Everett Stetson (Part 2)


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ES: And his son Philip was in my class at school.

KG: The Walsh’s…

ES: Drug store.

KG: Is that the building that’s still there?

ES: Yes, it’s still there…

KG: With the blue tile up on the top…

ES: Yeah. Our dentist had his office upstairs. A guy named Maxwell.

KG: Were there any other speakeasies around?

ES: Uhh, I don’t recall specifically. I think there were, but I couldn’t tell you.

KG: Did you ever notice any on Bryn Mawr? On the way to the beach?

ES: No.

KG: There was one there! You walked right by it, yeah! At 1111.

ES: Oh, that was a nightclub.

KG: Yeah, but it was a speakeasy when it was illegal to drink.

ES: Was it open that early? I remember it in later years…

KG: I think so, yeah. We have another report…

ES: Very famous place, but…

KG: Why was it so famous, do you know?

ES: The entertainment there, I guess. I don’t…it was a well-known, it wasn’t just a neighborhood spot, it was well-known. Anyway, on the…

KG: Would they have advertised?

ES: Oh yeah.

KG: The 1111? They might have had ads in the newspaper.

ES: I’m sure they must have. It was a very well-known spot. It was a place to go   although I never went! I was very conservative. Anyway, on the southwest corner of Clark and Bryn Mawr was the bowling alley, which is still standing, but it’s not a bowling alley anymore, the…

KG: Oh, I know, that’s the Salvation Army store right next…

ES: Yeah. And on the southeast corner was an old-fashioned dry goods store called Betelbach’s.

KG: Sounds like another German name.

ES: Yeah. And then there was a hardware store…

KG: Well, why did everybody say the area was so Swedish and I’m getting all these Irish and German names? Where were the Swedish people?

ES: Well, we had…Johnson lived on our block…there were…

KG: Were more of the Swedish people merchants?

ES: I think the Swedes lived over towards Foster.

KG: More towards Foster. OK, that’s kind of the picture I had.

ES: A thought ran through my mind and I lost it!

KG: About…were you still at Clark and Ashland?

ES: Yeah. Uhh…I’m ready to go down to Broadway. In the 1930’s, where the waffle shop is now, Heinemann’s opened their second bakery. Their bakery was over on Foster, near Western.

KG: Oh, I remember the Heinemann’s bakery there.

ES: Yeah. That opened about 1936 I think, ‘35 or ‘36.

KG: And where was their original one?

ES: It was next to the fire house on about the 18…about the 21 or 2200 block of Foster. The building is still there, but it’s not a bakery…it’s a brick building.

KG: Now, there’s a building - the waffle place is there now…

ES: –Oh, I know what I thought I had in mind. One of our neighbors was Samuelson, and he had the jewelry shop which is now Gunther Marx’s.

KG: Oh! So that’s always been a jewelry shop.

ES: Yeah. And he was there when we came in 1919, so it dates back before 1919.

KG: Oh! Isn’t that interesting! It’s funny how places…everything changes and stays the same.

ES: Yeah, I knew himvery well. Samuelson was his name.

KG: Samuelson, at Marx’s Jewelry store. I wanted to ask you - I’ve seen a photograph of Bryn Mawr-Ridge - that intersection - that shows a building with sort of a domed top on it…do you remember that? It was a wooden building, it’s where the waffle place was.

ES: Yeah.


KG: This is Kathy Gemperle interviewing Everett Stetson on June 6, 1990, and this is Tape Number 2.

ES: A point of information - you may already know…the Foster bus started in 1937 and the Peterson bus started in 1939.

KG: You mean before that there wasn’t any bus service?

ES: No transportation on those lines.

KG: You’re kidding! Wow! 1937…

ES: There was no way to get to Sauganash.

KG: ‘37 was Foster, and 1939 was Peterson. So this community wasn’t really connected except to go downtown, right?

ES: Yeah. Well, we had Lawrence. I know I had to deliver a Christmas present for my sister in Sauganash…

KG: How did you get there?

ES: I took Lawrence to Crawford, and then I had to walk from Bryn Mawr.

KG: Wow.

ES: It’s now Pulaski.

KG: Yeah, I know where that is. That’s out near where my grandmother lived. OK, so you lived on Wayne until 1967. Is there anything else you want to tell me about Broadway? What about this Gasoline Alley story that I hear all the time? Do you know anything about that?

ES: Where was that supposed to be?

KG: On Catalpa right by the el. There was a garage…

ES: Well, there were garages all along there, and people would…they would come and get their cars and then deliver them to their homes and take the cars over and put them in the garage…you’d call up and they’d bring your car to you.

KG: Yeah, isn’t that something!

ES: …some of the wealthier people…but there were a lot of them along there.

KG: So…now people didn’t ride…drive cars to work? Or when do you think they started driving cars to work?

