Category: chicago

Memorial Day observed in Chicago’s Rosehill

Marked and unmarked graves of Union war dead in Chicago’s Rosehill Cemetery.

Soldier, originally uploaded by mmmmarshall.

Narrative of a Private Soldier » Travel, 1862 (part 1)

Charles Lewis Francis traveled from Baltimore to Chicago in June of 1862, on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. Here’s what his route would have looked like:

This is based on an 1860 map of the B&O Railroad available online at the Library of Congress. CLF reports that it took nearly 48 hours to make the trip. The same trip on Amtrak today would require a transfer in Washington, D.C., but would arrive in Chicago (on the Capitol Limited) in less than 24 hours, assuming no delays. Wikipedia reports that in 1861-1862, the B&O in the Cumberland valley was subject to disruption due to the war, so this may have added to his journey’s length. Additionally, according to the same Wikipedia article, the railroad bridge over the Ohio at Bellaire (or Bel-air, as CLF reports it) wasn’t completed until 1871, so CLF would have had to disembark in Wheeling, WV, and crossed the Ohio river some other way. CLF also reports passing through Columbus, but it’s not clear exactly which route was taken from there to Chicago. It’s possible that he passed through Dayton, Ohio, near where some of his descendants would one day reside.

It’s likely that CLF arrived in Chicago at the Illinois Central Depot, located where Millenium Station now stands, at the intersection of Madison and Michigan. In 1858, it looked like this:

This is a photo provided by the Chicago Historical Society. The white buildings behind the train tracks are grain elevators. All of this is underground now, under the Art Institute and Millennium Park. Here’s another view of the waterfront station, courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society, from an 1857 “birds-eye view” of the city. Note the train steaming in from the left (South) across what was then a breakwater, but is now Grant Park.

chicago summer movies

Here in Chicago, the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival has become a tradition. Another tradition is me, comparing the current selection to that of previous years. I’ve completed my analysis.

boots for the winter city, pt. 2

Previously, I wrote about my travails finding appropriate winter boots which both didn’t look stupid and also kept the rain and snow out. Since it’s rain-and-snow time here in Chicago again, I think it’s time to revisit this question. Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about wardrobe and footwear lately, under the influence of Flusser. As always, I’ve consulted the internet crazies on this topic. This time, the men’s traditional fashion crazies: here and here.

I’ve given a little thought to it, and I’m thinking now that my 6″ Bean boots are slippery simply because they’re worn out. So, I’m going to bow to the pressure of my Connecticut birth and stick with the made in Maine stuff. Here’s the plan:

L.L. Bean 8″ Bean Boots with Thinsulate/GoreTex lining. The best of the traditional leather/rubber boot with the added benefits of modern science.


The July issue of the Flagwaver appeared on the internets recently, containing an editorial response to my complaints about their depiction of the Chicago Flag in their December 2000 issue. They’re dismissive of my originalist argument, preferring some combination of strict constructionalism and textualism. Clearly, some legistlative action is called for. Update: Loyal reader S.G. points out more Chicago flag related action in the soccer arena, relating to the third uniform design worn by the Chicago Fire.

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