Who's running for Plainfield offices in April? We've got a roundup.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
The history behind the former Baci building on Lockport Street.
The Inquiry The former Baci Ristorante building, now owned by the Village of Plainfield, was once the local Universalist church building. A Plainfield Patch reader asked, “What was the Universalist Church? Why and when did it disappear?” Read part one on Plainfield's Universalist Society here. The Facts A 1905 history noted that, in contrast to the established Protestant teaching throughout Illinois in the mid-1830s, “Roman Catholic priests, the Mormons, preachers of Univeralism, the Millerites, lecturers on Atheism, mesmerism and phrenology” were infiltrating the states and territories west of the Appalachian Mountains by 1835. In northern Illinois at that time, the Fox River region was identified as a “stronghold of Universalism.” …
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Who's running for Plainfield offices in April? We've got a roundup.
Filing is over for the April 9, 2013 consolidated election, and some Plainfield races are heating up. Here's a look at who's running for local office this spring: Plainfield historian and architect (and Plainfield Patch columnist) Michael Lambert has entered the race for village president, challenging current Mayor Michael Collins. One more candidate — Naperville firefighter Mark Allan Chmura — put in his papers Wednesday, becoming the fifth candidate in the running for three open seats. He joins incumbents Margie Bonuchi, Jim Racich and Garrett Peck, plus local developer Michael Guinta, who submitted their petitions on the first day of filing. Because those four candidates filed simultaneously, they will be entered in a lottery to …
Friday, December 14, 2012
Housing churches before giving way to restaurants, a Lockport Street building was home to the Universalist Society in 19th Century Plainfield.
The Inquiry After the Village of Plainfield purchased the former Baci Ristorante building, some identified the structure as the Universalist Church. A Plainfield Patch reader asked, “What was the Universalist Church? Why and when did it disappear?” The Facts Universalism took its name from its distinguishing doctrine of universal salvation. Universalists believed that the God of love would not create a human being if that person would be destined for eternal damnation. As a form of religious liberalism, Universalists embraced the theological doctrine that all souls ultimately will be saved and that there are no torments of Hell. During the late 18th Century, Universalism developed in three distinct areas of the eastern United States. The…
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Downtown Plainfield builders are a testament to a family's innovative response to adversity.
The Inquiry A Plainfield Patch reader inquired, “What are those small buildings that were recently painted white near the Plainfield Historical Society’s depot at Lockport and Wood Farm Road?” The Facts Acquired for preservation by the Plainfield Historical Society, the two concrete structures that stand today are remnants of a local family’s tenacity and innovation in the wake of a weakened economy and scientific advancement. The unassuming buildings are remnants of the small dairy complex operated by Charles Sennitt and his sister, May, for three decades in the early 20th Century. Originally, the Sennitt’s dairy operation included a dairy barn, milkhouse, corncrib and silo adjacent to a fenced-in pasture. The original farm buildings …
Thursday, November 15, 2012
The third and final installment in the series on the Plainfield pilot and the village's ties to the beginnings of the U.S. Post Office's air mail service.
The Inquiry Is it true that the establishment of the United States Post Office’s air mail service is tied to Plainfield, Illinois? The Facts The possibility of regularly-scheduled cross-country air mail delivery was advanced following experimental “path-finding” flights in September 1918. The goal of the trial flights was to deliver mail from New York to Chicago within a single day, a faster alternative to mail delivery by train. Return Flight to New York In spite of not completing their cross-country flights in a single day, pilots Max Miller and Eddie Gardner, a Plainfield native, had proven that the New York to Chicago flight was possible…even if the east-to-west attempt was deemed only moderately successful. However, the air mail …
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Part two in the series on the Plainfield pilot and the village's ties to the beginnings of the U.S. Post Office's air mail service.
The Inquiry Is it true that the establishment of the United States Post Office’s air mail service is tied to Plainfield, Illinois? The Facts Intrigued by the delivery speed that was possible with mail transported by “aeroplane,” the United States Post Office Department, authorized its first experimental mail flight in 1911 at an aviation festival on Long Island in New York. During the next two years, the department authorized 52 experimental flights at fairs, carnivals and air meets in more than 25 states. The experimental flights convinced the department that the airplane could carry a payload of mail. Advocating the efficiency and speed of air mail service, the Post Office Department repeatedly urged Congress to appropriate funding of …
Friday, October 19, 2012
The truth about Plainfield's ties to the beginnings of air mail service.
The Inquiry Is it true that the establishment of the United States Post office’s air mail service is tied to Plainfield, Illinois? The Facts The Plainfield community has been associated with American aviation since the early days of the 20th Century. Many stories circulate about famed aviator Charles Lindbergh’s reported visits to Plainfield when he served as an early air mail pilot. However, pioneering pilot Eddie Gardner, a Plainfield-area resident until 1918, is Plainfield’s most famous connection to American aeronautical history. Born on a farm northeast of the village of Plainfield in 1888, Eddie Gardner was the third generation of the Gardner family to live here. The Gardner Family at Plainfield The Gardner family was one of the …
Thursday, October 4, 2012
The final installment in a series on the white house at Renwick and Route 59.
The Inquiry Joan, a Plainfield Patch reader, asked, “What is the history of the little house across from the McDonald’s restaurant at Renwick Road and Route 59?” The evolution of the small house between 1833 and 1845 has been related in prior columns (click here to see part one, and here to see part two). However, the intriguing history of the property is concluded in this third installment about the home’s evolution. The Facts The present house on the property was built in three distinct sections. Presumably, bachelor Walter B. Wattles built the existing, rear wing of the house around 1835. The second section of the unassuming house is the south wing built by Jay Dyer in the early 1840s. One story in height, the building form is …
Thursday, September 20, 2012
More on the little house at Route 59 and Renwick.
The Inquiry Joan, a Plainfield Patch reader, asked, “What is the history of the little house across from the McDonald’s restaurant at Renwick Road and Route 59?” The earliest history of the small house and its association with the settlements of Walkers’ Grove was introduced in a prior column (click here to read it). However, the intriguing history of the property unfolded over several more decades. The Facts The present house on the property was built in three distinct sections. Presumably, Walter B. Wattles built the rear wing of the house around 1835. The following summer, W. B. Wattles sold his land, including nearly 60 acres of timber, for $1,600 to Archibald Clybourn. William Wallace Wattles, Walter’s father, sold 140 acres of …