Re: Willow Springs Cemetary
Date: January 26, 2010 01:21AM
I walked up behind the old Tarnow's grove just this last summer and there was nothing there, no sign of any graveyard, or an air shaft or any other anomaly. I asked two of the local historians, both men are natives and in their 70's and they both said no, there was no small grave plot back there. There is a continuous issue with the Spaitis's Grove and subsequent old Shady Tree Inn building (was O'Henry's Roadhouse, Manions, now that Irish pub). It was built by Mr. Joseph J. Spaitis, and his daughter still survives. She was very very PO'd over all of this mob talk. She was threatening to sue over the damage to the family name created by Dean Stump when he opened that bar in the late 80's early 90's and started telling the press that it was a mob hangout in the 20's. This was done to get business, that is it. The beer runner McErlane was not shot and buried in the back of the place. It is all BS. The place was built in the late 20's, like 28 or 29. The rooms upstairs primarily housed the Spaitis family, and in fact Mr.s Spaitis's mother lived upstairs as well as the rest of the family until it was sold. There is no tunnel under Archer to the Willowbrook, and there is no tunnel behind the Spaitis building either. Sure there was some stuff going on there as there is a hdden room in the basement, but what else is new - it's Willow Springs. I have read every issue of the Desplaines Valey News from 1914 until 1929, and I have never seen any raids or other news generated out of Spaitis' grove. Dinty Moore's yes, Spaitis - no.
The statue across from Tim's hotdogs is of a CCC worker, as there was once a CCC camp (Camp Chicago-Lemont Company #612) at the top of that hill, and that entrance was the parking area and pathway to get up there (one of the entrances anyway).
Yes, Tarnow's Grove was a dance pavilion in the old days.