Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Chicagoland Adventures -Johnson and Glessner family story threads, food and Glessner education in the South Loop Dec 9, 2014

Here I am on Polaski on my way to the south loop with Bob Shiel behind the camera on Polaski
On Tuesday Dec 9th. Bob Shiel, my host in north Chicago, and local guide, informed me that Polaski, a major N-S street, was named Polaski after a Polish Soldier in the 20th Century. From my research and the article from 1923 "Appleton Post Crescent
Mon., Nov. 5, 1923 Front Page  KAUKAUNA WOMAN AND HER SISTER DIED IN CHICAGO  Mrs. Gus Johnson Asphyxiated At Her Sister’s Home
By Associated Press
Kaukauna—Mrs. Gus Johnson, 62, of this city and Mrs. M. Walker, 75, of Chicago, were found dead about 11 o’clock Saturday evening in the latter’s apartment at 2050 Crawford-ave. Chicago, according to telephone messages received here Saturday night by Mr. Johnson. Death was due to gas poisoning.

Mrs. Johnson left Kaukauna at 10:20 Saturday morning intending to visit her sister in Chicago until Tuesday or Wednesday. She arrived in Chicago shortly after 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon and both women were killed between 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock. It is believed that in the excitement of greeting one of the women turned on the gas stove, forgetting to light it. Mr. Johnson left Sunday evening for Chicago and expects to return with the body Monday evening or Tuesday. Funeral arrangements have not been made.

Mrs. Johnson is survived by her husband and six children. William, Edward, Elmer, Mrs. Max Streich, Roy, Geneva all of this city; one sister, Miss Hanah Johnson, Chicago; one brother, Andrew, Sweden and seven grandchildren."

 My sense is that,  Christina Johnson and her sister. Metelda Johnson Walker (Married Jacob)  lived here at 2050 Crawford, now Pulaski,  and turned on the gas and they both died in this home.  Christina was buried with her Wisconsin family in Kaukauna Wisconsin and Metelda in Mt Olive Cemetery in Chicago 

 Caleb in black - friendly wait person at Overflow Coffee on State Street in the South Loop. Note Johnny Cash Quote with an updated local quote about cash or credit :-)   Brandon and Amanda are creative owners here! Worth repeat visits.
I had discovered this venue, as a place to eat, have good coffee, and meet close near the Glessner House in the south loop in November with my friend Krystal.  She lives in the southern suburbs and  in November Krystal and I met at Union Station for lunch and then drove to the south loop to tour the Glessner House, 1800 S Prairie at the SE corner of 18th and Prairie Ave S.
North facing side of the Glessner House facing 18th as Krystal and I looked for parking. Nov 2014

Details of the north side, including the little holes for the doves above the entrance for the wagons and later the cars. Nov 2014 In November, a docent was called in for a tour with just me and Krystal. Here is the hallway on the first floor cordoned off as the floor was being sanded, in preparation for the holiday tours. 
Now back in December, this kind "Young man in Black", Caleb, served me and Bob Shiel Dec 9th on our way to meet Bill Tyre, the Executive Director of the Glessner house for a special Holiday season Tour.  I especially enjoy the youthful and family school energy of Overflow Coffee!  Thanks for the sweet welcome Caleb!  And I chose Cash. 

Bob Shiel ready to enjoy the hummus plate and the Ft Dearborn sandwich we shared having coffees as well prepared by the hands of Caleb and Brandon.  

In Nov, The music room, for me is like a warm drawing room, likely to draw out conversations about art and music.  The walls are decorated with William Morris reproduction wallpaper, to fit the original patterns discovered during renovations and restoration work.  Most all of the items are from the Family, shipped back from New Hampshire according to Bill Tyre.
from "William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. Associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement "

While in the piano, music room, is a Steinway Piano made custom for the Glessners on the right, the workings in New York and the woodwork in Boston.  My favorite piece of course is the nude male from on the small table.  So graceful and lithe!   The table cloth is attributed to Frances Macbeth Glessner, as one of her many talents.

On the second floor between the NE bedroom and the childrens' bed room, is a space now devoted to the New Hampshire Summer home, called the Rocks, Bethlehem NH near Littleton. see. for my info
Bill Tyre, started the tour with Bob and me in the basement school room.  Here is a domino set that advertises the Champion Reaper and Mower, made in Springfield Ohio. and the company started by, Benjamin Warder there. . - Then from, the story of Warder, Bushnell & Glessner"John Glessner was hired as a bookkeeper by the firm in 1863.  Three years later, the firm was reorganized as Warder, Mitchell & Company and John Glessner, then just 23 years of age, was taken in as a junior partner along with Asa Bushnell. John Glessner was made vice president in 1870, and immediately after his marriage to Frances Macbeth on December 7 of that year, moved to Chicago where he established the main sales office for the firm on Clinton Street.  The building survived the Great Chicago Fire the following year.  The final reorganization of the firm took place in 1879, when it became known as Warder, Bushnell &  Glessner.

