Old Picnic Groves


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Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: September 10, 2010 09:46AM

Does anybody have a good source of information on old picnic groves in the Chicago area. I remenber as a young child going to a picnic grove I believed called Earhart grove. Does naybody remember this place? If so, where was it annd what is ther now?

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Chidude84 ()
Date: September 13, 2010 01:43AM

at www.jazzagechicago.com, under Leisure, they list the name of several picnic grounds in the Chicagoland area, but no Earhart, do you remember what part of the city it was by?

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Steve B. ()
Date: September 13, 2010 09:56AM

I don't have an answer, but another question. Does anyone remember "Royal Oaks" picnic grove on 87th and Kean? They had a small scale train that kids could ride, a beer garden and dance pavilion. It mostly served the Polish community on Sunday afternoons. Great memories.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Date: September 13, 2010 11:32PM

[b]I have heard of Royal Oaks but don't remember being there. We as kids went with the family to Dan Ryan Woods at 87th and Western. They had several Polish bands on both sides of 87th street including the pavilion. There was a small pool for the kids like a paddle pool they called it. I remember the tunnel under 87th street and I think that is still there. [/b]

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Re: Old Picnic Groves - Cuneo Press
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: August 07, 2012 12:52PM

I originally posted the subject two years ago and never received a answer. Hopefully some new users can provide some information. Back in the 60's a remember going to a annual picnic at what I believe was Earhart Grove. The picnic was for Cuneo Press where my uncle worked at the time. My memories were that it was an old fashioned picnic grove with a central area that has a dance floor and wooden booths where they dispensed the free ice cream, beer etc. I remember the beer was dispensed in old fashioned little silver buckets with a lid. I also think that the grove may have been located near some forest preserve, because as a kid I remember being thrilled to see people riding horses on a bridle path.

They had the usual games and I remember that they dispensed bundles of coloring books and such to the kids from the back of a truck. Being a printing company I assume that these were items they printed.

1. Can aybody provide any information as to where Earhart Grove was located.

2. Can anybody provide any innformation as to what Cuneo Press printed?

3. What happened to Cuneo Press?

4. Does anybody remember attending the picnic or other picnics at that site?

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: b.a.hoarder ()
Date: August 07, 2012 08:38PM

As far as I know Cuneo printed magazines, books, and in general whatever volume job came along. I suppose the big print house in Chicago years ago was RR Donnelly & Sons, they did the phone books, Look, Life, National Geographic, Sears catalog, hard cover books that they bound in their own bindery, Campbell Soup labels and more. Cuneo was the same type of operation, only on a smaller scale.

I do not know why Cuneo Press ceased operations.

There is a Cuneo Museum, not print related, just a beautiful old mansion and grounds. We toured it a few years ago and soon after it was slated for a renovation, so I guess it's even nicer now. Pretty neat place to visit, when we were there it was decorated for the season. It is in Vernon Hills and was originally built by Insull, founder of Commonwealth Edison.

Never went to that picnic grove you speak of, but I know there was another grove next to the brewery at 26th & Albany. I'm sure daveg or Berwyn Frank will know the name.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2012 08:40PM by b.a.hoarder.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: PKDickman ()
Date: August 07, 2012 09:10PM

Sure it's not Eggers Grove ? Down by the Calumet river.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: daveg ()
Date: August 08, 2012 01:03PM

The Cuneo property in Vernon Hills is now part of Loyola University. The family donated the land a few years ago. Not sure if all the land was donated or not, but the mansion was part of the donation.


http://www.artknowledgenews.com/2009-12-08-00-14-25-loyola-university-chicago-gifted-a-historic-50-million-from-john-and-herta-cuneo.html


I seem to recall reading that the Cuneo Press business only lasted for one generation of the family; when the founder died, so did the business. I guess the heirs weren't interested? Other factors? Not sure.

