A Mystery Solved

1946 fantrip

We all love a mystery, don’t we? Well, we certainly presented one in our earlier post “Roarin’ Elgin on the North Shore? (March 31). Where was that picture taken along the North Shore Line during a 1946 CERA fantrip? At first, we thought perhaps Greenleaf avenue in Wilmette. Eventually, we settled on 5th in Milwaukee.

But now a new contender has emerged, thanks to CERA Director John Nicholson, who writes:

In looking back on the photo of the two ex-CA&E cars on the 1946 fantrip over the North Shore, we were able to refute one reader’s claim that the photo was taken on Greenleaf Ave. in Wilmette; the most obvious strike against that was that the pavement in the photo was concrete while Greenleaf Ave. had brick paving.

I decided to have another look at the photo and I saw that the track on the right was curving left in the distance to indicate this was a siding. There was nothing like this in Milwaukee which led me to believe that the photo was in Waukegan. After checking the map in B-107, I concluded the only location for this photo was the siding on Franklin St. in Waukegan. This was confirmed by Tom Jervan, a native of Waukegan. He immediately identified North School in the photo and produced his own track map of Waukegan. On it he also placed the names of businesses and buildings from that era. In checking the map, we were able to determine that the two-car train had just turned left off of County St. onto the siding on Franklin St. and was westbound. He also had indicated the location of North School on his map.

Eureka! We have found it! The evidence seems persuasive. We will have to update that post accordingly, lest we continue to give out incorrect information.

But that’s OK, because we aren’t just writing about historical subjects in order to be topical. Good taste, they say, is timeless, and we hope that the CERA Members Blog, over time, will become both an archive and a resource that people will continue to read in the future, just as we still read old CERA bulletins.

But while the only way to correct mistakes in old books is to reprint them, here we have an advantage. We can always go back and update our old posts, once new information or images are available. And so we do- several of our previous posts have already been improved this way, and we will continue to work on them as the situation permits.

For example, we have added a couple of images to our recent post Scenes Along the Garfield Park “L” (July 31), and if we come across others that seem to fit there, we might do that again.

Here's an image we recently added to the post.

Here’s an image we recently added to the post.

And here's another one. Unless I miss my guess, this is in the general area where the Union Station trainshed was later built... but this is perhaps 20 years before that happened.

And here’s another one. Unless I miss my guess, this is in the general area where the Union Station trainshed was later built… but this is perhaps 20 years before that happened.

Likewise, we have added a couple of new images to Chris Buck’s post The Great Subway Flood of 1957 (April 23):

CTA workers sandbag retaining wall of westbound expressway on west side of Halsted (July 13, 1957).

CTA workers sandbag retaining wall of westbound expressway on west side of Halsted (July 13, 1957).

CTA sandbag crew, July 13, 1957. We enjoy having an opportunity to show the real working people of this country, whose contributions are often forgotten or taken for granted.

CTA sandbag crew, July 13, 1957. We enjoy having an opportunity to show the real working people of this country, whose contributions are often forgotten or taken for granted.

Over time, a few more images have snuck into other posts, such as Chicago’s Subways and the “Bluebirds”. We may not always draw attention to these changes, but from time to time we do make them, and we hope that you, the reader, will benefit.

This might all seem a bit like trivia- and it is. We will begin a new feature later this week called “Transit Trivia.” We are not too proud to note that it is inspired by a similar column that “The Professor” (Roy G. Benedict) used to write for First and Fastest magazine. But we are sure there is plenty of trivia to go around for everyone.

Watch this space!

-David Sadowski

A fanciful 1944 view of Chicago's new State Street subway, patterned after a famous 1943 photograph, but showing a BMT-style "Bluebird" in red.

A fanciful 1944 view of Chicago’s new State Street subway, patterned after a famous 1943 photograph, but showing a BMT-style “Bluebird” in red.



Categories: Chicago Area, Interurbans

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