History Mystery Bike Adventure 

More Mystery, More Adventure & More Fun for the Whole Family 

As most community events are being cancelled, BAPA is bringing back a retooled, social distancing-friendly version of its popular History Mystery Bike Tour. An exciting way to see the neighborhood, harness sleuthing skills, and get in some active outdoor time with family and friendsnew History Mystery Bike Adventure offers four all new puzzle-solving challenges with some updates, prizes and family-friendly options.  

In its heyday, the History Mystery Tour was held as a one-day family focused biking event, coupled with food and music. For the new version, people will participate on their own using clues and maps printed in The Villager starting this month and available on BAPA’s website.   

As many residents take to the streets on two wheels to enjoy the warmer weather and stay active, the resurrected History Mystery Bike Adventure is an option for families to add some fun to their rides and discover new routes in the community. It is just one of multiple BAPA alternative events being held this summer that allow residents to practice social distancing, but still get out and participate in a community-wide activity 

The new History Mystery Bike Adventure starts pedaling in West Beverly. Every month through September, the series will take residents to a new area of the neighborhood to solve clues using the printed map in that month’s Villager and at www.bapa.org 

Clues will cover a wide range of topics specific to each area of the neighborhood. From architecture and history, to local businesses and everyday sights, residents can spend the summer discovering everything that makes the Beverly/Morgan Park community so unique.  

Once participants have completed the clues, they will be able to solve the History Mystery puzzle. Each month, completed puzzle answercan be submitted to BAPA via email (bapa@bapa.org) with the subject line History Mystery to be qualified for prizes for that month. Prize winners will be randomly selected from the correct puzzle answers received, one entry per family pleaseFuture adventures will take residents to East Beverly in July, North Beverly in August, and Central Beverly in September. 

BAPA encourages bicyclists to always practice bike safety and etiquette when riding. For more tips and recommendations on how to bike safely in our community, check out Bike Safety Information. To get started on the first History Mystery Bike Adventure of the summer, find your map and list of clues here. Good luck! 

Although you won’t be able to win any prizes, you can still get out and explore the neighborhood with the previous months bike maps and clue sheets here: June, July, August, September


North Beverly House Confirmed as a Hetherington 


It all started with a text from Michele Pettiford, a North Beverly resident and real estate agent to Grace Kuikman, longtime staff member at BAPA 

Michele: Happy Sunday. I have a new listing and the owners have the original blueprints. The plans say Hetherington,” but I haven’t found it documented and the people in North Beverly are saying they never heard of the house being one. Any leads on who to reach out to for more information would be greatly appreciated. 

GraceI have a friend with Ridge Historical Society who may be able to help.  

Michele: This could be a hidden treasure right in our backyard!  

Grace to Linda Lamberty, Ridge Historical Society (RHS) Historian: I have a history question for you: a house in North Beverly has plans that say “Hetherington” – can we assume it is?   

Linda: Very interesting! That address is on the “unverified” list for a Hetherington.  

Grace connected Linda and Michele to share particulars of the architectural treasure hunt. Within a short time, plans were made for Michele, Linda and Grace to meet at the house in question, a handsome brick home at the corner of 90th and Hoyne 

People who are interested in local architecture are familiar with the name Hetherington. According to former RHS architectural historian, Harold Wolff, John Todd Hetherington, who lived in North Beverly, was a highly respected architect.  The Graver-Driscoll house, home of the RHS was designed by John T. Hetherington in 1921. RHS is planning an exhibit of Hetherington works and, coincidentally, in June two descendants of the Hetherington family made a trip to visit this mansion-on-the-hill, that their ancestor designed 

John T. Hetherington’s son, Murray, followed in his father’s footsteps and was wildly popular, and quite prolific in the Beverly/Morgan Park community.  Murray’s son, also John, worked with his father, styled as “Hetherington Architects,” in a fully-equipped standalone studio behind their home at 10153 S. Prospect, where Murray’s artist wife, Mildred Lyon Hetherington, worked as well.  Mildred was well-known locally as a portraitist, but also had a successful career as a commercial artist illustrating children’s books and magazines. 

RHS files include lists of many local Hetherington-designed homes, as well as a file of addresses possibly designed by the three generations of architects, so the request from a local realtor that came via BAPA was welcome information.  

A visit to the house to see the blueprints – which say “Hetherington Architects, 10153 S. Prospect” — did indeed confirm this home to be a Hetherington.  

It was clear in touring the place that it has those myriad charming details, so characteristic of this architect-family’s designs,” Linda Lamberty said. The designs were so popular that in years past classified ads contained phrases like “Hetherington style” and “Hetherington-esque,” to describe similar homes by other architects.
“So that’s one unconfirmed Hetherington address down, with a dozen more to go,” Linda said. “Who knows:  Maybe there are even more of them out there!
Interested in learning more about your house? Contact the Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley, 773-881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.comIn 2021, RHS will celebrate their own 50th anniversary, as well as the centennial of the Graver-Driscoll House.  

