Trick or Treat

Milwaukee Electric 948, as seen from the rear of car 900, on July 16, 1952. Darrick Vormann adds, "Great shot, looks like #10 turning off of 68th St. headed to West Allis." Larry Sakar: "Photo aaa756 showing the Wells-West Allis westbound streetcar completing the turn from southbound S. 68th Street onto the continuation of the private r.o.w. was also part of Phase III (in Milwaukee Rapid Transit construction in the late 1920s). The 68th Street Rapid Transit station would have been to the left of the streetcar atop the r.o.w. Where the streetcar is seen is today part of the 68th St. off ramp from eastbound I-94, the East-West Freeway. Look slightly left in the background and you can see a bit of the large abutment that carried the two bridges of the Rapid Transit line over S. 68th St. To the left of it, streetcars came down or climbed up a ramp on the embankment to or from the p.r.o.w. This was a favorite place for pranksters. They would soap or oil the track climbing up to the top of the embankment and then hide nearby and get their kicks watching the streetcar try to climb on the soaped or oiled rails."

Milwaukee Electric 948, as seen from the rear of car 900, on July 16, 1952. Darrick Vormann adds, “Great shot, looks like #10 turning off of 68th St. headed to West Allis.” Larry Sakar: “Photo aaa756 showing the Wells-West Allis westbound streetcar completing the turn from southbound S. 68th Street onto the continuation of the private r.o.w. was also part of Phase III (in Milwaukee Rapid Transit construction in the late 1920s). The 68th Street Rapid Transit station would have been to the left of the streetcar atop the r.o.w. Where the streetcar is seen is today part of the 68th St. off ramp from eastbound I-94, the East-West Freeway. Look slightly left in the background and you can see a bit of the large abutment that carried the two bridges of the Rapid Transit line over S. 68th St. To the left of it, streetcars came down or climbed up a ramp on the embankment to or from the p.r.o.w. This was a favorite place for pranksters. They would soap or oil the track climbing up to the top of the embankment and then hide nearby and get their kicks watching the streetcar try to climb on the soaped or oiled rails.”

As this is Halloween, we have lots of treats for you, and hopefully, not too many tricks. Our latest batch of classic traction pictures also features lots of trains in fall colors, both here in Chicago, and in Milwaukee.

-David Sadowski

PS- You might also like our Trolley Dodger Facebook auxiliary, a private group that now has 519 members.

Recent Finds

Chicago & West Towns car 161. The slide says this is in Brookfield.

Chicago & West Towns car 161. The slide says this is in Brookfield.

Chicago & West Towns 156. The slide says this is in Brookfield, but it looks like it could be on Woodside in Riverside.

Chicago & West Towns 156. The slide says this is in Brookfield, but it looks like it could be on Woodside in Riverside.

The caption on this slide mount says, "Dad, David, Bev and Mom entering the El on November 23, 1962." The location is the at 242-Van Cortlandt Park on the IRT Broadway Line in the Bronx. The station is still there.

The caption on this slide mount says, “Dad, David, Bev and Mom entering the El on November 23, 1962.” The location is the at 242-Van Cortlandt Park on the IRT Broadway Line in the Bronx. The station is still there.

Pittsburgh Railways 1693 on the Fineview line in September 1965.

Pittsburgh Railways 1693 on the Fineview line in September 1965.

A North Shore Line train at North Chicago Junction on January 20, 1963, the last full day of service before abandonment.

A North Shore Line train at North Chicago Junction on January 20, 1963, the last full day of service before abandonment.

The Aurora and Elgin station in Wheaton on June 14, 1960, nearly three years after passenger service ended, and a year after the last freight train ran.

The Aurora and Elgin station in Wheaton on June 14, 1960, nearly three years after passenger service ended, and a year after the last freight train ran.

The CA&E station at Lakewood on June 14, 1960. The line had been abandoned, but was still largely intact, yet could not be saved.

The CA&E station at Lakewood on June 14, 1960. The line had been abandoned, but was still largely intact, yet could not be saved.

One of the two former North Shore Line Electroliners, just after it had been delivered to the Red Arrow's Philadelphia & Western line at the 69th Street terminal. The slide was processed in January 1964, but by then, the two trainsets had been repainted and reconfigured into Liberty Liners and were put into service on the 13-mile line to Norristown. So this was taken a few months earlier, possibly September 1963. Notice the North Shore Line emblem on the front of the train has been removed.

One of the two former North Shore Line Electroliners, just after it had been delivered to the Red Arrow’s Philadelphia & Western line at the 69th Street terminal. The slide was processed in January 1964, but by then, the two trainsets had been repainted and reconfigured into Liberty Liners and were put into service on the 13-mile line to Norristown. So this was taken a few months earlier, possibly September 1963. Notice the North Shore Line emblem on the front of the train has been removed.

The interior of Milwaukee streetcar 918 on September 5, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The interior of Milwaukee streetcar 918 on September 5, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Milwaukee County Stadium on October 6, 1957, during Game 4 of the World Series between the Milwaukee Braves and New York Yankees. The Braves came from behind to win the game 7-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning, via what we now call a "walk off" home run by Eddie Mathews. Warren Spahn was the winning pitcher, and the Braves went on to win the series, four games to three. The same two teams faced off in the 1958 series, which was won by the Yankees in seven games. Attendance at this game was 45,804 and the park was still served by streetcars in 1957 (but not the following year). (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Milwaukee County Stadium on October 6, 1957, during Game 4 of the World Series between the Milwaukee Braves and New York Yankees. The Braves came from behind to win the game 7-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning, via what we now call a “walk off” home run by Eddie Mathews. Warren Spahn was the winning pitcher, and the Braves went on to win the series, four games to three. The same two teams faced off in the 1958 series, which was won by the Yankees in seven games. Attendance at this game was 45,804 and the park was still served by streetcars in 1957 (but not the following year). (William C. Hoffman Photo)