ES: No, most people worked in the Loop…

KG: And so there wasn’t any need for these buses to go west.

ES: Well…later, when they built Sauganash, and developed…Peterson developed. Peterson used to be a narrow little road. I remember when they widened it, the railroad was building a new cross-over or bridge or whatever you want to call it by there, and on a Sunday my Dad and I walked down to watch it, and they had these big, pre-cast sections, using a crane. And…while we watched they dropped one and cracked it. The crack is still there!

KG: You’re kidding! This is right at Ravenswood?

ES: Yeah. No, it…at Peterson. See, Peterson was a narrow street, so when they widened it they had to widen the…the railroad had to widen their viaduct.

KG: Is this the Northwestern railroad?

ES: Yeah. And they did it with these big pre-cast concrete blocks, which they dropped into place for the crane. But this one dropped!

KG: Well, that was really something. What did they do? Did they run around?

ES: No, they just left it there.

KG: Because they didn’t care if it cracked?

ES: Well, the crack didn’t do any harm…

KG: We hope, right! It’s still standing; I guess that’s the test! So now…Peterson was active at the Edgewater church, right? Edgewater Presbyterian? Wasn’t he one of the founders of it?

ES: I don’t know. I never heard that.

KG: Oh, OK.

ES: I don’t know who Peterson was.

KG: Oh, I think he was a farmer, landholder or something. Let’s see…did you, now, after you graduated from college, you went to work downtown?

ES: No, I…had a training program with Sears and they sent me to Lawrence Avenue. Then they opened, in 1938 they opened Irving Park, and our store went into a slump, and I got laid off. But I finally got back at the urging…I went back at the urging of my mother, and they took me on as a, just as an employee, and I spent 9 years there. I ended up as manager of the auto accessories during the war. And then I was promoted from there to the West Side, Homan and Arlington, and was out there for 24 years.

KG: Wow.

ES: Then they kicked us out of there and put us into the Time Life building at 303 East Ohio. We were the first ones in on the 26th floor, it was gorgeous. We really loved it down there on the Gold Coast, around Michigan Avenue. We were there for 3 years, and then I went to the Tower, and I was at Tower for a couple of years, and then I retired. I retired in 1975 at the age of 59.

KG: You retired early! How come?

ES: Ahh, I was lazy. And the job was kind of closing in on me, I was responsible for a lot of things I couldn’t do anything about!

KG: So what did you do then? Did you travel, or…

ES: I had done some traveling before that, I was in Europe four times, but then after I retired I quit traveling.

KG: Really! Now, usually people retire and they travel.

ES: No…

KG: Well, isn’t that interesting. So what did you do with your time once you retired? You had an elderly mother, or had she died already…

ES: No, she died in ‘66 and I retired in ‘75. -

KG: Oh yeah. So you were around with her for a while.

ES: Yeah, I was 39 years on Wayne.

KG: How long were you working at the Sears Tower?

ES: Just a couple of years. I got there in ‘73 and I retired in ‘75. I’ll probably think of a lot of other things afterwards…

KG: Yeah, right. Well, see, we can save this tape and finish it. Do you want to take a break, and then maybe we’ll go eat, and then if something else comes up…

ES: Yeah.


ES: OK, I’m gonna start at Foster and Clark at the bank, which is now a savings and loan.

KG: Oh yeah.

ES: I think it’s a savings and loan - something with Merchandise or Mercantile - I can’t remember the exact name. But anyway, they merged with the Capital State Bank, which was then located where the Philadelphia (?) Church is, and they both went belly-up in the Depression. Now it’s the church’s…I think you can get from there from the back of that building and get on Balmoral(?) and Clark. On the northwest corner was…

KG: Yes, that beautiful terra cotta building.

ES: Yeah, white terra cotta.

KG: Were you ever inside?

ES: I was up on the second floor when there was a Chinese restaurant there. They were there for many, many, many years. The Golden Rose. They were there for years. And that was, of course, after the bank failed. But…that was…

KG: So you were never in the bank while it was open?

ES: No, that was the early ’20s, I was way too young. My Dad banked downtown. My mother and I had an account after they moved and I lost it because of the Depression. OK, back to Foster and Clark…there’s a lot of interesting Ann Sather restaurants, and I’d like to give you the history of that as a restaurant.

KG: Oh, OK.

ES: Back in the ’20s it was called Dahlgren’s, and it was a very nice restaurant. I still remember their roasted pork! It was delicious.

KG: D-O-L-G-R-E-N?

ES: Dahlgren, D-A-H-L-G-R-E-N. OK. At the same time, there was a candy store in the middle of the block on the west side of the street between Berwyn and Summerdale, it was called Berg’s Candy; we used to go buy our Christmas candy canes there. Anyway, somewhere along the line of the ’30s, he bought out, he must’ve bought out Dahlgren’s, because he remodeled it and opened a restaurant called The Cat(?).

