Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 2: Chicago

After a very light breakfast this morning, Mim & I headed over to the Chicago History Museum, where we strolled separately through the exhibits. The special exhibit was on being gay/lesbian/bisexual, etc. in Chicago, and it included an interesting section on Jane Addams and her life partner,  Mary Rozet Smith.  I found a photo of the Unity Building, no longer standing, where Clarence Darrow and Jake Le Bosky (Earl's uncle, the labor lawyer and rabblerouser), respectively, had their law offices in the early  1900's.  We also saw a poster for the Alton-Chicago Railroad, which Charles Nusbaum represented in the teens and 20's.  I liked the exhibit on the 1933 Chicago World's Fair - with its wonderful Art Deco posters - and thought about Dad selling ice cream there. (Am I remembering that right?  Was he selling something else?  Was it a different world's fair?)

Then we met our cousin Ann, who had just arrived from Cleveland, at the farmer's market at Lincoln Park.  We found a shady spot to have lunch and catch up, then walked back to the History Museum to check out the archives, where we were only allowed to bring in a pencil and a pad.  (Found out later that we could have brought laptops, which would have been easier than using a pencil.)  The librarian showed us how to access the archive newspapers in an online data base, the card catalog, city directors and clipping files.  

Ann found some addresses in the city directory:

Earl's Mother's Family

In 1917, Jacob ("Jake") C. LeBosky was a lawyer with an office at 127 N. Dearborn, #820, and lived at 2115 W. North Ave.

In 1917, Leo LeBosky (Earl's Aunt Jenny's husband & Marion Edelstein's father) , also a lawyer, worked at 139 S. Clark st. #1511, and lived at 5136 Ingleside Ave.  In 1923, he  lived at 5488 Everett Ave & practiced in a firm called LeBosky & Pennington.  (In 1928, they were at 5019 Woodlawn.)

Carla's Father's Family

In 1923, Charles Nusbaum (Carl Nusbaum's father and Carla's grandfather) was a lawyer & lived at 5341 Hyde Park Blvd.

In 1928, Carl Nusbaum lived at 5124 Kenwood Ave.  

We also emailed ourselves lots of newspaper articles that will need going through to find information of interest.  Mim found an article about the Piccadilly Theater, where Earl worked as an usher during high school, and place where he sold shoes. (I didn't remember either of these things.)

Our last stop was the Hull House Museum, consisting of the two remaining buildings from the original block, now surrounded by the University of Illinois - Chicago.  This was our favorite stop - after reading Jane Addams' Twenty Years at Hull House, we enjoyed seeing and being in the space, and the exhibits were very accessible.  You could see the bed where she slept, a part of her library, meeting rooms and dining rooms, and get a flavor of the austere yet warm balance throughout.  

Mim found this display about an art instructor at the Hull House who would have been there at the time that Carla volunteered teaching art lessons there.

There were some fascinating maps upstairs, like this one, showing the nationalities of people living in the tenements surrounding the Hull House.  No evidence today of tenements at all.

While Ann and Mim finished walking through the museum, I sat outside and sketched the courtyard.

Tonight we ate at the small French restaurant in the hotel (not the more expensive one) - early enough that we had a quiet table in the corner and the food was excellent!

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