Lloyd’s Railroad, Telegraph & Express
Map of the United States and Canada
Chicago Evening Post, April 4, 1867
An attempt was made last week1 to give some general information concerning the suburbs of the city, and some particular information concerning such of them as are situated on the line of the Illinois Central railroad. In the present article further particulars will be given concerning towns on other roads. Having commenced with the Illinois Central, it will be natural to “swing around the circle” from the east and south to the west and north; and as no inhabitable town is known to exist on the lines of the Michigan Southern and Michigan Central roads, within easy reach of the city, we come next to the
PITTSBURGH, FORT WAYNE AND CHICAGO RAILWAY.
Not much can be said of this. For fifteen miles it runs parallel with and close to the track of the Michigan Southern road, and for these fifteen miles the ground is very low and sandy, so much so that it is almost totally uncultivated and uninhabited. Beyond, it recedes gradually from the lake and the ground along its line is habitable and at last very desirable. This very desirable land, however, is so distant from the city as hardly to be reckoned suburban. The accommodation train on this road which runs six times daily to and from the stock-yards is one of our main main connections with this very important suburb. Its depot near Madison street bridge, is quite convenient, but its track runs for four miles through the city, and most of the way, where the streets are almost constantly thronged with men and teams. Consequently it is compelled to run very slowly. Advantage might be taken of this line, which passes scores of lumber yards, docks, warehouses and manufactories, where thousands of laborers are employed, to establish a village south of the stock-yards, especially for the convenience of laborers.
The first depot on the line of the road is Clark Station, which is twenty-four miles from the city. It is a small village in the midst of a sparsely settled country. Thirty-three miles form the city is Hobart. At these places there is a little timber. Valparaiso, forty miles from the city, the first express station, is a fine thriving town of several thousand inhabitants. The country around it is beautiful and well-cultivated, and if the place was not so far off it would make a delightful summer residence.
Next west of this line we find the
CHICAGO AND GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY.
This road is comparatively new. It has been in operation less than two years, and the country on its line is not so well known as it deserves to be. At present this road enters the city on a track parallel to that of the Galena division of the Northwestern, and occupies the depot of the Milwaukee road, which is close to the Kinzie street bridge, half a mile north of Madison street, half a mile west of Clark street, and nearly a mile from the Court House. This station it occupies but temporarily, but its permanent depot will probably be built near te corner of Carroll and Canal streets, which is but a few rods from the Milwaukee depot. This location of the depot will make the towns on this rosd especially accessible to those who do business on the West Side and on those streets of the North and South Sides which are near the branches of the river. To those whose business is as far east and south as the Court House it will be less convenient, for not many are willing to go a mile after having spent half an hour or more on the cars. As it leaves the city by the most direct route, running onlu two miles and a quarter within the limits, it is hindered by the slow running necessary in crossing streets less than most railroads. Its trains reach the city limits in a quarter hour or less. From the limits it turns directly to the south.
It has been said that the country on this road is little known. This year arrangements have been made to make it unusually accessible and available. The railway company have made arrangements with the Chicago and Lansing Transit Company, by which Messrs. Ebberts and Garfield are granted a lease on the road as far as Lansing, near the Indiana line, for the purpose of running trains for the accommodation of the way passenger and freight business that place and Chicago. Without flattery it must be conceded that these lessees have acted very wisely. They have purchased large tracts of land on the line of the railroad, on which they are laying out suburban villages. It is thus in every way important to them that the country be rapidly improved and thickly settled. If the railroad is made a convenient means of communication, the towns on its line will grow rapidly, and the lessees will be profited by the rise in the value of the land. If the population increases, the business of the road will be increased, and they will be enriched by the traffic on it. In order to secure these results they have put upon the road an accommodation train, which makes two trips each way daily, stopping at every station, and carrying passengers and freight at rates which seem exceedingly low. The commuted rate of fare is but 1¼ cents per mile, and arrangementsb will soon be made to affors a reduction even on this rate. Notwithstanding these low rates, and the present sparsely settled condition of the towns on the road, the lessees assure us that this train is already self-sustaining, a fact in railway economy which deserves the close attention of other railway officials.
The country on the line of this road is somewhat varied. A little of it is flat, but most of it quite rolling, and at several of the stations the surface is beautifully diversified and adorned with fine groves of trees.
The first of the stations on the line iof this road is
This place is pretty well known to the people of Chicago. Part of it is within the city limits, and the station is about 6-3/4 miles from the Chicago depot. The ground there is flat, and there are but a few dwellings. The Brighton House and the race-course are the chief attractions of the place. Its chief recommendation is its nearness. The trains reach it from Chicago in half an hour, and fifty fares may be bought for $4.25.
is the next station. It os chiefly famous for the great “Tremont House Farm,” which, in fact, is a kitchen garden half a mile square. The land here is low and flat, but well drained and of excellent quality for gardens, with which it is covered for a distance around. There is no village there and not even a town laid out. Land can be bought and probably at low rates. The station is ten miles from the city, and fares are sold at $13 per hundred.
is 2¼ miles farther south. The station was formerly called Evans, from Dr. John Evans, who has a large tract of land there. General Hunter has a large farm there. There is no town there. The country is covered with cultivated farms, small tracts of which, near the station, can be bought at reasonable rates.
Less than a mile south of Sheridan, and 13¼ miles from the city is
a place which, if all that is said of it is true, has a more diversified and beautiful surface than any other ground in Cook county. This station is near the northern extremity of that remarkable ridge of ground known as Blue Island. This “island” is a high ridge of land, about a mile wide and six miles long, extending from north to south through an ocean of flat prairie. Upwood, which a few days ago bore the name of “Morgandale,” comprises about a square mile of the Morgan estate, which for twenty-two years has been the residence of a well-known wealthy citizen. This section of the estate has been suffered to remain almost in its primitive condition. It is the highest ground in Cook county, tye tops of the hills being seventy=five feet above the surface of the lake. The surface is diversified by deep ravines, and most of it is covered with a heavy growth of magnificent forest trees, many of them two or three feet in diameter. The forest has hardly been touched by the axe, and the ground now stands in all its original beauty. The station is two miles west of of the head of Calumet Lake, and exactly six miles south of the southwest corner of the incorporated city. It overlooks the low and flat lands in the vicinity for miles, and, where the trees will permit, the city can be seen distinctly. A town will be laid out here this spring, or rather a cluster of small farms. Probably none of the lots will be less than ten acres in extent. If the design is carried out the place will become a magnificent park, lacking only the lake view to make a perfect country home. Doubtless the projectors of the town will make due announcement when it is brought into the market. As fares are commuted on the accommodation train, it costs eighteen cents to get there.
is one mile south of Upwood, and fourteen and a quarter miles from the city. Like Upwood, it is situated on Blue Island, and the ground is high and rolling, just as at Upwood, but the trees have been mostly cut off. At this place the Transit Company owns 320 acres of land, all on the east side of the railroad. The surveyor commenced laying this out last week. Forty acres in the center are reserved for a park, and ten acres in the center of this park will form a public square. From this square avenues will extend diagonally to each corner of the town. The distance from the station to the most distant corners of the town will be about three-fourths of a mile. The ground is to be laid out in acre lots. The prices of these lots have not been fixed, but the founders are anxious to have the place grow rapidly, and the price will probably be not more than $200 per lot during the present season. The fare to this place, at the commuted rates, is 20 cents, and it is an hour and three or four minutes from the city, at the present slow running time. The beautiful and healthful situation, together with the low rates at which lots are to be sold, promises to make this town on paper a flourishing village in reality, in a short time.