Poster with an example of the Champion Harvesting machinery that was pulled by horse power, manufactured by Warder, Bushnell &  Glessner. of Springfield OH and Chicago IL  

On this tour, Bill Tyre spoke of this silver cabinet having been restored over the past year, with three of Frances Silver works on the second shelf, next to the dining room
I photo of Mrs Frances Macbeth Glessner on display in the front hall way.
Our special tour ended with the Jack Simmerling exhabit recently curated by Bill. Jack, was a local artist and became an expert on Old Chicago.  Here is an in depth article from the blog Story of a House.

Smiling Free Wheelin' Bob Shiel and Bill Tyre at the end of the tour in the Jack Simmerling exhibit room. Note the William Morris tie!  Great to keep coming back to this great place. Hope to co create a Glessner Family reunion sometime....perhaps with Jim Glessner family of Monroe Wi and others.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

History of the Faribault Weaver Family and Pelican Lake- Tree planting, building and water scenes of Pelican Markee Lakes 1947 to 1969

1951 - 4 years after the cottage had been built on Lot 11, Sunset Beach, Paul H Weaver, looks almost meditative in the sand pit left after cement was made from the sand by the craftsmen who build the cottage.  The first image I found of tree planting by a Weaver at Pelican Lake.  A legacy that continues!
 Dad planted a mountain ash seeding he had dug up in the yard in Faribault, beginning a legacy of learning about trees and plants, some native to the region, and some, like the mountain ash, here I remember was European Mountain-ash, Sorbus aucuparia, which had been planted in Faribault prior to the Weaver family purchase in 1943. It had lighter orange berries, that the cedar wax wing bird favor, and did well in this location, despite the sandy soil.  The neighbors to the north east, the EJ Kiekenapps and the Relyea's from Faribault were owners-managers of the Faribault based, Farmer Seed and Nursery company, and encourage planting of non native and ornamental species . Peg Weaver had been an avid birder since taking an ornithology class at Oberlin College, and she and Pete Weaver shared that interest, continuing to notice and feed the birds, at Pelican Lake and in Faribault.

Markee Lake, ca 1948, looking southwest from Lot 11, toward the Saul Markee farm. silhouette of one of the Weaver boys wading and perhaps fishing. Paul H Weaver from  P-P 1943-52 album

I am visioning the arc of history of the Weaver family of Faribault, who, under the guidance of Paul Henry Weaver and his wife Margaret Glessner Weaver made friends with educators like Berne and John Foster.   Following  the lead of Faribault Educators from Shattuck, St Mary's and St James Episcopal schools they purchased  a lot from John Foster of Faribault on Sunset Beach, Pelican Lake near Merrifield MN, in the mid to late 1940's . The purpose of this blog page, is 1) to post photos from the era of 1947, when the cottage was built, with 2) comments from Peg Weaver in her memoir, published in 1994, Rememberings of a 93 Year Old Grandma, to provide a legacy for her six grandchildren at that time: (in order of birth- Kristen Derry Weaver, Valarie Brick Weaver, John Eicher Weaver II, Kenneth Glessner Weaver, Nathan Blair Weaver and Jesse Macrorie Weaver.
 Jack, (John Eicher Weaver), Jim, (James Cowles Weaver) with Virginia Weaver, second wife of granddad Noah Elwood Weaver on Pelican Sunset Beach.  Photo by PHW or NEW.
 Paul H Weaver (smoking pipe) Jack and Jim Weaver, ca 1947, Pelican Lake Beach.

Although we couldn't afford it, in 1947 we built a cottage on Lot 11, Sunset Beach, Pelican Lake, Crow Wing County, on a 100-foot lot that John Foster had sold us for the mere sum of $250, a lot that went back to Lake Markee at the rear. At that time and in our circumstances, that was not a mere sum. Bern and John had taken us to their Pelican Lake Cottage several times for weekend visits (See picture # 1, p. 13,1.). We loved the surroundings, the pine trees, the lake, the relaxed atmosphere -- AND THE LOONS! Introducing us to fishing in their heavy, iron boat with a 2 1/2 horsepower motor, we had no trouble catching a good mess of walleyes. Their cottage had no electricity, but a pressurized gasoline lamp gave excellent white light for playing bridge. We were convinced of the advantages of having a cottage at Pelican for bringing up children as well as for our own enjoyment.
Building the cottage necessitated procuring a loan of $5,000, which proved to be no problem when we applied to Roger Peavy at the Security Bank since he was acquainted with the area, enjoying bass fishing on Lake Markee when he visited the Cowperthwaits, whose lot abutted the one we were purchasing. The $5,000 was sufficient to pay for the cottage."

