Saturday, February 23, 2013


Near this site, from 1696 to 1699, stood Father Pinet's mission of the Guardian Angel, from which he conducted his evangelical labors amoung the Miami Indians.


The Chicago Nursery and Half Orphan Asylum (Chapin Hall for Children) had its beginnings in "The Sands",
now Michigan Avenue. It was there that three women established a home for the children of desperate young mothers who suddenly found themselves widowed and without funds. The year was 1860.  The mothers were charged five cents a day.  All they could afford to pay from their meager salaries of three or four dollars a week.

During the Civil War the Nursery changed its program of day-nursery service for working mothers to a round
-the-clock resident care program for children. In
1811, following the Great Chicago Fire, the children were moved to Burling Street.

In 1911
, acreage at the corner of Foster and California Streets was bought and the main building and one cottage were built in 1916.  A second cottage was erected  in 1931.  A bequest from the estate of Charles A. Chapin was used for the completion of the main building with the agreement that it be called Chapin Hall in his honor.

In 1964, Chapin Hall merged with Ridge Fann, a children's home, in Lake Forest and their children were brought here.  The Ridge Farm cottage was completed in 1966.

Chapin Hall for Children is
licensed by the State of Illinois to care for sixty children- thirty girls and thirty boys.


In 1885
, Henry Palmblad spoke to an assembly. His speech was the beginning of the Hospital. It opened April 1, 1886,and was dedicated June 26, 1886. It was originally a one-story frame dwelling located at Bowmanville, Illinois. The new hospital was dedicated in 1903 and construction of new and better units continued through the decades. It celebrated its 75th anniversary on June 26, 1961.

The Hospital pioneered the use of X-Ray treatment for cancer.
Before the hospital, this area was occupied by Archaic Indians from 6000-3000 B.C.; under water during the Nipissing stage until about 1500 B.C., re-occupied
by early woodland and upper Mississippi
IndIans until modem times. A village of 750 Miami Indians and a French Jesuit mission station existed here in the 17th century.

In 1885, the Swedish Evangelic Mission C
ovenant purchased the  site to establish a home of mercy. At the time the land was purchased, the area was known as the city of Bowmanville. It remained the city of Bowmanville until July 15, 1889, when it was annexed to the city of Chicago.

Trail Point 15 - LINCOLN SQUARE

Lincoln Square is an island at the intersection of
Lincoln, Lawrence and Western. On this island is the statue entitled "Chicago Lincoln". At the base of the statue is one of Lincoln's many quotes. It reads as follows:

"Free society is not and shall not be a failure."

The  statue was sculptured by Dr. Avard Fairbanks after  the pattern of the model by Lloyd Ostendorf who built the model for a contest to detennine the best idea for the statue.

The statue was unveiled on Saturday, October 20,1956, by Governor William G. Stratton and was financed by the State of Illinois.

Trail Point 14 - HILD LIBRARY

The Fredrick H. Hild Regional Library was founded in 1930.  I
t is one of many branches of the Chicago Public Library and is named  after Fredrick H. Hild, who was head librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1887 to 1903.

The library contains 130,000 volumes. 
It serves
both children and adults from all parts of the Northside.  The Hild Library is also the home of the Ravenswood-Lakeview Historical Association, the area through which our trail passes.

Trail Point 13 - WELLES PARK

Wells Park was so named on February 9, 1910 for American Editor and Statesman Gideon Welles who served in the Cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln as Secretary of the Navy.


The lower church was built in 1890 and the upper
in 1895.
Dedication was in 1897. The present school was built in 1903. The library was built in 1911. In 1939 there was a fire and the library was restored. In 1926 the present rectory was built and in 19~8 the Sisters house was built. In 1950 there was a fire in  the church and the church was restored. 1957 was the Church's 75th jubilee.