Uncovering the Fascinating Facts Behind Chicago’s Vintage Tribune
Today stands as a proud day in history for the city of Chicago. It marks years since the beloved Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX, and also commemorates the th anniversary of the “Blizzard of ,” which delivered a record-breaking inches of snow to the devoted locals of this eminent city. In recognition of these monumental events, the Vintage Chicago Tribune newsletter has dedicated previous editions to these momentous occasions.
A unique idea was presented by co-curator Marianne Mather when she suggested revisiting the wintry outdoor activities that have been enjoyed by generations of Chicagoans. Magnificent images from the archives of the Tribune were uncovered during this exploration.
With snow on the ground and temperatures anticipated to be below freezing next week, it is important that we take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. For an enriching experience, become a Chicago Tribune subscriber for just $ for year digital access. Additionally, follow us on Instagram at @vintagetribune for current updates about our publication. Furthermore, tune-in to WLS-AM’s “The Steve Cochran Show” Monday mornings to learn about notable events in Chicago’s history from guest Visual Reporter Kori Rumore. Thank you for your patronage! You can also subscribe to more newsletters, partake in various puzzles and games, and receive a digital edition of today’s newspaper.
At the turn of the last century, the sport of curling was introduced to Chicago, with the Chicago Curling Club subsequently forming and continuing to operate today. With a picture at Washington Park illustrating this new found popularity, the caption that ran alongside it read: “The man with the broom plays a most important part of the game. It’s his job to clear each minute obstruction from the path of the stone so that it nestles in one of the scoring zones.” As well as this, children could be seen skating on the South Pond.
As far back as , the opening day of ice skating season for the Chicago Park District has been celebrated with enthusiasm. Such winter activities as skating on ponds and lagoons, formal ice rinks, and even skiing were beloved by locals. On February th, , an especially momentous occasion was commemorated when the first ever Chicago Ski Tournament was held at Soldier’s Field. Eugene Wilson, a -year old unemployed road worker from Minnesota, earned the victory with his impressive -foot jump; this event marked the revival of ski jump contests and ski culture in the Midwest during the early s and s. To view photos of this extraordinary occasion, please click the link provided.
On January , , the Men’s Two Mile Silver Skates Title Race at Garfield Park reached its halfway point with four leading skaters—James De Swarte, Bill Carnduff, Al Perry, and Chuck Edwards—seen in the accompanying photograph. Despite their position in front of the pack, none of them ultimately placed for the event. Del Lamb, from Milwaukee (as indicated by the arrow), ultimately secured an easy victory, having moved up in the ranks throughout the race. This international skating competition, held in Chicago, brought great popularity to the relatively young sport of speedskating; the first World Championship in the sport was reported in by The Tribune.
The Silver Skates Derbies, a Tribune-sponsored race, quickly gained popularity after they first started to draw large crowds in Chicago for local races as early as . It is reported that approximately , people were present to witness Arthur Staff’s victory at the inaugural Silver Skates tournament held at the Humboldt Park Lagoon in January . The competition further expanded by adding a boys division in and subsequently welcoming women in and girls in . This competition has endured over time, and it continues to be organized today; further details can be seen through more photos. A noteworthy example of its steadfastness is evidenced in Olympic medalist Cammi Granato’s visit to Highland Elementary School in Downers Grove in February .
In conclusion, the Garfield Park speedskating event of 1922 marked a turning point for the sport of speedskating, as it gained immense popularity and international recognition. The competition was fierce and the winner, Del Lamb of Milwaukee, ultimately overcame his competitors to secure an easy victory. This event also had a lasting impact on speedskating culture in Chicago; many skating clubs and organizations were formed shortly after the event, further popularizing the sport in the city. Even today, it is remembered fondly by many speedskaters as one of the great races in history.