INGALLS ST MAM AD 728x90px 03 30 21
6-14-2012-9-40-38-AM-9713799

Tour Clearing, Garfield Ridge

The Clear Ridge Historical Society held its first Garfield Ridge tour on Saturday.

Beginning at the Chicago Portage National Historic Site on 48th and Harlem, tour director Rob Bitunjac guided his guests through a three-hour exploration of some of the oldest points of interest that have shaped the community.

The historically significant portage site was a perfect starting point, explained Bitunjac, because that is where Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet first set foot in the Chicago area. The site has been referred to as the Plymouth Rock of Chicago.

In the earliest days a giant marshy area known as Mud Lake ran from approximately 39th to 52nd streets, Harlem east to Albany. In 1673, while returning home to Canada following a five month canoe journey down the Mississippi, French explorers Marquette and Joliet discovered this portage, which connected the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers.

During the rainy season, travelers could ride their canoes through Mud Lake. The rest of the time, they carried their canoes from the Des Plaines to the Chicago River. The routes they used became Ogden Avenue on the north and Archer Avenue on the south.

Among the other stops on the tour was the site of former Chicago Mayor Long John Wentworth’s farmhouse at 54th and Harlem. At one time, Wentworth owned all of the land that now encompasses Garfield Ridge, Clearing and Summit.

Other stops included the two remaining concrete posts of early Bartlett developments that began as gated communities; as well as the oldest church, school and house in Garfield Ridge.

Going as far south as 63rd Street and as far east as Cicero Avenue, Bitunjac, who is the branch manager of the Clearing Library and a native of Garfield Ridge, regaled the audience with information garnered as a result of research done by he and his college friend Paul Walenga, also a Garfield Ridge native, in anticipation of founding an historical society for the community.

The Clear Ridge Historical Society got its start back in January of 2011 when the two men got the ball rolling by inviting residents to a precursor meeting where they could gauge the interest in forming a society, as was noted in a Southwest News-Herald story on Feb. 4, 2011.

ÒThe response was really great,” said Bitunjac. ÒAnd from there we worked to incorporate ourselves with the state.”

The official notice of incorporation came in September of 2011.

Bitunjac credits a core group of people with working toward the formation of the CRHS. They include Walenga, Ed Kozak, Bob Russo, Dianne Johnson, Bruce Beveridge and Bob Kott.

Since that time, they have gotten permission from the family of Robert M. Hill to reprint his 1983 book A Little Known Story of the Land Called Clearing.

Hill, who died in 2009, was the grandson of Clearing pioneer George Hill. Robert Hill’s book was the result of a life-long interest in the early days of Clearing and takes the reader from the early 1700s to 1950.

It was a self-published work and resources were not available to include pictures. The CRHS, when it reprints the book, will be adding photos of some of the places Hill talks about.

Bitunjac also came across an old manuscript written by former Brighton Park Life columnist Joseph Hamzik, which follows Archer Avenue from its beginning at 18th and State to Lockport. The 110 page unpublished work, written in the 1960s, sat in the Brighton Park Library for many years. CRHS has also contacted Hamzik’s family for permission to publish it as a book.

In addition, historical discussions are held every other month at the Clearing Library, where the society’s files are kept. Program topics so far have included Midway Airport, the Chicago Portage and Route 66.

ÒOur files also include information on Summit, Stickney and Bedford Park,” said Bitunjac. ÒWe’ve included the suburban areas because they had a lot to do with the development of our area.”

CRHS plans a repeat of the Garfield Ridge tour on Sunday, Aug. 19 beginning at the Chicago Portage site at 1 p.m. Reservations must be made in advance. The fee is $15 per person.

A tour of the Clearing area is planned for Sunday, July 29 beginning at 1 p.m. with the starting point to be determined.

For detailed information on the two tours as it becomes available, follow the Southwest News-Herald.

Information may also be obtained by visiting their Facebook page, e-mailing [email protected], or calling (773) 507-3108.

Local News

Brother Rice lineman Zak Bowden motions forward as quarterback Jack Lausch scores one of his three rushing touchdowns in Friday’s 40-21 road victory over Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Football: Rice tops Marist as both powers eye playoffs

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The buzz and postgame emotions from Brother Rice’s 40-21 victory over Marist on Friday was abbreviated. Because the heralded game was played on the final regular season weekend of the year, these area and state powers and bitter rivals quickly turned their attention to the playoff pairings announcements, which came less…

Chicago-Red-Stars-Logo

Last home game a winner for Red Stars

By Alison Moran What a way to end a season at home. It was a perfect night for a cool game of soccer, with temperatures in the upper 50s and no rain dampening the field. In front of 4,488 of the Red Stars’ faithful at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, the Chicago Red Stars defeated KC…

Marie Vachata was the second woman to serve as mayor of Lyons. Her term was 2001 to 2005. (Supplied photo)

Marie Vachata gets a fond farewell from Lyons

By Steve Metsch Pat Wideman will never forget the first time she met Marie Vachata. “When I first moved to Lyons 50 years ago, she was the very first neighbor who welcomed me to Lyons,” Wideman said while sitting on a bench outside the village hall. Vachata resided two doors down on 46th Street when…

The Bridgeview Sports Dome before it was damaged in a storm in December of 2015. (File photo)

