Every summer from 1912 until 1963, children from the steamy and congested streets of Chicago's Near West Side ran and played amidst the wildflowers and trees at the Joseph T. Bowen Country Club. Located on 72 acres of forest, field, and ravine near Waukegan, Illinois, the Bowen Country Club was the summer camp of the world famous Hull-House social settlement house. Financed by philanthropist and social activist Louise deKoven Bowen, the camp sought to provide a sojourn in the country as a necessary antidote to the stresses of city life. Prominent Chicagoans donated funds to build sleeping cottages and children and mothers were invited to the camp for two-week rotations. Days were packed with activities such as swimming in the camp's circular pool, team and individual sports contests, classes in folk or rhythmic dance, games, parties, and art lessons. After a hearty meal in the Commons dining room, a campfire and sing-a-long often ended the day.
Were you a camper or counselor at Bowen Country Club? The Special Collections Department of UIC would love to know more about the people and places depicted in these photos. If you recognize any unidentified people, activities, or buildings in these photographs, please share your knowledge with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (312) 996-2742.
For more information about the photographic collections or the political papers in the UIC Library's Special Collections Department, see http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/