Growing up in South Shore in Chicago

I have a new post on my own blog which I hesitate to inflict on everyone as there is much family history in addition to Chicago history. It does have some nice photos of Chicago’s South Side many years ago. I found them in a small book of photos of South Shore published in Chicago by a man whose father was a local photographer. If anyone is interested, the link is here.

It goes along with my other posts on Chicago history like Frank Flanagan, and Growing up in the 1940s in Chicago.

8 thoughts on “Growing up in South Shore in Chicago”

  1. Love the old stories

    “They had a typical long Depression courtship”

    This is interesting. I never really thought about it much, but I remember my grandmother telling me that she and my grandfather wanted to get married but waited for monetary reasons (I think). Her parents ran a supper club/soup kitchen out of their house and my grandfather helped run until they earned enough. My other grandparents went the other route and just went away and eloped. They were different religions and must have wanted to avoid the inevitable obstructions in the long courtship.

    So this being Chicago, what was the demographic makeup of your neighborhood? Obviously there were Irish. I looked up St. Bride and she was an Irish saint. Anybody else?

  2. No worries about infliction. I love this stuff. Anytime someone hauls out a photo album I’m ready to see and hear. It’s great that you still have possession of the photos and are able to recall the events. The “Hug” chapter is priceless, your mother must have been shocked even all those years later. Thanks for sharing Mike, I’ll take a Chicago story, or any place else story, any time.

  3. The photos, as I noted at the end of the post, are from a nice book of old South Shore photos that I sent for and received this week. My sister had a copy when I was visiting in June and I was able to contact the guy who published the book. His father was a photographer in the neighborhood.

    The demographics are in that book. It began in the 1920s with well off residents at the north end of the area and the south end, near St Brides, was more Irish. South of that area, was more working class as the steel mills were closer. My uncle, and his father before him, was superintendent of bricklaying at Wisconsin Steel, the International Harvester steel mill. I saw the indenture papers for his father’s apprenticeship in England, His father then came over here with his wife and got a job in the steel mill. The son, my uncle, fell in love with a Catholic girl, my aunt, and his parents took him to England for a long vacation on the theory that he would forget er and maybe find a nice High Church of England wife. It didn’t work and they returned in 1912 with the son. There was a near misfire, however, as they were booked on the Titanic in April 1912. Fortunately for me, they were bumped, as it was overbooked.

    They came back and Art and Margaret, my aunt, were married and had three children. He bought a house across the back fence from his parents. In the family, his father was called “Big Daddy.” One of the daughters was named Ruth and she was always called “Little Ruth” and my mother who lived with them until she was married, was “big Ruth” or “Gin” as she was dark complected and they thought she looked Italian. Hence “Guinea,” or Gin.

    By the time I came along, the neighborhood had acquired about 20% Jewish families and there were two big synagogues near by. I actually joined the “Young Mens Jewish Council” because they had a basketball court and the YMCA didn’t.

    There were quite a few big houses including several designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There was a section called “Pill Hill” which was mostly doctors’ homes. The chief of surgery at Loyola medical school lived very near my parents when I was living there. He grew up there and went to medical school a few ears before i did.

Comments are closed.