Re: Blue Island Rail Yard
Date: April 08, 2014 05:46PM
The Rock Island Railroad had a massive freight facility in Blue Island just east of Western Avenue at 127th street. In fact, to this day Metra as well as a short haul rail company still use part of it. I lived in this area in the mid-70s and recall police in Blue Island as well as nearby Dolton and Riverdale would occasionally announce the discovery of another wild growing marijuana (hemp) field. These news articles almost always added that the hemp was the legacy of legally grown hemp cultivated during the Second World War. They claimed that hemp spread through wind-blown seeds as well as birds carrying seeds in their droppings. Even today this general area has many huge tracks of undeveloped prairie, forest preserves as well as railroad right-of-ways and Calumet River bank. There were, and still may be, areas where hemp is growing wild. I do not know where it was legally grown, but this area used to have many small farms.