Rock Island Crossing
is a little more than a mile further south. This is about three miles from the town of Blue Island. There is no town laid out here, and the surrounding country is not thickly settled. The ground, and doubtless land could be bought cheap. Fares are sold at the rate of $21.50 per hundred.
is three miles farther south. The station is situated on a handsome wooded ridge. A tract, 320 acres in extent, surrounding the depot, has been laid out into a village during the past week. The lots contain about an acre each, and are so arranged that five of them may be bought together in one field. The soil here is a light sandy loam, which makes excellent gardens. The country in the vicinity is all finely cultivated. Lots will be for sale soon at very reasonable prices. The station is a little more than eighteen miles from Chicago, and it takes an hour and twenty minutes and 23½ cents to get there.
The Illinois Central Crossing
is less than a mile farther farther south, on the banks of the Calumet river. The Calumet ice-houses are at this point. The ground is high and handsomely timbered. There are cultivated farms there; no town, but a good place to make one.
is on the banks of Lake Calumet, one mile from the Central crossing, and twenty miles from Chicago. The ground is high, prettily timbered and has a fine lake view. Ho. A.H. Dolton is building a hotel there, and a store will be built this season. A town will be laid out there soon, and great inducements will be offered to those who will go there and build. Fares to this place cost $26 per hundred.
is a mile and a half farther south. There is no town there, either actual or prospective. The ground is dry, but quite level.
is 24½ miles, and an hour and forty minutes from Chicago. The railroad crosses the river at this point. The country here is high and handsome, and a fine farming country, but there is no town here, and no present attempt to make one.
the terminus of the line on which the accommodation trains= runs, is a village with twelve or fifteen houses, a hotel and two or three stores, all built within the past year. It is twenty-seven miles from Chicago, and about half a mile from the Indiana State line. There is a fine dairy country in the vicinity, and an extensive milk trade with the city is already begun there. The town is laid out into quarter-acre lots, and these are sold generally for about $50 per lot. The cars reach it from Chicago in two hours, and the fare, at the rates of commutation, costs about 35½ cents.
It will be noticed that what has been done on this road is only a beginning. To make the more distant places convenient for people doing business in the city, it will be necessary to run the trains faster. This it is the intention of the lessees to do as soon the settlement of the towns on the line by Chicago people is fairly begun. Then it is proposed to run from Chicago to Lansing in one hour, which would make Upwood and Washington Heights as convenient, as far as time is concerned, as Indiana avenue near Thirty-first street. It is intended soon to issue yearly, half-yearly and quarterly tickets on this line which will reduce even the low rates at which fares are commuted now. The rates to Upwood will be about $60 per year, permitting the purchaser to ride as often as he pleases. This would be little more than eight cents per ride to those who come into the city and go out daily.
This train accommodates some people who live in the city. It stops just outside of the city limits, at the crossing of Madison street, and again on Lincoln and Halsted streets to take on let off passengers. From these places passengers are carried at street-car rates and with much more than street-car speed and comfort.
THE CHICAGO, ALTON AND ST. LOUIS RAILROAD
is the next in order. This road runs out from the same depot as the Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne road, and, for some distance, on the same track. For a long time it has run an accommodation train which comes into town early and goes back before evening; but this has been supported by people from the country who come into town occasionally, and not by people from the city who come in daily to work and go out to live. The advantages and disadvantages which it has on account of its track for a long distance through a busy portion of the city, it has in common with the Fort Wayne road, as heretofore noted.
The first station is
with its hotel and race track and frequent frolics. It is five miles from the Chicago depot. The pace has been spoken of in connection with the Great Eastern Railway.
distant twelve miles from the city, is the next station. Like all the rest of the stations on the road, this side of Joliet, it has the canal and the Desplaines river on one side. The ground here is high,—nearly the highest in the State,—and it is moreover somewhat rolling. The town is small and has not yet attracted the attention as a suburban village. There is a fine farming country there. John Wentworth has a magnificent farm of 2,500 acres within a short distance of the depot.
is seventeen and a half miles from the city. It is a little village in the midst of a well cultivated farming country. To the east of the railroad the ground is high and dry. Between it and the river there is a strip of low, flat land.
twenty-two miles from the city, is at the crossing of the feeder of the canal. The ‘sag” extends from the river around to the lake. The grounds there here is low and marshy. There is no town there, and probably never will be.
three miles and a half further south, is only a flag station. The ground on the east side of the railroad is favorable for residences, if any one should take the trouble to build any there. A considerable amount of ice is cut there, and this its chief claim to recognition.
os twenty-five and a half miles from the city. It is a fine town of a few thousand inhabitants, handsomely situated on the left bank of the river. It has a very large trade with the surrounding country, the farmers coming there for twenty miles around with their grain, on account of the cheap freights on the canal. There are few pleasanter towns so near Chicago. Several Chicago business men have theor homes there.
the county seat of Will county, and a city of several thousand inhabitants, is one of the largest and most thriving places between Chicago and St. Louis. It is famed especially for its great quarries of excellent building stone and for the State Penitentiary, where so many of our fellow-citizens are provided with homes and employment. It is about forty miles from Chicago, too far to be suitable for most business men. Several of our merchants, however, have their residences there. It has plenty of churches and an excellent system of public schools, and these, with the beauty and healthfulness of the place, prove strong attractions.
The prices of commutation tickets to these places for three months, six months, and for one year are given below:
These commutation tickets give the purchaser the right to ride at will on all passenger trains, for the time for which they are sold.
