Out of a job – February 5 1923

97 years ago today,  fire alarm box Number 848 was pulled at 12:40 PM at State and Chicago Avenues in Chicago. The loud fire bell then rang in Engine 11’s firehouse at 10 East Grand Avenue, about a third mile south and just off State street. teddy and danTeddy, Dan, Buck, and Beauty then unknowingly made their last fire run. The alarm was purposely false, pulled to bring about the last run of a horse drawn fire engine in Chicago.

So, you may ask “what do fire horses have to do with my Chicago website featuring cemeteries?”

Well I invite you to read on and I promise to tell you about a horse grave at the end of my story.

Continue reading “Out of a job – February 5 1923”

Terri – When the Dead Gained Power

She came into thousands of Northwest side Chicago homes every week and was simply known as “Terri”. You need to know her.

lomnbgghjTheresa “Terri” Ann Kruszczak  (1956-1998)  was the most capable staff writer and managing editor of the Times’ six weekly editions, the largest group of the Lerner Community Newspapers, later known as Pulitzer–Lerner newspapers. Terri tirelessly attended community meetings, neighborhood events and school board proceedings in search of her next story.. She wrote thousands of articles that appeared weekly in the Harlem Irving Times, Jefferson Mayfair times, Harlem Foster Times, northwest times, Uptown News Star and other editions. After dinner, she would often return to her office alone late at night to write that one more story before deadline.

Her professional life changed forever in March of 1989 when bones and dead bodies were uncovered on the site of the Cook County Poorhouse and Insane Asylum, later renamed the Chicago State hospital.

Weekly headlines revealed a gruesome story every week:

1990 bones on curb at se corner of Belle Plaine and Neenah“Remains Found at Dunning Work Site”, “ Bone sites multiply”, “Discovery of remains halts project”, “Civil War vet burial could jinx developers”

 “Bones litter the site. Long leg bones and pieces of skulls protrude from piles of dirt. Outlines of bodies can be seen in trenches.” Bones of Human skeletons have remained laying on the ground for over two months after they were uncovered during excavation work”

 Please read on to meet the very special and talented Theresa “Terri” Ann Kruszczak, who as part of her work as a reporter and newspaper editor helped preserve a lost cemetery.

Continue reading “Terri – When the Dead Gained Power”

The Golden Age of All Night Radio

I invite you to flash back to the 1950’s through the 1970’s , a time well before the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and media streaming.

frankPicture yourself driving down the road late at night when between 11:05 PM to 5:30AM, Franklyn MacCormack, and his memorable All Night Meister Brau Showcase would waft through your car radio. He could effortlessly  put you to sleep while you were at home or behind the wheel. MacCormack smoothly  interspersed romantic on-air poetry readings with great music from years past.

Please read on and actually hear his voice. There are just some people we cannot forget or throw away Continue reading “The Golden Age of All Night Radio”

THE BAIERS – BURIED UNDER A WOOD GRAVE MARKER

images7GUI8QAVWooden cemetery markers are mostly gone these days, but a few can still be found. Why wood? I n the early days it was simply the norm, inexpensive and easily made, but not long lasting or impressive as a 70 foot marble obelisk or mausoleum.

Back in the day there were thousands of these simple wood grave markers in our cemeteries. They largely predated marble and limestone monuments designed and cut by professional cutters.rosehill-cemetery10

Most families could not afford a work of art and marked their graves with either a wood slab or cross.

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I was most curious to learn more about Mr. and Mrs Joseph Maier and why their graves were marked with wood. You might well be surprised to know about their interesting background! Continue reading “THE BAIERS – BURIED UNDER A WOOD GRAVE MARKER”