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Ridge Historical Society to Offer E-learning Options 

By Linda Lamberty, Historian 
Ridge Historical Society 

Into the beginning of March, the Ridge Historical Society (RHS) was steaming forward, scheduling our popular annual Spring Bonnet Tea, five monthly crafting events geared toward children and centered around our new exhibit of American Girl dolls, and more. 

“Real American Girls of the Ridge” is a display of the first five American Girl dolls (Felicity – 1774, Kirsten – 1854, Addy – 1864, Samantha – 1904 and Molly – 1944) and their fabulous costumes and other accessories, a gift from local resident and RHS friend, Joan O’Connor.  As a complement to this collection, and turning it into a tool to teach local history, the stories of five real girls/women who lived in our community over the last 176 years, whose lives and times parallel in varying degrees the fictional stories of the dolls, are told in words and images.  An added bonus is the story of American Girl creator, Pleasant Thiele Rowland, with roots of her own here in Beverly/Morgan Park. 

All efforts to bring people in to RHS to see this exhibit screeched to a halt as we closed our doors on COVID-19.  The tea is postponed until future notice and our doors will stay shut at least through April. 

With parents at home in search of educational and entertaining material for their housebound kids, the RHS decided to make the exhibit, craft events and more available online, free to all.  Shifting gears like this will take some time and mental gymnastics, but look to RHS to be offering e-learning opportunities beginning within the month. 

Beyond the stories of five real local personalities, subjects from the exhibit to be covered online include descriptions of the wild Ridge as it appeared in 1844, local Underground Railroad and related activities here before the end of the Civil War, the heartfelt story of Fridhem – the Swedish Baptist Old Peoples’ Home established in Morgan Park in 1905, stories of the first Girl Scout troops started in Morgan Park in 1922, and the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company’s role, along with other local Homefront activities, during WWII. 

In the meantime, the entertaining and informative RHS Facebook posts by Carol Flynn bring clarity to the present by showing how closely today can be tied to the past. Flynn is currently revamping our web site and will be adding educational material as fast as we can develop it.  A series of recent Facebook posts show how history repeats itself as she describes Chicago’s efforts in the Spanish Flu pandemic just over a century ago.   

If they knew then what we know now, they’d have been ahead of the game.  If we knew now what those 100 years from now will know, we would be far better served.  Please try to be enlightened, think ahead and stay well! 

 

 

 

‘Real’ American Girls of the Ridge 

 By Carol Flynn 

The Ridge Historical Society (RHS) is wasting no time putting to use the five American Girl dolls recently donated by Beverly/Morgan Park resident Joan O’Connor. Beginning Mar. 1, just in time for Women’s History Month, they will form the nucleus of a new exhibit, “Real American Girls of the Ridge.” 

The award-winning line of 18-inch dolls was started in 1986 by Pleasant Thiele Rowland. The original dolls represent girls about 10 years old from various periods in American historyAccompanied by books that tell stories from the girls’ perspective, the goal was to encourage reading and an interest in history through age-appropriate play. The dolls became enormously popular and Rowland sold the company to Mattel in 1998. 

In the RHS exhibit, the dolls will be paired with “real” American girls, actual women connected to the Ridge from the same time period  

Addy, the African-American U.S. Civil War-era doll, will be paired with Cornelia Reeves. “Mother Reeves,” as she was known, was an ex-slave who moved to the Ridge with her children and their families in the late 1880s. As a young girl in Virginia, her family was separated and sold, and she never knew what happened to her parents and siblings. According to the Chicago Defender newspaper in 1936, Mother Reeves and her descendants were the first African Americans to settle in Morgan Park. They were very active with the Beth Eden Baptist Church. RHS Historian Linda Lamberty is researching this family and looking for descendants who are still in the area. 

Samantha, the doll from the late Victorian/Edwardian era, the early 1900s, will be paired with Margaret Gear Lawrence, whose family moved to the Ridge when she was three years old. Lawrence was involved in many activities and organizations, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Morgan Park Baptist Church,  and served as the RHS presidentHer involvement with the new Girl Scouts organization that began in 1912 will be explored in the exhibitRHS has memorabilia, including her uniform, from her many years as a local Scouts leader. RHS Secretary Carol Macola, very active in scouting, is working on this exhibit. 

