Newsletter – June 2007
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 www.calumetheritage.org
The next meeting of the Calumet Heritage Partnership will be held –
Thursday, June 21, 2007
at the Calumet Stewardship Initiative/Southeast Environmental Task Force Office
13300 S. Baltimore, Chicago Illinois
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STEEL HERITAGE NEWS: As the Acme Coke Plant slowly falls to the wrecking crew, the effort to retain steel heritage structures and landscapes in the Calumet region (on the Illinois side of the state line at least) moves in several directions. One is the terrific effort to use the 21st century tools of digitization to make the “virtual museum” we told you about in last month’s newsletter. (See www.pullman-museum.org) Another direction is to keep alive as many physical artifacts as possible that tell the story of the work done here, whether they are still in working condition (such as the Hulett ore unloaders) or are now retired from service (such as the ingot moulds that we hope to move soon to the Pullman State Historic Site – more about this next month, we hope.) A third direction is to keep an eye firmly trained on efforts elsewhere in the United States or globally to sustain the landscapes of industrial heritage and to make them accessible and interesting to visitors. (I will be visiting some of these sites in Germany, Poland, Belgium, England, and Wales in the coming weeks.) The purpose is to integrate the notion of “industrial heritage” – and heritage more generally – into the visions, proposals, and plans for the future of the Calumet region. (For an overview of the possibilities, see http://en.erih.net/) And a fourth direction – probably the most important of all – is to continue to attend to the voices of workers and their families, past and present. The Calumet Heritage Partnership has taken an active hand in all of this – at times in the lead and at times in support. There are a number of opportunities to help out in this effort. Stay tuned!
WEBSITE: Why not bookmark our website: www.calumetheritage.org?. We’ve made significant improvements to the functionality of the site and have recommitted to updating content. This is the place where we will be recording the unfolding story of preserving Calumet regional heritage. Watch for an archive of past newsletters, newspapers, and brochures. Thanks to Mike Longan of Valparaiso University for serving as Webmaster.
ANOTHER WEBSITE: CHP recently formally applied for membership in the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, a coalition of environmental education and stewardship providers. As part of the Calumet Initiative’s reinvigorated and reorganized structure, the group has an excellent new website carefully tended by Kevin Murphy. This is a great place to get an events calendar and links to other organizations. Point your browser to www.calumetstewardshipinitiative.org.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE THEME: The Annual Conference Committee has suggested the topic, “Beyond Artifacts: The Living Element in Industrial Heritage Areas.” As discussed above, industrial heritage lives on not only in structures, but in memory, in speech, in image, in song, in hope, and the committee will be organizing a conference that examines and celebrates this. Watch for more, on the first Saturday in October at Chicago State University’s new academic library.
SOUTH WORKS SITE TOUR: Readers of the Chicago Tribune on June 13 saw aerial photographs of a proposed Chicago Park District Marina at the former USX South Works site. You may still have a change to get an on-the-ground look at the site on June 23 on a bus tour sponsored by the Southeast Environmental Task Force, the Bush Homeowners and Tenants Association, the Southeast Chicago Historical Society, and Friends of the Parks. Registration begins at 9:30 at the Calumet Park Field House and the tour runs from 10 until noon. Call 773 646 0436 to reserve a place. A seven dollar donation covers the cost of the bus. We understand places are going fast!
LABOR DAY IN PULLMAN: There are few better places in the industrialized world to observe Labor Day than in Pullman. Mark the date for an especially good observance this year, with lectures, music, exhibits, and more. CHP has agreed to cosponsor the event along with the Illinois Labor History Society, Illinois AFL-CIO, Bronzeville/Chicago Black History Society, and members of the historic Pullman community. And speaking of Pullman, the State Historic Site opens a new exhibit on Friday, June 22, 6-9 pm at the Florence Hotel entitled “Vista: Changing Views of Pullman.” This intriguing show, focusing on “then and now” photographs taken over the past 127 years, can be viewed Monday-Friday from 10-4 and on weekends by appointment.
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD NEWS: The Chicago/Calumet Underground Railroad Effort (C/CURE) presents its True North Festival on August 18 and 19 at the Jan Ton Farm site, 900 block of E. 134th Street in Chicago. More information on the festival may be found at www.chicagolandundergroundrailroad.org.
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