THE WHEEL AND A CEMETERY NEARBY

 

Chicago History in Pictures 1895It is well known that George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., 1859-1896 a structural and civil engineer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, built the colossal Chicago Wheel for Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. What is not as well known is where the huge wheel reappeared after the fair had ended.

The fair wanted a landmark, something daring, and unique. They wanted something that would surpass the Eiffel tower which was built in 1889. Ferris’s enormous vertical structure served their purpose, which rotated around a massive center axle weighing 71 tons, and featured 36 gondolas capable of holding up to 60 people each—for a total capacity of 2,160 people. It carried some 38,000 people daily who each paid 50-cents for a 20-minute ride. Some 2.5 million people rode the wheel before it moved to a quiet northside Chicago neighborhood.

Continue reading “THE WHEEL AND A CEMETERY NEARBY”

61 years ago -December 1, 1958

There are no words to describe the horror of the Chicago’s worst  school fire. We should never forget the 92 children and 3 nuns who perished in this awful disaster.  So  with all due respect to their memory,  I offer a link to my  post a year ago.Sized_FrontPg

https://chicagoandcookcountycemeteries.com/2018/11/30/never-witnessed-a-sight-so-terrible/

 

 

Mac & Cheese and a Farm Cemetery

 

 

Thanksgiving is our special time to give thanks for all we have and enjoy turkey dinner with friends and family. But today I connect that popular blue and yellow box of mac and cheese to the story of a Chicago area cemetery. Continue reading “Mac & Cheese and a Farm Cemetery”

Grave Mistake-the Story of Cook County Cemetery at Dunning

Cook County Cemetery at Dunning, Chicago, Illinois.

The most unique story of all Chicago area cemeteries. With over 38,000 burials spanning some seventy years, It began as a cemetery for the Cook County institutions at Dunning. These consisted of the County Poor house and farm opened 1854, the Insane Asylum opened 1869, the infirmary opened 1882, and the Consumptive hospital (TB), opened 1899 .

The cemetery rapidly grew in size and soon evolved as the official county Potters Field for the unclaimed and unwanted dead of Chicago and Cook County. The cemetery received bodies from the Cook County Hospital, the city morgue, many Chicago area hospitals, foundling homes, and many other city social institutions. It was the official cemetery serving the poor and indigent of the Cook County, Illinois from 1854 to well into the 1920’s.

And then it was forgotten. Hidden behind the fences surrounding the Dunning institution, the cemetery, without markers or stones was out of sight and out of mind until March of 1989 when builders attempted to recycle the land into houses and condos.

In May of 1989, Harold Henderson wrote “Grave Mistake” an excellent full length feature article about the beginning months of the struggle to rediscover, understand and fight for this huge forgotten burial place.

Here in Mr. Henderson’s words is the entire text of this well researched and now timeless article,  published in the Chicago Reader on September 22 1989, just as the rediscovery of the cemetery was in it’s first early months. The story would go on for years after this article, and those souls who are buried there  will never again be forgotten.

 

At the very end of this article I will post a series of pictures and maps that will help add some visual understanding to the article.

How did the old county cemetery get in the way of Ridgemoor Estates?

By Harold Henderson Continue reading “Grave Mistake-the Story of Cook County Cemetery at Dunning”