Molly, the World War II-era doll, is being paired with a living “real” American girl, RHS President Elaine Spencer. Born in 1932, Spencer grew up on the Ridge during the war years, attending Barnard and Clissold Schooland later Morgan Park High School. She has many stories to share, including listening to the radio with her parents and brothers in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt addressed the country about the bombing of Pearl Harbor right as the Christmas season was beginning.  

Said Spencer, who now lives in Smith Village retirement community, “I don’t remember feeling afraid, but the adults seemed worried. We were hearing reports about the war in Germany, and it was terrible because most of our grandparents came from Europe. Because of Pearl Harbor, it appeared inevitable that America would have no choice but to get involved in the war. 

The exhibit will also feature information on Pleasant Thiele Rowland who lived in West Beverly as a youngster from 1947 to 1951. For at least four decades, her paternal grandparents, Edward and Maude Thiele, lived in Beverly/Morgan ParkRowland used to go antique hunting with her grandmother and credited this for her interest in history. 

The grand opening reception for “Real American Girls of the Ridge,” free and open to the public, will be Sun., Mar. 1, 2 to 5 p.m., at RHS, 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Info: 773/881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.comFollow RHS on Facebook.  

RHS Exhibit Features Fashion as Art 

 

“Threads of Imagination,” an exhibit exploring fashion as an art form through the creative work of five Beverly/Morgan Park artists, one of whom was an historical figure, continues at Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley. Info: 773-881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.com. 

Alla Ripley Bannister (1867-1948) was a famous fashion designer who lived at 1620 West 102nd Street in the early 1900s. She used the professional name “Madame Ripley” and had a studio on Michigan Avenue. She was a savvy businesswoman and marketer. Through her organization, the Fashion Art League of America, she promoted “American designs for American women,” helping to establish U. S. designers in the global fashion industry. The RHS exhibit profiles Ripley, her family and career. 

Ripley’s husband was architect George S. Bannister, who designed and built the Dickey-Harris House at 10856 S. Longwood Drive, where Paul P. Harris, the founder of Rotary International lived for many years.  Bannister also designed the American Craftsman-style home for his family on 102nd Street.  

Contemporary artist Judie Anderson worked as a fashion illustrator for Chicago’s American newspaper in the 1960s, and work from this period of her career is on display at RHSAnderson and her husband, the late Bill Anderson, started the first school of the arts at the Beverly Arts Center in 1972. Anderson had a 20-year career with the Chicago Tribune, retiring as director of design. Today she continues watercolor painting, teaching and exhibiting. 

Maggie O’Reilly grew up on the Ridge and now raises her own family here. The RHS exhibit features pieces from her two companies, Maggy May & Co., a girls’ clothing line; and the MAYTA Collection, which works with artisans in Morocco and Peru to create handcrafted fashion and household accessories. MAYTA is a member of Chicago Fair Trade, a coalition to increase support for fair trade practices.     

Two of Sandra Leonard’s “sculptural costumes,” fashions she creates that turn the human form into sculpture, are on display. Her costumes appear internationally in performance art productions, improvised theater, alternative fashion shows and installation projects. She has designed interactive costumes for children for the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Art Institute of Chicago.   

Nicole Burns of Ni Bu Design is also a Ridge native now raising her own daughter here. She incorporates vintage fabrics and fashions into new art forms. Her work in the exhibit includes clothing, bags, dolls and sculptures. She also collects vintage sewing items and some of these are on display, bringing viewers back full circle to 100 years ago when Madame Alla Ripley was producing fashions.     

Another historic feature of the exhibit is a section on the “silk connection.” Prominent silk merchants connected to the Belding and Brothers silk business made their homes in North Beverly beginning in the late 1800s. Vintage silk items as well as information on the families are displayed. 

Carol Flynn is guest Curator for the exhibit, and researcher/writer for the Alla Ripley Bannister section. 

Linda Lamberty, RHS Historian, is the designer of the exhibit. She reached out to Alla’s family through the website Ancestry.com, and great-niece Lanora Harris King has shared family photographs and information for the exhibit. 