KG: In the 1950’s?

ES: ’30s. In the meantime, Mrs. Beckman(?) was running the Idrat’s(?) on Willow, just off Belmont. It was quite a famous place. But the name Idrat(?) bothers me, because in the ’20s, when I was in 6th grade and so forth, there was a restaurant above where Van Eisen’s(?) used to be, it was called Idrat’s. And I remember the hardtack; it was a real rough Swedish restaurant. The waitresses couldn’t even speak English. So I was always puzzled by the fact that Mrs. Beckman(?) - I guess it was Mrs. Beckman - had the Idrat name now, on Belmont. Anyway, Ann Sather had, as you probably know, had a restaurant on Belmont for years, and in the 1980’s she sold to this Irishman, his name was Tomcik(?), it’s kind of a store(?) and…oh, wait a minute, I’m getting ahead of myself!

KG: Yeah, you’re really ahead of yourself. Back to the 1930’s. You got the Cat and the Fiddle, and then who got…

ES: I’m sorry. Mrs. Beckman came down and bought out the Cat and the Fiddle and completely reconstructed it and put in a second floor and, as you know, it became a very popular place, it was a meeting place for most people.

KG: And what did she name the restaurant?

ES: Villa Suite. She had it for many years, and then she sold it to the rich(?), and he maintained the menu…the food was just the same, but somehow the popularity fell off, and then he sold out to this…

KG: When did Mrs. Bateman buy it? Take over…you don’t know. OK, and then in the 1980’s it was sold…

ES: In 1980 this fellow took over Ann Sather’s, but he didn’t come up to Clark Street, I believe he came out of the pen(?) into the Ann Sather’s…about 3 years ago…

KG: Yeah.

ES: Well, that’s my story about the restaurant.

KG: That’s good. I never heard this…Mrs. Bateman used this name Idrat…

ES: I think she owned the Idrat, which was down on Wilton, just off…for many years…off of Belmont, just around the corner from Belmont. Just a block over from Sheffield. Halloween on Foster used to be a wild time! At night Folks would gather at …up into their 20’s, the kids…there was a gang known as The Roamers, and one of their favorite tricks was to disrail the old Clark Street cars. It was really a…

KG: Oh no! How did they do that?

ES: I don’t know, but they did. It was really a rough night.

KG: Did people hang around and watch, or what?

ES: Oh sure. In those days we didn’t have trick-or-treats, but we did dress up, in a parade(?). People used to turn out…instead of ringing doorbells. Incidentally, that second building on south, north of Foster on the east side of Clark Street was what’s billed as an A&P, or what’s, anyway, modeled on A&P’s(?). In later years they moved down to where …the basement…

KG: Yeah, I know when it was down… But, now, wait a second - about the A&P: that’s always looked to me like it was a bank, was it ever a bank?

ES: It was an A&P that was…

KG: They had columns that had been removed…

ES: Oh, before that, I don’t know.

KG: Because I have a picture from the 1920’s…

ES: I know that the present structure was put on…or, the face, was put on by A&P. Incidentally, I did take a look at that Heritage(?) that you’re talking about…

KG: Yeah! What do you think of that?

ES: That building is sitting right in the middle of what would’ve been the street, and the building on the south is base brick all the way back. But the cheapskate building on the north has common…Chicago brick (?)

KG: If you could ever find out when that was done, that would be interesting.

ES: And…the corner of the building at the northeast corner of…something of a…what’s the street between Berwyn and Balmoral…Summerdale. That was built by a Swede named Johnson.

KG: Northeast corner…

ES: …of Clark. Yeah. He also built The Ninth Flat(?) that’s down in the middle of the block, and they built a small… are you familiar with that restored drain(?) building?

KG: On Summerdale(?)? The green one?

ES: Yeah. Well, you know that big brick house next to it - he built that. And he lived there with his family.

KG: What was his business?

ES: I was just getting to that. In the corner, he had a very nice grocery store, and the second store…he put a second stairway to the north, there was a butcher shop, and during the Depression his son Clarence used to work there on weekends. People didn’t realize that he was making $35,000 a year as the Chicago manager of…banks…and he was quite a womanizer. Anyway, the old man used to go to Sweden every year, and he’d take his big Studebaker with him on the trip.

KG: Oh no! Well, we’ve got to find out more about him.

ES: His grandson went to grammar school with me(?)…

KG: Oohh.

ES: On the northeast corner of Berwyn and Clark was a very fine men’s store called Homegren’s(?)…somewhere down in broadcasting…was a guy…I know, he used to get rather unfavorable press from time to time.

KG: Holmgren?

ES: I think it was Home - H-O-M-E-G-R-E-N. KG: It was a men’s store?