According to the slide mount, this shows an expansion joint in the streetcar tracks near County Stadium in Milwaukee, where several streetcars are parked during the fourth game of the World Series between the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Yankees on October 6, 1957. (William C. Hoffman Photo) Larry Sakar adds: "Great picture aaa732 of streetcars on the stadium spur in Calvary Cemetery cut. The cut was started in 1926 as part of Phase III of the Rapid Transit Line construction project officially known as the "Fairview Ave. Grade Separation Project." This phase was completed in late 1928, and construction on Phase IV The City of Milwaukee Rapid Transit Line between 8th & Hibernia Streets and 40th Street was started. It would take until 9-22-30 for it to be completed. As you know, Phase V, the subway to the Public Service Building had some preliminary work done but was never completed. Looking at the photo of the spur, I feel that the spur was a bit more to the south then when the Rapid Transit was running. The eastbound Rapid Transit track would have been next to the fence to the left but there doesn't look like there was enough room for a fourth track in this photo. The cut still exists but it is so overgrown with weeds and brush that it is barely recognizable. I have a photo taken by Mr. Dan Lee of the Milwaukee Public library Humanities Dept. in 2016 which I'll send you and you'll see what I mean about it being overgrown."

According to the slide mount, this shows an expansion joint in the streetcar tracks near County Stadium in Milwaukee, where several streetcars are parked during the fourth game of the World Series between the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Yankees on October 6, 1957. (William C. Hoffman Photo) Larry Sakar adds: “Great picture aaa732 of streetcars on the stadium spur in Calvary Cemetery cut. The cut was started in 1926 as part of Phase III of the Rapid Transit Line construction project officially known as the “Fairview Ave. Grade Separation Project.” This phase was completed in late 1928, and construction on Phase IV The City of Milwaukee Rapid Transit Line between 8th & Hibernia Streets and 40th Street was started. It would take until 9-22-30 for it to be completed. As you know, Phase V, the subway to the Public Service Building had some preliminary work done but was never completed. Looking at the photo of the spur, I feel that the spur was a bit more to the south then when the Rapid Transit was running. The eastbound Rapid Transit track would have been next to the fence to the left but there doesn’t look like there was enough room for a fourth track in this photo. The cut still exists but it is so overgrown with weeds and brush that it is barely recognizable. I have a photo taken by Mr. Dan Lee of the Milwaukee Public library Humanities Dept. in 2016 which I’ll send you and you’ll see what I mean about it being overgrown.”

A Milwaukee trolley bus is on National Avenue on May 30, 1963. We are looking north on 6th Street, where North Shore Line interurban trains had run until January 21, 1963. The last Milwaukee trolley bus operated in 1965. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

A Milwaukee trolley bus is on National Avenue on May 30, 1963. We are looking north on 6th Street, where North Shore Line interurban trains had run until January 21, 1963. The last Milwaukee trolley bus operated in 1965. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Fans pushing bus 255 at the Cold Springs Shops at 35th and McKinley on November 4, 1962. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Fans pushing bus 255 at the Cold Springs Shops at 35th and McKinley on November 4, 1962. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Fans pushing bus 255 at the Cold Springs Shops at 35th and McKinley on November 4, 1962. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Fans pushing bus 255 at the Cold Springs Shops at 35th and McKinley on November 4, 1962. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

"Streetliner" bus 886 at the National Railway Museum in Green Bay, WI on September 22, 1963. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

“Streetliner” bus 886 at the National Railway Museum in Green Bay, WI on September 22, 1963. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The art glass window of the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad at Fowler and Plankinton in Milwaukee on May 30, 1963. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The art glass window of the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad at Fowler and Plankinton in Milwaukee on May 30, 1963. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On December 4, 1949, Milwaukee Electric car 1121 was operated on the North Shore Line for a fantrip. Here it is at the Oklahoma stop on an embankment in Milwaukee, WI. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On December 4, 1949, Milwaukee Electric car 1121 was operated on the North Shore Line for a fantrip. Here it is at the Oklahoma stop on an embankment in Milwaukee, WI.
(William C. Hoffman Photo)

Speedrail car 66 at West Junction on June 14, 1951, not long before the entire interurban line was abandoned.

Speedrail car 66 at West Junction on June 14, 1951, not long before the entire interurban line was abandoned.

Speedrail car 66 in Milwaukee on June 14, 1951.

Speedrail car 66 in Milwaukee on June 14, 1951.

Speedrail car 66 at the Hales Corners loop on June 14, 1951.

Speedrail car 66 at the Hales Corners loop on June 14, 1951.

Milwaukee Electric cars 979 and 914 on private right-of-way on the west side of Milwaukee on May 16, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Milwaukee Electric cars 979 and 914 on private right-of-way on the west side of Milwaukee on May 16, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Wisconsin Electric Power Company loco L-9 at the Lakeside power plant on June 12, 1955. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Wisconsin Electric Power Company loco L-9 at the Lakeside power plant on June 12, 1955.
(William C. Hoffman Photo)

Milwaukee Rapid Transit and Speedrail articulated car 50 on Everett Street at the Milwaukee terminal on June 17, 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Milwaukee Rapid Transit and Speedrail articulated car 50 on Everett Street at the Milwaukee terminal on June 17, 1951.
(William C. Hoffman Photo)

