Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Railroad Tower (Joliet, Illinois)
Railroad Tower (Joliet, Illinois)
TitleRailroad Tower (Joliet, Illinois)
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingNovember 13, 1927
DescriptionDrawing of a water tower and coal chute in the E. J. & E. railroad on Columbia Street. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleArtist finds beauty even in coal chute : towering E., J. & E. strucutre seems to dominate landscape.
Transcript of the ArticleWritten in pencil on bottom: "Railroad tower Columbia St." From Joliet Herald-News Sunday November 13, 1927 "No one would imagine that a towering coal chute, big black, massive and utilitarian, could ever hope to figure quaintly and interestingly in a sketch. Nevertheless, the towers, chutes, scaffoldings and other bulwarks of industry often figure in the arts. Joseph Pennell has immortalized them many a time in has dramatic pen drawings and masterly lithographs, to the joy of the observer. This tall structure, beneath which thirsty and hungry locomotives glide smoothly on their rails, is a water tower and coal chute combined. It is here hundreds of engines come in a day and wait to be filed and satisfied. Background of Smoke. It stands just at the north of Columbia street, where many shining rails of the E. J. & E. system pass on their way from the E. J. & E. system on the north to the other yards far to the south. This chute is also the property of the E. J. & E. company. It is always a joy to the eye, for one reason because of its shifting background of clouds and smoke, and for another because the black shadows in such interesting fashion. And besides the tower itself is interesting in line and form. The land on which this tower stands is a minor—or at least—a comparatively small part of the big E. J. & E. system. It was chosen for its industrial importance, rather than its artistic effect. But it is surprising to observe how much beauty can be found, both of line and mass, in the apparently unesthetic railroad system. Sold to John Lennon. This particular bit of land, lots 6 and 7, of Early East Joliet, was a part of the big Cassedy subdivision. The old stone Cassedy mansion which once stood in the thick growth of bushes and trees behind an iron fence on a tall stone wall, was pictured last year in this series. When the subdivision was made in 1854, Jessie W. Fell bought both lots and held them until he sold to the First Congregational church of Normal, Ill., in 1867. And that was the last of Jessie Fell, who otherwise seems not to appear in history. But it was in 1871 that John Lennon, bought these lots and more. He was the founder of the famous clan of Lennons in Joliet, of which Maurice Lennon, attorney, is a shining example. In 1871, Matthew Kerns acquired lot 7, and in 1872, John Bradley was the owner of lot 6. Once Beautiful Region. It was all a beautiful region then, swampy in places, but with trees and foliage. It was also in 1871 that W. W. Stevens purchased lot 7 from Matthew Kerns, who sold it almost as soon as he bought it. And in 1874, W. W. Stevens sold the lot to John Lyons, the founder of another well known Joliet family. In 1881, Matthias Trainor, another well known name of Joliet's pioneer history, became the owner of the lot 7, and in 1890, Trainor sold to Norman Williams. In the meantime, John Bradley sold his lot 6 to James W. Bowlan. In 1884 it was acquired by the board of school trustees and then sold in 1890 to Norman Williams and it was in 1892 that the E. J. & E. bought both lots, as a part of its extensive scheme of growth and expansion."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description26.5 cm. x 20.5 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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