Shabbona Park


Basketball Court

United States, Chicago, IL, 6935 West Addison Street

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Chicago, IL, United States

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    Shabbona Park

    Shabbona Park is among the four parks established by the Old Portage Park District, one of 22 independent park commissions consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Created in 1912, the Old Portage Park District aimed to improve property values and provide substantial recreational facilities for the middle class Portage Park community. Nearby Portage Park, begun in 1913, met with such success, that residents of the adjacent Dunning neighborhood sought to expand the district's borders into their community. This annexation was completed in 1925 and, early the following year, the Old Portage Park District began acquiring an 18.7-acre property identified by the Dunning Park Improvement Association. Before long, the new park had winding walkways, spacious lawns, flower beds, and a sunken garden, as well as baseball and football fields and a large playground. In 1928, the park district built a Georgian-style brick fieldhouse with a 300-seat assembly hall, a kitchen, and various club, game, and shower rooms. The structure is identical to the Chopin and Wilson Park fieldhouses. After Shabbona Park's 1934 transfer to the Chicago Park District, the unified agency installed softball fields and a new baseball diamond. By 1946, the park district had developed plans for gymnasium and swimming pool additions to the heavily-used fieldhouse. However, the gymnasium was not constructed until 1959, and a natatorium came slightly more than a decade after that. During the 1990s, the park district rehabilitated many of Shabbona Park's major features. Shabbona Park takes its name from the Potawatomi chief Shabbona (ca. 1775-1859). Shabbona and his people continued to live in northeastern Illinois well after the establishment of Chicago's Fort Dearborn in 1803. In the early 1830s, Shabbona warned white settlers of the Sac chief Black Hawk's intentions to take back his ancestral lands in western Illinois. Though Shabbona's warnings saved many lives, his people were nevertheless removed to a reservation west of the Mississippi in 1837. The people of Ottawa, Illinois warmly welcomed Shabbona when he returned in 1854. Shabbona died there five years later.

    Posted on 2015-04-16 by bjlegacy13 | Flag Comment

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