Hoods Quiz — May 30

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What was South Chicago's original name?

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South Chicago had several names but the first was Ainsworth. It was also known as City of Calumet at one time.
Here is an item from our July 07 local historical society newsletter:
Our Southeast Side has had a history of nicknames over the years since it adopted the names South Chicago, East Side and South Deering. Below are listed a few of these names with one exception. One does not belong. Can you find it? The answer is at the end of the newsletter. Good Luck!
Colehour, Ainsworth, Taylorville, Ironworkers Addition, City of Calumet, Irondale, Suburb of Churches, Deserted Valley on the Banks of the Calumet, Slag Valley, Millgate, the Sticks, and Cummings.
If you are a real SE Side history buff you can also tell which names belonged to each area (SC, SD, ES).

I haven't ever heard the term "Deserted Valley on the Banks of the Calumet" or "Suburb of Churches" ; I've heard of Taylor Street, which probably encompasses the area near UIC, but I'm not sure about Taylorville's historical boundaries. You didn't mention "The Back of the Yards" which is where my family settled back when my Grandfather came to Chicago from Buffalo, NY. He lived between Ashland and Damen. Back then most Holy Communions and Weddings were held in VFW lodges or banquet halls where the women and children stayed in the banquet hall and the "Men" sneaked to the adjoining tavern which was usually in the front of the hall with glass block windows and cool neon lighted beer sponsored advertising such as "Miller Time", "Old Style" and "Old Milwaukee". I loved the parties back then and wish my children could have gone to a real wedding where EVERYONE is invited and children ran free because everyone helped to keep an eye on them. This era was between 1954-1974 and then my family moved toward Archer Heights.

Most of my Aunts and Uncles never moved from Wolcott, Honore or Damen Avenue and that's where their children still live. How about a quiz on that area, so that I can include my Mom to cheer her up; she's 76 and very ill.

When I refer to the Southeast Side I mean the SE corner of Chicago which includes South Chicago (79th to 95th, South Chicago Avenue to Lake Michigan), the East Side, South Deering and Hegewisch. Taylorville was the north part of the East Side, from 95th to the railroad tracks that parallel Indianapolis Boulevard and the Skyway, east of the Calumet River. Douglas Taylor was an early real estate developer for whom Taylor elementary at 9912 Avenue H is named. There is no connection to Taylor Street (named for President Zachary Taylor) or the Taylor Street neighborhood near UIC. Here is the answer to the question from our July 07 Newsletter:

"The nickname that was never used for the SE Side was The Sticks. All the other names were used at one time or another to describe various parts of the area.
South Chicago was formerly known as Ainsworth, Millgate, the City of Calumet
The East Side was known as Colehour, Suburb of Churches, Taylorville, Ironworkers Addition
South Deering was known as Irondale, Slag Valley, and Cummings
We have not been able to verify the source of the name “Deserted Valley on the Banks of the Calumet. Can any of our readers help us out?"

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on May 30, 2008 9:09 AM.

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Hoods Quiz — June 6 is the next entry in this blog.

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