-- The first 'Strange, Unusual & Interesting Facts' column appeared in The Lowell Tribune in October 1996? The first "Pioneer History" story was written in January 1980.
-- the old bricks used to rebuild the fireplace at the historical Halsted House were found under the concrete sidewalks near the building at the northeast corner of Main and Halsted Streets in Lowell?
-- the one-room school building at Buckley Homestead County Park is very typical of the many small schools that once stood at dozens of sites in the Three Creek area? These buildings were used often for community meetings and church services.
-- two historical markers, missing for decades, were replaced on their original site on a stone near the old Main Street during Lowell's Sesquicentennial celebration? The markers honor Lowell's founder, Melvin Halsted, and pioneer doctor Jabez Clark for their work as benefactors of Lowell schools.
-- Joie Ray was a star distance runner in the 1920's? At the age of 67, in 1961, Ray ran a mile in 6:32.6 minutes. As a youth Joie stayed with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ray of Shelby.
-- Wellington A. Clark (1815-1912), early Lake County pioneer, began farming over 400 acres in West Creek Township (1839) before he built the "Homestead" in Crown Point? His 1847 home on South Court Street is on lot 57 of the original plat of the City of Crown Point. It is presently being restored.
-- it was the fall of 1869 when two hunters, Irwin and Granger, were hunting ducks near the Kankakee River, when sparks from one of the old guns fell into a worn powder box, blowing off the prow of the boat? The two hunters managed to reach shore with only a few scratches and wet hunting clothes.
-- a captain's chair from the home of Melvin and Martha Halsted many years ago is proudly displayed once again in the recently restored brick home in Lowell? Given as a wedding present to a member of the pioneer Surprise family by Mr. Halsted, it was donated to the Three Creeks Historical Association by Lucile (Searle) Surprise.
-- a large building near the site of the present Rieter Company complex was the home of the Lowell stock yards (demolished decades ago)? The Old Timer, when a small lad, was hired to spread coal on the floor of railroad cars hauling pigs to Chicago. The pigs were much heavier after eating the coal on their way to the stock yards in the city.
-- the original hand-written copy of "History of Lowell, 1896" by H.H. Ragon, editor of The Lowell Tribune, was found in the cornerstone of the 1896 school building on Main Street? It is now on display at the Halsted House Museum at the corner of Main and Halsted Streets. The museum will be open November 29th and 30th, and Dec. 7th, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
-- the Harding Company complex at the corner of West Commercial Avenue and Harding Drive is on a site once occupied by three homes? One house was moved and still stands at the corner of Oakley and Harding Drive.
-- one of the fine trophies awarded at the annual running and walking races sponsored by the Lowell Park and Recreation Department is call the 'Albert Webb Trophy'? Webb was winner in a big race during the 1880's here in Lowell and claimed that he trained by running behind the old steam trains on the Monon.
-- one of our local restaurants is on the former site of two blacksmith shops? Do you know which one it is? (Answer will appear at the end of this column.)
-- the first Lake County seat was at Liverpool, east of Gary, for a short time?
-- a log courthouse was built near the Calumet River, but when the county seat was moved to Crown Point in 1839, the little log building was floated down the river to be used as a business building in Illinois.
-- there once was a brush factory in Lowell? The Dearborn manufacturing Company of Chicago made brushes of all kinds in a building near the creek, just west of the Halsted House. It closed during the depression of the 1930's.
-- a 1915 decorative plate now proudly displayed at the Halsted House Museum features a map of the Panama Canal? The plate was given during a special promotion by the "Red Front" store, which was in the building now occupied by the Anvil Awards trophy shop on West Commercial Avenue. The canal was completed in 1914.
-- that history was made on Tuesday, November 19, 2002, when a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Freedom Park on North Nichols Street, Lowell?
-- the restaurant which is on the former site of two blacksmith shops, Zuni's, is on the southeast corner of Commercial Avenue and Parkview Street. Nick Berg and John Miller were the two blacksmiths.
Return to Lowell History
Return to the "Pioneer History" A to Z Index Page