ES: Yes, it was a very fine men’s store.

KG: That’s where the Landmark is now. ES: What?

KG: The Landmark?

ES: No, this is on the…I should’ve said the northwest corner. And…the building in back was not filled up, it was an empty lot there, and I remember one time they…an organization on the street had a commotion, and they had a balloonist’s section(?) when I was a kid, back there.

KG: You’re kidding!

ES: I don’t know how she got down, but…anyway. I knew Mr. Erickson pretty well, he was a wonderful man. He was…that store was there in Chicago until the 1950’s(?)

KG: The jewelry store?

ES: Yeah. …they had a very good store. …going north on the northeast corner of Balmoral and Clark was a lovely - I suppose you’d call it a gift shop, but it was more than that, I used to buy books there, expensive pen sets, book ends…

KG: Isn’t that where the bar is?

ES: Yeah. And…it was called Hobbs and Son. Anyway, they had a store on Monroe, no Adams - just west of the Art Institute. But it was a tremendous store, and I don’t know what happened to it - eventually it went out. In fact, that little book that I gave you, one of the gifts I got when I graduated, that was bought there. The next thing I’m thinking of is Calo Theater. I think I told you that they had three shows a week, they changed three times a week, and they had - they put out a beautiful little folding pamphlet or booklet… of what was coming, with pictures, the names of the stars and what the plot was about. Every week they put that out. [IT GETS A LITTLE EASIER TO HEAR AT THIS POINT]

KG: And you didn’t save a one!

ES: No! Sorry I didn’t!

KG: Wouldn’t we love one right now. If you ever hear of anyone saying she’s got old junk lying around… see if you can find a Calo flier. Handbill.

ES: …and to get to from my house back there on Ravenswood to the Calo, we used to cut through under the billboard where Catalpa is now. There was a path that was through the vacant lot, it ran alongside where there’s now five on these(?) under the billboard.

KG: You mean there was a huge billboard there?

ES: Yeah. A big one. You had to duck to get under it. But the path kind of went under because so many people had been by through there.

KG: Boy, that wasn’t how I pictured it to be(?)…

ES: Uhh, let’s see. I’m gonna digress back to Ravenswood for a minute…one year we were…1926 I think it was - the Prince of Wales was visiting Chicago, and his train went by our house and he was standing on the platform and he waved at us.

KG: Really! How exciting!

ES: He later became Henry VIII(?) for about a year.

KG: Well, didn’t he stay at the Sovereign?

ES: I don’t know where he stayed. But anyway, he was on the train going north on the Northwestern railway, he was on the platform on the observation cart. In those days, the freightyard west of the tracks between Balmoral and Bryn Mawr was very busy. Every day we had…

KG: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I didn’t know there was a freightyard there.

ES: It’s still there. But there’s a lot of factories there now.

KG: OK, is that where the Hines Lumber Yard is?

ES: Yeah, that’s at the far end.

KG: OK. There’s a freightyard….

ES: That was a freightyard. And every day there was switching, they had funny little engines. He had one that we knew by number. Anyway, to handle that they had to have a switch tower at Gregory. You can still see the foundation of it, you know, where it goes overhead, the signal towers, the red, the green, they go up and down.

KG: Yeah.

ES: And the man that operated it lived in that little freighthouse right opposite, so he was right across the street from his tower. We called him the Rabbit Man because he raised rabbits. At 8:00 every night, a long, long trainload of Harvester equipment came by, and that was my mother’s signal to me to get home to go to bed! Incidentally, we had…we played ball there, well, there was a lot between Gregory and Bryn Mawr, around Ravenswood. We’d have a ball game there - my sister would play, she was quite good. In fact, she won her Newells(?) at Northwestern.

KG: Really! Is that neat!

ES: In later years - I don’t know whether you’re interested in Wolcott or not, if that’s too far out of your jurisdiction…but anyway, during the ’40s, we had professional baseball games there with girls. It was a league. It was very interesting. I used to go over there. I don’t know whether I went to watch the girls’ legs or the baseball game.

KG: They were kinda distracting, huh? ES: Yeah! But they were good!

KG: Softball? Or hardball?

ES: Well, they wore gloves, and it was fast pitching…I think it was underhand. The ball was a little bigger than a baseball. Really, it was a very tight game, very little scoring, but they all wore gloves. That was in the ’40s. One time, one of the gondola cars, the freight train didn’t stop at Balmoral, it went across the street! Nobody got hurt, it didn’t do any damage except it took down the bumper.

KG: Oh, you’re kidding. Was it still on the track?

ES: No, it was in the street!

KG: Oh, it went…right into the street?

