Now we get to the meat of Mike Falcon’s postcard collection, around 40 antique postcards from Chicago. Starting with the earliest ones (1900’s), here’s Part I. All aboard for the grand tour!
The C.D. Peacock jewelry company website says this location (the flagship store and Chicago’s first major jewelry store) was at the corner of State and Lake Street, not State and Adams which is about seven blocks south. In fact, the website has a photo of the same intersection in 1849 labeled Lake Street:
Chicago Oct 13/08
You do not write me any more. I presume you are so busy with your household cares and studies you can’t spare time. You must study hard each day. I am quite well and seeing the city.
(To Virginia Broadwell or Broadnell in Detroit)Auditorium Hotel and Annex, Chicago.
Renamed the Congress Plaza Hotel in 1908, around the time of this postcard, the hotel originally opened in 1893 to accommodate the throngs of visitors to Chicago for the World’s Fair that year.
With the addition of a south tower in 1907, the hotel offered more than 1,000 guest rooms (now 871) and had the first hotel ballroom in the U.S. with air conditioning.
I love that the photographer gave this postcard a little something extra–the fellow in the straw boater sitting on the grass, admiring the hotel, just like the card’s recipient would and like we do looking at the card still.
The Chicago River at Lake Street Bridge, 1900
One of the Sixteen Historical Paintings by Lawrence C. Earle in the Banking Room of the Central Trust Company of Illinois…..152 Monroe St. ChicagoHere’s an image from Chicago History in Postcards of the “banking room” that shows the inset paintings:
Monument Fort Dearborn Massacre, Chicago
Commissioned by George Pullman in 1893 for his own property, near where the event occurred.
The Fort Dearborn Massacre was an approximately 15 minute clash between United States troops and Potawatomi Native Americans, a battle in the War of 1812, before Illinois was a state. Fort Dearborn stood in what is now Chicago’s Loop.
The whole thing started because the British captured the U.S.’s Fort Mackinac, which seems to have supplied Fort Dearborn. So Captain Nathan Heald of Fort Dearborn was ordered to destroy all the fort’s arms and ammunition, give all other goods to Native allies, and in return the Natives were to escort the people of Fort Dearborn in evacuating to Fort Wayne in Indiana Territory.
Captain Heald turned to the Potawatomi braves for this mission. Somehow (by some deceit, I imagine) the braves thought the deal was that they would receive the fort’s arms and ammunition, whiskey, and a large sum of money. The day before evacuation, Potawatomi chief Black Partridge warned Heald that his men were enraged that Heald went back on his word, as they received none of these things. He said the braves planned to attack the Fort Dearborn evacuees, and there was no way he could restrain them.
The following morning, as 54 U.S. soldiers, 12 militia members, 9 women and 18 children set out for Fort Wayne escorted by 30 Miami braves, they were ambushed by a band of Potawatomi warriors, 400-500 according to Heald’s report. The Potawatomi killed 38 servicemen, 2 women and 12 children, taking the rest prisoner.
The monument in this postcard depicts Black Partridge fending off a warrior, sparing one Margaret Helm. Black Partridge led Helm and some of the others in escaping to Lake Michigan where they were able to flee the Territory by boat. In 1972, the monument’s subtitle was changed to “The Potawatomi Rescue.” Today, this controversial depiction sits in a warehouse.
Bill seems to be teasing Mrs. Forbes in St. Louis about her husband:Commercial Avenue, Stock Yards, Chicago
Compliments AB BowersDear Cousin
How are you I am fine and dandy. How do you injoy [sic] this winter we have lots of snow up here. it is snowing to-day well good-by.
from your cousin Herman. E