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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mastodons in Lake County

The earliest known discovery of mastodon bones in Lake County occurred in January 1876, as reported by the Waukegan Weekly Gazette: "One morning Mr. M.B. Stone, while digging sand in the pit south of the town branch on Lamar [?] Street, struck with a pick what he supposed to be a stone, but on prying it out found it to be a portion of some mammoth." 

Image of Mastodons courtesy of
American Museum of Natural History

The use of the term "mammoth" by the Gazette may have been simply to signify something quite large, but it should be noted that although similar in appearance, mastodons and mammoths are two distinct species. The most important difference was how they ate. Both were herbivores, but mastodons had cone-shaped cusps on their molars to crush leaves, twigs and branches. Mammoths had ridged molars that allowed them to cut through vegetation and graze.

Mastodons began to disappear from Lake County at the end of the last Ice Age from 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Some scientists believe the herds of American mastodon were possibly greater than the bison herds that later roamed the Great Plains. The mastodon’s extinction was probably caused by several factors, including over-hunting by humans, climate change and habitat loss at the end of the Ice Age, and possibly disease.

The most exciting discovery of a mastodon occurred in the summer of 1925. While dredging a canal on his property in Ingleside, Herman Kaping (1870-1932) brought up the ribs and bones of a mastodon. The skull was also found and hoisted several times, but each time slipped off the dredge's bucket back into the water. 
Herman Kaping's resort, Ingleside, near where the
mastodon bones were found.
Postcard circa 1912. LCDM M-86.1.361
The discovery caught the interest of scientists when Kaping sent the 56" rib bone and 10" long vertebra to the Field Museum for identification, and later gifted the bones to the Field. Soon the Field Museum's Professor Elmer S. Riggs (1869-1963), associate curator of paleontology, and Dr. H.W. Nichols, associate curator of geology, arrived to search for more bones.

Herman Kaping (left) and Prof. Riggs of the Field Museum
at site of Mastodon find in Ingleside, 1925.
Professor Riggs was a specialist of fossil mammals, but had been working for the Field Museum in part to secure dinosaurs for exhibition. Riggs is credited with discovering and naming the Brachiosaurus in 1903. 

Riggs and Nichols were unable to recover more bones, but Riggs gave an impromptu talk on the size and habits of the mastodon to a crowd of onlookers.

On March 11, 1962, another attempt was made to recover the mastodon skull at Kaping's. The site had come to be known as "Mastodon Isle" for the 1925 find.

Examining a mastodon bone: Ken Bundy (diver),
William Palmer, Harry Kaping and Charles Dussman.
News-Sun, March 13, 1962. 
This time the hunt was led by Robert Vogel of the Lake County Museum of History (predecessor to the Lake County Discovery Museum), and Herman Kaping's son, Harry Kaping (1894-1975). Harry had rode the dredging machine when the original find was made.

Robert Vogel (center with paper) discusses the plan
for finding more mastodon bones at Mastodon Isle.
Property owner, Harry Kaping (right wearing fedora)
March 11, 1962. LCDM photo. 
Members of the Lake County Scuba Divers cut two four-foot holes in the ice, 200 feet apart. Harry Kaping directed the divers in their search, but they were unable to locate the mastodon's skull.

Mastodon leg bone recovered in 1925 from Kaping's (above)
was donated to Vogel's museum. It is on permanent exhibit
at the Lake County Discovery Museum.
In July 1992, mastodon bones were discovered in Wadsworth. While digging a lake on their property, Van Zelst, Inc. Landscapers excavated mastodon bones, eastern elk bones and remnants of an ancient spruce forest. The find was identified by scientists from the Illinois State Museum, where the majority of the find was donated. One of the spruce logs was donated to and is on exhibit at the Lake County Discovery Museum.

Dr. Russell Graham of the Illinois State Museum
and David Van Zelst, landscape architect and owner of
property examine mastodon bones found while
Van Zelst was digging in Wadsworth, 1992.
Courtesy of David Van Zelst. 

