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 next monthly meeting of the Calumet Heritage Partnership will be held –
Thursday, May 22, 2008
7:00 p.m.
at the Suzanne G. Long Local History Room/Hammond Public Library, 564 State Street, Hammond, Indiana

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MEETING DATE CHANGE: Please note that this month’s meeting occurs on the Fourth Thursday of the month, not our usual third Thursday.

CALUMET INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE PROJECT NEWS: It was thought a while ago that it would be better to report news of events past than to speculate here on what might yet come. But the past and future are mixing in a series of events that are occupying a lot of volunteer time right now. Right now seems a good time for an update.

  • Demolition at the Acme Coke Plant has resumed. A site visit this month by two of our members shows that some of the items we negotiated to be set aside for us are in fact still there. Good news that raises the question of how we will pay to move these things.
  • The large blast furnace bell from the Acme Blast Furnace is still on that property. We gained access to the site, secured a quote for removal, and are ready to get the job done. Good news that raises the question of how we will pay to move it.
  • Several other items of interest to the steel history of the region, and that will make impressive additions to the growing collection at Pullman, are nearing the point in the process of donation where they can be moved. We believe we can coordinate this with the blast furnace move in a cost effective way. Good news that raises the question of how we will pay to move them.
  • So this is good news, and it raises the question of….Oh, you get the idea. Well, here are two basic answers.

Answer #1: Thanks to the unremitting efforts of key volunteers like Frank Beberdick and Kate Corcoran, our creation of an archive of material especially related to the operations of Acme has created something of value. We are expecting payment shortly from people who have agreed to pay for research done in this collection. Frank and Kate have done this, and are donating their payment to CHP. It turns out that the amount we are expecting puts us in the ballpark of covering the costs of moving our big new museum items. So thanks a million, Frank and Kate, for a tremendous amount of volunteer work, and also for a very large donation of money!


Answer #2: The saga of the Acme Coke Plant teaches us a number of lessons in prudence: Trust everybody, but cut the cards. A steel industry artifact in hand is worth two in the bush. Measure twice, cut once. Be prepared. And so, to be fully prepared, this answer involves you. If you have not yet updated your annual membership, or if you’d care to make an additional contribution to this tax-exempt organization to help with the cost of these moves (and they are costly), now is a good time to help out.

Watch this space next month for a detailed report – this time with names, and faces, and pictures – of what we certainly expect to be successful moves by then.

PULLMAN IN THE NEWS: Good article in an Associate Press story carried by the Times of Northwest Indiana on April 28 concerning the rebuilding efforts at Pullman.

(NOT JUST) ANOTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTION: If you get this newsletter in time, you may be interested in the tenth annual “Great Chicago Spaces and Places” series of architectural and neighborhood tours. These include five in the Calumet region. They will take place on May 17 and May 18, including those coordinated by CHP board members Tom Shepherd (“Pullman to Bronzeville”, with Sherry Williams) and Rod Sellers (“Toxics to Treasures”), with Jessica Canas. Four tours involve the Pullman community. For more information, go to Tom and Rod have been active in leading some other tours, and we thank them for donating to CHP part of the proceeds from a tour of the Southeast Side conducted in April.

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]

CALUMET HERITAGE CONFERENCE PLANS: Only about 140 shopping days left until the Annual Heritage Conference. The conference will be held Saturday, October 18 at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.