The beer garden/park on 26th and Albany was part of the Pilsen Brewery and was named Pilsen Park. I think our family visited the place a few times in the 50s. At that time, we lived close enough to walk there.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-1930-1950-pilsen-brewing-company-documents



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2012 02:13PM by daveg.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Rustymuscle ()
Date: August 09, 2012 01:22AM

Not much help, but a photo of Earhart Grove group from 1901.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Incredible-1901-Earhart-Grove-Group-Photograph-12-10-22-People-/260978717012#ht_676wt_776

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: August 09, 2012 11:44AM

A little off the topics, but here is some more info I found on Cuneo Press

Apparently in addition to Cuneo Press, Cuneo also owned hawthorn Melody and National Tea

http://cuneomansion.org/?page_id=8

Here is a link with memories of someone who worked at Cuneo Press

http://kokomoperspective.com/lifestyles/columnists/article_d82ba018-f292-11df-a8da-001cc4c03286.html

Footage of a fire at the site of the old Cuneo Press complex


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyjAVNBOEbU\\

Here is a video of the implosion of the building in 1995. The writeup indicates the buildings were used in the movie Backdraft.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdRolISrg0M

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: August 09, 2012 10:57PM

There is, or was, an Ehrhardt Picnic Grove in Park Ridge, Ilinois. Hope this helps.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: August 10, 2012 01:13PM

Nordsider Thank You very much!

The correct spelling seems to have solved the mystery. With the correct spelling, I went to the Tribune archives. Although I saw no mention of a Cuneo Press picnic, there were many articles announcing various organizations having picnics at Ehrhardt Picnic Grove in Park Ridge. One of the articles mentions the picnic grove as being at Talcott and Dee road or at Touhy and Algoquin. I doubt if there would be any evidence of the old Picnic Grove left, but if I am in the area I might stop by or I may see if there is a Park Ridge Historical Society to see if they might have any info. I am now curious as to how large the picnic grove was since one article mentions 12,000 people expected and another expecting 20,000 people.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2012 01:17PM by Kchi.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: August 10, 2012 03:39PM

Kchi,

Ogden's Grove, a beer garden and meeting ground, near the north branch of the Chicago River at Willow Street near Clybourn Avenue, was the location of many picnics in the late 1800s - probably attended by members of my family - and was the meeting place on Sundays for the German labor unions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2012 03:57PM by nordsider.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Dunning1 ()
Date: August 15, 2012 05:22PM

While studying up on my local history, I discovered that what is now Merrimac Park at the corner of Narragansett and Irving Park Road was at one time "Kolze's Electric Park," probably named for the electric streetcars that brought people out there. Outside of the Dunning Mental Health institute, it was one of the big attractions out in the Dunning neighborhood. I understand that Kolze's was famous for their backhandl (fried chicken) and I have often wondered if the large frame building that used to stand on the NW corner of Dakin and Narragansett was their facility. What is now the park was a picnic grove. The building was a large multistory frame building, had a restaurant/coffee shop on the first floor, and what looked like rooms for rent on the upper floors. It's been long gone, replaced by brick three flats.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: rjmachon ()
Date: August 16, 2012 08:32AM

@Dunning1,
I remember that building. That restaurant was open when I lived in the neighborhood around 1970. I lived on Berenice just a few houses to the east. Wasn't the place called Rock's or something like that? I remember I ate in there once.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: August 16, 2012 12:31PM

Found a obituary for H.J Kolze 1/3/1983. It stated the picnic grove opened in 1885. The Kolze family bought the property in 1835. He operated the park until 1949. The article states that the Park District bought the land in 1950 and converted it to Merrimac Park. It was called the "Electric Park" because it featured the first electric lights on the NW side. The article mentions it to be the site of huge picnics and was reachable because it was the end of the line for the trolley cars. It also mentions danncing, drinking and a restaurant on the property.

Link to CHicago Park District description and history of the park. Park is 9 acres Article mentions park district knocked down dance shelter,concession booths, raffle tables and cafeteria. Yes the original restaurant and tavern were used as a fieldhouse until the park district built a new field house in 1969.

http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/Merrimac-Park/

Found a earlier excellent posting in Forgotten Chicago by captain54 that provides pictures and further description of the park.

http://forgottenchicago.com/forum/5/3851/page=2/_subject_



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2012 12:48PM by Kchi.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: August 18, 2012 04:13PM

Years ago my parents use to listen to the Polka programs on the radio. Polonia Grove was mentioned a number of times. I have never been in the area and I think there is still a banquet hall on the site I assume that at one time it was a picnic grove on Archer. Can anybody provide information as to its history, years of operation, size etc and personal experiences attending picnics there.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: b.a.hoarder ()
Date: August 18, 2012 09:02PM

