May 27, 2011


Bill Matteson
Uptown Chicago History Correspondent

This area underwent so many changes when I lived there, up to 1952
On the North side of Wilson from Clarendon to Marine Dr. was the Wilshore Outdoor Dancing "place"

As a kid I remember a large very high wooden fence that ran the length of the whole block.
inside was the dance floor, I always wanted to go there when I grew up, but I didn't get the chance , i walked by there one day and it was gone
I think this was sometime in around 1946..
Just west of Clarendon on Wilson was Sallys Bike shop and rental I used to rent bikes from there for .50 cents all day.
then on Clarendon just north of Wilson was a hot dog stand, best in town. but that was torn down to make way for Honolulu Harry's Night club
then that was torn down sometime before the Hospital was built.
Moving west on Wilson was a very unique Tavern called" Hack's Wilson Cottage" and it was just that, A cottage with a bar in it.
A buddy of mine, another guy I grew up with and now in our late twenties or early thirties . Went to Hack's Wilson Cottage had a drink there .
the next day they tore it down, and of course, to have a drink at the Backstage Strip Bar. I think the same ladies were dancing there, as when I was a kid

Most of the buildings on Wilson Ave where my friends lived have all been razed with new structures in place. Progress I guess

On of my favorite hang outs was the Sheridan Ave Recreation Parlor. Now this was on Sheridan and Wilson , last time I went by there it was a McDonalds.
I call that reverse progress.
The Sheridan Rec had everything. bowling alleys, ping pong tables, pool tables and pin ball machines. I used to love pin ball it was a nickel a game. then all of a sudden they were outlawed and gone.

Having walked most of Uptown, I was always amazed at the neat Little rock gardens spread out through the area
My Memory doesn't serve as well as I would like it too.
In a lot of backyards were the neatest Castles, complete with moats, small villages creeks and ponds with water
some were mansions some were very elaborate churches and others were country cottages
All were meticulously made. out of shells and rocks. I can remember at least 8 or 10 of these all made by different individuals. They were there when I was a kid and never thought to inquire how they got there.

Any guesses

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
The recreation building that you commented on is still McDonalds. When I lived in that area it was Ford Hopkins Drugs Store. I purchased my Bonnie Braids Doll there when I was 8 and that was in 1952.
Cheryl Peck Deters


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