I’ve been a fan of Lake Claremont Press for years. They publish a lot of fantastic books on Chicago history.
The latest book, Oldest Chicago, by David Anthony Witter is a great addition to their catalog. Part history, part guidebook, the book includes information on a wide range of institutions, businesses, restaurants, and theaters. The usual suspects are included (Wrigley Field, Water Tower, Palmer House) but it includes things like Oldest Statue (Standing Lincoln), Oldest Bowling Alley (Southport Lanes), and Oldest Funeral Home – Northside (Jaeger Funeral Home). The book makes references to the City’s tendency tear down it’s landmarks yet it celebrates how each of these institutions was able to survive the years through efforts from an individual family, a neighborhood, or a group of customers. It is an eclectic mix but it helps paint a picture to what makes Chicago so unique and why so many people are drawn to the city.
As a life-long Chicagoan, I was surprised by some of the entries and intrigued by the stories. The book makes me want to go exploring in my home town. I just wish I had this book before. It would have made it planning trips around the city with friends from out of town easier.
If you are from Chicago or planning a trip soon, I would recommend picking up a copy of this book and exploring the city.
Disclaimer: I received my copy as part of LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.