Newsletter – May 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, May 17, 2007
at the Hammond Public Library, Suzanne Long History Room
564 State Street, Hammond, Indiana
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SAVING OUR STEEL-MAKING HERITAGE: The small bell from the Acme Blast Furnace, which was saved on site after the demolition of the furnace, was moved from there to the Pullman State Historic Site on April 13. It is now standing in front of the Clock Tower of the Pullman Factory building. (See picture on other side of this newsletter.) Thanks much to Simon Beemsterboer, who used his crane to load the bell for transport, and to Mike Urioste of Salrecon for donating the bell to CHP!
The large bell from the blast furnace is still on the site. Mike Urioste has agreed to donate it also, and we are checking arrangements for transporting it to Pullman. We know that will be expensive; the cost of transporting the small bell was $3,000. Contributions are needed, and will be very much appreciated.
VIRTUAL MUSEUM THROUGH DIGITIZING PROJECT: Linda Beierle-Bullen, of the Pullman State Historic Site, reports that they have scanned 1200 images, with information about each object (its provenance, how it was acquired, etc.) Their goal for this project was 2000 images, and they expect to exceed that. The end product, the Industrial Heritage Archives of Chicago’s Calumet Region, will have it own website, with links to Pullman State Historic Site, Southeast Chicago Historical Society, and Calumet Heritage Partnership. These three partners obtained the grant (almost $20,000) through the Illinois State Library. Frank Beberdick and Kate Corcoran, who have worked tirelessly on behalf of CHP to salvage records, blueprints and artifacts from the Acme Coke Plant and Blast Furnace sites, report that they have gathered 115 images and slides for the digitizing project so far. So we lost the Acme structures we had hoped to develop as a steel museum; but if we had not kept them standing for two years, we couldn’t have gathered this priceless historical collection, and it would have been lost forever in the demolition.
INDUSTRIAL HISTORY BUS TOUR: Join Rod Sellers, Tom Shepherd and Mike Wagenbach, superintendent of the Pullman State Historic site, on a bus tour of historic industrial sites, remarkable bridges, the historic town of Pullman, and the Calumet Industrial Heritage Project, where Chicago’s steelmaking history and artifacts are being preserved – Saturday, May 19, 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., $10 per person. The bus leaves from Calumet Park Field House, 9801 S. Avenue G, Chicago, promptly at 10:00 a.m. Join us at 9:15 a.m. for coffee and an introduction to the area’s industrial history by Rod Sellers at 9:45 a.m. Bring a brown bag lunch if you wish.
To register or for information, call the East Side Chamber of Commerce, (773) 721-7948, or Tom Shepherd, (773) 370-3305. You may also register at the Southeast Chicago Historical Museum, located in the Calumet Park Field House.
MOVING THE ACME BLAST FURNACE SMALL BELL TO HISTORIC PULLMAN
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C/CURE (CHICAGO/CALUMET UNDERGROUND RAILROAD EFFORT):
C/CURE leaders have been meeting with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development to discuss the Jan Ton Farm Underground Railroad site on the Little Calumet River, in the Altgeld Gardens area. C/CURE is working on a new approach to the Ton Farm – a cultural heritage and living history project recreating the site with museum, theater, retail, dining, organic farm, recreational tie-in with Calumet eco-tourism, and a spectrum of green and affordable housing in the surrounding area.
Juneteenth Fundraiser, June 19, evening, at Quinn Chapel, 2401 S. Wabash, Chicago.
The event will feature genealogist Tony Burroughs, on the 30th anniversary of Alex Haley’s Roots. Tony’s book, Black Roots, will be autographed and for sale. Local historian Toni Costonie has been invited to speak on the history of African-founded town during the migration out of slavery. Have ideas? Want to help? Please call 773-569-4464.
True North Underground Railroad Festival, August 18-19, 2007 – The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs has approved this as an official Neighborhood Festival – booths, exhibits, speakers, performances, vendors and more…
C/CURE can be contacted at [email protected].