Your Health – News from Little Company of Mary Hospital

LCMH: Baby-Friendly Place Where Healthy Mothers Bloom

The Family Birth Center at Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park, was recently re-accredited as a Baby-Friendly organization. Baby-Friendly USA assists hospitals in giving mothers information, confidence and skills to initiate and continue breastfeeding, as well as information on formula feeding. LCMH is one of only 19 Baby-Friendly hospitals in Illinois.

Three International Board Certified Lactation Consultants are on staff at LCMH, as well as 12 Certified Lactation Counselors. The goal is to offer education to mothers throughout every stage of pregnancy and post-partum as well. Mothers can find information on childbirth preparation, and infant care support, in addition to a breastfeeding support group led by a lactation consultant.

The Women’s Center for Life and Health at LCMH is celebrating with a free motherhood event, “Bloom Into a Healthy Motherhood and Beyond,” on Wed., Apr. 18 from 5 to 9 p.m. The event is geared toward every woman, but specifically those who are seeking information on getting pregnant, being pregnant, and caring for themselves after giving birth.

Women of all ages are invited to attend and can choose to hear the speaker they are most interested in; topics include information from pre-motherhood, post-partum care, and beyond. Each presentation is about 20 minutes in length, and guests will have the opportunity to meet and chat with the providers after each presentation.

Additionally, light refreshments will be served, and women will have the opportunity to engage in massage and yoga demonstrations. However, women who are currently pregnant must bring a note from their healthcare provider clearing them for prenatal massages. Register for yoga or massage by Wed., Apr. 11 by calling 708-423-3070.

Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (LCMH) is a Catholic, not-for-profit hospital based in Evergreen Park. For nearly 90 years, LCMH has held a long tradition of serving the needs of women and their families. At LCMH, you will find a compassionate environment focused on family-centered maternity care philosophies, with the latest medical technology to provide only the best for you and your baby.

The Women’s Center for Life and Health provides women’s healthcare needs conveniently under one roof – from routine wellness exams and screenings to advanced diagnostic facilities for even the most critical health conditions. LCMH continues to achieve accolades for quality, provides new medical advances and offers a convenient range of services to our community.


A Call to Action for All Summer Chickens

By Eileen McNichols MSN., RN., Director community Health and Pastoral Care Services

Those of us who are summer chickens – versus spring chickens — start to develop some health needs that are really not easy to talk about. For example, who wants to talk about bowel habits? When we are fall and winter chickens, it’s not that big of deal and really not unusual to share information about such topics.  But, just like teenagers, we summer chickens like to keep certain topics close to the vest.

March was Colon Cancer Awareness month and you may have seen public service announcements on the television or read more information about colon health in the paper, online and in magazines.  Colon cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer. Unfortunately, it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.  The good news is that six out of ten deaths caused by colon cancer could be avoided with early detection and treatment.

Screening is the only way to detect this cancer in its earliest and most curable stage. The gold standard for colon cancer screening is colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, your doctor uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the inner lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon).  This allows your doctor to find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—and remove them before they develop into cancer.  Colonoscopy also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when it can be cured.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, colorectal cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people aged 50 years or older. If you are a “summer chicken” (50 years and counting), it’s time to start screening for colorectal cancer. If you are at greater than average risk for colon cancer, talk to your doctor about when screening is appropriate for you. Not sure? Visit http://tests.lcmcancercare.org/colon_test.php and take a free colon cancer risk test. There is also a self-referral program for colonoscopy. For more information and to schedule a colonoscopy visit www.lcmh.org and select “Shedule a Test”.

The next time you think of that old joke “Why did the chicken cross the road,” here’s hoping you pause and think, “If it’s a summer chicken he’ll be going for a screening that could save his life.”

Top Programs in April

Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Info/registration: 708-423-5774

New: Hernia Screening with Justin Sobinsky, MD, LCMH general surgeon with certification in minimally invasive hernia repair, Thurs., Apr. 5, 3 to 5 p.m.  Bulging or pain in the abdomen or groin are symptoms of hernia. Little Company of Mary Hospital, Health Education Center, West Pavilion.  Free. Registration required.

Adult Health Fair, Sat., Apr. 7, 7:30 to 10 a.m. Registration required by Apr. 1. Fair covers comprehensive labs, BMI, blood pressure, and take home colon cancer screening kit, as well as information about services from Little Company of Mary for you and your family.  Appointment times for admission will be given at time of registration.

Bloom into Healthy Motherhood and Beyond, a special event for women, Wed., Apr. 18, 5 to 9 p.m. Meet LCMH women’s specialists and enjoy some light refreshments. Little Company of Mary Hospital Conference, 1st floor. Free. Registration required; call 708-423-3070.

