Labagh Woods


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Labagh Woods
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: October 04, 2011 06:27PM

I've noticed how close Labagh Woods comes to the Edens Expressway. Does anybody know whether or ot any portion of the woods were taken to build the entrance ramp?

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: 222psm ()
Date: October 05, 2011 11:39AM

According to historic aerials it looks like yes, they took part of woods for the ramp and the Edens itself.
1938:
http://www.historicaerials.com/api/img-server.php?op=fetchHistoricPhotograph&bbox=-87.7519259999999,41.9831615735893,-87.7403419999999,41.9715775735893&year=1938&stamp=true
2007:
http://www.historicaerials.com/api/img-server.php?op=fetchHistoricPhotograph&bbox=-87.7494939999999,41.9831734753123,-87.7379099999999,41.9715894753123&year=2007&stamp=true

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: October 06, 2011 04:24PM

I found in the Chicago Tribune that the woods were renamed after Ella Labagh in 1940. She apparently in 1901 was dismayed that workemen were cutting down the trees to burn in nearby kilns and worked to save the woods. The Cook County Forest Preserves were not founded until 1903. Until the renaming,the woods were called Snell Woods. I could not find any information as to who Snell was. In the 1940 article it stated the woods were 600 acres. There were no articles discussing the taking of the land for the expressway The Forest Preserve districts web site does not give any historical information or even a description as to how many acres the current woods are.

I also found that during WWII, 19 acres were set aside as a recreational camp for soldiers on leave from Fort Sheridan and Camp Grant.

Camp Grant was located south of Rockford and operated from 1917-1946.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2011 04:52PM by Kchi.

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: 222psm ()
Date: October 08, 2011 11:14AM

Thanks for the Info Kchi, I have fond memories of La Bagh woods. As teens it was our haunt when we cut school from Roosevelt high, we would spend hours walking and exploring the woods and the tracks that ran across. We walked the tracks that split north east from where they connected to the main line near the Kennedy to beyond Touhy Ave. And the one north west (Skokie line) so far north we lost track of where we were, fun times!

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: Pestromy ()
Date: November 14, 2011 10:56PM

The Edens definitely took over some of the western parts of the LaBagh Forest Preserve. That's where the original on-ramp was before the Northwest/Kennedy expressway was built.

Snell Woods was named after Amos J. Snell who owned the Upper and Lower Plank Toll Roads that later became Milwaukee and Elston. You can read more about him in the book "Challenging Chicago." He is probably one of the most notorious and least talked about early Chicagoan's. He was murdered in his mansion and his murder was never solved. The reward money offered to find his murderer was later donated by his widow to build the Snell dormitory at the U of Chicago.

On a side note- The overpass that goes over Cicero had a huge sign that said Edens Superhighway. I have not been able to find any photos of that sign. Anybody know what I'm talking about and/or have a photo of that sign?

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: WayOutWardell ()
Date: November 15, 2011 02:13AM

Pestromy Wrote:

> On a side note- The overpass that goes over Cicero
> had a huge sign that said Edens Superhighway. I
> have not been able to find any photos of that
> sign. Anybody know what I'm talking about and/or
> have a photo of that sign?


Kinda small, but is this it?
[url=http://www.cookexpressways.com/superhighway1952.html]Edens At Cicero[/url]

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: Pestromy ()
Date: November 17, 2011 10:15PM

It's not the one that I remember seeing. But it's still cool! Thanks for posting it!

Also, Snell woods might have actually been named for Amos Snell's disabled brother. Snell's brother was sent to live with him from England, but according to the North Mayfair Neighborhood history books, instead of putting him up in his mansion, Amos had a cabin built in the remote woods near one of his toll booths at Elston and Lawrence. His brother mysteriously disappeared some years later in those same woods.

As for the military camp, an interesting aspect of that camp was that after the war it became public housing. African-Americans were allowed to live in that housing and as a result the local school, Palmer Elementary, and neighborhood, for a time, was integrated.

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: oh4chia ()
Date: December 07, 2011 03:25AM

I tried to respond to both Kchi and Pestromy's posts but don't think they took. Will attempt to recreate them.
I lived in the Veterans Housing Project on Foster at Kilbourn from 1946 to 1954 and attended Palmer School for kindergarten through 5th grade. I believe the housing project was open to all veterans with families so of course since the military was integrated the project was also.
I'd never before heard the area was used as a recreational camp for soldiers on leave during the war. I know some of the housing, mostly side-by-side duplexes, were still being constructed when my family moved in. There was a community center built by the residents to house a nursery school and various other classes and community events.
The Edens Expressway was built while I lived there; I remember walking in the under-construction roadbed with my family; the soft clay along the route was great for drawing in and also for sculpting.
The Gompers Park playground, ice rink in winter, and the fieldhouse were used by me and other children from the project.
I live in California now but visited the former project area in August when I was back for my 50th high school reunion in the Western Suburbs.

