Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Sheet Metal Works (Joliet, Illinois) 1929
Sheet Metal Works (Joliet, Illinois) 1929
TitleSheet Metal Works (Joliet, Illinois) 1929
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingNovember 17, 1929
DescriptionDrawing by Adele Fay Williams of the Sheet Metal Works in Joliet, Illinois. The building was at 105-109 Cass street. Her love of smoke is seen in this drawing. - Donated by Katherine Woodruff Barnes
Title of ArticleAncient buildings doomed
Date of Article1929
Transcript of the ArticleANCIENT BUILDINGS DOOMED
When the "horse and buggy age" was at its height, in the early ‘90's, the buildings at 105-109 Cass street, were beehives of activity, for there Weisharr and Hummel engaged in the manufacture of wagons and the shoeing of horses, two all-important industries. But now wagons are made in mammoth factories and there are few horses to shod, so the buildings stand deserted and forlorn. In fact, they will soon cease to be, as plans are being made to tear them down. The accompanying sketch, showing the buildings as they were before Cass street was paved, is by Adele Fay Williams, Herald-News staff artist and writer.
Altho this interesting group of somewhat battered and weather worn buildings at 105, 107, and 109 Cass street, near the bridge over the Desplaines river, would seem to be ancient enough to date back to pioneer times, these buildings are really not much more than 40 years old.
They were the very first buildings put up in this region of Cass street, which even in the comparatively recent years of the late eighties, entirely within the limits of that interesting period called the "hourse and buggy age" had not made the slightest move towards jumping over the traces-so to speak.
Horse and Buggy Age.
In faot [sic] the busy city of of Joliet was still clothed in its village swaddling clothes from which it was just beginning to emerge, and the fact that this was in the horse and buggy age gave a pecuilar and a special interest to the Weishaar and Hummel firm, who combined the trades of wagon makers and blacksmith shop and did a thriving business with both horses and buggies.
Weishaar and Hummel in 1891, were the first denizens of the long, rambling frame building that had been built shortly before by Robert Adam. This firm did a thriving business for many years. They built heavy wagons for coal and ice dealers of Joliet, including trucks for the Sehrling brewery, housed in the ancient historic structure on the canal bank, already pictured in this series, standing there long before prohibition was thought of.
Son Assumed Control.
J. D. Hummel was the blacksmith, and Joseph F. Weishaar was the head of the wagon works. It was in 1919 that Mr. Hummel retired from the business which was then called Joseph Weishaar and son.
Mr. Weishaar's death came not long after in 1923. The son, Walter, then assumed control of the entire business under the old firm name and has recently removed to a more convenient location at 309 North Joliet street. The sheet and metal works is a separate business, carried on by Joseph Schleer.
Land in Demand.
Altho the frame buildings occupied by Joseph F. Weishaar and son, were the first buildings on this spot, traffic in the landed property there began at an early date.
Evidently this was thought to be a desirable, promising location. [sic] judging from the rapidity with which it changed hands as early as 1836, when it was still the property of the pioneer, Joseph F. Campbell. He sold it to Joseph M. Stewart, early in 1836, according to the records of the People's Abstract company and one month later Stewart sold its to Augustus Garrett, and he in turn, three months later, sold it to Albert J. Bradstreet.
Bought by Pioneer.
The property, which then consisted of sub-lots 3 and 4 of block 10, old town of Joliet, later becoming sublots 4, 5 and 6 of Adam's subdivision, remained in Bradstreet's hands until 1857 when Francis Goodspeed bought it. William Adam, the pioneer, became the owner in 1866 and retained it in his estate, whch was subdivided in 1897 after his death, making six lots. In 1923 the Joliet Sheet Metal works became the owner, and in 1927, Joseph F. Skriner and William J. Kexel bought it.
The old buildings are now being torn down, and the waterway wall construction along the eastern bank of the river is making great upheavals in the limestone formation so long a part of the landscape.
No building is being planned for this spot, at present, which will be leveled down to a sightly smoothness."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Sheet Metal Works -- Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Industry -- Joliet (Ill.) -- History
SourceClick on this link to see more historical information on the Joliet area - http://www.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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