Speedrail heavyweight cars 1193 and 1192 at the Milwaukee terminal on July 4, 1950. 1192 was wrecked less than two months later. The heavyweight cars were only used during rush hours. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Speedrail heavyweight cars 1193 and 1192 at the Milwaukee terminal on July 4, 1950.
1192 was wrecked less than two months later. The heavyweight cars were only used during rush hours. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The old interurban and rapid transit terminal at 2nd and Michigan Streets in Milwaukee on August 27, 1961. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The old interurban and rapid transit terminal at 2nd and Michigan Streets in Milwaukee on August 27, 1961. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Double-pole streetcar 801 is at the Fond Du Lac station in Milwaukee on May 4, 1958. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Double-pole streetcar 801 is at the Fond Du Lac station in Milwaukee on May 4, 1958. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On August 2, 1964, Milwaukee streetcar 978 is on static display at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, WI. After moving around to several places after its 1958 retirement, car 978 is now at the East Troy Electric Railroad. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On August 2, 1964, Milwaukee streetcar 978 is on static display at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, WI. After moving around to several places after its 1958 retirement, car 978 is now at the East Troy Electric Railroad. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view west along the old Milwaukee Electric right-of-way over the North Shore Line in south Milwaukee on September 9, 1962. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view west along the old Milwaukee Electric right-of-way over the North Shore Line in south Milwaukee on September 9, 1962. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Speedrail snow plow U-5 is at the Milwaukee terminal on June 17. 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Speedrail snow plow U-5 is at the Milwaukee terminal on June 17. 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Old heavyweight Milwaukee Electric steel car 1115, later operated under Speedrail, is shown at the Everett Street terminal in Milwaukee on June 17, 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Old heavyweight Milwaukee Electric steel car 1115, later operated under Speedrail, is shown at the Everett Street terminal in Milwaukee on June 17, 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On July 4, 1950, several Speedrail cars are shown at the Milwaukee terminal. Car 1192, at right, was involved in a head-on collision on September 2, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On July 4, 1950, several Speedrail cars are shown at the Milwaukee terminal. Car 1192, at right, was involved in a head-on collision on September 2, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Milwaukee Electric (aka Speedrail) car 1115 is at the Waukesha loop on July 16, 1950.

Milwaukee Electric (aka Speedrail) car 1115 is at the Waukesha loop on July 16, 1950.

On June 14, 1951, Speedrail car 66 is at the Waukesha loop. Refurbishing this curved-sided car, originally built by the Cincinnati Car Company and purchased used from Lehigh Valley Transit, was a last-ditch effort to save the line. Unfortunately, this car only ran in Milwaukee for a few weeks before the line quit.

On June 14, 1951, Speedrail car 66 is at the Waukesha loop. Refurbishing this curved-sided car, originally built by the Cincinnati Car Company and purchased used from Lehigh Valley Transit, was a last-ditch effort to save the line. Unfortunately, this car only ran in Milwaukee for a few weeks before the line quit.

Speedrail car 1192, which was heavily damaged in a horrific head-on collision, as it appeared in September 1951.

Speedrail car 1192, which was heavily damaged in a horrific head-on collision, as it appeared in September 1951.

Speedrail car 62 leaves the Milwaukee terminal on June 14, 1951.

Speedrail car 62 leaves the Milwaukee terminal on June 14, 1951.

Milwaukee Electric 801 is on the Wells Street trestle on May 6, 1950.

Milwaukee Electric 801 is on the Wells Street trestle on May 6, 1950.

Milwaukee Electric car 801, equipped with two trolley poles, is at the Fond Du Lac barns on September 5, 1954.

Milwaukee Electric car 801, equipped with two trolley poles, is at the Fond Du Lac barns on September 5, 1954.

On May 22, 1955, Milwaukee Electric loco L10 and some hopper cars are on the #10 route.

On May 22, 1955, Milwaukee Electric loco L10 and some hopper cars are on the #10 route.

On May 16, 1953, Milwaukee Electric 921 is on the long trestle on the line to Wauwatosa.

On May 16, 1953, Milwaukee Electric 921 is on the long trestle on the line to Wauwatosa.

Milwaukee Electric 994 is on the Howell line in Milwaukee on August 12, 1955.

Milwaukee Electric 994 is on the Howell line in Milwaukee on August 12, 1955.

Milwaukee streetcar 962 is on the West Allis route on September 14, 1953.

Milwaukee streetcar 962 is on the West Allis route on September 14, 1953.

Chicago Aurora and Elgin car 407 at Green Valley in Lombard at Brewster Avenue.

Chicago Aurora and Elgin car 407 at Green Valley in Lombard at Brewster Avenue.

CA&E car 411 heads up a train in Wheaton.

CA&E car 411 heads up a train in Wheaton.

CTA 2891 is heading west, crossing First Avenue in suburban Maywood in November 1951. The Refiner's Pride gas station at rear was run by "Montana Charlie" Reid. He operated a chain of such stations in the western suburbs here. He also owned Montana Charlie's Chuck Wagon, a restaurant in Villa Park. Although Charlie himself is long gone (he died in the early 1980s), his name is still used on a flea market in Bolingbrook, Montana Charlie's Little America. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2891 is heading west, crossing First Avenue in suburban Maywood in November 1951. The Refiner’s Pride gas station at rear was run by “Montana Charlie” Reid. He operated a chain of such stations in the western suburbs here. He also owned Montana Charlie’s Chuck Wagon, a restaurant in Villa Park. Although Charlie himself is long gone (he died in the early 1980s), his name is still used on a flea market in Bolingbrook, Montana Charlie’s Little America. (Truman Hefner Photo)

The Refiner's Pride gas station on first Avenue in Maywood was part of a chain that included this location in Forest Park, and included a small convenience store. The Forest Park location is still in business as Refiners Citgo. (Forest Park Review Photo)

The Refiner’s Pride gas station on first Avenue in Maywood was part of a chain that included this location in Forest Park, and included a small convenience store. The Forest Park location is still in business as Refiners Citgo. (Forest Park Review Photo)

From the Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2004: "As for the real Montana Charlie, he is described as an exciting character with a colorful, almost improbable background. Montana Charlie Reid "was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago but while in his early teens, during the previous turn of the century [19th to the 20th], he yearned to be a cowboy," Donahue says. "So he got on his horse and rode it all the way to Montana, where he got a job on a ranch. "He learned trick riding and became involved with traveling carnivals and circus acts. As he went through life, he tried his hand at various other things -- including chauffeuring an oil tycoon. When his employer died, he left his estate to Montana Charlie."

