Re: Tracks near the Brickyard
Date: May 10, 2010 06:17PM
Thanks for posting this topic, Chris! Under the "Questions and Answers" part of the FC Forums there is a topic called "What was at Montrose and Narragansett prior to Wright College?" posted. There is a lot of discussion on that thread about these tracks. I'm still doing a bit of research on these tracks as I'm fascinated with them. I guess because I grew up just a stone's-throw away from them. Here's a bit of history on them but I plan to write much more as my research progresses. The single-line track was laid down in 1882 as the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway's spur to the County Farm at Dunning, IL. It branched off from the main line just a bit northwest of the Galewood Station and ran approx. 2 1/2 miles to the Dunning Depot which once existed at Irving Park Road and 66th Avenue (present day Nashville Ave.) and then a bit further north onto the County Farm's property. The spur served the old County Poor Farm/Asylum at Dunning first, just before the Cemeteries between Irving Park and Addison were founded and before the industry along that corridor by the "Brickyard" existed. When the Scandanavian Cemetery, later called Mount Olive, opened people could ride the train from the old "Union Depot" at Canal and Adams out to the Dunning Depot to visit the cemetery as well. Then as the industries along that Nashville Ave. corridor were born, such as the old brick factory, Kimball Candy Company, etc.... they made use of that spur of track to bring in goods and supplies. This 1892 map
even shows a sort of wye configuration on the County Farm grounds negating the need to build a double track here as it would probably have been twice as costly. Lots of bits and pieces here to the story, I know, but I'm still researching and finding new clues and facts about this once useful, now almost obliterated from the landscape, little single-track spur.