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Table of Contents > Chapter 11

South Lakefront (continued)

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.

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