Rememberings "The digging (by hand) and construction of the cement foundation were done by Glen Handy from Faribault and some men from Nerstrand (a few miles from Faribault) who rented an old cottage on Lake Louge for their sleeping quarters. Using a small, gasoline-motored cement mixer they dug sand for the foundation from areas near the cottage, leaving two slightly depressed areas near the front of the cottage. An old Norwegian, Sigurd Brenno, and a younger Vernon Berg, from Lake Hubert, constructed the rest of the cottage, also entirely by hand (no power tools), following plans I had drawn on brown wrapping paper, modeled after the Foster cottage, with a porch across the front. Because we couldn't find enough windows for the entire porch (still shortages after the war, we were told), heavy shutters were installed at one end, making the porch very dark when they were lowered."

1947 summer construction, looking west toward white pie in center of front of cottage. "Our cottage's location cottage on the lot was determined by a handsome, tall white pine, which we decided to have next to the steps from our front porch. (See picture #2, p. Bp.) Because the area toward the beach had been recently bull-dozed, there were few trees between our cottage and the lake, only two clumps of birch in addition to the large white pine. Today that area is filled with tall volunteer white and jack pine, oak, maple birch and other trees. Our lot had no red (Norway) pine."

1947 view from the north east, showing the construction by the white pine...

More distant view from the beach in 1947, Weaver cottage construction.  
 Jim Weaver, weekend in 1947, when he and his dad, Paul H Weaver laid the brick for the fire place, with a test fire.
"Although he had never laid bricks before, Pete built a handsome brick fireplace at the west end of the living room, incorporating a Heat-O-Lator with built-in ducts for cold and hot air, providing circulating heat, warming the entire room, a device we had become acquainted with at the nearby cottage of Sesame and Ed Hatton, Bern Foster's sister and husband. Jim, accompanying Pete to Pelican to build the fireplace, used a pulley- system that Dr. Hatton had contrived to carry bricks and mortar up to Pete. (It was Dr. Hatton who laid out the location of our driveway from the main woods road to the cottage, placing it in part on the next door Kiekenapp property.)"p54  Rememberings of a 83-year old grandma, 1994, Margaret G Weaver
 Jack, Jim and Peg with gasoline cooking stove.

Peg's experience "Since we knew that we would have electricity in a year or two, the cottage was wired. The year after we built, the Rural Electrification Administration furnished power to our area. For an inexpensive stove, Mike Schultz (a Faribault neighbor who worked for Northern States Power) made us an extra-sturdy, two-burner hot-plate to put on top of the counter; for an oven we purchased an electric roaster. To heat water for dish washing, a strong arm was required to lift the heavy, waiter-filled tea kettles from the top of the hot-plate, which was several inches above the counter. Later, Iry Larson, a neighbor who sold electrical appliances, gave us small four-burner electric stove with an oven, a stove which he had received in a trade-in deal. We used this little stove until 1975 when we remodeled."

Before electricity, Peg with gasoline camp stove, in front of the construction site of the cottage. Here in 1947 are Jack and Jim, having a picnic.

 1949 Buick Estate Wagon of Faribault Weaver's and Ohio License 1951, Chrysler of Noah Elwood Weaver and his wife Virginia Magee Weaver.  Noah Elwood and Virginia would drive up from Ohio to be with Elwood's only child and their grandsons. 
Group of boys, including Weaver boys, Jack and Tom on top of a pile of saw mill wood.  Perhaps one of the Foster boys, Johnny or David on the left. 

Jim Weaver on the left, with perhaps Jack and Tom. at the wood pile, parking around by Weaver cottage, Sunset beach ca 1951.

Jim Weaver, Peg with Tom and innertube, Jack with Paul H Weaver cleaning the aluminum boat.1951
 Tom, Peg, Jim and Jack with "Pete" Paul Henry cleaning out the aluminum boat on Pelican Lake 1951. Photo by Noah Elwood Weaver, Ohio Grandfather.

"Pete", Paul Henry Weaver, at the sink, with the pitcher pump, before electric  pump up water from the sand aquifer. I recall there were electric lights in 1949, two years after the cabin was built