THE ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD
is the next in order. Its depot in the city is quite convenient to many business men of the South Division, and its running time to the city limits is less than on some other lines, though it runs three and a half miles within the city. Most of the ground on its line is good, but there is but one thriving village this side of Joliet. The first station is
seven miles from the depot in the city. This is the point where it begins to diverge from the course of the Michigan Southern railroad. There is a village of perhaps a dozen houses here on the prairie, which is low and flat and sandy and partly covered with a growth of trees. Some land about forty rods from the depot, but close to the place where the dummy on the Ft. Wayne road stops, was sold lately for $1,000 per acre. This tract is on the corner of Wentworth and Junction avenues. Another lot forty or fifty rods from either station was sold for $500 per acre. The trains run to this station in twenty-five minutes, which makes it quite convenient to those especially whose business is near the Chicago depot.
sixteen miles from the city, is reached by express in fifty minutes. It is a large village with a population of between one and two thousand. It is one of the oldest towns in the vicinity of the city. Its position is at the southern extremity of the high ridge known as Blue Island, and the ground there is high and rolling. The place would seem to be well situated for suburban residences, but only a few citizens live there. Tickets to this town, good for twenty-rides, are sold for $10.
The next stations are Bremen, twenty-three miles, and Mokena, thirty miles distant. Knowing nothing, the writer will say nothing of these towns; and of Joliet, the next station, enough has been said while speaking of the Alton and St. Louis railroad.
Going forward, we next reach
THE CHICAGO, BURLINGTON AND QUINCY RAILROAD.
This road, certainly one of the most complete and best equipped in the Unites States, runs through 265 miles of the handsomest as well as the most fertile country in the State, and the forty miles of it west of Fox river runs through many fine villages, beautiful for situation and desirable homes. With all its advantages, it has one disadvantage which operates seriously against the convenience of these towns as residences for city men. For nearly five miles and a half its track is within the city limits, and half an hour is generally consumed in running from the depot, at the foot of Lake street, to Western avenue. This objection does not operate against such persons as do business anywhere in the South or West Divisions in the vicinity of Eighteenth street. Its trans stop at Canal street, and again at State street, and they reach these streets generally a quarter of an hour or more before they arrive at the depot. Outside of the city the trains run rapidly and there are many of them.
For thirteen miles west of the city, as far as the Desplaines river, the road runs over a low and perfectly flat country, being, in fact, a continuation of the plain on which Chicago stands. No town has been established on this ground as yet, but it presents decided advantages, especially for a village of laborers; for one might be established near the city containing numerous factories, packing houses, lumberyards, docks, etc., where thousands of men are employed. The trains now stop just outside the city limits, and if they ran at the proper hours to accommodate laborers, a village might be rapidly built here. This stopping place is nearly 5½ miles form the Central depot, but less than 2½ miles from the river, where there is employment for so many. In the town of Cicero, nine miles from the Central depot, there is another stopping place, but the first place which is occupied as a suburb is
thirteen miles from the city, on the east bank of the Desplaines river. This place is especially noted as the residence of David Gage, of the Tremont House. This gentleman has a beautiful county seat there, and there he keeps his splendid stud of blooded horses. The ground is level but not high, but is finely wooded, and the river which bounds it adds to its attractions. Most of the ground convenient to the station is the property of Mr. Gage, and is not now on the market. There is a small population of citizens there now, however, and its nearness to the city can hardly fail to attract more when lots are offered freely for sale. The accommodation trains, of which there are two each way, reach it, by the regular running time, in forty minutes.
West of the Desplaines river the ground rises and becomes high and beautifully undulating, presenting as desirable a surface as can be found on any route so near the city. Two miles from Lyons is the “milk station,” called Salt Creek, where the early train in the morning stops to take on cans of milk, and where the late train in the evening puts off the empty cans.
a mile farther west, and sixteen miles from Chicago, is said to be the highest point of land between Chicago and Burlington. Here, as four miles further west, the ground is diversified by handsome swells and hollows, which are exceedingly beautifl, though entirely destitute of trees. Land can be had there in quantities to suit, from a lot to a farm, at prices not much greater than are paid for farming lands. Its chief claim to distinction at present is a store—almost the only building at the station. Most of what has been said of Hazel Glen may be said with equal truth of Bushville, which is not a town, but only a good place to build one. Land is cheap and plenty, and good, the surrounding country is occupied by fine farms, and all three of the stations mentioned—Salt Creek, Hazel Glen and Bushville—will probably soon claim the attention of all the accommodation trains. They have been created by the heavy milk trade of the vicinity, which has caused the establishment of these “milk stations,”—originally nothing but platforms to put the cans on—and the running of the “milk train,” early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
nineteen miles from the Central Depot, is an accomplished fact. It is the first station on high ground at which all trains stop. The land is 174 feet above the level of the lake, and is beautifully undulating, with a handsom swell to almost every acre, furnishing many most desirable building sites. Around it are some beautiful groves of natural timber, and a fine stream runs near by.
One year ago the village was commenced; since which time about 240 acres have been sold in lots, at from $100 to $200 per acre, all for actual occupation. About twenty houses have been built. A fine stone school building, at a cost of about $7,000, was completed last fall by Wm. Robbins, Esq., and an academy is maintained in it with about sixty scholars in attendance. An arrangement has been made to carry scholars to it from Chicago for ten cents, thus giving to city children good schooling and fresh air altogether, at a cheap rate. Religious services are held two or three times every Sunday in the hall of the academy.
It is claimed that it is economical to live in Hinsdale. Indeed it is said that a large lot with a comfortable cottage can be bought and paid for with the money which it would be necessary to pay for three or four years’ rent in the city. The founders of the place designed to make of it an eminently respectable place, in which people would have no occasion to be ashamed of each other, but where neighbors could truct each other and live without interference from rowdies and blackguards. To secure such a place the sale of liquor is absolutely prohibited by the conditions of the deeds. Every effort is made by the inhabitants and by the proprietors of the unsold property, to encourage schools and churches and legitimate means of instruction and amusement, but they do not reckon saloons with these.
The trains reach this town in just about an hour, and they all stop here. It has grown and is growing so rapidly, and is attracting so many of our business men, that it can hardly fail to become one of our most important suburbs, as it now, doybtless, the most important of those on this line of railroad. The proprietors of the town are William Robbins and O.J. Stough, the latter of whom has an office in the city, at No. 18 Smith and Nixon’s building, where he will be glad to give additional information.
is four miles further west. The ground is perhaps not quite so high as at Hinsdale, but it is handsomely rolling, and is further adorned by a fine grove. There is a little village here, nearly all of which has grown up since the railroad was built, a few years ago. The white spires of its three churches pointing up through he trees on the south side of the railroad make one of the prettiest pictures to be seen on the line of the road. There are lots in abundance ro be had here, at from $50 to $100, but it has been intimated that the place would have grown faster if they had been sold cheaper heretofore. At all events the pretty village is the home of but a few city families, though it would be hard to find a more desirable place at that distance from the city. The fastest trains reach it in an hour and five minutes; the slowest in an hour and fifteen minutes.
is twenty-six miles from the city. It is a new and and a small village with plenty of handsome ground to grow on. The trains reach it in an hour and a quarter, or a little more.