From the Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2004: “As for the real Montana Charlie, he is described as an exciting character with a colorful, almost improbable background. Montana Charlie Reid “was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago but while in his early teens, during the previous turn of the century [19th to the 20th], he yearned to be a cowboy,” Donahue says. “So he got on his horse and rode it all the way to Montana, where he got a job on a ranch.
“He learned trick riding and became involved with traveling carnivals and circus acts. As he went through life, he tried his hand at various other things — including chauffeuring an oil tycoon. When his employer died, he left his estate to Montana Charlie.”

CTA 2920 at the ground level Harrison Street station on the Westchester route in May 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2920 at the ground level Harrison Street station on the Westchester route in May 1951.
(Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2889 heads south into an open cut near the Roosevelt Road station in March 1951, while passing several cars in storage nearby. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2889 heads south into an open cut near the Roosevelt Road station in March 1951, while passing several cars in storage nearby.
(Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2863 is at the Roosevelt Road station on the Westchester line in April 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2863 is at the Roosevelt Road station on the Westchester line in April 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2721 is eastbound, west of the DesPlaines Avenue station in April 1951. The gas holder at right was a longtime Forest Park landmark. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2721 is eastbound, west of the DesPlaines Avenue station in April 1951. The gas holder at right was a longtime Forest Park landmark. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2904 approaches the Roosevelt Road station in January 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2904 approaches the Roosevelt Road station in January 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2908 is eastbound, having crossed First Avenue in Maywood. The old Refiner's Pride gas station is in the background. The date given here (June 1952) must be wrong, as the Westchester branch quit in December 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2908 is eastbound, having crossed First Avenue in Maywood. The old Refiner’s Pride gas station is in the background. The date given here (June 1952) must be wrong, as the Westchester branch quit in December 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2823 is between First Avenue and DesPlaines Avenue, having just crossed over the DesPlaines River. The date given (October 1952) must be wrong, as the Westchester branch quit in December 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2823 is between First Avenue and DesPlaines Avenue, having just crossed over the DesPlaines River. The date given (October 1952) must be wrong, as the Westchester branch quit in December 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2922 crossing railroad tracks near DesPlaines Avenue. The date given is January 1952. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2922 crossing railroad tracks near DesPlaines Avenue. The date given is January 1952. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2859 and one additional car are southbound, having just stopped at the Roosevelt Road station on the Westchester route. The date given (March 1952) must be incorrect, as service on the Westchester "L" ended the previous December. Notice the two tracks went down to one here, for the rest of the line, which ended at Mannheim Road and 22nd Street. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2859 and one additional car are southbound, having just stopped at the Roosevelt Road station on the Westchester route. The date given (March 1952) must be incorrect, as service on the Westchester “L” ended the previous December. Notice the two tracks went down to one here, for the rest of the line, which ended at Mannheim Road and 22nd Street. (Truman Hefner Photo)

In April 1951, CTA 2731 heads south, about to cross Madison Street just west of Bellwood Avenue in suburban Bellwood. A black-and-white version of this picture appears in my book Chicago's Lost "L"s. Just north of here, the Westchester branch merged with the Chicago Aurora & Elgin main line. As far as I know, the house at right is still there.

In April 1951, CTA 2731 heads south, about to cross Madison Street just west of Bellwood Avenue in suburban Bellwood. A black-and-white version of this picture appears in my book Chicago’s Lost “L”s. Just north of here, the Westchester branch merged with the Chicago Aurora & Elgin main line. As far as I know, the house at right is still there.
(Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2820 is on the CA&E main line in Bellwood in February 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2820 is on the CA&E main line in Bellwood in February 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2834 is westbound, just west of DesPlaines Avenue, in April 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2834 is westbound, just west of DesPlaines Avenue, in April 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2899 is at the Roosevelt Road station in February 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2899 is at the Roosevelt Road station in February 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2806 and another car are in an open cut near the Roosevelt Road station in February 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2806 and another car are in an open cut near the Roosevelt Road station in February 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2814 crosses Harrison Street in April 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2814 crosses Harrison Street in April 1951.
(Truman Hefner Photo)

This slide was definitely mislabeled. It was actually taken on the CA&E main line, just west of 25th Avenue. I believe the train is westbound. (Truman Hefner Photo)

This slide was definitely mislabeled. It was actually taken on the CA&E main line, just west of 25th Avenue. I believe the train is westbound. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2817 is just east of 25th Avenue, where the Chicago Great Western had a freight yard, on the CA&E main line. The train is eastbound. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2817 is just east of 25th Avenue, where the Chicago Great Western had a freight yard, on the CA&E main line. The train is eastbound. (Truman Hefner Photo)

Did Not Win

We have to compete with other people to purchase slides, prints, and negatives. As funds are always limited, we do not always win these auctions. Here are some photos that we did not win, but are still worth another look.

Here is a nice view of the Douglas Park yard at 54th Avenue in 1966, showing the old right-of-way that extended west of here until the line was cut back in 1952. The occasion was a fantrip.

Here is a nice view of the Douglas Park yard at 54th Avenue in 1966, showing the old right-of-way that extended west of here until the line was cut back in 1952. The occasion was a fantrip.

Here is an excellent early photo of the Met "L" station at Gunderson, courtesy of LeRoy Blommaert. Gunderson is a side street running north-south in Oak Park, located between East Avenue and Ridgeland. When the "L" came through here, it was a new development, and hence, got its own station. The East Avenue entrance to the Blue Line station at Oak Park Avenue is its nearest contemporary replacement.