1949 Buick Super Estate Wagon, Tom Weaver, Paul H Weaver and Jim Weaver

Pelican Lake was ideal for kids' wading since the gradient to the drop-off was gradual, shallow water extending outward for about thirty feet. The shore and lake bottom were of sugar sand and the water was clear. Rarely, large leaches would be washed up on the beach, but these did not attack like those little fellows at Elbow Lake. Bern Foster said that there were no leaches at Pelican before Pelican was connected to the Mississippi by the U. S. Corps of Engineers via a canal to Lake Ossawinnamakee.
On the beach, Jim, Jack and Tom waded, dug minnow traps, built sand castles and made roads for their small cars with "road blocks" made from pressed wood. Since we could see the water's edge with no trees to block our view, beach play could be supervised from our porch. However, when the boys went swimming, Pete and I would accompany them, often two or three times a day. When the temperature was over 95 degrees, we frequently sat in the lake to keep cool. I was amazed how HOT the sand could
be. One very hot day, after much coaxing, I took the boys swimming in the early evening, only to be driven back to the cottage by swarms of hungry mosquitoes. Inflated inner tubes provided fun in the water. With Pete's help the boys nailed together a small raft and enjoyed drifting and diving from it. When older, they used the Sunset Beach diving dock and went to a swampy area to dig for clams
 The red headed son, Jack Weaver, 1951, with his darker haired younger brother Tom, digging in the Pelican sand. Note wooden boat of the Relyea family. Photo by Noah Elwood Weaver, in the P-P Family Album

1951, Tom, Jim, Jack Weaver, "Auntie" Ruth Relyea and Michael Relyea on the Pelican Beach 1951, by Noah Elwood Weaver...
Late 1960's,Jack Weaver, Nellie Jane Williams, and Harold Williams with fish from a successful fishing trip.  Jack had moved from Faribault to the Monmouth Illinois area, in 1961, where he attended Monmouth college. While in Monmouth he met is future wife, Nellie, who was attending Western Illinois Univerisity and her dad Harold Williams. They were married in Monmouth in the summer of 1969. Photo by Tom Weaver

Jack building a "minnow trap" 1960's . Jack, the only red head of the three Weaver sons, continuing the lineage from his mom, Peg and grandma Inez Chase Glessner, returned to Pelican Lake, most summers and winter holidays, to visit Harold with his family

 Jim Weaver, looking over from the ladder, and Harold Williams, working to repair the roof on the big Palmer cabin, during the time when all three brothers shared the Palmer cabins. 
The three Weaver brothers owned the Palmer cabins and managed them together from 1967, until the late 70's when legal work had been done to free up the easement that went through the 200 shore feet that Jack and eventually Harold maintained, as he built his own retirement home..
Photo by Tom Weaver

Monday, December 1, 2014

Rock Island Trains in Faribault, 1940's, Lionel Model Railroading Family Basement Creation 1951, 1952 three Weaver brothers at home.

 These Black and White photos are from the P  P, Paul ("Pete" and Peg Weaver Album 1943-52, photos scanned 2014 by Tom Weaver and the colored ones are from Weaver family slides 1959-1978 photos by PH Weaver and cataloged by MG Weaver scanned in 2015.

Here in the mid 1940's, likely 1945 or 46, the Rock Island Rocket passenger train, is facing south, to go to Iowa, Cedar Rapids, when my Weaver grandparents came to visit their only child, Paul Henry Weaver MD, who set up medical practice as a GP, in Faribault in 1939.  Paul Henry and his wife of 3 years, the former Margaret Mary Glessner of Findlay Ohio, moved to Minneapolis from Columbus Ohio in the summer of 1938 where he interned at Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis.   Rail travel was big in the 40's and 50's, with both sets of grandparents, the Glessner's from Findlay and the Weaver's from West Carrollton near Dayton, would take the train. Sometimes the grandparents would take each of the grandsons back to Ohio for part of the summer.
Another view of the Rock Island Rocket at the Faribault station, ca 1945-6. Photo by Paul H Weaver .
In 1951, the three Weaver boys, Jack, age 8, Tom age 4 and Jim, age 11 are working together on a model train table, Jack is painting, Tom supervising, and Jim putting up a tall structure it looks like. I remember we made paper mache' covering for a hill with tunnels and had Lionel trains, one time even a Santa Fe engine, like the Chief that took the Glessners from Chicago to the West Coast and Arizona

Jack and Jim working on the train table project hooking up the switches and tracks in the home basement in 1951, Photo by PH Weaver
 Tom, Jack and Jim at the family Weber mini grand piano in the living room at 426 SW 3rd St, Faribault 1952.
 Jim and Tom Weaver, 1952, trying our hand with the latest reel to reel tape recording technology in the living rooom
 Acting out some script, with Tom the nosy clown, Jack the Canadian Mountie, and Jim looking rather erudite and snooty in 1952.
Tom, Jack and Jim on the living room rug, with the old floor radio in the back, 1952, likely in Sunday best outfits getting ready for Sunday School at the Cathedral Guild House.

1959 Jack Weaver dismantling the train table in the Faribault home basement.  Note the Hilex bleach box Colored slide by Paul H Weaver Dec 1959.

Christmas 1959, Weaver brothers Tom (12), Jack (16) and Jim (19) wearing Carleton sweat shirts, as Jim was a student at nearby Carleton College in Northfield.  

1959 Tom and Jack Weaver - dressed up for church?  Slide photo by PHWeaver Faribault Living room. Ages 12 and 16.