Time Capsule Property


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Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 21, 2010 10:18PM

So I was looking at the front page of Forgotten Chicago and like to see the pictures that show up from the link to Flickr. I saw this picture which really fascinated me.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/istorija/5083082260/in/pool-898567@N25

That garage looks totally ancient with the worn clap board siding and you can see that they have one of the old storm windows propped open. I decided to check this out further and looked up the property on google maps. The cool thing is you can see in the drive way where the owner has an old station wagon from the 1970s that they must use as their everyday car. I also looked at the front of the home which was a store front at one time. Next to the house is a huge side lot (four city lots including the one the building is on) and an ancient fence that borders the property from the one next door. The doors and windows on this place look ancient and their are even a couple of out buildings.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=3300+s+hoyne&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=62.99906,134.912109&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=3300+S+Hoyne+Ave,+Chicago,+Cook,+Illinois+60608&ll=41.833031,-87.675437&spn=0,0.016469&z=17&layer=c&cbll=41.833999,-87.677824&panoid=oXIINZgbUwv8p1_gWoCwXA&cbp=12,55.03,,0,0.54

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/Property_Search/property_details.aspx?pin=17311090250000

Now I am really intrigued. I narrowed the exact address and did a search to find the current owner. When I found it the name jumped out at me as being Czech/Bohemian. I figured that only a Bohemian would keep a house as a time capsule like this one. Based on the surname I also bet that the person has lived there forever with the ethnic change to the neighborhood and all. I look at the 1929 Polk Directory and just like I figured, they have lived there since at least 1929. The property was Jos. Horejsi Grocery (the current owner has the same last name). Stuff like this really fascinates me as a Chicago history buff. I bet the inside of the house looks like a time capsule as well. I will drive over there and take some more pictures.

Does anybody have a story of a house in their neighborhood that is a literal time capsule? There are a ton in Berwyn and one in particular that I will talk about in a bit that I came across.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2010 11:18PM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: October 21, 2010 11:01PM

this is fascinating...leave it to Berwyn Frank to come up with something this cool

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: WayOutWardell (63.226.79.---)
Date: October 21, 2010 11:05PM

Great sleuthing yet again, Frank! I've been by that house a few times and noticed its patina but never gave it much thought after that. I wonder what the inside looks like.

When the Palm Tavern closed, Gerri Oliver moved to a friend's place nearby. It was an enormous five-bedroom, five bath apartment, and her friend had lived there since the early 50s. It looked like a museum. Everything was intact and immaculate, from the woodwork and leaded glass in the doors to the push-button wall switches and the frilly pull-down window shades. The couches had doilies on them, and there was a newer television sitting on top of an old Philco floor TV set that had doors and a tiny round screen. I often wonder if her friend is still living there - it was a lot of house for one person.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 21, 2010 11:51PM

Ha, thanks guys.

I like to attend estate sales in Berwyn and Cicero. Bohemians are renown for keeping just about EVERYTHING going back generations. In the summer of 2008 there was an estate sale in Berwyn that I attended. After seeing the pictures of what was there advertised, I waited in front all night to be able to be one of the first people in the place. When we entered it was a virtual time capsule. I was able to buy just about 300 items which included paper ephemera, photo's, promo items, and knick knacks which were all related to Berwyn, Cicero, and the Czech neighborhoods of Chicago. The family lived in the house since at least 1926. Before that the lived on Ogden Ave. in Cicero, and before that in Pilsen. The neat thing is that they kept everything. I found the families Saloon business license from Cicero dating to 1911. They kept every piece of paper, piece of clothing, EVERYTHING. The grand father had owned a tavern then an auto repair facility in Cicero in the 1920s, and his son had worked at the Pilsen Brewing Company from the 1930s till the 1960s. His daughter worked in a Cicero bank and the son moved away. The house was so cool. They had cleaning products under the sink that were at least 50 years old. In the basement there was still coal and the receipts from the coal were nailed to the wall from the 1930s. Just amazing. The sad part is that the grandson who was at least sixty-something years old had the same name as his father, grandfather, etc. He didn't 'live in the house and wasn't interested in anything. All of that family history went to strangers. It kind of made me sad to buy it, but happy it was saved.

Here are just a few of the items from the sale.







Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2010 11:52PM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 22, 2010 03:16AM

I did a little more research on the above family. I looked them up and there is one more like name listed. They happen to live on the next block over.

I did a little research and they ALSO have lived in this house (also on at least three Chicago lots) since at least 1929. What are the odds?

I wonder how many Chicago families have lived in their original family houses in changed neighborhoods for 80-90-even 100+ years? In my reasearch while writing my book, believe it or not their are still a few Bohemian families living in their old family houses in Little Village even with the neighborhoods total transition 40+ years ago. I just find that whole concept fascinating.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2010 03:22AM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Chipast (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: October 22, 2010 12:21PM

WOW!!!!!!, What a NEAT collection!!!!!!!.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: October 22, 2010 12:37PM

Thanks Frank. Once again ---- amazing.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: October 22, 2010 01:11PM

Wow! All I can say is just WOW! That is so cool, I wish we had things like that from my family. It's like going back in time. Thanks Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 23, 2010 06:41PM

This story gets cooler and cooler. I had a friend and expert researcher look into this family for me. Here is just part of what she uncovered.

