Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Village of Joliet (Joliet, Illinois)
Village of Joliet (Joliet, Illinois)
TitleVillage of Joliet (Joliet, Illinois)
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingMarch 21, 1926
DescriptionPrint of what the village of Joliet, Illinois looked like about 50 years before 1926. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleFifty years work great change in city : contrasting pictures show rapid progress of Joliet in half century.
Transcript of the ArticleFrom Joliet Herald-News Sunday March 21, 1926 "Walk about Joliet, go ‘round about her! Tell the towers thereof, if you can! Mark well the growth of skyscrapers, considered the landmarks that you may tell it to the generations following. But observe how soon change comes upon her in 50 years. This charming little village of the picture shows what Joliet was at least 50 years ago, when the early gold coast occupied a good share of the loop and the pioneer denizens of the region were such well known names as Cagwin Munrow, Hyde, Dillman, Burden, Clement, Dr. Davis, Dr. Casey, Dr. Heise Fithian, Delong, Deloss, Fargo, Eldred, Bray, Hill, House, Heath, Howk, Ulm, Pasoid, Van Vleck, Stanley, Haviland, Wheeler, McPherson, Harwood, Simonds, Hardy, LaFountaine, Randall, Stoddard, Brown. The picture is reconstructed from a small photograph taken very early in the 70's by W. D. Fay, pioneer photographer. Abode of Virtue. And isn't it the pretty, perky, cheerful village? Doesn't it look like the abode of virtue and contentment where respected citizens and harmonious workmen might achieve perfect happiness? It may have had full many an unedited history as good as any Spoon River moral, if pioneers had told the tale. But as it looks, the little village seems to slumber dreamily content as I waits for some energetic inevitable Prince Charming to wake it into busy life. Views of Street. Note that this little village is divided in the picture by the Desplaines river running from left to right, and by Van Buren street leading from the river into a dim perspective at the top of the horizon. Note also, that Bluff street is in the immediate foreground, altho partially concealed by the foliage on the bluff at Oneida street, just where the historic stone steps begin to go down the hill. You can see the top step of the hidden stairs but no more. Bluff street runs parallel with the river, but you see only the small section where Oneida street crosses it. Beginning close to the bluff on the right hand you see a bit of roof that leads down from the Callaghan blacksmith shop of early times, which is still standing, tho unoccupied. Quaint Buildings. The bit of roof at the right once covered the brick building that still stands close to the bluff altho it is a forlorn and roofless ruin. Near it you may note the quaint old street light, lamp post that once illumined the region. Right opposite, still at the left was the old Beaumont carriage shop. It is now occupied by a trim milliner shop. The rear stone part on the bank is still standing. Also standing is the old home of the late John Curry, at the right, with a tree still in fine preservation. Probably you can pick out Desplaines street on the east bank of the river, and then Joliet street , and then Ottawa street, and after that Chicago street and then Scott street as they faintly cross Van Buren street. And do you realize that the tallest pointed spire at the right was once the pretty white frame of Central Presbyterian church, before the congregation built the fine, spacious structure at Richards street and First avenue? The old Commercial club occupied the same site later, and the Joliet Republican Printing company's office still occupies the building on that corner. Opposite the church on Van Buren street was a vacant lot, where later stood the old ‘News' building with James H. Ferriss as editor. In Path of Progress. Just east of the Presbyterian church was the old Mansion House, kept by John Dillman, and east of that on the Chicago street corner was Young's hall, later enlarged into Werner hall. And now business boils around the D'Arcy building, which stands on that self same once quiet spot. At the time this photo was taken from which the drawing was made, a ‘quarry hole' made the corner unsightly where now the First National bank rears its fine proportions. The Fish bank was its precursor there. The Scott street corner, southwest, was occupied by a rolar skating rink, and later by a livery stable. The southeast corner at Van Buren street was long the Clement dwelling place, which but recently gave way to make a home for the stately Herald-News building. Church Still Stands. And of course you can see the old Baptist church steeple, old even then, which later became St. Anthony's, and a pointed spire was put upon the square steeple. The old Dr. Casey home, for a long time faced the church. The region was then still an aristocratic dwelling locality of the 70's, where business had not yet ordered ‘Move On!' It was occupied for years later by Mr. and Mrs. William Heise. Andrew Howk lived near the Baptist church where now the new Medical Arts building stands. The Rialto theatre building of course, under the initiative of the Rubens brothers, has spread over most of the block between Scott and Chicago and Clinton and Van Buren streets, where now may be seen this immense monument of their energy, nearly completed. The Chicago street corner was once occupied by the quaint old Auburn House, a picturesque early inn, kept by Charles Austin, standing at this time. Later the Joliet Dry Goods company occupied the Chicago street corner. It was on the corner of Van Buren and Ottawa northwest that Alec Burden had his family dwelling and tailor shop. Still earlier the corner was occupied by Dr. Davis, a pioneer physician, and his family. Episcopal Church. The charming little wooden Christ Episcopal church may be seen indicated in the sketch standing on the northeast corner of Joliet and Van Buren streets. The first stone church was built in 1887. The old parish house was a frame dwelling, built by Governor Matteson, later the Munroe home, on Joliet street, while on the Clinton and Joliet street corner still stands the old stone building of the Abijah Cagwin family. The Methodist church, then standing on the corner of Clinton and Ottawa streets can be seen in the picture. It was moved away to give way to the Hobbs hotel building which still holds it. The William Adam lumber yard was just this side of Christ church, on Joliet street. And on Chicago street opposite the Ducker store site was the original Rodney House mansion. Away out in the dim perspective of Van Buren street neat the horizon, is a little spot that represents the early Burke home on Eastern avenue. It was a picturesque square cupola. The site has been swallowed up in the march of the extensive high school system."
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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