Albert Ruger & J.J. Stoner
the present county seat of Dupage county, flourished and was great in the days when the farmers hailed their grain to Chicago, for a large share of them spent the night at its hotels and bought goods at its stores. Since the completion of the new line of the Burlington road, it has recovered something of its old life, and is a thriving business point. There is a large German population here, and the place famous for its lager beer along the whole line of the railroad. The place is built on both banks of the Dupage river. It has a population of a few thousands, and is duly provided with schools, churches, an academy, a Court House and a jail. The station is a little to the north of the old town, and residences there are quite retired. There is a large country trade, but only a few Chicago business men make their homes there.
It is thirty miles, and about an hour and a half from the city.
is much more important as a city as a suburb, itys distance making it inconvenient to most of those who do business in Chicago. It is certainly one of the most of that beautiful chain of towns which adorn the banks of the beautiful Fox river. It covers a great extent of ground on both banks of the river and on the island which here divides the stream into two channels. Its large trade with the country and the various factories which make it one of the most important manufacturing points in the State, are of less importance to those who look to it only for a home and not at all for occupation than its numerous churches and its excellent schools, which rank with the very best in the State. Property there is higher than in most towns which are only places to live in and not places to work in, but rents are not more than half what they are in Chicago. The country around the city is highly cultivated, and up and down the river, especially, it is exceedingly beautiful. It is becoming celebrated for its fruit gardens. There are about 150 acres odf strawberries planted here—more than at any other place in the State except Cobden. Large vineyards hae been planted here also.
Notwithstanding its distance, there are several business men in this city who make their home there. Among them is Philo Carpenter, who has a magnificent residence in the place. The accommodation trains reach Aurora in an hour and three quarters.
The rates of commutative tickets on this railroad are as follows:
In addition, tickets for twenty-five rides, good for three months, and which can be used by any member of the purchaser’s family, are sold at half regular rates; i.e., to Lyons, $6.25; Salt Creek, $7.50; Hazel Glen, $8.15; Hinsdale, $10; Downer’s Grove, $11.90; Lisle, $13.15; Naperville, $15; Aurora, $20.
As trains run at present, there are four passenger trains each way, daily. One reaches the city ten minutes before six in the morning. This is altogether too early for comfort, and most of those who come into the city for the day arrive at nine a.m. and leave either at three or at five p.m. If they spend the evening in the city, they can leave by the express at midnight.
It has been proposed to run a train as far as Downer’s Grove which would arrive earlier than nine o’clock. The company authorities have the matter under consideration, and it is possible—perhaps it would be nearer the truth to say probable—that such a train will be put on this summer.
In this examination of our suburban towns we have filled several solid—some of them, doubtless, heavy—columns, and yet have swung but half around the circle. We next reach the various branches of the Northwestern railway, two of which carry a greater suburban population to and from the city than all other lines put together, with the exception of the Illinois Central. The towns on the three divisions of the Northwestern railway will form the subject of another article.
Chicago Evening Post, May 4, 1867
So long ago that many readers of this article will be likely to forget them, articles were published in The Post descriptive of the suburban villages on the different lines of railroad which enter Chicago, with the exception of the three divisions of the Northwester railway. At the time the last of these articles was published, another article was promised to complete the subject. This is that other article.
We began with the Illinois Central railroad, on the shore of Lake Michigan, and proceeded to the west and north, speaking last of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad. The country north of this road and west of Lake Michigan is intersected by three railroads, now all owned and managed by the Northwestern Railway Company. The first if these, the old Chicago and Galena Union railroad, runs straight west from the city; and the third formerly known as the Chicago and Milwaukee railroad, runs almost directly north and follows the lake shore so closely that it is rarely so much as a mile from the bank.
THE GALENA DIVISION,
which is the name now given to the Chicago and Galena Union railroad, is the oldest of the railroads that enter the city. Its track runs over the flat prairie on which Chicago is situated as far as the Des Plaines river. This ground, however, is higher here than farther south. West of the Des Plaines, the land is very much the same as on the line of the Burlington road—high, rolling, and well cultivated. Although the stations on its line are old for Western railroad towns, they are all small until you reach Rox river. Almost every one of them is finely situated, and of late years they have attracted, much attention as suburban residences. It is not alone the beautiful and healthful locatoons which are attractive. The truth is that no other line of road, except the Illinois Central, forms so rapid and convenient a line of communication with the country. In the first place, its depot, within a block of the Wells street bridge, is but five blocks from the Court House and within a few minutes’ walk of the best business portions of the North and South Divisions.In the second place, it has a shorter distance run within the city limits (about 2½ miles) than any other road, except the Great Eastern, which runs on the same track. It reaches the city oimits in fifteen minutes, or even less, without difficulty. Once across the briver, it has little to obstruct it; for there is very little business over its crossings.
Another advantage of this line is the frequency of trains, established for the especial benefit of dwellers in the ciountry, but chiefly express trains; for over this oad for thirty miles run the trains f two different routes,—the Iowa and Nebraska route, which continues straight on to the Mississippi river and through Iowa to the Missouri, and the Galena route, which diverges to the north thirty miles from the city and crosses Fox river at Elgin. There are two daily express trains on each of these routes, so that those who live within thirty mies of the city have the benefit of four express trains daily.
The general rate at which commutation tickets are sold, on this as well as on all other lines of the Northwestern railway, is two cents a mile, or just one-half the regular fare. Yearly and quarterly tickets are sold to some places at lower rates.
the newest as well as the nearest town on this road. It is situated on the summit between the Desplaines and the Chicago rivers, six miles from the Welss street depot. The place was founded only a year ago, when the United States Clock and Brass Company bought forty acres of land there and commenced the construction of their factory buildings. A full description of the manufactory was given in the papers last February, when a party of gentlemen went there and had a supper and made speeches, and when Mr. William A. Giles, the Secretary of the company, was presented with a watch and chain worth $1,500—perhaps the most elegant time-piece in the United States. Those who read these accounts will remember that facilities are provided there for manufacturing 100,000 clocks and a vast quantity of brass yearly. and that a large number of men are occupied in the works. Primarily with a view to accommodate these workmen, the company laid out the village of Austin and built there twenty-four neat cottages and a boarding house. These dwellings the company rents them to the workmen for $150 per year. They would bring about three times as much here.
But it is not intended that none but workmen in the clock factory shall live in Austin. The company has laid out its land into quarter-acre lots. and is ready to sell them at from $75 to $500 to any one who will build on them, but to bo one else. Mr. Austin and others who own the land in the vicinity will sell tracts within three-quarters of a mile to the depot for $200 per acre.
