May 2007

May 2007

SUMMERTIME SATURDAY MUSEUM DATES


“Stop By Our Front Porch”
10:00 am – 1:00 pm


Listed below are some of the Saturdays when the Society Museum will be open in 2007. These days and times coincide with the Park Ridge Farmer’s Market, and we are hoping these new program ideas entice many more people to come and visit.

June 2

Welcome Back! Come join old friends and meet new ones
The Society serves coffee, pastry, juice, water

July 7

Story time or project for children
Kate Hall, Park Ridge Public Library

August 4

Park Ridge History for children/youths
Pat Adlaf, Society Trustee

September 1

“Kids Making History”
Mary Ann Tanquary, Society Membership Chair

October 6

“From Prairie to Park Ridge”
Coloring book/project created with cooperation from Maine South art department students

NEW SOCIETY LOGOTYPE

Readers, take note of the new logo of the Historical Society in this issue of the Lamppost.

After many years of service, the Board of Trustees decided to retire the traditional lantern-only logo and replace it with a standard lantern image surrounded by our name and brick motif appropriate to our community’s earliest years as a brickyard. Watch for the new logo to appear on our stationery and on our web page, pennyville.org.

We thank Lynda Tourloukis of Park Ridge in this regard, for her sustained effort on our behalf and for the contribution of this design and the computer artwork required for use the logo in different settings.

For more on the good story of our connection to Lynda Tourloukis, please see the article posted on our webpage, pennyville.org, on the News and Events page.

SOCIETY CONTRIBUTORS IN 2006

We acknowledge the following for their financial contributions to the Society last year. Thank you very much for your generosity.

  • The Simms Family Foundation
  • Jim and Luella Trecker
  • Lee Logeman
  • Maureen Connelly
  • City of Park Ridge
  • Park Ridge Juniors

PAUL CARLSON RETIRES AFTER 50 YEARS IN MAINE TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOLS

Society Founding Member and Charter Member Paul Carlson retires next month after teaching in Maine Township High Schools for fifty years. This is a monumental accomplishment, and the Society salutes Paul on the occasion of this unprecedented and selfless dedication to excellence in education in our community.

Paul knows a wealth of information about the history of Park Ridge, and we hope that he will find time in retirement to continue to share this knowledge with all of us.

VOLUNTEERS RECEPTION TUESDAY, MAY 22 FROM 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM

Our first-ever Volunteers Reception in March, 2006, offered a pleasant evening to all who attended, and we repeat this event later this month at the Society offices at 41 South Prairie Avenue.

All of those who have helped the Society in any fashion are invited to attend, along with their families. Please bring interested friends, and meet the Society Trustees…if you’re new to the Society, and interested in giving us a hand in some fashion, this is a perfect time to learn more about our mission, programs and volunteering opportunities.

No reservation needed, just come on Tuesday, May 22 between the times shown above. Light refreshments will be served.

PICKWICK PROJECTOR DONATION TO HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Visitors to the Sally Newcomb event were among the first to enjoy viewing our latest display item: the vintage Super Simplex 35 mm film projector used when the Pickwick Theatre opened in 1928. A photo of the projector is included here.

Set above the projector is the impressive framing of the front page of the Chicago Evening American of November 24, 1928, issued two days prior to the day the first motion picture was presented at the Pickwick. That ‘photoplay’ was ‘Lilac Time,’ the silent version, starring Colleen Moore and Gary Cooper, presented at 8 pm that Monday evening, November 26th.

Plan to take a look at this newspaper page when you visit the Museum this summer. There is an extensive description of the festivities and ceremony prior to this screening, along with a salute to all of the contractors and designers who worked on this iconic theatre building.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY SPONSORS A BASEBALL TEAM

This summer, the Historical Society is sponsoring a team – the Brewers – in the Little Sluggers baseball league. Our team participates in the summer program organized by the Park Ridge Recreation and Park District. Our name will be printed on the back of all jerseys, and this should give us a major publicity boost throughout the summer in our efforts to recruit more Society members and volunteers.