ES: It went to the bumper, out of the yard, into the street. Incidentally, while we’re at that corner, on the southwest corner, Emil Anderson was a carpenter, and…a contractor. And his firm later developed into one of the biggest companies in Chicago, Emil Anderson. And his son now runs it, they used to own Tamis Haner(?)…they made a killing in real estate. One of the top…Anderson, he’s a benefactor of Swedish Covenant Hospital, like his son. But Emil Anderson was the founder and, as I say, they became one of the top, top families, money-wise, in Chicago.

KG: And did he live there?

ES: No, he had his plant…his office there. His sheds…originally I think that was an icehouse. My friend Lois used to go there and get ice.

KG: Now, we’re talking about the building that…

ES: The southwest corner of Balmoral and Ravenswood. It’s still there.

KG: Did Anderson…what was his company again?

ES: He was a contractor…well, he was a carpenter and a contractor. A builder.

KG: OK. He was a builder.

ES: They still are builders, I think; but they also made a fortune…in fact, they own…what’s that big shopping center in Schaumburg?

KG: Woodfield.

ES: Woodfield. They own the land under that. Fabulously rich(?). Uhh…let’s see, where am I? There’s a couple notes I have that don’t exactly fit in….one was when the motor coach company, before the CTA took over, our route here on Sheridan Road was Number 51. But when the CTA took over…maybe I told you this…

KG: I think you did…

ES: …when the CTA took over they had a streetcar on 51st Street, so they had to put a 1 in front of ours!

KG: Was the Chicago motor coach, was that always a doubledecker, or was there a regular bus?

ES: Uhh…out around here was always doubledecker. I think the ones on Granville Station were single decker. Incidentally, about 1936 I think it is, they got some new ones - have you ever had a picture of them? They were beautiful things. You entered in the front, the stairway was in the front, and you were completely enclosed; they were never open. And they were green.

KG: Oh. But they were still doubledecker?

ES: Yeah. They were much bigger. They were beautiful buses. I don’t know where…I guess they sold them to South America eventually, when they closed down. I suppose you know that the Green Hornet streetcars ended up as elevated cars when they closed down the car lines?

KG: Really? No, I guess I didn’t know that.

ES: The Green Hornets came along later. They were pretty nice cars. Back in the ’20s when we had the old Pullmans, there were some beautiful cars on the Clark Street run, and they had some on Madison…Madison was a little different; they were painted purple. But these Clark Street cars - you entered at the front, the conductor was in the middle, and they had leather seats. They were really. I liked them better than the Green Hornets. Also…

KG: Now these - were these all probably built on the South Side, at the Pullman factory?

ES: I don’t know. Back in 1909…I don’t know. I think…I don’t know, I think they were building sleeping cars out there, I don’t whether…I really don’t know. Well, these weren’t Pullmans…

KG: Oh, I thought you said the ones on Clark Street were Pullmans.

ES: The old ones were. I told you they were bigger than the ones on Ravenswood.

KG: Did you ever ride on those ones, somebody described it, it was called a summer car, where the seats faced out?

ES: I never saw those.

KG: You never saw those. OK. Now, when would you ride a streetcar? Where would you be going?

KG: The Ravenswood?

ES: The Northwestern. We’d get on at the beautiful, beautiful Rosehill station. And sometimes coming home there were better…a more convenient train would stop at Summerdale but not at Rosehill, we’d get off at Summerdale.

KG: Well, we really have to get some pictures for that train station.

ES: And I’d still like to know why they call it Kenmore.

KG: The Kenmore stop…

ES: It was at Granville. Little wooden station. And we had a wooden station at Summerdale.


KG. …open, I mean, was it always open as far as you can remember?

ES: Oh yeah. It was open in 1919. It was an old station. Like the one at Summerdale.

KG: Well, I know it’s pre-1919. Well, when I write and ask them it helps if I can narrow it down.

ES: We had a very large brick station at Wilson, but nothing at Lawrence. They tore the one down on Wilson and built the one on Lawrence. Because at that time their accounting offices were in that big building. Now we’re getting out of your territory again.

KG: Ohh. OK…interesting, though. OK, so you basically took the streetcar when you went over shopping to Wilson and Sheridan into the Lauren Miller store that was on Broadway.

ES: Incidentally, the…

KG: - Can you tell me something? People always tell me about all these wagons that were going down to the South Water Market. When did that change?

ES: 1919. They opened the bridge.

KG: OK. So they opened the bridge in 1919…

ES: Yeah. The double-deck bridge. And Wacker Drive - the west…the east-west portion. The south…the west portion of Wacker Drive wasn’t built until the late `40s, right after the war.

KG: You mean the underground part of the upper…

ES: The upper part, yeah. In the old days there was a street called Market Street, and there were buildings on both sides. There were buildings up to the river. And there was a stub of the elevated that ran as far as Madison Street, from the north, on Market Street, which is now gone.

