Here's another great memory from reader Bill Matteson. Click the link at the bottom of the post that says "Memories from Readers" to read more of his letters to us.
THE HAGER SISTERS
The very last stop on my newspaper route was the Hager sisters at Winthrop Ave and Lawrence near the NW Corner. They were without a doubt the oldest people I knew, in and about 1944 I guessed them to be around 90. They were short and round and always tried to make me drink milk with the homemade cookies they gave me. I hate milk. But they were always good for a dime tip.
I complained about the freezing weather one particularly cold day. They told me I had never really experienced cold. Then came the history lesson.
In the days I believe before the Chicago Fire, at the site of the present Uptown Theater, was an old ramshackle frame structure that housed a tavern. People would wait for a mule-drawn conveyance that ran on tracks down Broadway. Men waited inside the saloon for the transportation, but no self-respecting woman would
ever go inside one. Regardless of the cold.
But these men were gentlemen and would build a council fire for the women to do a squaw dance around the fire to keep warm by. On the other side of Broadway was swamp that ran east to Kenmore Ave where the Lake proper started. Land fill came and the Lake was pushed back to where Clarendon Ave is. Hence the Clarendon Beach Bath House, later to become the Clarendon Field House and Teenage center where I used to hang out as an early teenager. More land fill pushed the lake back to its present position.
I loved those two old Ladies; they were the nicest people on my route. I moved out of the area when I was 16 in 1952. As far as I knew, they were never married and they were not twins.
I now am 75 years old and I think about those days a lot