Calumet Heritage Partnership

To identify, preserve and reclaim the natural, historical and recreational heritage

of the Calumet region of Illinois and Indiana

13300 S. Baltimore, Chicago, Illinois 60633      (773) 646-0436

The annual meeting of the Calumet Heritage Partnership will be held –
Thursday, January 15, 2009
7:00 p.m.
at the Calumet Stewardship Initiative/Southeast Environmental Task Force Office, 13300 S. Baltimore, Chicago, Illinois
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BI-MONTHLY MEETINGS: At its December meeting, the CHP board voted to meet every other month in 2009. The next meeting after the Annual meeting will be in March at the Hammond Public Library.

CHP memberships are for the calendar year. If you already updated your membership at the October conference, thanks! If not, we’re enclosing an envelope and form, and sincerely thank you in advance for considering renewal. Your membership is very important to us: it not only helps to defray some basic costs of doing business but it declares your interest in the affairs of the Partnership and the region.

A GOOD YEAR: In 2008, CHP continued to develop the Calumet Industrial Heritage collection. The Beemsterboer family donated a large blast furnace bell and a model of the LTV coke plant to CHP, and the logistics of paying for and undertaking the movement of these unwieldy objects consumed much time and energy. But the bell was moved three months ago and the coke plant model will be on its way shortly. Frank Beberdick’s generous donation of the fees earned for labor time related to a search of the Acme archives financed these moves. Meanwhile, the online version of the archives has generated a high level of interest on the Web – more than a million “hits” during the year. While all this took place, CHP staged a successful Annual Calumet Heritage Conference at Indiana University Northwest. Steve McShane and the University were wonderful hosts, and the displays, speakers, and Cynthia Ogorek’s great bus tour of the historic Lincoln Highway demonstrated again that the conference itself is an unsung regional treasure. Conference goals for 2009? Let more people in on the secret, and connect the conference’s theme to the centennial of the Burnham Plan for Chicago. An extended list of Key Accomplishments of 2008 can be found at our website:

THANK YOU: The Calumet Heritage Partnership has no paid staff and depends entirely on volunteers to “do the work”. Special thanks to the hard-working Board of Directors, and also to those who made special gifts of time and talent this year: Frank Beberdick, Ingrid Beberdick, Simon Beemsterboer, Andrew Bullen, Linda Bullen, Kate Corcoran, Mike Siola, Bob Harris, John Hankey, Nasutsa Mabwa, Dan McCaffrey, Craig Phillips, Tom Murtha, Cynthia Ogorek, Alderman John Pope, Dennis Schrage, Ken Fisher, and Mike Wagenbach.

TWO SPECIAL PEOPLE: I’d like to single out two people for special mention this year, one new to CHP, and the other present at the organization’s inception. Dennis Schrage is President of U.S. Machinery Movers, a Skokie-based company whose clients include Caterpillar, Sears, and Federal Mogul. And little CHP. Dennis was an absolute godsend to our effort to move the large blast furnace bell effectively, safely, and cost efficiently. It turns out that Dennis’s family has deep roots in the Calumet region — he’s of the family for whom Schrage Avenue in Whiting is named. The more you talk to Dennis the more his deep-rooted passion for the area’s history and environment comes to the fore. Dennis is currently taking care to move the Coke Plant Model from the former LTV plant to Pullman. This model is spread over several tables and occupies a good-sized room. Mr. Schrage organized shop classes at Bloom High School to build cases to hold the fragile model during the move; and he is organizing a group of volunteers from there to help with the actual move as part of a community service project. He has a number of other creative ideas that may be of great use to CHP in the years to come. In the past couple of months, Dennis has encountered some health issues. He is now on the road to recovery, and we couldn’t be more pleased.
Another person whose passion for the area beats like a steady, indomitable clock is Marian Byrnes. Since you hold this newsletter in your hand, you know CHP and you know Marian. If you breathe a little cleaner air, drink a little cleaner water, enjoy a bit more open space, you know Marian. If you are enriched by a community respectful of heritage but firmly faced toward the future, you know Marian. And if you know Marian, you might know that she’s missed the past four months of day-to-day CHP life with health issues of her own. Your editor missed her greatly during that time. But Marian is feeling better, and her passion ticks unbowed into the new year. We couldn’t be happier.

CHICAGO WILDERNESS MAGAZINE: Keep an eye open for the Spring, 2009 issue of Chicago Wilderness magazine, which will feature the people and places of the Calumet region. Chicago Wilderness is an award-winning publication noted for excellent writing and photography, timely features, and outstanding design, and this special issue is likely to be a “keeper”. It’s available at bookstores throughout the area, but you might want to check for more information.

NEWS?: If you or your organization have items that you’d like to post in this newsletter, just email the editor, Mark Bouman, at [email protected].