KG: Everything’s gone…

ES: Now the old…

KG: Well, it took them a long time, then, to get finished on Wacker. So as soon as they started building that bridge over Michigan Avenue, then basically the farmers…

ES: Well, they built this market on 15th Street. That’s the big - have you ever been out there? It’s a huge thing.

KG: Yeah. I’ve been there; I have a friend whose Dad works there.

ES: Incidentally, getting back to going to Carson’s and Field’s - you asked me how we went. …and then they used to have horse-drawn buses that ran from the stations down to the department stores. In the wintertime they had straw on the floor. In fact, Carson’s was on…

KG: Did the department stores run them?

ES: I don’t think so. Quite a few years ago, Carson’s had a sale, and one of the things they ran was a picture, y’know, going back through the years, they showed this picture in an ad, and I cut the ad out and kept it for many years, but I don’t think I have it…maybe I have it, but…

KG: Oh. Horse-drawn buses from the stations to the stores…this was downtown?

ES: Yeah. Incidentally, talking about the motorcoach, at one time, they used to run one called the Edgewater Beach and it would stop at the hotel, across from the hotel, they had to turn around in the lot, an empty lot they used to park in. Sometimes we’d take that and then walk from there.

KG: Oh. That’s a long walk from there…

ES: Especially when I lived on Bryn Mawr and Ravenswood! Or on Wayne…

KG: That’s the one that Leroy was trying to set up a tour of…to ride the motorcoach ride.

ES: And as you know, the Edgewater maintained those green buses that you could get on for 75 cents.

KG: Right.

ES: Our guy used to ride them from here in the morning, before I came…well, it was still running when I came in. We had a little waiting room where…where the storage(?) is now.

KG: Oh.

ES: It stopped from there…but I came here [Edgewater Beach Apartments] in ‘67…

KG: Yeah, you moved here in ‘67, everything was about to change then. Before they tore down the hotel.

ES: Yeah, that was in ‘69.

KG: Did you watch the destruction of the hotel?

ES: Yeah.

KG: What can you tell me about it?

ES: Well, they would bang that big ball and nothing would happen. And…I was…

KG: Did you ever go walk around there?

ES: I was in the building, yeah, when they were tearing it down, and these two gals   one of them lives in the building here - they went all the way through the 5th floor and took doorknobs…and that’s where I got that little yacht club thing I gave you.

KG: Oh, right.

ES: One of them picked that up.

KG: They had had a big sale, though, right?

ES: Oh yeah. Well, yeah. Yeah, that was before. Yeah, that’s right. We were there, too, a couple times.

KG: Well, you have to be really planning to take doorknobs; you have to come with tools.

ES: Well, they had screwdrivers. And then, one Sunday morning, I was with my friend, a fella, and he went in and I didn’t, and he got chased out by a cop. They were threatening to arrest him.

KG: What did the cop say to him, do you remember?

ES: He was pretty rough…I don’t remember exactly…yeah, he just threatened the rest of us…

KG: So they had trouble knocking it down - I’ve heard that several times…

ES: Yeah, they did. I think…it took them more than a year…

KG: Because it was an all-concrete building…

ES: Well, not only was it concrete, but the concrete was around steel girders.

KG: Oh, so it was reinforced.

ES: Yeah, just like this building. And incidentally, the Edgewater Beach Hotel was always beige - it was never…

KG: Right, it was never pink! I don’t know who said it was pink…

ES: And I’ll also dispute with that guy that said that this was sand out here - this was junk. South of Foster was beautiful beach sand.

KG: Right. I know, I should write him a letter and tell him that.

ES: And I walked there and I saw it…I mean, when it was…I saw it before they put the sand in! It was all water. And, did I mention that, I’ve got a…I remember there was a crib, you know, these water cribs like we’ve got out here, this one’s abandoned now, by the way…and it was inside the breakwater, and it sat there while they were filling in… and finally they tore it down.

KG: There was a crib inside the breakwater? The retaining wall…

ES: That they built, yeah. In other words, it was that close to shore. Of course, it was in the lake, but then they built around it, and filled in around it.

KG: And that was here off of this area, or…

ES: Off of Lawrence. Getting out of your area again.

KG: No, but I…of course I did that other project on the lakeshore.

ES: Is that all set for here?

KG: Yes.

ES: The 18th?

KG: Yeah.

ES: Is it gonna be in the pool part?

KG: Yeah.

ES: So he’s gonna shut down the pool at 7.

KG: Yeah; I hope he can get it dark enough.

ES: Yeah, I hope…y’know, we don’t have any screens on the windows, and they just replaced all the broken streetlamps out here.

KG: Oops. Maybe we better check it out. Well I can come over a couple days before and make sure it’s started. OK. Well, do you think there’s anything else?

ES: Yeah; are we running out?

KG: What else have you got on your list there?

ES: Did we talk about the school store?

KG: On Bryn Mawr?

ES: Yeah.