RHS Women’s History Exhibit Theme: ‘Nevertheless She Persisted’

In recognition of National Women’s History Month, Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley, will present “Nevertheless She Persisted,” a women’s history exhibit. The exhibit, prepared in partnership with GFWC IL Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club, will open Thurs., Mar. 8, International Women’s Day.

The exhibit takes its title from the 2018 National Women’s History Month theme, “Nevertheless She Persisted:  Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,” which was designated by the National Women’s History Project (nwhp.org).

The RHS exhibit will include items from the Morgan Park Juniors’ “Honoring Our Heritage” project. The Juniors started their project in 2011 and modeled it on Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” installation, an icon of 1970s feminist art which is now in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum.

Members of the Juniors selected as subjects notable women such as Jane Addams and Eleanor Roosevelt as well as women who made lasting contributions to our local community. Club members researched the women and their accomplishments, and created place settings in their honor.

Sixteen of the place settings created by the Juniors will be displayed at RHS in thematic groups, along with biographical sketches and interpretive material. The place settings evoke the significance of each woman and depict how their work and persistence affects us now;  what contributions each subject made to improving  society;  how  they were challenged  by their gender and status; and how they inspired others.

Thematic groupings include Trailblazers and Mentors; Activists and Social Reformers; Women in the Peace movement; the Women’s History movement; Women in the Skies; Gender and Race in Civil Rights; and Clubwomen.

The exhibit opens on Mar. 8 with casual viewing from 1 to 7 p.m., and an introductory presentation by members of the Morgan Park Juniors at 3 p.m.  It will be on display until the end of March. Info and hours: 773-881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.com.

Jesse Binga: Chicago’s First Black Banker

By Don Hayner

Jesse Binga came to Chicago in 1892 with 10 dollars in his pocket and by 1919 he was a wealthy realtor, Chicago’s first black banker and a lightning rod for the worst race riot in Chicago history.

Close to a century later, he is largely forgotten, primarily because of the way his story ends.

Born in Detroit in 1865, Binga spent seven years traveling the country as a Pullman porter and a self-employed barber before arriving in Chicago ready for a new beginning in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities.

He started with a pushcart selling fruit to crowds coming for the 1893 World’s Fair and survived an economic depression by leasing out space in his rented room near 37th and State. Over the next few years he expanded to a house, an apartment building, and dozens of flats and storefronts, leasing space to the city‘s growing black population. Eventually white property owners also enlisted his services.

By 1908 Binga was landlord to some 2,000 tenants when he opened a bank at 36th and State — the first black-owned bank in Chicago. And in 1912, he married Eudora Johnson, a wealthy real estate owner who in 1907 inherited several hundred thousand dollars from her brother John “Mushmouth” Johnson, the most notorious policy king on the South Side.

Binga, a devout Catholic, and his wife donated Christmas gifts to parish schools (St. Monica’s and St. Elizabeth’s), bought food and coal for winter heat for the needy and gave scores of college scholarships.

But as Binga’s real estate and banking business grew, so did his troubles.

While Binga was a symbol of success and self-empowerment to blacks, he also was a symbol of racial change to many whites and that came with a cost.

Binga’s home, which was in a white neighborhood, and his real estate office were bombed eight times in four years (1917-1921) when there were 58 racially-motivated bombings in Chicago that killed two people, including a six-year-old girl. Other properties Binga sold or managed were bombed and multiple threats came by phone and letter.

In July of 1919 tensions erupted into the city’s worst race riot resulting in 38 dead, 537 injured and about 1,000 left homeless. After the riot, Binga received a letter from the “Headquarters of the White Hands,” which blamed him for the riots, told him to stop moving blacks into white neighborhoods, and warned him, “You know what comes next,” according to the Chicago Commission on Race Relations.

But as Binga told the Chicago Daily News in 1920, “I will not run.” And he didn’t.

Binga remained focused on his empire. He built a new bank at 35th and State and the Binga Arcade next door, a magnificient six-story building with 48 offices and 21 stores.

When the market crashed in 1929, so did Binga’s fortunes. His bank was the first Chicago bank to close in the Great Depression, and later Binga was indicted for embezzlement. Several of Binga friends and renters testified they unknowingly signed blank sheets of paper for Binga, which he filled in as mortgages to inflate the bank’s assets.

Binga was convicted and sentenced for one to ten years. Despite a petition signed by 10,000 black Chicagoans and parole hearing testimony from ministers, priests, nuns, politicians and community leaders, Binga served three years in Stateville, one of the nation’s toughest prisons.

He was paroled in early 1938 with a job as a parish janitor at St. Anselm’s Church at 61st and Michigan. Binga maintained his innocence throughout his life and was later reported to have been pardoned by Gov. Dwight Green in 1941.

Binga died in poverty on June 13, 1950 at age 85.

(Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor and former Chicago Sun-Times Don Hayner gave a presentation on Jesse Binga at the Chicago History Museum in January.)