Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The History of Chippewa Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Chippewa Park, 6758 North Sacramento Avenue (at Pratt Boulevard) in Chicago, was one of four parks created by the Ridge Avenue Park District, established in 1896. The park district's other properties were Indian Boundary Park, Pottawattomie Park, and Morse Park (now Matanky {Eugene} Park).

In 1931, the park district purchased property in the southwest corner of the district, built a one-story brick fieldhouse designed by Clarence Hatzfeld, and designated the new park Chippewa.
The five-room fieldhouse, including a kitchen, sits on 3.26 acres with a new "ChicagoPlays!" playground, and a water spray feature.
Looking NW at the Chippewa Park Fieldhouse on Sacramento Avenue, with Pratt Boulevard just to the right, but out of the picture. (March 30, 1936)
The name recognized the Chippewa Indian tribe that lived in the Great Lakes region when Europeans arrived. Between 1600 and 1760, the Chippewas made their home along the northern shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior and numbered between 25,000 and 30,000. The Chippewa formed a loose confederacy with the Ottawa and the Potawatomi. By the 19th century, the three tribes were known as "the Three Fires." 

The name Chippewa is an adaption of the word Ojibway, "to roast till puckered up," a reference to the puckered seams of their moccasins.

Today, the park offers Interaction for toddlers. Classes for preschoolers include Early Childhood Recreation, as well as Playschool Activities.
Don't forget to feed the Bunnies!
Classes for youth include Arts & Crafts and Fun and Games. Choose from Soccer, T-ball, Flag Football, Snag Golf and Outdoor Tennis for multi-ages. Chippewa also offers a fun-filled day camp for ages 5-8, which runs for 6 weeks.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A 3-Wheel Velocipede (Handcar) in Effingham, Illinois.

This velocipede[1] was built by the railroad for track inspectors whose job it was to check the tracks and fill the track signals with fuel which would last six to seven days.
Where the girl is riding is where the fuel was carried for filling the signals. The picture was taken in Southern Illinois. Man is George Frazer, who worked for C&EL Railroad, born in 1875 in St. Elmo and died in 1945 in Altamont, buried in Union Cemetery.

The lady is Marie (Sidwell) Frazer, who was born in 1882 in Sefton Township and died in 1956 in Altamont and is buried in Union Cemetery. She was a school teacher in Effingham, Illinois. In the picture, she is carrying a gun as she always did. Many ladies carried some form of protection in those days.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

[1] Velocipede: The term "velocipede" is today, however, mainly used as a collective term for the different forerunners of the monowheel (the unicycle), the bicycle, the dicycle, the tricycle and the quadracycle developed between 1817 and 1880.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The history of the Chicago Fresh Air Hospital in the West Ridge community. (1912-ca.1960)

The Chicago Fresh Air Hospital was located at 2451 West Howard Street in Chicago (Tel: Rogers Park-0321). It was built in 1912 on 20 acres of the Peter Gouden Farm near the southwest corner of Howard Street between Maplewood and Western Avenues.
The Chicago Fresh Air Hospital building's
footprint is highlighted in green.
It was built by doctors from Augustana Hospital who wanted to build a sanitorium for tuberculosis patients. This was prompted because Augustana would not accept such patients at that time.
Photo courtesy of the Rogers Park West Ridge Historical Society.
The building was constructed at the cost of $126,000.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease of the lungs and other organs. Once considered incurable, the disease caused its victims to slowly waste away, which was why it was called “consumption.” With a mortality rate of approximately 18 per 10,000 people, tuberculosis was a leading cause of death within the city of Chicago at the turn of the 20th century.

Early attempts at controlling tuberculosis in Chicago focused on home sanitation, public health education, and isolation of the patient. Private hospitals took in a few tuberculosis patients, but public facilities to care for the affected were not available.

In order to raise public awareness, the Visiting Nurses Association and physician Theodore Sachs spearheaded an antituberculosis movement in the early 1900s. This eventually resulted in the passage of state legislation, the Glackin Tuberculosis Law, in 1909, giving the city of Chicago the ability to raise funds for the treatment and control of tuberculosis through a special property tax.

In 1914, there were 10,000 registered cases of Tuberculosis (TB). The number of deaths due to TB in Chicago that year was 3, 384. Yet there were only 300 public beds available in the city for patients who could not afford to pay for treatment. In March 1915, the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium opened its doors to citizens of Chicago suffering from tuberculosis. Treatment was free to residents of Chicago.
The Chicago Fresh Air Hospital later became known as Bethesda Hospital and, at one time, was affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital (now Sinai Health System).

In 2005 a Korean-American gentleman by the name of Park has converted the former hospital into a condominium complex.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.