RHS is located at 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Open hours for the exhibit will be posted on the RHS Facebook page and RHS website at www.ridgehistoricalsociety.org 

On Sun., Nov. 17, 2 p.m. at RHS, Judie Anderson will discuss her career in the newspaper industry, and will demonstrate a fashion illustration, which a lucky member of the audience will win to take home. Admission is $10Reservations: 773881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.com. 

New Ideas for Vintage Homes

BAPA Home Tour + Home Expo Give Before-and-After Insights to Gracious Living

On Sun., May 19, the old and the new come together as the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) launches the new Home Expo on the morning of the popular Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour. Together, the events offer before-and-after insights to gracious neighborhood living.

The BAPA Home Expo will take place at Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St., Chicago, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Home Tour will start at the same location, with tour check-in and ticket sales 12 to 3 p.m. Home Tour locations are open 12 to 5 p.m.

BAPA Home Expo

Designed to give property owners a range of accessible expert advice, the Home Expo invites attendees to talk to interior designers, wood restoration experts, people who offer eco-friendly services, and companies that offer roofing (including slate roofing), heating and air conditioning, plumbing, decks, landscape design, composting, paint and more.

People considering home projects are welcome to participate in the AIA Chicago Ask and Architect program that connects residential architects with homeowners looking to expand or improve their homes. Bungalows, two-flats, or new construction—architects will be standing by with free, personalized advice.  The architects will be available for short consultations on a first come/first served. Bring plans, drawings, ideas, or any other pertinent information so the architects can assist in the best possible way.

The Chicago Bungalow Association will present information on its Stop the Pop campaign that encourages bungalow owners who are planning home additions to maintain the exterior integrity of the original architectural design. This presentation, scheduled for 10:15 a.m., can benefit all property owners who are considering additions.

Oak Brothers Architectural Restoration will present information on restoring and caring for vintage windows, woodwork and architectural elements at 11 a.m. The Oak Brothers are specialists in repairing original windows, providing custom millwork and hand carving, refurbishing vintage hardware, plaster repair and more.

Representatives from the Citizens Utility Board will be available with tips on saving money on utility bills, CHI 311 will provide information on Chicago’s expanded 311 service and the new easy-to-use 311 app, and the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District will offer a variety of service information and give away 100 free tree saplings.

BAPA Home Expo admission and presentations are free. The Expo is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour

This year’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour takes a look at how savvy renovations, inspired decorating, new construction and down-to-the studs restoration add an exciting variety to traditional architectural designs in the historic Beverly/Morgan Park community.

The Home Tour begins at Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St. The sanctuary was designed by noted architect Raymond M. Hood soon after he won the contest to design the Chicago Tribune Tower, and erected in 1926. It features carefully preserved Norman Gothic details and as well as a cloister Garth paved with Hudson River blue stone and featuring an open-air stone pulpit. Founded in 1872, Bethany Union Church will also be sharing artifacts and information about it’s long and interesting local history.

Homes being showcased on the tour are:

A stunning home built just ten years ago and designed with an English Eclectic influence that fits beautifully into the vintage character of the surrounding neighborhood. Inside the house is a spectacular combination of vintage amenities, contemporary lifestyle and carefully incorporated elements that make the house handicapped accessible to accommodate the needs of aging parents. From the basement party room with its expansive bar and sparkling disco ball to the perfect-for-entertaining open floor plan kitchen and family room to the fully furnished patio, this house was designed with welcome in mind. Experiences in this house include the Calumet Paint/Benjamin Moore Interior Paint Showcase and a beverage sampling in the back yard.

A handsome French Eclectic home designed by Murray Hetherington and built in 1935 on a secluded lot nestled at the edge of the forest preserves. The home offers a seamless meshing of original construction and renovation projects including a spacious addition with design-perfect details that incorporate original exterior brick and windows that match the unique windows in the front of the house that are protected as historic. Artwork throughout the house has been collected on family vacations and selected for its beauty, diverse media and styles, and as reminders of world travels. Experiences in this house include plein air painting by artist Judie Anderson.

A charming Mediterranean Revival with a brand new, custom-designed kitchen that combines function with contemporary beauty. This welcoming home is filled with elements including lovely casement windows and woodwork, decorating that uses a rich and warm palette of colors, and extensive collections of African American art and literature. Experiences in this house include tastings from guest chefs.

