Friday, August 15, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
|Photograph of the Lake County Fair in the 1910s.|
Live music is the highlight at almost any event, even today, providing something to dance to and setting the mood. The fair provided several different musical acts. This Included the Allandale Boys, who were asked to perform an additional day after their first performance was such a hit. Another form of entertainment presented was a moving picture film. The film was about a young woman who steals a mule, gets the mule into a automobile and ends up getting into a police chase. It was seen as having little plot, but entertaining none the less.
|Flyer from the Lake County Independent in August of 1914.|
|Baseball game played at the Fair in early 1900s.|
The weather was listed as being very pleasant, but the wind almost detracted two of the most publicized events. One stunt was to send a hot air balloon into the sky and have a “high diver” jump out and safely land using a parachute.
With great weather and plenty to do, the 1914 Lake County Fair exceeded organizers expectations. The Fair is a great reminder that while some aspects of life may have been more difficult in the past, the fair has always provided a great outlet to have fun.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Do you ride your bike on the railroad tracks? We do!
The 1920s proved to be another time of big population growth for Libertyville. One of the big reasons for this was improved transportation providing better and easier access to Libertyville. Libertyville’s other rail line carried electric trains and ran through the southern part of the village. (The North Shore Bicycle path takes its place today).
In addition to the improved electric train line, there was something else that made traveling by car to Libertyville a whole lot easier…..paved roads.
|Milwaukee Ave looking north from Church Street, before 1923|
We take many aspects of life for granted in the 21st century, aspects that were not at all guaranteed in the 1920s. For instance, the 1920s saw many streets in Libertyville paved for the first time and parking lines were drawn on Milwaukee Avenue downtown.
"Sir: Allow me to nominate that unspeakable ten miles of drainage ditch they call a road north of Wheeling as Great Grandaddy of all the poor highway species. It is not fair to think of it in the same breath with honest, twentieth century transportation lines. It is the pariar [sic] of the highway family, the leper among even those other road crimes in Lake county.
Let the motorist who leaves Cook county concrete and ventures north through Half Day and Libertyville bid farewell to all he holds dear under his hood. Ten miles an hour over those awful chuck holes is breakneck speed. Faster is suicide. As far as I could learn, neither county nor township has worked the worst part of this disgrace this season. Holes are continuous through Antioch on the way to Lake Geneva."
|Milwaukee Ave looking north from Church Street, after 1923|
With better access to the town, Libertyville’s population grew by 75% between 1920 and 1930 - from 2126 to almost 4,000 residents .
World War II Veterans return home
Over fifteen million veterans returned to their homes after the end of World War II. After fighting in the war, these veterans could hardly wait to settle down and get back to a normal life. They started by looking for jobs. The public rallied around veterans, and employers were eager to hire them.
The returning veterans needed somewhere to live. Between 1947-1949 over 300 homes were built as the Copeland Manor neighborhood between Milwaukee Avenue and the Des Plaines River and Lincoln Avenue and Glendale Road.
|Houses being built on East Lincoln Avenue|
The residents of Copeland Manor joined the rest of the country in creating the Baby Boom. Where are these kids going to go to school?
|Copeland Manor School, 1957|
Copeland Manor School opened in 1957.
Between 1940 and 1960 the population of Libertyville more than doubled - growing from
3930 residents to 8560 residents!
This is the amazing, ever-growing Libertyville. Kids grew up in Libertyville like you; they went to Copeland School like you; their dads might have driven on new roads to factories in town or maybe their dads took the train to work like your moms and dads take the roads and trains to their workplaces.
Go out and make some history!
Friday, June 27, 2014
Before the end of the school year, local history librarians Sonia Schoenfield and Jenny Barry were invited to speak to the third grade students at Copeland Manor School. Each spring the third grade completes units on the history of Chicago including the Great Chicago Fire and how transportation impacted the growth of Chicago and the growth of the suburbs. Ms. Schoenfield and Ms. Barry accepted the challenge to show that Libertyville's growth was driven by many of the same factors. See if you can find the similarities between the developments of the two towns. The third graders at Copeland sure did!
On May 31, 1880, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad pulled in to Libertyville for the first time. With daily freight service and, not much later, passenger service, commerce grew and so did the population. Between 1880 and 1890 the population of Libertyville doubled from 221 to 550 people. Read more about Libertyville’s First Railroad in a previous blog post at http://libertyvillespast.blogspot.com/2013/11/here-comes-railroad.html
Between 1880 and 1890, the population of Libertyville doubled! Why?
In 1895 an entire block of downtown Libertyville had to be rebuilt. Why?
The Great Libertyville Fire of 1895
Cigar maker Max LeBeau was up late working to finish cigar orders. Around midnight, Max rose from his chair, walked to the front of his shop and looked out the window. What he saw sent a cold chill up his spine. Huge flames were leaping skyward in back of Schanck’s Hardware store on the corner of Sprague (now Cook) and Milwaukee (Rolland’s Jewelers, across from Picnic Basket). Max called “Fire! Fire!” rousing many people from their sleep.
Bucket brigades quickly formed because there was no fire department. Despite the efforts of the people carrying buckets, and primarily because of a lack of a readily available water supply, fighting the fire proved a losing battle. What started at Sprague Street ended one block north at High Street (School Street today). Buildings on the west side of Milwaukee were untouched, but on the east side, 27 frame buildings were completely destroyed.
Instead of being defeated, the citizens of Libertyville rallied. Downtown Libertyville was stronger than ever as evidenced by a 1903 Lake County Independent article stating:
“Libertyville’s remarkable growth within the last few years is mainly the result of the great fire of 1895, which wiped out the entire business section. Since then the grit and energy of its businessmen have materialized into what might be termed a united effort to build a new and ideal city on the ashes of the old town.”
One of the only buildings standing after the Great Chicago Fire was the Water Tower of which the masonry was done by Libertyville’s own Ansel B. Cook.
Stay tuned for a look at the 1920’s and post-WWII Libertyville population booms in our next post.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Men voting dry – 341, wet - 402
Total dry - 653, total wet - 539.