Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Look Back at Chicago: May 15, 1901

Found on the pages of The Chicago Tribune, this occurred on this day, May 15, 1901, in Chicago . . .

JWB, 2009
“I consider the way the animals in Lincoln Park have been watered in the past is a crime for which this board must stand responsible if the practice continues,” said James H. Hirsch, member of the board, at the meeting of the commissioners this afternoon.

Mr. Hirsch continued as the commissioners “looked as if they were receiving electric shocks.”

“I desire to present a motion that this board at once arrange with the Water department of the City of Chicago for a supply for these animals.”  Without delay the motion was unanimously carried, and plans were made to lay pipes a distance of 300 feet to the nearest city main.

Speaking of the situation Mr. Hirsch said, “No wonder the animals in Lincoln Park have been sick of late.  The polar bear nearly died during the last few days, and for no other reason than drinking this filthy water that would kill a hyena.  The flowers in the conservatories have been supplied with city water and the horses in the big red barn also have been favored, but the wild animals in the zoo nearly have been exterminated by being forced to drink filth.”

JWB, 2008
Also at this meeting General P. H. Winston made a pitch for plowing and seeding of the filled-in land of the park at Chicago Avenue and the lake, just north of Captain Streeter’s “District of Lake Michigan.”  The board voted to begin this work at once.

The final item on the park board’s agenda was a proposal from George Richardson, an inventor, who presented a plan for a new seawall of concrete made by driving piles, to which wire netting would be attached, with the squares created then being filled with concrete.  The plan was referred to the new Committee on North Shore Protection.

The Lincoln Park Zoo was formed in 1868 when New York City’s Central Park Commissioners gave the Lincoln Park Commissioners a pair of swans.  Today the zoo holds over 1250 animals.

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