Here is an excellent early photo of the Met “L” station at Gunderson, courtesy of LeRoy Blommaert. Gunderson is a side street running north-south in Oak Park, located between East Avenue and Ridgeland. When the “L” came through here, it was a new development, and hence, got its own station. The East Avenue entrance to the Blue Line station at Oak Park Avenue is its nearest contemporary replacement.

This real photo postcard recently sold for $60.99 on eBay. I did not win the auction. It shows a Chicago Union Traction streetcar signed for Evanston. Not sure if this was before or after service terminated at the city limits, so it could actually have terminated in Evanston itself.

This real photo postcard recently sold for $60.99 on eBay. I did not win the auction. It shows a Chicago Union Traction streetcar signed for Evanston. Not sure if this was before or after service terminated at the city limits, so it could actually have terminated in Evanston itself.

Here is a mystery photo for you. Where was this picture of North Shore Line car 420 taken? Zach E.: "The mystery photo of CNS&M 420 was taken at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine."

Here is a mystery photo for you. Where was this picture of North Shore Line car 420 taken? Zach E.: “The mystery photo of CNS&M 420 was taken at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.”

There have been only a few times when "L" trains fell off the structure... this derailment, which happened on December 7, 1966, is one of them, at the curve near 40th and Indiana. David Harrison: "Yes... there were two things important about this incident... the last cars of an 8-car SB derailed. The two cars stayed on the structure for three blocks, after being derailed.... before they finally left the structure. That shows how 'L' cars are rather safe thanks to their weigh and low center of gravity, plus guard rails and timber guards. CTA rules at that time did not require to motorman to check his train after an emergency stop. The motorman testified he didn't feel his train's performance was different. Perhaps two blocks of running was at a low speed because of the curve at Wabash/40th. CTA rules were changed after this incident." Caron Stewart adds, "Two people died in this accident. The train was going southbound during the morning rush. If it was going north towards downtown during this time the injuries most likely would have been higher."

There have been only a few times when “L” trains fell off the structure… this derailment, which happened on December 7, 1966, is one of them, at the curve near 40th and Indiana. David Harrison: “Yes… there were two things important about this incident… the last cars of an 8-car SB derailed. The two cars stayed on the structure for three blocks, after being derailed…. before they finally left the structure. That shows how ‘L’ cars are rather safe thanks to their weigh and low center of gravity, plus guard rails and timber guards. CTA rules at that time did not require to motorman to check his train after an emergency stop. The motorman testified he didn’t feel his train’s performance was different. Perhaps two blocks of running was at a low speed because of the curve at Wabash/40th. CTA rules were changed after this incident.” Caron Stewart adds, “Two people died in this accident. The train was going southbound during the morning rush. If it was going north towards downtown during this time the injuries most likely would have been higher.”

Another slide I did not win. This was one of those fantrips held on the CA&E after passenger service was abandoned. Unfortunately the photographer used "grade Z" film (probably Anscochrome). Chicago Aurora and Elgin Electric Interurban Coach #453 Original Color Slide Photographer Credit: Unknown Maywood, Illinois 26 October 1958

Another slide I did not win. This was one of those fantrips held on the CA&E after passenger service was abandoned. Unfortunately the photographer used “grade Z” film (probably Anscochrome).
Chicago Aurora and Elgin Electric Interurban Coach #453
Original Color Slide Photographer Credit: Unknown
Maywood, Illinois 26 October 1958

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski

The Trolley Dodger On the Air

I recently appeared on the Dave Plier Show on WGN radio, to discuss Chicago’s Lost “L”s. You can hear that discussion here.

Our Latest Book, Now Available:

Chicago’s Lost “L”s

From the back cover:

Chicago’s system of elevated railways, known locally as the “L,” has run continuously since 1892 and, like the city, has never stood still. It helped neighborhoods grow, brought their increasingly diverse populations together, and gave the famous Loop its name. But today’s system has changed radically over the years. Chicago’s Lost “L”s tells the story of former lines such as Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Stockyards, Normal Park, Westchester, and Niles Center. It was once possible to take high-speed trains on the L directly to Aurora, Elgin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The L started out as four different companies, two starting out using steam engines instead of electricity. Eventually, all four came together via the Union Loop. The L is more than a way of getting around. Its trains are a place where people meet and interact. Some say the best way to experience the city is via the L, with its second-story view. Chicago’s Lost “L”s is virtually a “secret history” of Chicago, and this is your ticket. David Sadowski grew up riding the L all over the city. He is the author of Chicago Trolleys and Building Chicago’s Subways and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

Title Chicago’s Lost “L”s
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2021
ISBN 1467100007, 9781467100007
Length 128 pages

Chapters:
01. The South Side “L”
02. The Lake Street “L”
03. The Metropolitan “L”
04. The Northwestern “L”
05. The Union Loop
06. Lost Equipment
07. Lost Interurbans
08. Lost Terminals
09. Lost… and Found

Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus facsimile of a 1926 Chicago Rapid Transit Company map, with interesting facts about the “L” on the reverse side.

The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.

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NEW DVD:

A Tribute to the North Shore Line

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the demise of the fabled North Shore Line interurban in January 2013, Jeffrey L. Wien and Bradley Criss made a very thorough and professional video presentation, covering the entire route between Chicago and Milwaukee and then some. Sadly, both men are gone now, but their work remains, making this video a tribute to them, as much as it is a tribute to the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee.

Jeff drew on his own vast collections of movie films, both his own and others such as the late William C. Hoffman, wrote and gave the narration. Bradley acted as video editor, and added authentic sound effects from archival recordings of the North Shore Line.

It was always Jeff’s intention to make this video available to the public, but unfortunately, this did not happen in his lifetime. Now, as the caretakers of Jeff’s railfan legacy, we are proud to offer this excellent two-hour program to you for the first time. The result is a fitting tribute to what Jeff called his “Perpetual Adoration,” which was the name of a stop on the interurban.