A stately North Beverly Georgian Revival with a warm and welcoming traditional appeal carried through from the original home into a stunning two-story addition. Be prepared to “ooh” and “aah” as every room features styles and decorating that make it special: the gorgeous fireplace in the sunken living room, the elegant dining room with its faux painting; the spacious master suite with walk in closet and spa bath, the comfortable family room that opens into a three-season room; even the cozy TV-room for two! Experiences at this house include beverage tastings on the deck.

A special feature of the Home Tour is the Longwood Drive historic home once owned by Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International, the global organization dedicated to taking action on some of the world’s most persistent issues. The house is currently undergoing a cellar-to-rooftop restoration by Rotary, bringing it back to what it was like when Harris lived there in the 1940s. Members of the Rotary Club will act as guides, offering insights into the home’s fascinating history and its amazing transformation back in time. Experiences include a candy tasting.

Home Tour attendees will get a chance to walk through each of these outstanding sites for an up-close look at the details of design, decorating, art collections and lifestyle that make each of them a unique example of gracious living in Beverly/Morgan Park – the Village in the City.

Many thanks to Home Tour sponsors including Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen, Beverly Bank, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Southtown Health Foods, County Fair Foods, PRS professional real estate services, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Biros Real Estate, Benjamin Moore Paint, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Solution 3 Graphics, Pacor Mortgage, Green Apple Cleaning, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, The Beverly Review, Smith Village, Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry Brewing Co., Sweet Freaks, The Blossom Boys, Steuber Florist & Greenhouse, RMH Interiors + Design, The Music Scene, Nine-One-One BBQ Shack and Chef Alvin Green.

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Home Tour tickets are $30 in advance and available at Steuber Florist, 2654 W. 111th St., The Blossom Boys, 1810 W. 103rd St., Sweet Freaks, 9927 S. Wood St., and County Fair, 10800 S. Western (cash or checks only) or online at www.bapa.org. The price increases to $35 on the day of the tour. Home Tour locations are open from 12 to 5 p.m. All tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m.

Information about the BAPA Home Expo and or Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour contact BAPA, 773-233-3100 or bapa@bapa.org,

In recognition of Gertrude Blackwelder for Women’s History Month 

By Carol Flynn, Communications; and Linda Lamberty, Historian; Ridge Historical Society 

Gertrude Blackwelder made history on Saturday, July 26, 1913, when she cast her ballot in Morgan Park’s special election on building a new high school.  

Reported Town Talk, local paper, “As this was the first opportunity given women of Cook County by virtue of the recently enacted Women’s Suffrage law to vote upon questions other than candidates for school boards, nothing could have been more fitting than that Mrs. I. S. Blackwelder, former president of the Chicago Woman’s Club, and consistent worker for the betterment of women and children, as well as mankind as a whole, should cast the first woman’s vote in Morgan Park and Cook County.”   

A photo of Mrs. Blackwelder casting that vote appeared in numerous papers. The Illinois law was the final push that led to the U. S. Constitution’s Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote.  

The Progressive Era of 1890-1920 was a time of great reform and advancements, particularly in government and social areas. Gertrude Blackwelder embodied the spirit of that Era, working for women’s suffrage and other causes.   

Alice Gertrude Boughton was born in 1853 in New York. Her fathera Baptist ministervalued education. In 1869, she joined her sister in Kansas to attend the newly established university there. Following graduation in 1875, she was the first female graduate to be appointed to the faculty and, in 1890, she became the first woman to give a commencement speechImproving education opportunities for women and other disadvantaged groups became another important cause for Gertrude.  

In 1877, Gertrude married Isaac Simeon (I. S.) Blackwelder, and moved to Chicago. Blackwelder (1840-1926) rose to top management in the insurance industry, starting as aadjustor handling claims from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871  

The Blackwelders settled in Morgan Park, where I. S. served as president of the Village BoardSons Paul and Eliot were born. The family acquired the Ingersoll house at 10910 S. Prospect Ave., adding a Queen Annestyle front to the existing Italianate-style structure 

At that time, the wives of wealthy men did not work outside the homeThey applied their intelligenceskills and wealth to projects through volunteer organizations. Gertrude was elected to membership in the prestigious Chicago Woman’s Club (CWC), where she worked alongside Jane Addams of Hull House and Bertha Honore Palmer.  

