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Showing posts from December, 2019

The Sheep of Washington Park

People are seen walking among the sheep in Washington Park in the early 1900s. Postcard provided by the Newberry Library in Chicago. Publisher is unknown. Counting sheep to fall asleep can be difficult for some people, but a visit to Washington Park in the early part of the 20 th century helped make the task simple. The 380-acre park, at the 5500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, once had a herd of sheep there to graze and keep the grass short in a meadow area.  Several postcards were printed at the time showing sheep grazing and people walking among them. The park district took the sheep out of the park in 1920. The park was built around 1880 and designed by famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Sheep graze in Washington Park. Postcard Published by  S.M. Knox & Co, Germany. The designers wanted to preserve some of the open space there to include a prairie-based design. The sheep grazing area was called the South Open Gree

Where Shall We Eat?

J.H. Ireland Oyster House at 632-8 Clark Street. Published by American Colortype of Chicago & New York. Patrons visiting J.H. Ireland Oyster House might eat in the marine dining room, the banquet room or the lobster grotto room, which like the vintage postcard of the restaurant shows a painting of a giant red lobster on the ceiling. A description on the back of the Ireland postcard raves that the restaurant is the largest exclusive seafood restaurant in the United States. Now that’s an astonishing feat to consider when the closest ocean to Chicago is almost a thousand miles away. But it was pretty common for postcards that promote restaurants at the time to declare they were the best. Postcard collectors often find humor in this. They also enjoy the images of the sleek old-fashioned restaurants. Some postcards also show images of people at the restaurants with interesting expressions and wearing clothing from the time. The Palmer House Empire Room restaurant.