Jeff was a wholehearted supporter of our activities, and the proceeds from the sale of this disc will help defray some of the expenses of keeping the Trolley Dodger web site going.

Total time – 121:22

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.99 (Includes shipping within the United States)

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Chasing Sanborn (Our 275th Post)

This 1953 view looks to the northwest and shows the old Canal Street station on the Metropolitan

This 1953 view looks to the northwest and shows the old Canal Street station on the Metropolitan “L”, which was near Union Station. They were connected by a walkway nicknamed “Frustration Walk,” since many people would miss their train in the time it took to make the journey. The “L” here closed in 1958 and was demolished soon after. (Jon R. Roma Collection)

This is our 275th Trolley Dodger blog post, so we thought we would make this one extra special for you.

Recently, Jon R. Roma sent us some Sanborn insurance maps that were made in 1906 and 1917, mainly to show sections of the old Garfield Park “L” in greater detail. This was in response to some of our previous posts, where we discussed just where it used to run, before it was replaced by the Congress rapid transit line in 1958.

Learning from history is a process, and as historians, we are continually reaching out to the past, studying the historical record, looking for clues that will inform us today and further our understanding. Photographs, of course, are invaluable, but so are the kind of detailed maps that were made for insurance purposes long ago. They detail pretty much every structure and many of the businesses that once existed.

As an example of what you can learn from these maps, consider the one below showing the layout of old West Side Park, where the Chicago Cubs played through the 1915 season.

A story has gone around in recent years, that supposedly the expression “from out of left field” originated at West Side Park. Cook County Hospital was just north of the park, and the story goes that mental patients there would yell things out during Cubs games, which gave birth to the expression, which has taken on a meaning of something completely unexpected.

Unfortunately, there is no record of “from out of left field” being used in print with this meaning prior to the 1940s, by which time the Cubs had been in Wrigley Field for 25 years. But if you look at the Sanborn map of West Side Park, there was apparently an open area just north of the grandstands, so the hospital would have been some further distance away. I am not sure how much of the field would have been visible from the hospital anyway, so after looking at the map, the story seems unlikely.

What is more likely is how the expression could have evolved just generally from baseball lore. Occasionally, the left fielder will make a throw all the way to home plate during a game. Such a throw, coming “from out of left field,” tends to be unexpected, and it may be that over time, it took on this other meaning colloquially.

In addition, we have more electric traction, steam, and diesel photos taken around 1970 by John Engleman, some recent new photo finds of our own, and correspondence with Larry Sakar.

I guess we will always be “chasing Sanborn,” and other things like it.

We are very grateful to all our contributors. Sanborn fire insurance maps provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

PS- If you enjoy reading these posts, you might consider joining our Trolley Dodger Facebook Group as well. We currently have 429 members.

Sanborn Maps from 1917:

The area covered by this volume.

The area covered by this volume.

This includes the Met

This includes the Met “L” line heading to Humboldt Park and Logan Square. There was a station at Madison Street, opened in 1895, which is not delineated on this 1917 map. It closed in 1951. This section of “L” has since been rebuilt, and is now part of the CTA Pink Line.

The Met

The Met “L” branch leading to Humboldt Park and Logan Square made a bit of a jog near Ogden Avenue, an angle street. This is the section just north of Marshfield Junction.

This section of map shows the Garfield Park

This section of map shows the Garfield Park “L” and includes the station at Western Avenue, which was open from 1895 to 1953. When Western was widened in the 1930s, the front of the station was removed and a new Art Deco front replaced it. The same thing was done to three other “L” stations on Western. This station closed in September 1953, due to construction of the Congress Expressway, and we have featured pictures of its quick demolition in previous posts.

A close-up of the Western Avenue

A close-up of the Western Avenue “L” station. I suppose the area marked “iron” refers to the station canopy.

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park “L”.

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park “L”, including part of the station at Hoyne Avenue, which was open from 1895 to 1953. The area between Van Buren and Congress is now occupied by the Eisenhower expressway. The CTA Blue Line tracks are in approximately the same location as the former Garfield Park “L”, but in the depressed highway.

This map shows part of the Garfield Park

This map shows part of the Garfield Park “L”, including the station at Hoyne Avenue.

This includes the old Garfield Park

This includes the old Garfield Park “L”.

This includes the Garfield Park

This includes the Garfield Park “L”, including the station at Ogden Avenue, which was open between 1895 and 1953.

A close-up of the Garfield Park

A close-up of the Garfield Park “L” station at Ogden Avenue.

The map shows the section of the Met

The map shows the section of the Met “L” lines just west of Marshfield Junction, where all the various branch lines came together.

The Met

The Met “L” branches ran over a building that housed the Dreamland roller skating rink. When the Congress Expressway was built, a new section of “L” was built running north-south to connect the Douglas Park “L” to the tracks formerly used by the Humboldt Park and Logan Square lines prior to 1951. This became part of a new routing for Douglas that brought its trains to the Loop via the Lake Street “L”, where another new connection was built. This is the path that the CTA Pink Line follows today. Douglas trains were connected to the new Congress rapid transit line via a ramp that followed the old Douglas path starting in 1958.

The same location today.

The same location today.

This map shows Marshfield Junction on the Garfield Park

This map shows Marshfield Junction on the Garfield Park “L”, where all the Met lines came together.

A close-up of the Marshfield Junction track arrangement and station layout. Notice that the Aurora, Elgin & Chicago (later the CA&E) had its own platform here. This station was in use from 1895 to 1954. From September 1953 to April 1954, it was only used by Douglas Park trains, as Garfield trains were re-routed to ground level tracks here in Van Buren Street.

A close-up of the Marshfield Junction track arrangement and station layout. Notice that the Aurora, Elgin & Chicago (later the CA&E) had its own platform here. This station was in use from 1895 to 1954. From September 1953 to April 1954, it was only used by Douglas Park trains, as Garfield trains were re-routed to ground level tracks here in Van Buren Street.

