South Shore has always been a special place for South Siders.
Located south of 67th Street from Stony Island Avenue to the lake
and running as far south as 79th Street, it has been the destination
for countless middle-class families since the 1890s.
One of the first settlers in the district was Ferdinand Rohn,
who operated a farm near 71st and the lake in the 1850s. Rohn
traveled into Chicago to sell his produce, and the round-trip
took him anywhere from twelve to sixteen hours. The area must
have seemed fairly forbidding at the time. South Shore was mostly
swamp land with some high ground over which rough trails had been
cut. Sparsely settled, the community had to wait until 1881 for
the Illinois Central Railroad to open its South Kenwood Station
at 71st Street and Jeffery Boulevard connecting it with Chicago.
By the early 1890s a small settlement was established near the
IC station in an area which became known as Bryn Mawr-the train
station soon adopted the name which it still has today. Just
west of Bryn Mawr, a neighborhood called Parkside developed.
district ran from 67th to 71st Street. South of Parkside to 75th
Street another small settlement took the name of Essex. It was
an outgrowth of a small residential area organized by Paul Cornell,
the father of Hyde Park.