Bridgeview rents out former golf dome site for parking

By Steve Metsch The village of Bridgeview stands to make nearly $5 million by renting out space to park trucks where the golf dome formerly stood. The village will be paid $45,000 per month in an agreement that runs through September 2030. That comes to $540,000 per year and $4.86 million over the nine-year contract.…

Celebrating the naming of Rev. Jeffrey Clemons to the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission are (from left) executive director Ron Melka, Trustee Mike Porfirio, Rev. Clemons and state Sen. Steve Landek. (Staff photo)

Summit’s Rev. Clemons named to township’s Mental Health Commission

By Steve Metsch The Township of Lyons has a new member on its Mental Health Commission. The Rev. Jeffrey Clemons, of Antioch Baptist Church, 7513 W. 64th St., Summit, is joining the commission. His appointment won unanimous approval from the township board at its meeting on Oct. 12. He is the first African-American on the…

Chicago 3-year-old Tyler Myslinski, (left) and his 5-year-old brother Jason fight for the ball during an open house at the Wintrust Sports Complex Saturday in Bedford Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Bedford Park’s Wintrust Sports Complex is a ‘one-stop’ monster

By Jeff Vorva The Wintrust Sports Complex has not even held its grand opening yet in Bedford Park, but it’s already bringing ESPN to town in July. The facility’s general manager, Wade Walsh, said the American Cornhole League will host its Final Chase at the new site and ESPN will be broadcasting the finals on…

Rev. Edward Stockus

Rev. Edward Stockus dies, pastor emeritus at St. Hugh Parish, served Oak Lawn parishes

Rev. Edward S. Stockus, pastor emeritus of St. Hugh Parish in Lyons, passed away Saturday, Oct. 9. He was 90 years old. Fr. Stockus was born on Jan. 21, 1931, in Chicago. He attended St. Rita High School, the University of Illinois, University of Dayton, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Loyola University and pursued…

Helen J. Mallis stands next to the plaque that will hang in the newly named Helen J. Mallis Gymnasium in Argo High School. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Argo celebrates Homecoming, names West Gym for Helen Mallis

By Carol McGowan It was a chilly morning last Saturday, but the spirit at Argo Community High School was as warm as ever for its homecoming parade and dedication of West Gym. The parade kicked off from Summit Park at 9 a.m., with over two dozen participants. Marchers reached the school on 63rd street just…

Oak Lawn’s Ryan Moyer tries to chase down Argo senior quarterback Deiontae McDonald during the Spartans’ 54-12 win on Oct. 15. Photo by Jason Maholy

High School Football: Oak Lawn routs Argo to keep playoff hopes alive

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor Through one half, a pivotal Week 8 matchup between Oak Lawn and Argo had the appearance of one that might be tight until the very end. The Spartans had a different idea, opening up a commanding lead by the end of three quarters and putting the game away with a…

Barbara Weyrick with assessor's office staffers Irene (left) and Carrie. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Lyons Township Assessor Barb Weyrick to retire after 35 years

By Carol McGowan After decades of public service, Lyons Township Assessor Barbara M. Weyrick will retire at the end of the month. Weyrick has had quite a career and climb since starting as an office manager for the Township of Lyons in 1984. She ran for assessor in 1985 and lost, then came back in…

Neighbors

CRR NH Prusak Roofing House Ad
CRR NH In Realty House Ad
CAPITOL RECAP: Major action expected in veto session's second week

CAPITOL RECAP: Major action expected in veto session’s second week

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The legislative action was light during the General Assembly’s first week of fall session, and lawmakers in both chambers left town a day early after leadership canceled the Thursday session. That means bigger items, such as a vote on congressional maps and potential changes to the Health Care Right…

Pritzker mandates vaccine for day care professionals

Pritzker mandates vaccine for day care professionals

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced an executive order Friday that will add day care personnel to the list of professions that must either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing. The governor’s office said it expects the order to affect 55,000 individuals in the state,…

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Cook County tax on gun purchases is unconstitutional, but it left the door open for a more tailored tax that specifically goes toward mitigating gun violence and its effects. The Cook County gun tax, which took effect in…

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Members of the public got their first chance to speak directly to state lawmakers Wednesday about a proposed set of new congressional district maps, and most of those who did were critical of the plan. Democrats in the General Assembly released a proposed new map Friday…

Heavy workload expected next week as lawmakers cancel Thursday session

Heavy workload expected next week as lawmakers cancel Thursday session

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The legislative action was light during the General Assembly’s first week of fall session, and lawmakers in both chambers left town a day early after leadership canceled the Thursday session. That means bigger items, such as a vote on congressional maps and potential changes to the…

Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A three-judge federal court panel in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the legislative redistricting plan that Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law in June – before official 2020 U.S. Census numbers were available – was unconstitutional because the population variances among districts violated the “one-person, one-vote” doctrine.…

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday urged eligible Illinoisans to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and called on skilled nursing facilities to make booster shots available to patients and staff by Thanksgiving. Currently anyone who received the Pfizer vaccine and is over 65 years of age…

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that his administration has reached agreement with multiple trade unions requiring certain state workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is extending the deadline for workers to get their first shot to Oct. 26 while negotiations continue with the state’s…

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ first congressional remap draft is out but changes could be in store as lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday for the first of their final two weeks of scheduled session in 2022. It’s customary for lawmakers to meet each fall to consider overriding or accepting any…

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census. The proposed new…

House Ad Subscription2
CRR NH Ptecik Bakery House Ad