The great advantage of the place is its nearness. Trains from the Wells street depot reach it in twenty minutes, and there are many trains each way daily. You can leave Austin at seven in the afternoon, spend the evening in the city, and return at ten o’clock. The fare at the commutation rates is but 12½ cents. It is designed to make it a neat, tasteful, and quiet village. Two parks have been laid out, and a profusion of shade trees have been planted. The place seems especially desirable to men of small means. It will probably never be an aristocratic suburb, but it will always be a very convenient one. Some wealthy citizens have been attracted there. Mr. William A. Giles, of the firm of Giles Brothers, has his home there, and during the present season will erect an elegant residence at a cost of nearly $20,000 and Mr. Warner, of this city, is about to build a residence which will be nearly as costly.
better known in the city as Harlem, is celebrated for the numerous changes of name which it has undergone. In primitive times it was called Kettlestrings’ Ridge,” from a Mr. Keetlestrings, the first settler, who pitched his tent there in 1833, and, by the way, is still a resident of the place. Afterwards it was called “Noyesville” for a time. This name was exchanged for “Oak Ridge,” until about the time the railroad was built, when it was dubbed Harlem. This name stood by it very well; but, unfortunately, there is another postoffice in the Sate by that name, and so the office there was called “Oak Park.” It was found inconvenient to have the name of postoffice different from that of the town and station; but as the office could not take the name of the town, the town was compelled to take the name of the office.
Oak Park is nine miles from the Wells street depot, and the express trains are advertised to reach it in 28 minutes—a little less time than it takes to ride to Union Park. There are three stations in the village, the first called Thatcher’s, is a half mile east of the Desplaines river; a mile farther east is Harlem; and half a mile still farther is Oak Park. In this way the grounds for a distance of three miles along the road are brought close to the stopping places of the trains. The site of the town is a ridge 56 feet above the level of Lake Michigan, and one of the great watersheds of the continent. The water on one side of it is drained into the Chicago river, and runs into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while the other side it seeks the Gulf of Mexico by way of Desplaines, the Illinois and the Mississippi. The soil is sandy and loamy, and is very warm and excellent for gardens. About a hundred families reside here, of which number probably forty belong to Chicago business men. There is in the town a “Union” church, and a beautiful Episcopal church is nearly finished. Besides these a Catholic church and three German Protestant churches are projected. The people there claim to have the best district school building in the State. A portion of it has been tendered to the Board of Supervisors for use of the County Normal school. The grade of the district school is to be raised to the level of the Chicago High School. There is considerable activity in real estate at advanced rates. Prices vary from $200 to $2,000 per acre. Most of the residents own their own houses, and there is rarely an opportunity to rent one. Twelve new houses, some of them very desirable ones, are now in process of construction. The place is very handsomely situated. The elevated position gives it a commanding view of the surrounding country and of Chicago. Single fares to Oak Park cost thirty-five cents. The commuted rates are just one half of that price. A pass for one person for a year is sold for $60 for six months, $31.50; for 3 months, $18. The trains run so fast that the people can attend evening entertainments int he city, take the cars at 10:20 p.m., and reach home before eleven o’clock. Many prominent citizens reside there, and there is very choice society in the place.
sixteen miles, or three quarters of an hour, from the city, by the express trains, is the next town on thew road. The six passenger trains which run over the line all stop at this station. The place is elevated and rolling and commands the surrounding country for miles around. It is a large but not a populous place; for its few hundred people are scattered over a space of about a mile square. The soil seems to be especially adapted for fruit growing, and some of the finest young orchards in Northern Illinois are there. Much attention has been paid to fruit trees of late, and already there are many orchards of Richmond cherrie, some of which contain thousands of trees, which bear abundantly. In the vicinity are many pleasant drives, and the roads are good. The water, as is the case generally on this road, is excellent.
Land can be bought within a half a mile of the station—most of it within a quarter of a mile—at from $150 to $250 per acre, and there is plenty of it for sale. There are no houses to rent there; but there is a demand for them, and capitalists could invest money in buildings here very profitably.
There is an Episcopal church in the place and a good public school. Among the well known Chicago business men who have residences there may be mentioned T.B. Bryan, J.W. Lathrfop, Andrew Shuman, C. Wade, A.S. Brownell, Nathan Sheppard, H.W. King and John R. Case. The place is growing constantly but not with great rapidity.
Four miles beyond Cottage Hill and twenty miles from the city is
a village of three or four hundred people, scattered over a wide extent of beautifully rolling land, variegated by deep ravines and a fine grove of oaks. Four trains each way stop there daily. The earliest of these reaches the city at 8:45, and the next at 11:10. Going out, one train leaves the city at 4 o’clock, another at 5:30, and another at 10. The running time is about an hour—a little less on the express trains. At the present time twelve Chicago families live there. Messrs. Isaac Claflin, J.T. Reed, A.B. Risley, G.B. Green and Gen. B.J. Sweet are among those who have residences there. Most of these have built or are preparing to build very tasteful frame houses. A new church, under the auspices of a “Union” congregation, is about to be erected. There is a good school house and a graded school will be maintained in it. Land within one-fourth or one-half a mile from the station can be bought for $100 per acre. As at Cottage Hill, the ground here is exceptionally favorable to the growth of grapes, cherries and other fruits, and large orchards, especially of cherries, have been planted. Within three-fourths of a mile is the Dupage river, which abounds in ducks and fish. Most of those who live there have a fee acres of land each. A lawyer of the city who moved there as an experiment a year ago now says that nothing could induce him to bring his family back to the city. Yet the place is a country residence and not properly a suburb. That is, its distance and its connections with the city are such that a resident there—at least the family of the resident—has but little benefit from the schools, churches, the society, and other means of culture of the city. Life in such a town is purely country life, and has all the advantages and most of the disadvantages of country life.
The regular fare to Babcock’s Grove is 80 cents, commutation tickets are sold at half this rate, and a yearly pass, good for all trains, may be had for $80—about twenty-five cents a day.
Of the towns on this line farther west a few words must suffice. They are, without exception, on high, rolling ground, and are many of them prettily situated. DAnby is twenty-three miles from the city, and is distant sixty-three minutes by express. It is a little country village, and has attracted but little attention from the city of late, though there are one or two Chicago families there. Wheaton, twenty-five miles and seventy minutes from the city, isw better known. There is a college there and several churches. For several years it has been the home of Benjamin F. Taylor. Junction, five miles further west, is at the point the Galena and the Iowa branches of the road separate. It is very handsomely situated. Geneva, on Fox river, if not in Northern Illinois. It contains about 3,000 inhabitants, is the county seat of Kane county, and is noted for its neatness, its quietness and its good society. In spite of its distance from the city, several Chicago men have been tempted to make their residence there. Several miles north of Geneva, forty-two miles from the city on the Galena road, is the lively little city of Elgin, abounding in trade, having some very important thriving manufactories, and moreover one of the prettiest placs in the Fox river valley. It is almost too far for the convenience of Chicago business men, yet some of them have homes there.
