Old South Shore residents have many memories of the South Shore
Country Club. Blacks and Jews were excluded, as well as those
who could not afford the membership. But for the upwardly mobile
Irish-American middle class it became a magic place, with parties,
dances, receptions, and celebrations in the club, on the golf
course, and along the private beach. The club introduced the Irish
to the world of cotillions and champagne.
Organizational life was also important for the Irish. The Holy
Name Society, the Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic Order
of Foresters among others, provided the Catholic parishioners
with rich neighborhood experiences. Seventy-first Street was well
known for its St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Not all the Irish and Jewish residents of South Shore fit the
upwardly mobile middle-class pattern. Many were middle-class families
who had made their way to Chicago's famous bungalow belt. South
Shore had many modest single-family homes as well as the apartments
which seemed to dominate the housing stock.
By the 1940s the neighborhood contained fifteen Protestant churches,
four Catholic churches, and four Jewish synagogues. The institutional
and residential maturity of the community was complete.