Gertrude’s special interest was vacation schools, summer programs offering nature, artsmusic, and outdoor play activities for impoverished city childrenFor several years, she chaired the Vacation School Board, overseeing schools set up by the Chicago Permanent Vacation School and Playground Committee of Women’s Clubs. This coalition, with 212 delegates representing 50 clubsworked closely with the Chicago Board of Education. Gertrude wrote several articles on vacation schools for college publications. 

Due to her leadership abilities, Gertrude was chosen for higher office in the CWC. She served as Second and then First Vice President, and as President from 1906 to 1908. During those years, issues CWC addressed included children’s healthcare and daycare, the juvenile court system, crimes against children, working rights and conditions for women and children, sanitation and disease prevention in Chicago neighborhoods, pure food laws, and programs for the blind. 

Even as an executive officer, Gertrude made time to chair the Story Telling Committee, organizing and conducting story hours at schools, libraries and recreation centers.  

At home, the Blackwelders were involved in all things Morgan Park.” At the request of local womenGertrude co-founded the Morgan Park Woman’s Club in 1889. This is the oldest women’s club still existing in Chicago  

The Blackwelders supported the annexation of Morgan Park to Chicago, and the building of the high school. Both sat on local school boards, and Gertrude headed the Public School Art League which obtained artwork to decorate the school. A proposal in 1923 to rename the high school for the Blackwelders resulted in naming the auditorium Blackwelder Hall. 

Later, the Blackwelders moved to Stanford, California, where son Eliot was a college professor. Gertrude died there in 1938 

When I entered the University, in January, 1869,” wrote Gertrude in the 1908 Graduate Magazine of the University of Kansas, “Such was my delight at the opportunity for higher education, then largely denied to girls, that no thought of our limitations disturbed the serenity of my youthful mind.” 

That attitude prevailed throughout Gertrude Blackwelder’s lifeshe gave no thought to limitations. Her influence and accomplishments reached far beyond Morgan Park. Women’s History Month is a fitting time to give her recognition.  

 

Party Celebrates Wirtshafter Exhibit at RHS

Ridge Historical Society (RHS) is so thrilled with its exhibit of works by the late Ethel Wirtshafter featuring her fabulous batiks, they’re putting on a party to draw neighbors in to see it!  On Fri., Feb. 8, 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., the doors will be thrown open and all welcomed. 
If you appreciate history, color and design, this exhibit is a must-see,” said RHS Historian Linda Lamberty.  Ethel spent more than half her near century of life here, where she was for over 45 years a prized and beloved teacher to countless children at the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association at Ridge Park Field House. 
The exhibit – a rare opportunity to see so many of Wirtshafter’s exquisite works gathered together – runs through Feb. 24 at RHS, 10621 S. Seeley. Art lovers who can’t make the Feb. 8 party can call 773-881-1675 or write ridgehistory@hotmail.com to schedule a tour.  

The Arts: Batik Exhibit is Explosion of Color and Themes

By Linda Lamberty

An explosion of color and themes welcomes visitors to the exhibit of works by the late Ethel Wirtshafter (1909-2009) at Ridge Historical Society (RHS), 10621 S. Seeley Ave. The art works all clearly show the exquisite touch of the much-loved local artist.
RHS has the distinct honor to have these works, most on loan from the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, the Beverly Arts Center and a number of personal collections, on display through Feb. 24.