THE WISCONSIN DIVISION
of the Northwestern railway seems to have attracted but little attention from those who have built suburban homes, Why this is so it would not be easy to say. It runs through a desirable country, which is almost everywhere settled and highly cultivated. Its depot is just west of the Kinzie street bridge—not so convenient as the Wells street depor; but most of the trains on the Milwaukee road runs through some of the most popular suburbs of the city. The fact remains, There are several pleasant stations on the line of the Wisconsin Division of the Northwestern railway, within twenty-five miles; but in none of them is there any collection of Chicago citizens.
There is a place called Canfield eleven miles from the city. A few miles farther on is Brickton, where nearly all pressed bricks used in the city are manufactured. Desplaines, near the crossing of the Desplaines river, is seventeen miles distant. Dunton is twenty-two miles, Palatine twenty-six miles, and Barrington thirty-two miles from the city. These places deserve the attention of those who wish to live in the country. As they have not become fashionable, doubtless land can be purchased cheaper than in localities which are better known.
At present the accommodation train from Woodstock reaches the city at nine o’clock in the morning. Trains leave in the afternoon at three o’clock and at half-past five. Fares on the road are commuted at the rate of two cents per mile.
Canton, Brickton, Rand, Dunton and Palatine
THE MILWAUKEE DIVISION
of the Northwestern railway runs through the most beautiful country in the vicinity of the city, and in many respects the most beautiful in the State. It follows closely the shore of the lake, so that all the towns on its line have the magnificent lake view, to the eye as boundless, as beautiful, and as sublime as the broad ocean. Moreover, the shores of the lake become bold and steep fisteen miles from the city, and the surface is variegated in many places by deep and picturesque ravines and some of the noblest groves of timber in the State. South of the city we have the lake view, but the ground is low and almost flat, and the groves are dwarfed and sickly. West of the Desplaines there is fine high rolling land and a few pretty groves; but there is neither the lake, nor the picturesque variety of scenery, nor equally magnificent groves as we find on the shore north of Evanston.
Since the suburban population has become so great on the line of this road, the railroad itself has become more convenient; because the accommodation trains, which are those which suburban residents use most, instead of the regular depot of the road, which is west of the Kinzie street bridge. The business of the road has also enabled it to run several extra trains.
The chief objection against the road is the length of its track within the city limits, which compels it to spend more time in going three miles than it otherwise would be going to Evanston. It seems a great pity that there is not a railroad to the north along the lake shore, as there is to the south, so that there might be no streets to cross, and no obstacle to running fast. If the Milwaukee road had the same facilities for getting out of town rapidly that the Illinois Central has, the suburban towns on its line would be beyond all question the most desirable places of residence anywhere within fifty miles of Chicago.
On this railroad there are now six trains each way daily. Those which best accommodate suburban residents arrive in the city at 8:56 a.m., at 9:45 a.m., and at noon, and leave at 6, at 4:40, at 5:30 and at 11:45 p.m. The regular fares, as on other divisions of the Northwestern railway, are about four cents a mile.Commutation tickets are sold at just half these rates, and annual, semi-annual and quarterly passes can be purchased at rates which reduce the cots of traveling, to one who passes over the road every day.
The first station on this route is
a suburban village of the dead, and almost wholly given over to them.Its chief living population consists of sextons and grave diggers. It is eight miles north of the city, and occupies a sandy and not very elevated section of ground. If it had not already been devoted to the dead, it might become a very pleasant and a very convenient abode for the living.
twelve miles from the city depot, is the first suburban town on this road, and by far the largest suburban town in the vicinity of Chicago. Its history is connected to that of the Northwestern University, which was established about thirteen years ago. It received the name from Dr. John Evans, now Governor of Colorado, who was one of the most munificent benefactors of the University, and who at once fixed his residence there. The place contains some very handsome ground, though it is not altogether perfect. The shore of the lake, which is about one-half or three-quarters of a mile from the railroad depot, is of moderate height, and is generally covered with a grove, which in some places is very beautiful; but between this high ground on the shore and the railroad is a wide strip of low ground, which used to be to be a marsh in very wet weather. This low ground is now drained by a very complete system of ditches, so that the surface is always dry. West of the railroad a high and broad ridge rises, and this is the highest and handsomest ground in Evanston; though it lacks the lake view, which is the chief charm of the ground near the shore. All the high ground, both that near the lake and the west of the railroad, is very fine ground indeed, and the chief objection to be found against it is distant half a mile from the depot. The nearest ground is the low ground, which is less desirable.
Almost the first buildings in the town were the Northwestern University, the Garrett Biblical Institute, and the Northwestern Female College—all institutions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The town attracted Methodists especially, and for some years was almost exclusively a Methodist village. From the first it became popular with Chicago business men. They were attracted both by the beauty of the place and by its rare educational advantages. Its prosperity has been continuous, and it now has, scattered over a space more than a mile square, a population of nearly 2,000. It has now an Episcopal, a Baptist, a Presbyterian and a Catholic, as well as a Methodist church.
But for its educational institutions Evanston would be wholly suburban. It has no trade, except for the supply of its own wants. There no manufactures—nothing to make a village except its attractions and convenience as a place to live in for those who do business in Chicago, and its schools, which have a certain number of persons connected with them, and which draw from various parts of the country men who have retired from business, and who go there that their children may enjoy educational privileges.
Most of the Chicago people who live there are comparatively wealthy, and there are very many elegant residences, and very few poor ones in Evanston. Many of them, too, have ample grounds, which are amply adorned. There is a choice society in the place as can be found in Chicago. This might be inferred from the character of the citizens, the names of some of whom are given below: Dr. John Evans, Ge. J.L. Beveridge, Hon. Jesse O. Norton, Prof. H.B. Hurd, Edwin Haskin, Samuel Greene, Francis Bradley. J. H. Kedzie, Charles Comstock, W.E. Clifford, L.L. Greenleaf, John Clough, James McLay, A.J. Brown, and A. Hesler. Property has been in demand there for several years, and has risen in value rapidly of late, as the records of a few transactions will exemplify. About three years ago a house and a lot in the place were sold for $1,500. They were sold for $2,100 in the course of six months, and a year afterwards for $3,500. Eight months later—that is, about a year ago—they brought $4,500.
When Professor Blaney left Evanston, four years ago, Mr. B.J. Johnson bought his place for $3,500. Two years afterwards Trinity church, of this city, bought it for a summer residence for the rector, for $8,000. Within the last two years it is estimated that the average increase on the prices paid for lots has been from 200 to 250 per cent. Most of this increase, however, was during the year before last. During the past year the average increase is reckoned at about 25 per cent.
Moat of the people in Evanston own their own houses, and the few houses which are rented are eagerly taken as soon as they are in market, at rates a little lower than for houses of equal size in Chicago; though in Evanston you get an unlimited supply of light and air and lake view with your house, and generally several shade trees and a fine dooryard and garden spot.