Look for us on the field this summer. More details on the team’s schedule will be posted on our website. Come out to see our Brewers team play this summer.

REPORT FROM SALLY NEWCOMB’S VISIT TO THE MUSEUM

On Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 the Society hosted a visit by Wilmette silhouette artist Sally Newcomb. All available appointments for her silhouette artistry were taken, and over 100 adults and children came to the Museum front porch for this event. Thanks to all of the Society volunteers present during Sally’s visit; you contributed so much to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere which also made the event so successful.

We enrolled two new family Memberships and made many new friends now more aware of the good work of the Society.

Special thanks to the event organizer, Lauren Maloney, for handling all the event planning and logistics of the reservation system for the artist.

MALONE COTTAGE ON NORTH PROSPECT AVENUE

Enjoy this photograph of a Malone Cottage at 126 North Prospect Avenue. The Malone Cottages are so named since they were originally constructed on the site now occupied by the Pickwick Building. Park Ridge Mayor and community builder William Malone, responsible for construction of the Pickwick, moved these houses to other locations in Park Ridge in the late 1920s.

Another Cottage was on the grounds of the Illinois Industrial School for Girls for a number of years before it was torn down. Another Cottage is said to have been moved to South Crescent Avenue, but we have no definitive information on this.

KALO FOUNDATION ART EXHIBIT OF APRIL 28, 2007

On Saturday, April 28, our community enjoyed a rare opportunity to see some works of art created by three noteworthy members of the Art Colony of Park Ridge, which flourished here beginning in the early 1900s.

An extensive catalog of the artistry of sculptor Alphonso Iannelli was displayed at Audrey’s Gift Shop on Northwest Highway, including several original art objects created by Iannelli. This was a fitting location as Audrey’s shop is the actual site of the former Iannelli studio in Park Ridge. Iannelli’s commissions extended far and wide from Park Ridge, although he is perhaps best known locally for his work on the Pickwick Theatre, for the design and creation of the ‘sprites’ which accented the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Midway Gardens on Chicago’s South Side, for his collaboration with Chicago architect Barry Byrne and for the iconic sculpture of the Rock of Gibraltar on the Prudential Building at Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
At the First United Methodist Church on Touhy Avenue, visitors enjoyed a look at many of the works created by Art Colony residents Albert Krehbiel and Dulah Evans Krehbiel, highly regarded for their own artistic endeavors. They resided in Studio Place, their home at 325 Touhy Avenue, beginning the year after their marriage in 1906. For the next four years, Albert Krehbiel worked here creating the six murals which grace the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield. We enjoyed a conversation with the four grandchildren of Albert and Dulah, also present at the exhibit at the Methodist Church.

There is much more you should know about the works of these three artists, and copies of the exhibit hand-outs will be available at the Museum this summer. The Society salutes our own Member and Kalo Foundation President Betsy Foxwell for elevating awareness of the Art Colony of Park Ridge

SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING

Mark your Calendar for Sunday, October 21

On Sunday, October 21, the Society concludes its calendar year with the traditional Annual Meeting. Our location and meeting details will be reported to you later this year, but we are proud to announce that our speaker will be Ann Durkin Keating, one of the editors of The Encyclopedia of Chicago, published in 2004 by the University of Chicago Press. This 1100-page text has been widely cited as a reference for all things Chicago.

Ann Keating is Professor of History at North Central College in Naperville. She has written a number of other history books focused on the Chicago area. She is also our neighbor, residing in Edison Park. We look forward to her program, “Chicagoland: City and Suburbs in the Railroad Age.”

This topic will appeal to all ages, and all Members, their families and guests are welcome to attend.

DOWN MEMORY LANE

Norb Harz is a life-long Park Ridge resident, and contributed this article for the Lamppost. He is a long-time Society member and is a long-standing member of our Museum Hosting Committee.