Josef and Alzbeta (Panoch) Horejsi immigrated from Bohemia in 1885. By 1900, Joseph and Elizabeth are living at 3258 S. Hoyne Avenue (The corner store directly across the street from the one they are in now). He's a grocer and they have five living children. In 1910, the family is at 3261 S. Hoyne (the current house/storefront and subject of this thread) and Joseph is described as a store keeper with his own store.

How amazing is that? The family has lived in the same little house for at least 100 years! The have lived on the same block for over 110 years! My friend also let me know that the others with the same name on the next block I mention a couple of posts above were the kids of the people mentioned above and that house has also been in the family since at least the 1920s. How totally cool!

This is fascinating. A fascinating Chicago story all unraveled just from me seeing a picture of the garage on the front page of Forgotten Chicago!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2010 06:42PM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: October 24, 2010 10:28PM

The more I look at this house the more I am fascinated. I looked it up on city news Chicago http://www.newschicago.org/index.php?menu=chicago&search=single_chicago&search_by=pin&area=17&sc=31&block=109&parcel=25&Find=Find+Property%21 and it looks like that place was built in 1904, so this family built it or purchased it when it was 6 years old. Very cool! One thing I find kind of odd is, most of the doors are boarded up. It looks like the only door still in use is the one on the North side of the house. Even the steps for the rear door are missing! I wish I would have known about this place back when I lived in Chicago, my Uncle lived not too far away on 38th Pl and California. And we use to have bar be cues at Mc Kinley park. I would have loved to see this place in person! I am assuming this neighborhood is mostly Mexican now? Back in the 80's I remember a lot of Europeans lived there, But it was changing to Mexican.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 24, 2010 10:53PM

222psm, my friend researched the census which is recorded every 10 years. In 1900 they lived across the street in the other corner store and BY 1910 they lived in this storefront. I would bet that they had it built. Stuff like this absolutely fascinates me. People are so mobile now of days, and with many Chicago neighborhoods having changed, it is a marvel that they are still there.

And yes, the neighborhod is now predominantly Mexican.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2010 10:54PM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: WayOutWardell (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 24, 2010 11:37PM

Wow. 110 years on the same block - they've got to be the only ones left in the city with that distinction. Frank, have you come across others with that much time in a house or on a block?

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 25, 2010 01:57AM

That is the longest by at least 25-35 years I have personally seen.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: b.a.hoarder (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: November 07, 2010 10:44PM

I just spoke with my mother-in-law about the Horejsi property and have a few details to add. I happened to mention the name today to my wife and she said she has heard reference to them many times over the years. My MIL grew up at 3347 S. Hoyne and was a regular at that grocery for years. In the '40's the store was run by the children, who according to my MIL were probably in their forties or so. Tillie did the housework for the family, Mary was the butcher, Bessie waited on customers, Joe did stock and was also a coal man. You could order coal at the store and Joe would deliver small quantities using a canvas sack slung over his shoulder. She does not remember the name of the last son, but he was the only one of the kids to marry and lived across the alley on Seely with his wife and two children.
They encouraged customers to run a tab; no interest involved, they were just fearful that if kids carried money they might lose it. All the neighborhood kids went there to get groceries and my MIL carried her's home using a basket on her arm. My in-laws married in 1950 and the store was still going strong at that time.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 08, 2010 01:52AM

Fascinating B.A. Hoarder! The current owner of the House is named Frank Horejsi. The last son got married to a woman named Cecilia and yes, they lived on Seeley (The family STILL owns the house since the 1920s). Frank & Cecelia had kids named.....Frank & Cecilia! By my friends research they would be in their 70s now. What a small world and great info. Thanks!



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2010 01:54AM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: November 08, 2010 10:27AM

Wow! Fascinating info B.A. we know this family's history from 1885 to the present.
Very cool!

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 25, 2011 10:01PM

I had to make a trip to the Mikinley Park area so I grabbed some pics. First I went to the 3600 block of S. Loomis Place where I saw this VERY cool brick street. At the end of the block the bricks were all coming out so I "borrowed" about a half dozen of these "Streator Paver" bricks!

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 25, 2011 10:08PM

Here are a bunch of pictures of the time capsule property on 33rd & Hoyne.



























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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: kgamb (---.c3-0.nwb-ubr3.chi-nwb.il.cable.rcn.com)
Date: March 26, 2011 01:42AM

This is one of the most interesting threads I've ever read! Wow. Just Wow. Thank you Berwyn Frank for starting this research and for those who added to it. I learned a lot and it's a completely new concept (my husband is Italian and saves everything, but to think that this family kept their family store for so many years)! Simply amazing and a wonderful story. Thank you!

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Re: Time Capsule Property
Posted by: Chipast (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: April 04, 2011 05:53PM

Berwyn Frank Wrote:
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What was across the street???????, It looked like it was either a candy or grocery store???????????, Maybe a tavern?????????????.

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