Building is, and for some time has been, very active here. Heck Hall, the building of the Biblical Institute, the corner stone of which was laid last Ju;y, has its walls completed and its roof on, and will soon the finished at a cost of $60,000. The basement of the new University building is finished. It will be handsome edifice and will cost $100,000. During the past year not less than seventy-five houses were built, and already a large number are in process of construction this season.
Lots vary in price from $350 to $1,500, according to eligibility, which is governed chiefly by the height of the ground, the groves and the lake view. East of the railroad the lots have sixty-six feet front and 200 feet depth. West of the railroad they are generally seventy-five by 200 feet. The cheapest lots are on the west side of the ridge, about eight blocks from the depot. They are nearly a mile from the lake, but are high and dry. Next in price to these are those between the east and west ridges, and but a little distance from the rail road. Their convenience is counterbalanced by the lowness of the ground and the absence of trees. They sell usually for about $500 each. The principal street through this low grond has a tile drain at a depth of five feet, which, it is said, enables cellars to be built and keeps them dry. It is intended to build a three feet sewer from a point near the railroad directly to the lake. The highest priced are those on the east ridge, where there is a fine grove, and not far from the lake. These sell for about $1,500 each. On the eastern slope of the west ridge, the highest ground in the place, and sloping beautifully up from the street, choice lots may be had for $1,200—about $16 per foot.
The University owns most of the unimproved lots, and there is a complaint that it does not sell them so freely as would be most advantage of the town, and, as some think, of the University itself. The parties who control the University property hope to be able to keep it as an endowment for the institution, and to obtain an income for it by leasing the lots. As the University property is not taxed, the burden of taxation falls all the heavier on those who owns the property in fee simple. Besides, people i this country are disinclined to to put costly improvements on land which they cannot buy, and it cannot be expected that unimproved Evanston real estate will rise very much above its present rates.
The place is well provided with sidewalks, but many of them are what citizens call “double-barrelled,” that is, composed of two parallel planks about a foot apart, with the intervening space filled up with gravel. The soil is generally loose and sandy, and it is said that within an hour after a heavy rain the surface will be absolutely dry, so that children can play and idlers can loll on the grass without the fear of colds before their eyes.
Besides the colleges, there is an excellent preparatory school connected with the University, and private schools, and a public graded school of a high character, for which a commodious school house has been provided.
A pier was built here last year, but it was swept away by the storms of last winter. Such an improvement would give the place rare advantages for boating. There have been hitherto some attempts to cultivate nautical tastes, but they have not been very successful.
The town is incorporated under the general laws of the State and has a President and Board of Trustees.
The regular fare to Evanston is forty cents. A ticket for twenty-five rides, to be taken within three months, is sold for five dollars, or twenty cents a ride, For $25.75 a quarterly pass is sold which will permit the holder to ride as often as he pleases during the three months, and if he comes in and goes out every week day, it will bring the cost of each ride down to sixteen and one-half cents. The running time of the trains varies from thirty-two to thirty-five minutes.
is four miles north of Evanston and sixteen miles from Chicago. It is the first place on the lake shore where the banks are bold and high, and its natural beauty cannot be excelled, perhaps, anywhere within the limits of the State. Its height above the level of the lake varies from forty to ninety feet. At one time the surface was everywhere covered with trees, but the groves have been partially cleared away. The finest ground is on a high ridge which is not parallel with the lake shore but begins at the water’s edge and extends in a southerly direction, bearing a little west from the shore, and leaving a tongue of high but comparatively level ground between it and the lake.
Notwithstanding its natural advantages, which are decidedly greater than those of any other place on the road so near the city, Winnetka has grown slowly. It has been in the hands of persons who have made it difficult to purchase. Its population is about 300. The railroad depot is less than half a mile from the lake, and the town is situated on both sides of it, but mostly between it and the lake. The lots are generally whole blocks containing five acres and having streets on all sides. Most of the improved property is for sale at prices ranging from $100 to $300 per acre; though some of it may be held at $400 per acre. Although the population is not large, there is a great deal of wealth in Winnetka, and some of the residences are almost palatial. The place formerly owned by Charles E. Peck, now the property of John C. Garland, has been named as the most beautiful in the State. It comprises twenty-two acres, which nature and art have combined to adorn. Here also Artemus Carter has one of the most beautiful places on the lake. The residence and elegant grounds of Jeremiah Gage cost $50,000 or more. Among the other well known citizens are O.R.W. Lull, Judge J.P. Atwood, D.P. Wilder, Thomas M. Thompson, James L. Wilson, Porter Davis and O.W. Belding.
There is an excellent free school in the place, which is supported in part by voluntary contributions. There is an Episcopal church there, which is regularly supplied; a small congregation of Unitarians have irregular services, Robert Collyer has preached for them frequently during the summer months. There are no houses to rent there, and only one for sale.
The trip from Winnetka to Chicago requires 45 minutes. The regular fare is 50 cents, and twenty-five fares are sold for half price. A quarterly pass costs $30, which makes the cost of of each ride to those who go and come every week day atrifle over 19 cents.
Winnetka and Glencoe
is a staion nineteen miles from Chicago. It has been known long as the county seat of Walter S. Gurnee, there has been and is no village there. The banks of the lake here are high and varied in surface and generally covered with trees. Inn November a company of capitalists from Rockford purchased 676 acres about the station, the tracy extending a half or three-quarters of a mile along the lake and a mile and a half inland. The company which has bought this land intends to lay itout into building lots and put them into the market in the course of the year.
is another embryo town, four miles north of Glencoe and twenty-three miles north of the city. This place was also formerly the property of Walter S. Gurnee. A short time ago it was sold to a company of gentlemen, mostly of Chicago. The President of this company is L.L. Greenleaf, of Fairbanks, Greenleaf & Co., and the Secretary and Treasurer, C.R. Field, of the First National Bank. The purchase includes about 1,000 acres, a brick hotel and several mhouses. The ground is a strip about three-fourths of a mile wide and stretching about two miles along the lake, including the old town of Port Clinton. The railroad station is very near the center of it. A town was laid out here about twelve years ago, and a few lots were sold at that time. But for several years Mr, Gurnee has withheld it from sale, so that it has not grown. The ground at the lake shore is about eighty-five feet high, and the whole surface is agreeably undulating, and in many places diversified by deep and picturesque ravines, which are finely timbered. The upland has been mostly cleared, and and is now covered with a thrifty growth of sturdy young oaks. As you go west, the ground ascends until within a few blocks of the western boundary of the town, when it begins to slope down toward the west. In the vicinity there is a fine farming country, interspersed with an abundance of heavy timber. About half of the tract has already been laid out into lots, and the rest will be this spring.