Predominantly composed of the artist’s very distinctive batiks, as well as informative text by another local artist, Mary Lenzini, the exhibit describes Wirtshafter’s life, art and technique. Visitors who knew Wirtshafter, a long time neighborhood resident, have remarked how wonderful it is to see so many of her creations gathered in one space.
Born and raised in Chicago, Wirtshafter came from an artistically gifted family and was blessed with an innate love of nature. She graduated from Northwestern University in 1931, where scenery painting for the theater department ultimately led her to a lifetime making and teaching art.
From scoring and printing linoleum blocks by candlelight in the Pacific Northwest, to photographing celebrities at the Edgewater Beach Hotel back in Chicago, to marriage, motherhood, world travel and over 45 years teaching children’s art classes at the Vanderpoel gallery, Ethel Wirtshafter lived life with gusto.  She passed away half a year short of her century mark, leaving behind a most prolific body of work, and countless fans.
Years ago when selling at the Beverly Art Fair on the grounds of Morgan Park Academy, Wirtshafter said how much she loved the way her batiks looked hanging on a line with sunlight behind them. Consequently, an effort has been made in the RHS exhibit to backlight all works that are unframed or have open backs.
One outstanding batik included the exhibit is of a mythological griffin and was discovered on eBay. The seller, having found it at an estate sale in Naples, Fla., had no idea of the identity of the artist, the age of the piece or the medium, suggesting in the description that it might be painted hide or part of an ancient text. It popped up using only Wirtshafter’s signature, “ELW,” as a search term. The beautiful piece is now in the appreciative buyer’s collection.
To schedule a visit to see the exhibit, call 773-881-1675 or email ridgehistory@hotmail.com.  School groups are welcome after the first of the year. Visit ridgehistoricalsociety.org to learn about RHS and upcoming events.

Neighborhood Notes January 2019

 

Sign up for Ridge Run by Jan. 15 and Save $5. Registration is open for BAPA’s Ridge Run on Memorial Day, Mon., May 27. If you sign up by Jan. 15, you can save $5 on race fees. The Ridge Run features a 10K run, 5K run and walk, and one mile youth run. BAPA presents the Beverly/Morgan Park Memorial Day Parade and ceremony as part of the Ridge Run. Find info and registration at www.bapa.org.

Learn How to Draw Comics and Manga. Vanderpoel Art Association Saturday Drawing Classes for 4th through 8th graders begin Jan. 5. Classes cover the basics of drawing, in addition to cartooning and sequential art (comic strips, comic books manga and graphic novels).  Each class is limited to 15 students; choose morning or afternoon sessions: 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 12 to 1:30 p.m. Jim and Spencer McGreal will be co-teaching. Info /reservations: www.vanderpoelartmuseum.org/classes/ or jim@jmcstudios.com.

Celebrate the new year with Champagne and Sweets, Sat., Jan. 5, 5 to 7 p.m., Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley. $25 per person, reservations required. 773-881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.com.

Open Mic Afternoons. Open Mic Nights are Open Mic Afternoons starting Sun., Jan. 6, 4 p.m., Smith Village Community Hall, 2320 W. 113th Pl. Singers, musicians, comedians and other entertainers are welcome to perform. The event is free. Sign up your act with Debbie Parks, dahp2002@aol.com or 773-574-9727. General info: Meghan Maple, 773-474-7300.

Raise Your Voice in Song. The Beverly Morgan Park Community Choir is recruiting singers for its 20th season. Sponsored by the Community of Churches, the choir performs sacred music from classical to gospel at a concert in spring. There are no auditions and music is provided. Music pick-up and registration is Sun., Jan. 6, 3:15 to 5 p.m., Immanuel United Church of Christ, 9815 S. Campbell Ave. Rehearsals begin at same location Sun., Jan. 13, 3:15 p.m. also at Immanuel UCC.

All voices are welcome though male voices are particularly needed. Info: BMPCChoir@gmail.com.

An Artist’s Life A Century in the Making, an exhibit of batiks and other works by Ethel Wirtshafter, 1909-2009, through Feb. 24, Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Hours/appointments: 773-881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.com.

Support Group for Caregivers. Beverly/Morgan Park residents who are caregivers for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are welcome to join a free support group Tues., Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m., Smith Village at 2320 W. 113th Pl. In an open discussion led by Diane Morgan, Smith Village social service director of long-term care, participants can address issues such as sun-downing, wandering, memory loss and more. Reservations: 773-474-7300 or familyandfriends@smithvillage.org.

Election Judges Needed. The Chicago Board of Elections is seeking persons to serve as election judges for the municipal election, Tues., Feb. 26. Election judges are responsible for the conduct of elections at each polling place. For details on eligibility and requirements, and to apply to become an election judge, visit www.chicagoelections.com.

