Edgewater Days

Vol. X No. 3 - FALL 1999

By: Betty Mayian

The First Annual Edgewater Days Festival was held this year on July 24th and 25th on Granville Avenue east of Broadway. This festival was put on by the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Gerber Hart Library. Granville has never had a street fair so this was a welcome event and promises to grow even better.

All along Granville were booths by local restaurants, businesses and some artists like Gunther Marx who exhibited his color photography. Gallery 37 was there along with one of the cows from COWS ON PARADE (thanks to Mary Ann Smith). Other cow silhouettes were showcased around the festival due to the efforts of Manny Haskel at Granville Gallery.

One of the most popular spots was the petting zoo. It was easy to locate by the sounds of the goats and geese. But the real star was Hamlet the pig, who answered when called and could be petted like a dog. This was quite a sight on Granville.

During the afternoon the Edgewater Historical Society ran tours out of the old Del Ray Farms parking lot (It will be an Osco Drug Store by October); Betty Mayian coordinated everything - maps, tickets and schedules. Two tours were scheduled for each day.

The 1:30 tour went to Rosehill cemetery and the tour-guide was Al Walavich. Al is a “cemetery expert” and gives tours for many of the cemeteries in Chicago. If you are lucky enough to take one of his tours you will find out for yourself how much Al knows about Chicago history. Some impressive sights can be found at Rosehill - from the front gate by architect W. W. Boyington to the “grove of trees” headstones which tell some of the histories of the deceased through the carvings and artifacts on the stumps. There are ghosts there too - if you care to believe that. There are at least nine Chicago Mayors and two Illinois Governors buried there. Kathy Osterman, former Alderman of the 48th Ward, now lies in one of the peaceful spots overlooking a lake.

The second tour at 3:30 was called Edgewater’s Holy and UnHoly Tour. The tour guide was Ara Mayian. Ara took us up and down neighborhood streets to see the many places of worship in Edgewater and some of the places in the area where criminal activity made headline news. There were bungled bombing attempts, murders, captures of criminals and even the story of the Summerdale District Police burglary scandal.

Perhaps more interesting were the variety of Religious Institutions that are located in Edgewater. Several of these groups were founded over 100 years ago and a couple were founded in 1999. One location was home to a Masonic Temple, a Greek Orthodox Church and a Jewish Synagogue. Another held a small Protestant church before it became an Arabian Mosque. And still another holds services for a Lutheran congregation and an Arab congregation. One church was built by the women of the congregation while the men served in WWII. Edgewater is certainly involved in its religious organizations.

These tours were arranged by the Edgewater Historical Society at the request of Sheli Lulkin of the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce. Thanks for this opportunity, Sheli. Thanks also go to Rosehill Cemetery for the tour-guide and to the Breakers at Edgewater Beach for the use of their bus and driver. Being out in that hot sun made us all appreciate a cool drink!