KG: Uh, you mentioned it once before…you didn’t say very much about it.

ES: Well, that was very interesting; we used to get novelties there and pop. Another thing is, has anybody ever told you about the Farmer’s Market at Ridge and Clark?

KG: No. You want to tell me about the Farmer’s Market?

ES: Yeah. There were open stands…they had roofs over them, but they were, y’know, open tables with roofs over them, where Carson’s is now, that whole lot. And I have the recollection that it might’ve been on the other side of the street, too, but I’m not sure.

KG: Uh-huh. OK. Did you ever see the Krantz house that was torn down, where Duck’s(?) is? The big old house?

ES: Yeah. I remember this. And they were at Ridge?

KG: Yeah.

ES: I don’t have too good a memory of them, but I remember those houses. Oh, I know, the school…I was thinking of the - at Olive and Clark, on the southwest corner, there was a - well, I guess it was a toy store, school store…it was called Schwartz’s, and Hack Wilson used to hang out there.

KG: Where did Hack Wilson go to school?

ES: Oh, I think…University of Chicago…No, but I mean - I mean, when he was playing ball, as a Cub, he used to hang out there.

KG: Oh! Did he give kids autographs?

ES: I don’t know, there wasn’t…kids didn’t go for autographs in those days.

KG: They didn’t? Oh, OK.

ES: Do you remember Skokie Valley Ice Cream? Did anybody ever mention that? That was in that building where Maybelline used to be.

KG: Oh, at the corner.

ES: Yeah, that big building. It was in one of the stores there. That was very well known. Dutch Mill used to be on Bryn Mawr - are you familiar with Dutch Mill Candy Company?

KG: Now wait a second…Ridge and Clark. OK now - Dutch Mill Candy? Sure, I remember that.

ES: Originally, they had…

KG: Where was it?

ES: Well, originally they had a whole store…did I, I told you about the bowling alley…anyway, at the southwest corner of Winnemac…er, Winthrop and Bryn Mawr, where they tore down the old Town Hall and they built Schoenemann’s Bowling Alley, it was on the second and third floor.

KG: Right.

ES: Well, as you came down the stairway or as you went in, as you came down the stairway there was a little doorway, and there was a store here, and she was…Dutch Mill was in there. Then they moved over to the alley, just east of the alley, and eventually they had a restaurant, which was quite nice; we used to eat - there a lot.

KG: What was the name of the restaurant?

ES: Dutch Mill. They had a candy store in the front and a restaurant behind it, and that was right next door to the Eleven Eleven Club, which I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

KG: Yeah. Nobody seems to want to talk about that…

ES: I never went there, but it was famous. And then there was a hardware store, and there was always a restaurant under the el…

KG: Yeah, there still is…

ES: Lakeside.

KG: Hmm? Oh no, that’s really sort of Westmont.

ES: …and where they, well, when they remodeled the elevated station they chased Davidson’s Bakery out of there.

KG: Oh yeah, I remember that… Now tell me, did Dutch Mill open a store anywhere else, or…

ES: Well, they were all over the city, I mean…there was Dutch Mill, Fannie Mae, and in the old days, Martha Washington.

KG: I never heard of that.

ES: That was very nice. And then Mrs. Stephens…was well known around…oh, incidentally, did you know there were bowling alleys, that bowling alley operated at Bryn Mawr and Clark, and also at Berwyn and Clark on the second floor, which later became the dance studio, which now I heard is going out of business…

KG: The bowling alleys…they were at Bryn Mawr and Clark…oh yeah, I know which one that is, OK.

ES: The square…the Salvation Army’s in there now. And then the second floor above the Meisner’s.

KG: That’s at Berwyn and Clark.

ES: Yeah, that was a bowling alley. But that was…

KG: Now wasn’t there also one where the Silo is now? Where the Treasure Island was? Wasn’t that a bowling alley?

ES: No. That was my doctor’s office building.

KG: That big grocery store building?

ES: The Silo is on the corner…no, wait a minute…no, there was an office building which was torn down, and Cadillac built their factory branch at Foster, and then in that block there was an icehouse, and a stable…let’s see, Silo’s not on a corner, is it?

KG: No. That’s where the Treasure Island grocery store used to be.

ES: There was never a bowling alley there.

KG: Well, everybody told me that Treasure Island grocery store used to be the bowling alley.

ES: Oh, oh, that was in later years, yeah. OK, that’s…in much later years. They built the bowling alley, you’re right. I forgot about that. And then it became Treasure Island.

KG: Do you know what year that was, later years?

ES: Ohh…the `50s or `60s.

KG: Were there any other bowling alleys in Edgewater, now that we’re on the subject?

ES: Well, just the one I mentioned, Schoeneman’s/Schumann’s…

KG: And that one was a small one, wasn’t it? How many alleys did they have?