CAPS Meetings. All area residents are encouraged to get involved in CAPS meetings. For information, call the 22nd District CAPS office, 312-745-0620, email at Caps.022District@ChicagoPolice.org, or stop by the 22nd District Police Station, 1900 W. Monterey. Court Advocacy Subcommittee, Wed., Jan. 9, 1:30 p.m. 22nd District Police Station. Domestic Violence Subcommittee, Thurs., Jan. 24, 10:30 a.m. 22nd District Police Station.

Parenting the iGen Seminar. Mother McAuley High School and Smart Girl Society, Inc. will host, “Parenting the iGen,” Thurs., Jan. 10, 7 p.m., at the school, 3737 W. 99th St. This free event is open to the community and will offer an in-depth look at how children are using social media, and tips and tools to help minimize negative experiences. RSVP www.mothermcauley.org/parents.

LSC Meetings. Kellogg School LSC, Thurs., Jan. 10, 6 p.m. Library, 9241 S. Leavitt St., 773-535-2590; Clissold School LSC, Mon., Jan. 14, 7 p.m. Auditorium, 2350 W. 110th Pl., 773-535-2560; Sutherland School LSC, Tues., Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m. 10015 S. Leavitt St., 773-535-2580; Morgan Park High School LSC, Wed., Jan. 16, 6 p.m. Library, 1744 W. Pryor, 773-535-2550.

The Frunchroom, Volume XVI: Winter of our discotheque edition, features five stories Thurs., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. The quarterly South Side reading series is organized and emceed by Scott Smith in conjunction with the Beverly Area Arts Alliance. The Frunchroom readers are Dennis Foley, author of The Blue Circus;” poet, novelist and playwright Angela Jackson;
Nneka Jones Tapia, a psychologist committed to justice; photographer, musician and writer Preston Thomas; and co-owner of The Quilter’s Trunk Lisa Wilberding. The event is sponsored by the Beverly Arts Center. $5 donation requested.

Coffee and Conversation. State Sen. Bill Cunningham and State Rep. Fran Hurley invite area residents to share their thoughts at Coffee and Conversation Sat., Jan 19, 9 to 10 a.m., Dunkin Donuts, 10401 S. Western. Info: 773-445-8128 or www.senatorbillcunningham.com.

Need Computer Assistance? Cybernavigators are available at Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., by appointment. Get one-on-one help learning how to use your computer. Stop in to set up an appointment or call 312-747-9673.

Programs Focus on Good Health. Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., offers a full schedule of classes, support groups, screenings and special programs aimed at helping area residents get and stay healthy. On the schedule this winter are CHEER (Choices, Humor, Enhancement, Education, Renewal), “Resolve to Get Involved,” Wed., Jan 16, 11 a.m., free; Babysitting Safe and Secure, a babysitting skills class for kids age 11 to 14, Mon., Jan 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., $70; Healthy Heart Screenings, a full complement of vital tests, by appointment, $70; Cherished Angel Perinatal Loss Support Group for people coping with miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, Sat., Jan., 19, 10:30 a.m., free; and Senior Social Club for independent active adults over age 60, Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., $2/month. Info and registration: 708-423-5774 or www.LCMH.org.

Medicare 101. Do you have questions about Medicare Health Insurance or do you just want to know how it works?  Whether you’re turning 65 or a seasoned Medicare member, Medicare 101 presents information on Medicare changes for this year Wed., Jan 16, 12 to 2 p.m., Beverly Branch Chicago Public Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Info: 312-747-9673.

 

Platinum Adventures. Platinum Adventures programs and day trips are offered through Wintrust. This month’s adventures include “Meet Jackie Kennedy,” a first-person performance by Leslie Goddard set in 1964 and covering stories about the former First Lady’s marriage, work to restore the White House and struggle for privacy, Wed., Jan. 16, 2 p.m., First National Bank of Evergreen Park, 3960 W. 95th St., free; and a trip to the Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, Tues., Jan. 29, leaving from Ridge Academy, 2501 W. 103rd St., at 9:45 a.m., $75/members or $80/non-members. Info/reservations, Margie O’Connell, 773-298-4712 or moconnell@thebeverlybank.com.