“Recollections of Early Park Ridge” by Norbert Harz

The Park Ridge Historical Society and I came together when Society President Bill Kratt asked me to join and become a member of the Board of Trustees. At the time the Society met in the Gillick House on Euclid Avenue. This house was later torn down for the Summit Square Shopping Center (now also torn down in the vicinity for more parking).

My family chose to settle in Park Ridge because they wanted to live in a residential community near Chicago. Park Ridge was dry, and had good schools and many churches. They had a house built on North Washington Street in 1921, and when my folks moved in, they could see the traffic on Milwaukee Avenue from that house. I was born in the house in 1925 and raised in Park Ridge.

The Chicago & Northwestern trains coming through town offered easy access to department stories, theaters and museums in Chicago. Also, from our house we could walk to the Northwest Highway bus that would take us, by transfer, to all parts of Chicago.

Railroad coaches at that time were not air conditioned, and had plush seats which were hot in the summer. If you took the train downtown to work, and opened the window for a breeze, black soot from the steam engine smoke also came in smudging your white shirt by the time you got to the terminal on Madison Street. In later years, the situation was improved with diesel engines and air conditioned coaches.

The gates at the Prospect Avenue crossing were operated by a gateman about two stories up high in a little house. He could see the tracks and oncoming trains and closed and opened the gates as needed. The depot was in its present location, but one end had a space for baggage and parcels to be shipped on the baggage cars.

Being raised in Park Ridge through the Depression has made me more frugal than my children. My father had a large garden and raised chickens until a law was passed forbidding raising chickens in town. I recall not being able to go to the Saturday afternoon movie with other kids because my folks couldn’t give me the ten cents admission. My father, a Chicago school teacher, was paid in script. Fortunately, a friend of my mother bought the script. Thus we had money to buy groceries and other necessities. Our vegetable garden came in handy, too. We ate all that was put on our plates.

When I was eleven, I joined the Boy Scout Troop at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. We had lots of fun camping in Wisconsin and at the national scout camp in New Mexico. I remember my board of review for my second class scout badge was held in the old court house above City Hall, later torn down to make room for the first water reservoir between Touhy Avenue and Northwest Highway. The merit badge pamphlets I used were borrowed from the first library on Prospect Avenue, which was built with a grant from Andrew Carnegie.

I saved my earnings from lawn mowing and used some of it to buy ice cream at the Prince Castle on Meacham and the Northwest Highway. My favorite was a green pistachio cone. Across Meacham at Cedar St. was a small park with a fountain for dogs to get a drink in summer. The fountain remains there to this day.

At one time there was a small park in the middle of “six corners” in Uptown. This was considered a traffic hazard and removed. I remember several fires at lumber yards near the tracks. As a scout, I helped keep observers back so that firemen could properly fight the Gillick Building fire on Prospect Avenue.

In my childhood, Western Avenue was the city boundary. Farms, greenhouses and forest preserves were west of there. This area was annexed during WWII. Homes were built for the workers at the aircraft plant at what is now O’Hare Airport where military aircraft were built.

Presently, I live in a home on Sibley Street in an area west of Dee Road. My wife Aline and I are participating members of the Historical Society. We are Museum Hosts and enjoy taking scout and student groups through the Museum.

DOWN MEMORY LANE

Former resident Barbara Lee writes to the Society with the following information. She lived with her parents Alfred Lee and Sylvan Dell on Cedar Street in Park Ridge. Using the stage name Alfred Latell, Mr. Lee was the first to portray Bonzo the Dog on the British Stage in 1922. A picture of him dressed as Bonzo appears in this article, and was taken from the Duke Ellington collection of memorabilia found within the Smithsonian Institution archives.

Mr. Lee was buried in an unmarked gravesite in the Town of Maine Cemetery in April, 1951. Barbara Lee plans to return to Park Ridge later this year to put a gravestone at the site. Her mother died in 1994.

We thank Barbara Lee for providing the image of Bonzo and this interesting chapter in our local history.

View 2007 May Lamppost PDF Newsletter
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