ES: Well, they had the whole second floor, third floor…

KG: Oh, that one was big, yeah. I meant the one at Bryn Mawr and Clark.

ES: Well, I was kind of narrow, but…I was never in there.

KG: Oh, OK.

ES: I don’t know how many they had. I hope you’re not running out of tape, because I have…some more things…

KG: No, we’re OK.

ES: As I suppose you know, in the ’30s, we had these old woolen Jansen suits, and in the early ’30s fellows started rolling them down. And the cops would arrest some of them. We had to…

KG: No, now wait a minute…what are these old woolen suits, what are we talking about?

ES: They were one-piece…well, some of them wore trunks and a white top with a belt…

KG: You mean a swimming suit?

ES: Yeah; the women wore them too. In fact, somebody showed me one the other day - and they were heavy and itchy and…ohh, and the pulled…

KG: And they were wool…

ES: Yeah. But in the very early ’30s, the men started rolling them down to the waist. And there were some arrests. So we didn’t always have our free chests. In the `20s our chests were covered. Of course, in the ’20s, the women went all the way to the back of the neck, they weren’t a little cut in the back at all(?).

KG: Some arrests…did you ever see anybody or know anybody who got arrested?

ES: No, but I read about it. I remember, in 1928, playing on the foundation they were building for the Edgewater Hospital, Dr. Mazel was in charge, and he lived in this building for many, many years. He didn’t die ‘til about 1980, and his wife took over, she lived…a few more years…I don’t know whether you’re interested in that or not…

KG: Yeah, wait a second…

ES: Mazel. M-A-Z-E-L. They were Jewish. I think in the early days he was the only Jew in the building here.

KG: Edgewater Hospital…was that…was the original building the one that faces Ashland?

ES: Yeah, it was on the corner of Edgewater and Ashland. That was the only building they were putting up at that time. That…I remember, because it was the year we moved to Bryn Mawr, and it was…I think it was 1928, about then. Another thing I wanted to mention was, for many, many years, starting when I was in blue jeans, the Yellow Cab had their station on Broadway between Catalpa and Balmoral…are you familiar with that?

KG: Yeah. Yeah, wait a second, I want to do a sound check. OK, I think it’s all right. I was just noticing that your voice isn’t carrying very much, so we have to talk closer to the tape. OK, now go ahead…

ES: I hope you’ve got it! OK…the Yellow Cab was there, and then they had that garage in the back that goes over to Balmoral - it was a big outfit…it served the whole North Side. It was very nice; we could call up and the cab would come right over. But…one night we heard a tremendous bang and…they had been bombed.

KG: The Yellow Cab…

ES: Yeah, they were…they always have problems.. There’d been a bomb…I think I was living in Wayne…I don’t know the exact year of that.

KG: This was at Balmoral and where?

ES: It was on Broadway, on the east side of the street, between Balmoral and Catalpa. And the building still stands. They used to go through the alley into that building.

KG: Yeah. That was…the bombing was in what decade?

ES: Ohh…probably the ’40s…the ’30s or ’40s.

KG: OK. So there might be some photos of it or something.

ES: I’ve got a little note here that’s gonna take me back - you know that Woolworth’s was on Clark, where the resale shop is?

KG: Yeah.

ES: And you know about Maybelline and Eisner…we used to get two mail deliveries a day…

KG: No!

ES: Yes we did!


ES: Do you remember the Balmoral Theater, which was built in later years?

KG: No, where was that?

ES: That was at the northwest corner of Sheridan Road and Belmont - it was a beautiful new theater. That was about…I would say maybe the ’60s.

KG: Sheridan and Belmont?

ES: Sheridan and Balmoral.

KG: Oh, OK.

ES: It was called the Balmoral Theater. And it was only there a few years, and they tore it down. They built a four-plus-one (?). Another thing that we don’t have anymore was the stockyard smell! When the wind blew from the southwest of south…my God, it stunk. And it was a sweetish…a sweet smell. That’s…that’s all…I’ve got a couple of questions to ask you that don’t go on the tape…

KG: OK. All right…well gee, you’ve given us so much here, Everett, it’s…

ES: There’s probably a lot more that I didn’t think of!

KG: Yeah, and it gives us a lot of clues for a lot of other things.

ES: At another time, if you’d like, I could give you a…quite a description of the elevated before the CTA took it over.

KG: Oh yeah? OK.

ES: …different types of equipment they had…I could name…the Wilson Avenue Express used to run…they had a station every two blocks, and they used to go down below at Wilson.

KG: Yeah. Down to the ground.

ES: I could name you all the stations they’ve cut out!

KG: Ohh! Well, maybe I’ll get some information from the CTA, then we can go see if they’ve left anything out.

ES: Anyway…

KG: OK, are we ready to stop?

ES: Yeah.