For anyone interested in the history of the Garfield Ridge and Clearing neighborhoods, there will be a talk/slideshow on Tuesday January 25th at 6:00 PM at the Garfield Ridge Library 6348 S. Archer. See old photos of the area and learn how it developed. This program is free. For more information please call the library 312-747-6094.
Sounds good, daveg - I will definitely keep it in mind for April and hopefully will be able to make it then. I should dig through my pictures as I have some from when the Hale school was on the Midway airport grounds. Both my parents worked at Hale, in fact that's where they met.
> Sounds good, daveg - I will definitely keep it in
> mind for April and hopefully will be able to make
> it then. I should dig through my pictures as I
> have some from when the Hale school was on the
> Midway airport grounds. Both my parents worked at
> Hale, in fact that's where they met.
The Hale school was mentioned. It was "in the way" of Midway airport and had to move. It did.
There was a call for bringing stuff related to this area to the April meeting. Sounds like those photos would fit the bill.
Yes the response was awesome, we had about 50 people packed into a small meeting room. The program in April will actually be the Forgotten Chicago guys talking about the "Clearing Industrial District". They will post the details here when we finalized the program.
I do plan on doing my Garfield Ridge/Clearing talk again at the Clearing Library also. I haven't settled on a date but I'll be sure to post here. The library closes at 8:00 PM now so it's difficult to do later than 6:00. Maybe I'll try for 6:30. I'm the manager at the library so I can keep the doors open a little later.
Dave is right, we are in the process of forming an historical society. I can post information when we hammer out all the details. And yes, any photos are welcome. There was a lady at my talk who introduced herself afterwards and she was 100 years old! Her family had been in the Clearing community since the 1800's.
Yeah, the area is known by a lot of names. "Midway" is one of them. Originally parts of the neighborhood were known by many different names such as "Archer Limits", "West End Community", "Sleepy Hollow".
Sorry about saying 6 was early. Actually I work in a library too, but in the suburbs and they're open til 9 - I forgot about the CPL closing earlier. If I hadn't had to stop home first, I could have made it there, but it was a necessary stop - medicine to give to my dog at a certain time!
I will definitely dig through my stuff and see what I have regards to Clearing and the area. Look forward to the upcoming programs.
I saw on the historical aerials site that the Beltway railroad once ran right through Midway airport. I'm sure you guys already knew that, I remember my uncle telling me that as a kid. I would have loved to see that in person! Picture and some info here:
I contacted the Chicago Dept. of Aviation back in 2003 to inquire about a house that was on airport property at 5700 S. Central. As a youth I rode around Midway many times on my bike and clearly remembered the house but could not find anyone else who did.
In reply a Ms. Halinski informed me that in 1934 the Chicago Meadows Golf Course (which I believe was a private club;(my comment, not hers) went out of business. The northern half of what is now Midway is immediately leased for the airport's use. The club house of the former golf course was moved to the 5700 S. location to become the home of John A. Casey, the manager of Chicago Municipal Field.
Originally the airport was 1/4 square mile, then expanded to the 1/2 sq. mi. south of 59th. between Cicero and Central. When the golf course closed the runways were added north of the tracks, and yes, the field was bisected by the Belt RR tracks.
In a letter to the Sun-Times Christopher Lynch (author of a book on Midway) says that railroads have perpetual domain and for that reason it took an act of Congress to get those tracks removed and rerouted.
BTW that whole square mile, and also maybe much other real estate in the area was owned by the Chicago Board of Education who leased it to the city for the air field.
As an aside I'd say the Board of Education must have (or once had) vast RE holdings. I used to read the property transfers when I subscribed to the Daily South Town newspaper and the Board sold a parcel to Walgreens Drug Stores at 80th & 159th St. in Orland Park far from city limits.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2011 12:47AM by b.a.hoarder.
Christopher Lynch explains it nicely in his book. I actually have a picture of the clubhouse (see below), but I've been told that the picture I have is of the original clubhouse, which burnt down. The one which became the home is actually a newer one. Also I have a picture of people actually lifting the tracks up from the middle of the airport, with Mayor Kelly on hand (see below)
Also, to further clarify b.a. hoarders comments, the square mile on which the airport sits was originally designated as "Section 16" land. "Section 16" land was originally designated by the Northwest Ordinance of 1785 as land that was to be set aside in each Township for educational purposes. The land remained in tact despite several attempts to develop it. When the land came into the hands of the Board of Education all money generated from the leasing of the land went to pay teacher salaries, etc.
And there were actually 2 schools on the property over the years. The first was the Clearing School located on the Southeast corner of 55th and Central which was torn down in 1926 and Hale School located at 61st and Linder. It was removed due to the growth of the airport in the 1950's.
No problem. And by the way, if anyone is interested in the history of the Garfield Ridge, Clearing or Summit areas we have planned the first meeting of the Clear-Ridge Summit Area Historical Society for Monday April 4th at 6:00 Pm at the Clearing Library 6423 W. 63rd Pl. Anyone interested please let me know or just show up. I'll share further details in the near future. We also have local history files at the library so drop by any time and take a look.