Archive ID: 2002-029-010

Children play in Lake Michigan

Date Created: undated

Donor: Carl J. Horecky

Media Type: Photograph


These children are wading in Lake Michigan in an area that would soon become Calumet Park. The South Works steel mill is evident in the background. In 1904, South Park Commissioners acquired 40 acres on the East Side between 99th and 102nd St. and between Lake Michigan and Avenue G to be used for the park. This area included a beach that long-time residents called “Old Beach” which opened in 1905 with 100 dressing booths, bathrooms, and a shelter. Around the same time, a large wooden toboggan slide was built south of 100th St. and ball fields began to be flooded in the winter to provide ice-skating. In 1907, a 19 acre parcel between 99th and 98th St was acquired from Esther Taylor whose family had owned a mansion on the property and was used to expand the park to the north.

This photograph is one of a series of glass negatives taken by Dr. Walter R. Titzel around the turn-of-the century. The photographs include images of his office, a local ship-building company on the Calumet River, and children playing on the beach at Calumet Park. Dr. Titzel practiced general medicine in Southeast Chicago for 55 years. His office was located on 10150 Ewing Avenue on the East Side. Dr. Titzel helped deliver over 5000 children in the area as evident from a birth registry dating from 1888 to 1942 that was donated to the Museum by his daughter.

Dr. Titzel and his wife, Mary Davis Titzel, and three children lived at 10108 Avenue L, one block away from his office. Titzel had been born in Pennsylvania in 1865, and was the child of a Professor of Ancient Greek. He attended Thiel College in Greenville, PA, along with his future wife, Mary. Dr. Titzel’s oldest child, Elizabeth Titzel Riefstahl, would attend University of Chicago and later become a well-known expert in ancient Islamic art at the Brooklyn Museum.

The photographs were donated by a neighbor of the Titzels who also lived on Avenue L.

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Community Life   Other   Pre-1900   East Side   Other/Unknown   Photograph   2002-029   Children   Lake Michigan   Lakes   Swimming  

Featured Curation: Cradle to Grave

Featured Curation: Having Fun