The company was incorporated by the Legislature last winter, and given power to erect and rent buildings, as well as to hold and sell land. It is about to thoroughly repair the hotel, and make it ready for the accommodation of boarders through the summer. It also intends to erect several dwellings to rent as soon as possible. It promises to sell lots at very low rates this season to those who will build, as its future prosperity depends entirely onn the growth of this town. The lots vary from one and a half to three acres in extent, and are laid out generally with reference to the natural features of the ground. Though the lots have not yet been offered and the prices have not been fixed, the officers of the company say that the lots will be sold at cheaper rates than anything of the kind that has heretofore been put into the market.
Just about an hour is the time consumed in running from Highland Park to Chicago.
twenty-eight miles from the city—a distance passed in about an hour and a quarter,—was, like Evanston, founded as a university town. To be sure there was a paper city there in 1836; but the palce then existed only for speculative purposes. This place as it now exists, was founded by an association of gentlemen who bought about 2,000 acres of land here in 1856. This ground extends from the lake shore about a mile and a half to the west. It reaches a height of about a hundred feet above the lake, and is broken by deep and picturesque ravines, through many of which small brooks run, fed by numerous fine springs with which the place abounds. The surface, too, is finely wooded, in some places with noble old oaks, and elsewhere with thrifty young oaks and hickories. A landscape gardener, a man of eminence in his profession, was employed for a year to plan the town according to the natural features of the ground. He laid out the place into 340 lots, from two to twenty acres in extent, three fine parks, and twenty miles of streets. In that part of the town east of the railroad—the largest part—there is only one street which approaches straightness. All the rest are laid out in gentle curves, and the general aspect of the town is that of a great park.
Every alternate lot in the town was donated to what was then the Lind University, now known as the Lake Forest University. The rest were sold to private individuals. Besides the lots, there is a park of ten acres, which is occupied by the Lake Forest Academy, a school connected with the University, and considered one of the best in the West; also a park og twelve acres, in the midst of which is located the Lake Forest Female Seminary, the well known school of Rev. Dr. Dickinson, which, since its first opening, has been filled with the daughters of our most prominent and wealthy citizens. The University has a park of forty acres, and there is in addtion a public park of thirty acres on the lake shore.
The twenty miles of streets have been cut and graded, and the ravines bridges in many places by handsome rustic structures, at an expense of about $40,000.
The greatest adornment of the place, however, has been the improvement of lots by private citizens. The place has now a population of five or six hundred, though it hardly commenced growing until 1861. Nearly all the residents are wealthy, and there is hardly a residence there worth less than $10,000, and very many of them cost $20,000 or $30,000. Most of the improved ground there is owned by the University, which is now offering it for sale. Lots of from two to ten acres, can be bought at prices varying from $75 to $300 per acre, varying generally according to their distance from the depot. Some choice ones close to the depot might cost $75 to $500 per acre. Property there has increased in salableness of late, but not much in price.
This is probably the most elegant of our suburbs. It is planned especially for the accommodation of men of wealth, and few others live there. There is a desirable society there as can be found in the State. The names of some of the citizens, most of whom will be recognized as prominent business and professional men of the city, are given below:
H.M. Thompson, who has probably the finest conservatory and green-houses in the Northwest; D.R. Holt, Charles Bradley, H.T. Helm, D.J. Lake, who serves as Mayor of the place; Luther Rossiter, William S. Johnston, C.B. Williams, Hon. J.D. Ward, S.J. Learned, John V. Farwell (summer residence), L.B. Taft, Charles B. Quinlan, Mrs. H.G. Shumway and R.L. Fabian.
The University is in a flourishing condition. The property which it has in its hands will go far toward making it a handsome endowment, and the sum of fifty thousand dollars has lately been subscribed to endow its agency.
There is a Presbyterian church in the place, and as the educational institutions there are all controlled by the denomination, the Presbyterian element prevails here, much as the Methodist element once do at Evanston.
Last winter a charter was granted to Lake Forest at two cents a mile, and quarterly passes may be bought for $37.50. There is no more beautiful place in the State, and it will doubtless continue to attract those who desire an elegant suburban residence.
the county seat of Lake county, is a flourishing town of five or six thousand inhabitants, situated on the lake shore, thirty-five miles from Chicago. It has a very good harbor, and about twenty years ago, when it was called “Little Fort,” and when this city was smaller than it is now, it considered itself a rival of Chicago. The ground here is about sixty feet above the level of the lake, is quite rolling, and has some forest trees. There is, perhaps, no other town so far from the city in which so many people live. It is estimated that the families of nearly forty of our business men reside reside there either the whole or a part of the year. Among these are Captain Clement, of the rolling mills; Dr. L.D. Boone and A.S. Sherman, both of whom have been mayors of Chicago; Homer Cook, Esq., H.W. Blodgett, George W. Stanford, Edward Manierre, Dr. Bassett, and Hon. E.M. Haines.
There is quite an amount of real estate for sale there, both improved and unimproved, at prices which seem exceedingly low to people who live in Chicago. The lots contain about a quarter of an acre each, and can be had for $200 each. A good two-story house with eight or ten rooms, together with a garden, dooryard and shrubbery, may be had for $3,000, and such a place can be rented for about $300. Homer Cook, Esq., who has an office in Dickey’s building on Dearborn street, just opposite the Tremont House, will be able to give additional information concerning real estate and rents there to those who may be curious.
It takes an hour and forty minutes to reach this place by railroad and costs seventy cents at the rate of commutation. Those who live there seem to be delighted with the place. Its situation is beautiful; it is well provided with good schools and churches and stores, as some smaller places are not, and if it is not convenient there to enjoy all the advantages of the city, there is not so many of them needed as there are in a purely suburban town.
So have passed in review nearly all the towns which have any title to be called suburbs of Chicago. It has been seen that all of them offer quiet and healthy, most of them beautiful homes. In many it os possible to purchase grounds large enough for a garden and yard for a fraction of what a city lot fronting twenty-five feet on the street would cost; and in many such a lot would be readily accessible that it would take less time to reach it than it would to reach lots near the limits of the city.
The suburbs offer fresh air, green turf and trees and rural scenes. Some of them offer good schools and churches; some of them are within easy reach of all city privileges. In balancing advantages it must be remembered that waterpipes, gas, sewers, paved and lighted streets, street railways and many other conveniences are purely city privileges. The perfect suburb will be so closely connected with the city s to be able to depend upon it for education, amusement and society as well as for business, and it must have all those institutions of the city which make it a place convenient, comfortable and healthful to live in. But we have no perfect suburbs now. The question of the relative cheapness and the relative comfort of city and suburban houses must be decided by each man for himself, according to his habits and his tastes.
1Chicago Evening Post, March, 1867, currently not available.