Each week, we will be taking a look back at the fascinating history of Burr Ridge and separating fact from fiction. This week we bring you the final part of a three part look at the so-called “forgotten areas” near Burr Ridge.
This week, we take a last look at several early, but now lost, names in our Burr Ridge area.
Here is a short list of some of those we may have heard of over the years, but for which we have lost context:
House of Correction Honor Farm Colony aka “Bridewell Prison Farm” (c. 1918):
Hard to imagine now, but there once stood a 371-acre farm bordered by Joliet to German Church Roads that housed prisoners. “There were no bars, no cells, and very few escapes,” according to a Pleasantdale Civic Association Bicentennial Commission publication. Mr. Redmond J. Lyons (presumably not related to “Lyonsville,” another place name), his wife and four children farmed the area and housed inmates. He grew the inmates’ food, used retired police and fire horses from the City of Chicago to work the land and even had a dairy. The inmates took care of the livestock, too: from pigs to poultry. Any profit was sent to the House of Corrections, of course. The City of Chicago owned and operated Bridewell through the 1950s; and the National Guard used the land for exercises on weekends as recently as the 1970s. The area also was home to Boy Scouts of America. It’s certainly gone now, but it’s fun to think that Mr. Lyon rehabilitated so many and, in those 51 years, he never carried a gun.
Four Pines Farm:
Yet another farm! This time, a 120-acre dairy farm. According to the book “DuPage Roots,” milk from Four Pines was “processed and distributed at the Chicago Guernsey Dairy Center, now the site of the Sedgley Estates.” The area we know today as Carriage Way, and along Tower Drive, was once home to contented cows.
Village of Harvester:
It was October, 1956. The area, one square mile bounded by Old Route 66, County Line Road, 79th Street and the east side of what was then Denemark Farm incorporated. The name? The Village of Harvester, the absolute precursor of our current Burr Ridge. The area was dotted with homes, part of a development known as Robert Bartlett’s Hinsdale Countryside Estates. This hardy, independent community, many employees of International Harvester, can be called our direct “village ancestors.”
There are many more family farms that are gone, but not forgotten: family names like Busby, Bielby, Keller, Craigmile, Bulthius and others.
Over the next weeks we will look both backward and forward, reflecting on indigenous community; in particular the Potawatomie and what identity and relationship mean.
If you want us to “myth bust” a piece of area history, we may select it to be featured! Send it to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Society operates the Flagg Creek Historical Museum and the Robert Vial House located on the grounds of the Pleasant Dale Park District at 7425 S. Wolf Road, Burr Ridge IL
This content was submitted by a member of the community. We’d like to hear from you, too! To share stories, photos, video or events for our calendar, please email Community News Manager Michael Cronin at email@example.com or use the online submission tool.