the Club, making for interesting reading.  There is also a large picture taken in 1937, which is signed by all the members of the band.  This display alone is worth a visit to the museum.  You may recognize many people who played in this great organization.  The Corps membership rose to 70 by 1936, and the group awards were bountiful.  It won the State Fair title in 1937, and for several years won the Chicago Tribune Chicagoland Music Festival Juvenile Division.  In 1938, the Corps took first place in international competition at the Naval Armory.  Our thanks again to Robert Bednarek and his Corps. 


Worried about Y2K?  Back in 1900, they knew when a new century started.  In an anniversary edition of the Daily Calumet, an article begins:  "Who remembers the historic night of December 31, 1900, the end of the 19th century, the threshold of the 20th - a night that comes only once in a hundred years?"   Think about it. 

Museology Update

The 1999-2000 Museology Class has been recruited and has begun to meet.  The class meets on Wednesdays at the Museum from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. 
The Museology class started this year with several activities related to the September 18 Veterans activities held at Wolf Lake (see story on Southeast Historical  Museum web site - see below).  This year's class resurveyed the relocated and new placed memorial markers and created a new map to assist visitors in locating specific veteran's organizations.  The exhibits for a new kiosk at Wolf Lake State Park, near the new Nike Missile Monument, were designed by the Museology class.  There are exhibits on the Veterans Memorials, the Nike Missile base which was located at Wolf Lake, and Hegewisch history.  In the future, additional exhibits will be created and displayed.  The Museology students also performed community service with other students from Washington High School during the time that the Vietnam Moving Wall visited our community. 
Our primary project for the current year will be to conduct an intensive study of the Southeast Side which will lead to the creation of a web site on the World Wide Web (WWW).  Students have been divided into four groups, each of which will be studying one of the southeast Chicago communities (South Chicago, South Deering, East Side, Hegewisch).  Each group will study the historical, commercial, industrial, social, and ethnic backgrounds of the communities.  They will also be doing block studies on particular blocks within their community.  The information gathered will then be posted on a web site. 
The block studies are being done as part of a project in collaboration with the University of Illinois Chicago and the Chicago Teachers Center funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The title of this project is Teaching History through Architecture.  The students will be looking at the history of the block and housing styles on the block. The block currently being studied are: 9700 block of Avenue H, 10800 block of Hoxie, 8900 block of Exchange, and 13100 block of Brandon.  If any society members have any information or suggestions about this project please contact Rod Sellers at the Southeast Historical Museum or at 
This year's class will also be working to publish the tour of the Calumet area developed by last years class on the WWW.  This tour highlights the important historical, cultural, ecological, and environmental sites of our community.  The tour covers the Illinois portion of the proposed National Heritage Area in the Calumet region.  The Museology students worked with biology and chemistry students from Washington High School and also with CEPA, the Calumet Ecological Park Association to produce the tour.   The tour will be available on the WWW soon. 
Last year's Museology class project was the South Chicago General Mills Plant.  The finished exhibit, consisting of six large display panels on the South Chicago Plant has been sent to Minneapolis, General Mills headquarters, for display.  Other materials were inventoried, cataloged, organized and sent to the corporate archives of General Mills in Minneapolis.  The grant which funded this work was used to purchase a new video camera, computer, scanner, and printer for the Museum.  The age of technology has finally arrived at the Southeast Historical Museum! 
The Chicago Tribune has provided a website for the Museum at no cost to us.  The website will be maintained by Rod Sellers and the Museology students.  Although only text based materials may be posted, much information is available on the site and links to other sites are also available.  The URL for the SEHM website is   There is also a prototype website developed by Rod Sellers and devoted to the East Side and posted by Northeastern Illinois University.  The URL for this website is
Museology instructor, Rod Sellers, recently returned from a visit to Novosibirsk, Russia as part of the TEA (Teacher Excellence Awards) Program funded by the American Councils for  International Education.  Twenty seven award winning US teachers visited five countries in the former Soviet Union, eleven of them going to Russia.  Sellers met with government and educational officials in Moscow and visited Russian schools in Novosiborsk, Siberia.  While there he lived with the family of a host teacher, Natalia Zaikina, who is an award winning Russian teacher of English.  Sellers taught classes in Russian elementary and  secondary schools as well as teaching some classes at Novosibirsk State University.  Among the materials used in these classes were the book, Chicago's Southeast Side and the tour of the Southeast Side developed by last year's Museology Class.  Russian students in an internet lab accessed the East Side web site and the Southeast Museum web site.  Even Russians know about our wonderful community! 

Let Us Not Forget
Speech by Rod Sellers at September 18 Veterans activities held at Wolf Lake

The theme of this morning’s activities is a fitting one as we near the end of the Millennium. 
Why are we here? The answer lies in our communities history and in our nation’s history.  We chose 11:00 AM as the starting time of the ceremonies because WWI, “The Great War”, “The War to End All Wars” ended at 11:00 on the eleventh day of the 11th month in 1918. 
Why this day?  On September 15, 1946 about a year after the end of WWII a large number of Veterans organizations gathered on almost this same spot to dedicate the road entering this park as Veteran’s Drive.  Over the years we did forget and the road was named Wolf Lake Drive (or Boulevard).  We are happy to rededicate this road once again with its proper name, Veterans Drive. 
On September 15, 1946 over 100  memorial markers representing veterans organizations from Bridgeport to Chicago Heights were dedicated.  Each marker was accompanied by a tree, a living memorial.  Several rededications occurred in subsequent years, most recently in 1976 during the Bicentennial. Since that time, the markers had been forgotten and largely overgrown with grass and vegetation.  A question by Mike Aniol and a 1946 map provided by Saki Villalobos led to a group of Washington High School students conducting a site survey in October of 1997.  My students found 98 of the original 104 markers and uncovered them. That was the beginning of the activities which culminate in today’s events.  Today we rededicate the 110 markers commemorating various veterans groups ranging from the Spanish American War to the Vietnam War. 
Renewed interest in the park’s history led to a research project about the Hegewisch Nike Missile base which was one of several which protected the Chicago region during the Cold War.  C-44, the Wolf Lake site, was opened from the mid 1950's until the early 1960's.  Area business man George Sadowski, who did much of the work in relocating and installing new stone memorials, also obtained a Nike missile from an arms museum in California.  The missile was shipped here and just this week was installed as the focal point of a veterans monument.  We dedicate this monument to all the veterans and their supporters on the home front. Let us not forget. 
As a fitting culmination to the above events, the Vietnam Moving Wall has been brought to Wolf Lake.  As we officially open the Wall for viewing we remember the sacrifices of area veterans. This community has paid the price of freedom.  Carmel Harvey, a Hegewisch resident and Washington High School graduate, was killed in action and  a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Our Lady of Guadalupe parish lost twelve young men in Vietnam, the most of any parish in the country.  How can we forget?
As we enter the new millennium let us pass the responsibility of remembering to the young people of our community.  And don’t expect our teachers to do it alone.  It is a responsibility of all of us.  Bring your children and grandchildren to this beautiful park and tell them the meaning of the name of the road entering the park. Tell them the meaning of the  markers in the ground.  Tell them the meaning of the monument with the missile.  Let us ALL not forget. 

Teachers' Center
National Endowment for the Humanities
Illinois University