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: August 29, 2012 02:38PM

Ran across this picture of Labagh at 1940 dedication

http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uic_ccfp&CISOPTR=369&CISOBOX=1&REC=2



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2012 02:39PM by Kchi.

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: PamR ()
Date: October 21, 2012 02:58PM

oh4chia, so glad you posted about the veteran's housing at Labagh. I remember going to school (Palmer) with kids from there. When it was torn down, I heard it was because people in the neighborhood complained about it being low-cost substandard housing, and didn't want it. I suspect there was some racial antagonism as well. Some of the kids in my class were Black, and it gave me my first (positive) experience with Black people. That was significant, in an all-white area. To this day, there are few Blacks there, however there is a significant Hispanic population. What year did you start kindergarten? I started in 1950.

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Re: Labagh Woods/Military Housing
Posted by: CarmenTheTerror ()
Date: July 04, 2013 01:25AM

Does anyone know if the strech of ranch style homes on Kilbourn just south of Foster had anything to do with the military housing development?

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: rjmachon ()
Date: October 05, 2013 06:34AM

@Carmen, Are you talking about the houses on the east side of Kilbourn? If you are, these homes were built in 1956 according to the City of Chicago.

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: MURPHYSBOY ()
Date: July 25, 2014 09:56PM

I LIVED IN THE VETERANS HOUSING PROJECT AT FOSTER AND KILBOURN FROM 1946 TO 1954. LIVED THERE WITH MY FOLKS AND MY 2 BROTHERS, GRADUATED FROM PALMER SCHOOL IN 1953. WE WERE ONE OF THE 1ST FAMLIES TO MOVE IN AND 1 OF THE LAST TO MOVE OUT. HAVE SOME VERY FOND MEMORIES OF THIS TIME IN MY LIFE. IF MEMORY SERVES ME THERE WERE 179 UNITS IN THE PROJECT, THEY WERE DUPLEX HOUSES BUT THERE WERE A FEW SINGLE FAMILY HOUSES. ANY CHILD GROWING UP THERE WOULD REMEMBER THE POLICE OFFICER / CROSSING GUARD AT FOSTER AND KILBOURN. OFFICER FRANK WALSH, A FINER MAN I HAVE NEVER KNOWN. WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO GREW UP THERE.

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: Jim_a49 ()
Date: January 08, 2015 11:10PM

I was born with my birth cert. address in the 4400 block of Faragutt ave, my parents, with my 2 older sisters moved in there in about 1948, I was born in 49.
In 52 my parents bought a house at Kostner and Argyle.
All of us, later 7 kids went to palmer.

I am looking for pictures of the place, as I don't remember living there, my earliest child memories have me walking down Kostner and seeing the white houses.

Jim Archambault.

[email protected]

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: rjmachon ()
Date: January 13, 2015 07:35PM

Jim, you could look at an aerial view of the place on Historic Aerials.

http://www.historicaerials.com/

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: January 13, 2015 07:57PM

Jim, Also, a Google Map view of the intersection off Kostner & Argyle:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=+Kostner+%26+Argyle,+chicago&hl=en&ll=41.971783,-87.738179&spn=0.001165,0.002714&sll=39.739318,-89.266507&sspn=9.863297,22.236328&t=h&hnear=N+Kostner+Ave+%26+W+Argyle+St,+Chicago,+Illinois&z=19&layer=c&cbll=41.971786,-87.738047&panoid=DASB1Nl-ZQwRNQWg_Ob-2g&cbp=12,135,,0,0

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: rjmachon ()
Date: January 13, 2015 08:43PM

Here is some info on the Labagh Woods housing that I read awhile ago on WBEZ, by Lee Bey.


http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-02-07/urban-planning-whodunit-chicago-neighborhood-vanished-thin-air-81948

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: January 15, 2015 12:20PM

Thank You rjmachon for the info. I never knew about WBEZ as a source. I've found a number of interesting articles under the Curious Chicago section like the article about how Chicago annexed its neighbors.

http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/gulp-how-chicago-gobbled-its-neighbors-109583

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: rjmachon ()
Date: January 20, 2015 05:36PM

No problem Kchi. Here is some other info on housing from that year from Me and My Shadow, Returning WWII Vets Found Temporary Homes in North Park.

http://francesarcher.com/2013/07/returning-wwii-vets-called-foster-and-kedzie-home/

By Frances Archer on July 7, 2013 in Personal history.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2015 06:04PM by rjmachon.

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Re: Labagh Woods
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: January 31, 2016 12:47PM

u

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