This map includes the Laflin

This map includes the Laflin “L” station on the Garfield Park main line.

The Metropolitan

The Metropolitan “L” main line included a station at Laflin Avenue, which originally had two island platforms. Between 1896 and 1914, it was reconfigured with three platforms so the tracks did not have to make sharp curves around the ends of the platforms. This station was open from 1895 to 1951. Notice the complex track arrangement west of the station, which gave the Met maximum flexibility for routing their trains going downtown.

The Met

The Met “L” main line between Loomis and Laflin.

The Met

The Met “L” facilities shown here represent somewhat of a mystery. There is a general repair shop on Laflin, including maintenance of way, and “batteries” on Loomis.

When the Met

When the Met “L” was built in the 1890s, they had to generate their own electric power, which they did via this massive power plant between Loomis and Throop. This map indicates that by 1917, the facility was co-owned by what is now Commonwealth Edison.

A close-up of the previous map. Note the Met had a

A close-up of the previous map. Note the Met had a “store house” east of the 1894 power plant.

The Met's Throop Street Shops. The Met's

The Met’s Throop Street Shops. The Met’s “L” station at Racine is also shown.

The Met's Throop Street Shops are at left, and the Racine

The Met’s Throop Street Shops are at left, and the Racine “L” station at right. Like Laflin and Halsted, it originally had two island platforms, and was reconfigured to the four side platforms you see here, in order to straighten out the tracks. This station was open from 1895 to 1954. It remained in use until Douglas Park “L” trains could be re-routed downtown via the Lake Street “L”.

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, when the Garfield Park

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, when the Garfield Park “L” ran on temporary trackage in part of Van Buren Street, it reconnected with the existing structure via a ramp near Aberdeen. The tracks you see here would have been at the very north end of the expressway footprint.

This section of the Met Main Line was not directly in the way of the Congress Expressway, although it was reduced from four tracks to two during the construction period. The two tracks to the south were removed. The

This section of the Met Main Line was not directly in the way of the Congress Expressway, although it was reduced from four tracks to two during the construction period. The two tracks to the south were removed. The “L” was very close to the highway at this point, though.

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, the Garfield Park

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, the Garfield Park “L” ran on ground-level trackage in Van Buren Street. Douglas Park trains used the old Met structure until April 1954.

The Met Main Line had four tracks in this area, which were reduced down to two during the period from 1953-58. The Halsted

The Met Main Line had four tracks in this area, which were reduced down to two during the period from 1953-58. The Halsted “L” station was open from 1895 to 1958, when the new Congress rapid transit line opened in the adjacent expressway median. Many great photos were taken from the east end of the Halsted station, where you had a great view of a double curve.

Like Racine and Laflin, the Met's Halsted

Like Racine and Laflin, the Met’s Halsted “L” station originally had two island platforms, which meant there were sharp curves in the track at the ends of those platforms. This slowed down operations, so over a period of time leading up to 1914, those three stations were reconfigured. Halsted then had three platforms and the tracks were straightened. During the construction of the adjacent Congress Expressway in the mid-1950s, the two tracks to the south here were removed along with one of the three platforms. It was that close to the highway. However, the station itself remained in use by Garfield trains until the Congress line opened in 1958.

This map shows the Met's Douglas Park branch heading south, and includes the Polk Street

This map shows the Met’s Douglas Park branch heading south, and includes the Polk Street “L” station.

The Polk Street

The Polk Street “L” station on the Douglas Park branch opened in 1896 and remains in use today by the CTA Pink Line. It was rebuilt in 1983.

This is the second West Side Park, home of the Chicago National League Ballclub from 1893 through 1915. They were not officially called the Cubs until the 1907 season. Starting in 1916, the Cubs vacated West Side Park in favor of what had been Weegham Park, which had been home to the Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League, now known as Wrigley Field. West Side Park was torn down in 1920. Home plate was located at the northwest corner, and it was 560 feet to center field, where there was a club house, somewhat in the manner of New York's Polo Grounds and other early stadiums. Oftentimes, in those years, if there was a large crowd, fans stood in part of the outfield, as there were no seats there.

This is the second West Side Park, home of the Chicago National League Ballclub from 1893 through 1915. They were not officially called the Cubs until the 1907 season. Starting in 1916, the Cubs vacated West Side Park in favor of what had been Weegham Park, which had been home to the Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League, now known as Wrigley Field. West Side Park was torn down in 1920. Home plate was located at the northwest corner, and it was 560 feet to center field, where there was a club house, somewhat in the manner of New York’s Polo Grounds and other early stadiums. Oftentimes, in those years, if there was a large crowd, fans stood in part of the outfield, as there were no seats there.

The Met's Douglas Park

The Met’s Douglas Park “L” ran through this area, and is now the CTA Pink Line.

The Met's Douglas Park

The Met’s Douglas Park “L” branch and the Roosevelt Road (formerly 12th Street) station.

The Roosevelt Road (formerly 12th Street)

The Roosevelt Road (formerly 12th Street) “L” station on the Metropolitan’s Douglas Park branch opened in 1896 and closed in 1952. In December 1951, the CTA turned it into a “partial service” station, where there was no ticket agent. You could enter the station by placing a token into a turnstyle. This experiment was short-lived, and the station was closed in May 1952.

This shows the Douglas Park

This shows the Douglas Park “L”, today’s CTA Pink Line.

Sanborn Maps from 1906:

A key to the areas covered by this 1906 set of maps.

A key to the areas covered by this 1906 set of maps.

This map shows the Halsted station on the Lake Street

This map shows the Halsted station on the Lake Street “L”. It was open from 1893 until 1994. It closed during the two-year rehabilitation project for what is now the CTA Green Line and was eventually replaced by a new station at Morgan Street, which opened in 2012.

