Englewood in 1866

Reminiscences of Joseph A. Fagan

One of the best informed of the old settlers now with us is Jos. A. Fagan, or as everyone best knows him, "Joe the letter carrier," as he was of the first lot of letter carriers appointed in Englewood. Joe says in May 1866, he came to Englewood, then known as "The Junction," with his father, who settled at what is now 61st and State streets.

We had one neighbor south of us, the Burkey family, the next south being Ring's Tavern, known as the Seven Mile House. There was nothing south of that only a few shanties near the railroad. There were probably ten houses between State Street and the lake. Just east of State was a grove; one house stood at 63rd Street and Indiana Avenue, from which a big marsh extended as far as Cottage Grove Avenue, then it was woods and brush to the lake. Sand hills nearly one hundred feet high bordered the lake. Two or three fishermen's shanties were built in the sand dunes and as a boy I often watched them fish, drawing in their nets with a windlass. Oh boy! I have seen them pull in a half ton at a time of white fish, perch and herring and lots of sturgeon, weighing from ten to thirty pounds each. We boys used to have the smaller fish for helping tend the windlass. From State Street, west and south was one vast prairie as far as eye could reach.


The Story of Englewood edited by Gerald E. Sullivan
Englewood Business Men's Association, Chicago, 1924