Polonia Grove had a picnic area that I would estimate covered about 60% of a city block. The grove was along Drake Ave.on the north side of Archer and the hall is on the corner of the next street east, but the name of that one escapes me. I was only in there for Polish weddings, never attended a bash in the picnic grove, but I do remember tall Cottonwood trees and circular benches built around them in addition to the regular picnic tables. Of course there was an outside bar and a dance area and bandstand too.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Date: August 18, 2012 11:26PM

[b]I sure remember that one[/b]b.a.hoarder Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Polonia Grove had a picnic area that I would
> estimate covered about 60% of a city block. The
> grove was along Drake Ave.on the north side of
> Archer and the hall is on the corner of the next
> street east, but the name of that one escapes me.
> I was only in there for Polish weddings, never
> attended a bash in the picnic grove, but I do
> remember tall Cottonwood trees and circular
> benches built around them in addition to the
> regular picnic tables. Of course there was an
> outside bar and a dance area and bandstand too.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: August 24, 2012 05:34PM

Wasn't there a small picnic grove, and perhaps also called the Polonia Grove, located at the southwest corner of Archer Avenue and Narragansett Avenue, at the end of 55th Street?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2012 07:23PM by nordsider.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: b.a.hoarder ()
Date: August 24, 2012 08:34PM

nordsider, you are referring to Yugoslav Hall which is at the NW corner of Narragansett & 56th. There is a banquet/meeting room and a small outdoor area too.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: August 24, 2012 09:25PM

Thanks b.a.hoarder for clearing that up for me. I looked at Google Maps street view of the area and see how much it has changed. The restaurant on the northwest corner of Archer and Narragansett is now a parking lot, but I see the bakery still exists on Narragansett, an essential business for sure. ;-)

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: tomcat630 ()
Date: September 03, 2012 12:11AM

The eastern portion of Kolze's land was made into a sub-division of coach houses, just across Melvina av. from St. Pascals church. Here, Merrimac ave curves to Mobile, it's like a small town.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: twaflyer1 ()
Date: June 25, 2015 09:38PM

I remember hearing about a Picnic Grove on Elston avenue, about 1 to 1 1/2 blocks SE of Albany Avenue? There is a fairly new Fire Station on that site now! It is all fenced in, (Always was,) but I thought it might have been a Picnic Grove long before I heard the scuttlebutt! In the distance on California Avenue, the Commonwealth Edison building now stands, and it was supposed to be a farm until about the turn of the 19th. century! As I lived on Albany Avenue near Addison for a number of years, I have seen Skunks, Raccoons and that fairly large rodent with 3 long-clawed toes as well!(Can't remember the name.) It wasn't that long ago that their kind reigned supreme in the woods that must've all around there! There is still part of the old barn still in existence half-way Between Albany and Troy, just off Addison as well! Nice to see some old reminders of times past! Take a ride around the neighborhood and see those Old reminders! I'd be interested to know the name of the Picnic grove, the Township, or whose farm preceded the Edison Office building? Please post if you know anything...or e/mail me @ ([email protected]) Thanks...

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: SWEDE ()
Date: June 26, 2015 11:42PM

Anyone remember Mono's Paradise Groove at 52nd and Damen?

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: June 27, 2015 10:26AM

The firehouse on Elston was built in 1960 and is located at 3401. The Polk directory for 1928 shows houses at 3401 and 3405. So if there ever was a picnic grove there, it would appear to have had to have been earlier than the 1920s.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: PKDickman ()
Date: June 27, 2015 02:17PM

There was a wooded area extending east from the firehouse down Roscoe. It could've been a picnic grove.

It was there up til the eighties, now it is a truck parking lot.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Date: July 06, 2015 09:22PM

nordsider Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wasn't there a small picnic grove, and perhaps
> also called the Polonia Grove, located at the
> southwest corner of Archer Avenue and Narragansett
> Avenue, at the end of 55th Street?

Polonia Grove is still at Drake & Archer ave.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Date: July 07, 2015 02:39PM

Can anyone recall their times at Vytautas Grove, adjacent to the south side of St. Casimir's ? It is now Marist High, but it was a beautifully wooded Grove back in the day and you could hear the joy there while burying the loved ones. Thank you for responding.

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Re: Old Picnic Groves
Posted by: hardwareman ()
Date: July 08, 2015 01:04AM

There was a picnic grove called Harms Park at the northwest corner of Western Ave. & Berteau Ave. There is a car dealer there now and newer homes in back. There was an article about it here on Forgotten Chicago a while back.

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