A close-up of the Halsted

A close-up of the Halsted “L” station on the Lake Street line.

The Lake Street

The Lake Street “L”.

The Lake Street “L”.

The Lake Street “L”.

The Lake Street

The Lake Street “L” station at Canal. The “L” crosses the Chicago River here, and in 1906, there was a swing bridge which was eventually replaced. Swing bridges were a hazard to navigation.

The Canal Street

The Canal Street “L” station on the Lake Street line opened in 1893 and was replaced by the Clinton station one block west in 1909.

The Lake Street

The Lake Street “L” station at Canal.

North is to the left on this map, which shows a curve on the old Metropolitan

North is to the left on this map, which shows a curve on the old Metropolitan “L” main line west of the Chicago River. This was part of a double curve east of Halsted Street.

The Met

The Met “L” Main Line.

The Met

The Met “L” Main Line near Clinton Street. Chicago renumbered many streets after this map was made in 1906. In 1911, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad built its headquarters at 547 W. Jackson, just to the north of the “L”. While the “L” here closed in 1958 and was removed soon after, that building remains and its shape was partially determined by the “L”. Note the Chicago Union Traction cable power house.

The Met

The Met “L” station at Canal Street. A new Union Station was built nearby and opened in 1925. The “L” station had a direct enclosed walkway to it, which was used by thousands of people each day.

The Met

The Met “L” station at Canal Street opened in 1895 and was rebuilt after a fire in 1922. The platform configuration remained the same, but a new headhouse was built, designed by Arthur U. Gerber. This station closed in 1958 when the new Congress rapid transit line opened nearby, which connected to the Milwaukee-Dearborn-Congress Subway.

The Met

The Met “L” crossed the tracks leading to Union Station at an angle, and also crossed the Chicago River this way.

North is to the left on this map, which shows the Met

North is to the left on this map, which shows the Met “L” curving a bit towards the north, just east of the Halsted station. Once the buildings surrounding the “L” were cleared away in the early 1950s, for construction of what is now the Kennedy Expressway, this became a favorite site for photographers looking to the east from the “L” station.

Recent Finds

For a minute, I thought this might be Chicago, but apparently not. There was a streetcar #6093 in Chicago, but not until 1914 and the beginnings of the CSL era. That's not a CSL logo on the side of the car. And Route 9 here was Ashland, not something going to Exchange Depot, whatever that was. It might possibly be Philadelphia, as they had cars like these in a 6000-series (later converted to Peter Witts with the addition of a center door), and they were an early adopter of numbered routes. But there is also a strange logo on the side of the car that I do not recognize. Frank Hicks: "This is International Railway Company in Buffalo. It's part of a series of 200 Nearside cars built for them by Kuhlman in 1912, a follow-on to their original order for Nearside cars from Brill in 1911."

For a minute, I thought this might be Chicago, but apparently not. There was a streetcar #6093 in Chicago, but not until 1914 and the beginnings of the CSL era. That’s not a CSL logo on the side of the car. And Route 9 here was Ashland, not something going to Exchange Depot, whatever that was. It might possibly be Philadelphia, as they had cars like these in a 6000-series (later converted to Peter Witts with the addition of a center door), and they were an early adopter of numbered routes. But there is also a strange logo on the side of the car that I do not recognize. Frank Hicks: “This is International Railway Company in Buffalo. It’s part of a series of 200 Nearside cars built for them by Kuhlman in 1912, a follow-on to their original order for Nearside cars from Brill in 1911.”

A close-up of the unusual logo on the side of the car.

A close-up of the unusual logo on the side of the car.

An eastbound single-car Douglas Park train passes by the old Met

An eastbound single-car Douglas Park train passes by the old Met “L” powerhouse and shops at Throop Street, built in 1894. William C. Hoffman took this picture on October 29, 1950. Work was already underway clearing buildings for construction of the Congress Expressway, today’s I-290 (aka the Eisenhower). The discoloration of the brick was caused by some sort of chemical leaching process.

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the 1894 construction date for the massive Met power house. The

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the 1894 construction date for the massive Met power house. The “L” opened the following year. The blue line through the date is actually a scratch on the original slide.

The view looking northwest from Congress and Racine on May 14, 1950, showing the old Met

The view looking northwest from Congress and Racine on May 14, 1950, showing the old Met “L” power house, the Throop Street Shops, and a bit of the Racine station. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The old Marshfield

The old Marshfield “L” station, or at least, the CA&E platform at that station, circa 1951. The red Pullman streetcar is running on Route 9 – Ashland, but here, is on Paulina one block west of Ashland. Streetcars could not run on boulevards, and Ashland was a boulevard between Lake Street and Roosevelt Road. Hence the diversion. A sign advertises the late Carol Channing in the stage version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The curving tracks are for the Douglas Park branch. This is where all the various Met “L”s diverged from each other, heading to the west, south, and north from here.

This duplicate slide did not come with any information, but I am wondering if this was taken from the old Met "L" looking to the north, which would mean the streetcar is on Van Buren. The Van Buren line was converted to bus in 1951 and the Garfield Park "L" was re-routed via temporary ground level tracks on Van Buren starting in 1953. Since the buildings around the "L" have been cleared away, that is further evidence that this is the Congress Expressway construction area. Michael Franklin has now identified this as Van Buren and Marshfield.

This duplicate slide did not come with any information, but I am wondering if this was taken from the old Met “L” looking to the north, which would mean the streetcar is on Van Buren. The Van Buren line was converted to bus in 1951 and the Garfield Park “L” was re-routed via temporary ground level tracks on Van Buren starting in 1953. Since the buildings around the “L” have been cleared away, that is further evidence that this is the Congress Expressway construction area. Michael Franklin has identified now this as Van Buren and Marshfield.

The same location today.

The same location today.