Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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West Side Alley (Joliet, Illinois)
West Side Alley (Joliet, Illinois)
TitleWest Side Alley (Joliet, Illinois)
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingApril 7, 1929
DescriptionDrawing of a West Side Alley in Joliet, Illinois. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticlePicturesque west side alley
Date of ArticleApril 7, 1929
Transcript of the ArticleSUNDAY APRIL 7, 1929
How charming are these neat, picturesque, homelike, expressive alleys in the gentle springtime.
How much more human and interesting they are than the sometimes staid, stern, solemn and stately front doors, front yards, all laid out for him who runs, to read. Oftimes the front, comparatively speaking, is like ‘prunes and prism, ' a bit ‘sot, ' and finished. All is completed with little left to the imagination. And the best foot foremost is not usually merry, when the front yard presents it.
But the back gate, how welcoming as it swings on its hinges. The back fence, a pretty trellis, shows glimpses of unruly hollyhocks and sunflowers winking toward the sun. And what neat green garbage containers stand so discreetly near the gate. How daintily the young poplar trees stretch their straight branches toward the sky. How the maples or the apple trees, if any there are, lean over the fence, companionably.
And what a fine hop, skip, and a jump brings that pleasant horde of children down the lane!
How their delightful chattering and and shrieking and skipping and playing fills the air.
How seasonable they look in the springlike lane, where buds are showing on every branch, and the smoke from burning leaves rises on the air.
What joy in bonfires!
The lane, or alleyways, or passage or court, in the picture, whatever you will, is one of the many inspiring and homelike bits belonging to the homes of Joliet.
You enter this particular lane from the east, from Clement street.
You wander along toward the west, enjoying the view, that is you enjoy it mightily, if you like the natural, the unaffected, the genuine humanity of even an alley. Cats sit on the fence or perchance on a higher corner of the garage, for cats know that fierce dogs abound. In passing, here is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry F. Hammel, whose charming children, wandering by, add to the charm of the lane. There is little Miss Mary Hammel, all of nine years old, and there Miss Joan, if you please, five years with oh! such poise.
And indeed here come three more bright-eyed misses. Miss Patsy Walsh, four years old, as shy and sweet as a violet. And there is Joyce Walsh, seven years old. Both are pretty daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Fred J. Walsh, whose handsome home fronts on Campbell street but whose back gate opens on this enticing lane. The Walshes, by the way, have three more children, a baby of 18 months, and two sturdy boys. One is John, who boasted that he could eat more than his dad.
Billie Burrill, from the corner of Western avenue and Wilcox street, plays in this alley and so does Lois Ann Dempsey, who lives on Oneida street. The home of the John W. Gray family fronts on Campbell street and young John Gray plays in the alley whenever he wills, so he does.
The charmingly ancient type of barn with the tower sort of steeple, belongs to the Gray home. It is now a garage and is painted as white as snow, yet it harks back to early times. But the Grays have lived in the Campbell street home but 11 years. Before them Michael Philbin owned the property.
In 1894 Mr. and Mrs. Edward L. Knowlton owned the place, and in 1872 it was owned by Henry Strickland, who bought it from the canal trustees in 1852, according to the People's Abstract company. It is not known when the picturesque barn with the tower was built.
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description27.5 cm. x 21.5 cm.
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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