Castle Concert Series. Anne Harris plays the violin and dances Sat., Jan. 19, 7 p.m., Givins Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. To sample her music, visit www.anneharris.com. The concert is the next in the series of folk music performances at the historic Givins Castle and Heritage Gallery. A $20 donation is suggested with proceeds going toward maintenance of the Castle. Info: 773-719-7059.

 

Brother Rice High School Trivia Night. Alumni Moms will host the 7th Annual Trivia Night Sat., Jan. 26, Brother Rice High School Carmody Center, 99th and Pulaski. Doors open at 6 p.m. and trivia begins at 7.  $20 per person. Tickets/ info: Alumnimoms@brrice.org.

Preparations Underway for 2019 Crystal Heart Ball Gala. The Crystal Heart Ball, the premier fundraising event for Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH), will be held Sat., Feb. 2, 2019 at the Field Museum. The theme for the black tie gala is Starry Night and proceeds will benefit Interventional Radiology Services at LCMH.  Crystal Heart Ball guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by Food For Thought and music stylings by Maggie Speaks – Talk of the Town Big Band. The Ball will honor Jim McKeever – Kevin Dowling Scholarship Fund and Christmas Without Cancer. Uzma and Hamid Nazeer, D.O., and Lindsay and Chris Vandenberg are 2019 chair couples.  For more call the LCMH Foundation, 708-229-5447 or visit www.LCMH.org/Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour Showcases Neighborhood Lifestyle Built Around Rock Island Stations

Five private homes — all within walking distance of local Metra stops and illustrative of the lifestyle and history of commuter service in our community — will be open to visitors for the Beverly Area Planning Association’s 47th edition of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour, Sun., May 20, 12 to 5 p.m.

Visitors on this year’s tour will step inside a glorious Colonial revival mansion that has been renovated from foundation to roof; a deluxe Chicago bungalow beautifully updated for an active family; a gracious Tudor just steps away from the woods; a charming Prairie-influenced hilltop home; and a cozy stucco cottage with a garden hideaway.

Homes are selected for the tour because of their outstanding decorating, amenities and architecture. Featured this year are homes where contemporary stylings enhance original architectural details and offer a range of great ideas for updating kitchens, baths, basements and even yards.

Home Tour stops feature cooking and decorating demonstrations, experts offering home and garden advice, sponsor giveaways, tastings and more.

A True Commuter Community

Beverly/Morgan Park would not exist today had it not been for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (now the Metra Rock Island). When the Rock began daily commuter service downtown nearly 150 years ago, the sparsely settled areas along the Blue Island Ridge that became Beverly/Morgan Park began attracting people who desired homes in a “suburban” setting but accessible to jobs and shopping, as well as railroad workers and service providers in need of lodging close to station stops.

Home construction on the Ridge boomed following the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. From mansions that housed some of Chicago’s most prominent families, to cottages and bungalows for families of more modest means, quick transportation downtown was a key influencer for home buyers more than a century ago, just as it is for buyers today. Many of the stations, now located at four-block intervals from 91st to 115th Streets, served as village centers for shopping, and the surviving stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s form the Rock Island Train Station historic district because of their historic and architectural significance. All of the stations are part of daily life for the estimated 8.3 million riders currently commuting between Joliet and LaSalle Street each year.

At Home in Beverly/Morgan Park Today

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Tickets to this year’s tour are $30 in advance at www.bapa.org or $35 on the day of the tour, Sun., May 20. Homes are open from 12 to 5 p.m. All tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m. The starting point is RMH Design, 1806 W. 103rd St., an eclectic home décor and clothing boutique, where people must check-in to receive their booklets, which are required for admission into the homes.

Thank You Home Tour Sponsors

Pacor Mortgage, Southtown Health Food, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Benjamin Moore Paint, Marquette Bank, PRS Real Estate Services, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Steuber Florist & Greenhouses, Coldwell Banker Residential Oak Lawn,  19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Beverly Review, RMH Design, and Road Home Program.

Information about the Home Tour and sponsorship opportunities, as well as tickets are available at BAPA, 773-233-3100 or www.bapa.org.

 

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.

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