Mastodon statue and prairie flowers representing
Lake County's historic flora and fauna greet visitors
to the Lake County Discovery Museum.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Slaves Found Freedom in Lake County

The issue of slavery was in the hearts and minds of many prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. 
"The Underground Railroad" by Charles T. Webber, 1893
Cincinnati Art Museum
Many citizens of Lake County were active abolitionists, and in 1846 a group organized the Lake County Anti-Slavery Society in Antioch. 

Abolitionists throughout the North organized to aid runaway slaves and worked in small, independent groups to maintain secrecy in what was called the Underground Railroad. This informal network of secret routes and safe houses was like an “underground” resistance and used “rail” terminology. 

There are a handful of stories of escaped slaves passing through Lake County, and also of former slaves settling here after the Civil War. 

One of the few detailed stories of an escaped slave coming to Lake County to took place in the winter of 1858, when Andrew Jackson, a 28-year old slave, arrived from Mississippi at the Deerfield "safe house" of Lyman Wilmot. Because it was winter and travel was difficult, Wilmot found a more permanent residence for Jackson at the Lorenz Ott home where Jackson assisted with chores and even built the family a fence around their log cabin home.


The Caspar Ott cabin (above), where runaway slave Andrew Jackson
wintered in 1858-1859, is preserved by the 
Deerfield Area Historical Society
 

When the roads became passable in the spring of 1859, Lorenz Ott, a tailor by trade, made the young man a new suit and gave him boat fare to Canada. Wilmot then took Jackson to Chicago to board a ship to freedom. 

Lorenz Ott's tailor sheers believed to have been used
to make a new set of clothes for runaway slave,
Andrew Jackson, circa 1859.
LCDM 64.24.1
It is estimated that at least 30,000 slaves escaped to Canada via Underground Railroad networks throughout the North.

During the Civil War, it was fairly common for escaped male slaves to approach Union troops for refuge and liberation. This was the case for James Joice (1822-1872) who settled in Ivanhoe with his family and was featured in a previous post; Henry McIntosh (1843-1915) of Kentucky who enlisted with the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry 102nd U.S. Colored Troops and settled in Lake Forest in 1871, and worked as a coachman and gardener; and Samuel Dent (ca. 1835 - 1890) who settled in Lake Forest. 
Zouaves cadets in their stylish uniforms.

In April 1862, Samuel Dent, attached himself to the ranks of the 19th Illinois Infantry. This Zouave Regiment had several officers and sergeants who had belonged to the original company of Ellsworth Zouaves. (See my post on Ellsworth's Zouaves Cadets).

The regiment had advanced on and captured Decatur and Tuscumbia, Alabama, April 11-14, 1862. Dent, who was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, would have approached the 19th Illinois at this time, seeking freedom and to be of service.

It was also at Tuscumbia that James Davis of Barrington was killed by a sniper. (See my post on the Ghost of the 19th Illinois).

According to a February 1890 article in the Lake Forest College newspaper, The Stentor, Samuel Dent assisted the 19th Illinois' surgeon, Dr. Roswell G. Bogue (1832 - 1893).
Samuel Dent and his livery at the
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Depot, Lake Forest.
Courtesy of Lake Forest - Lake Bluff Historical Society.
After the war, Samuel Dent settled in Lake Forest in the 1870s. His decision to come to Lake Forest may have been based on his experiences with soldiers from the regiment who were from northern Illinois. Dent may also have been aware of Lake Forest's growing African-American community, which had begun in the 1850s, and tales of the city's strong abolitionist sentiment. 

Chicago and Northwestern Depot, Lake Forest
circa 1914. LCDM M-86.1.525
Dent started his own livery business, picking up passengers at the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad depot in Lake Forest and taking them to area hotels and to their homes. He also worked as a "tour guide." By all accounts he was a charming and generous man.

According to census records, Samuel Dent and his wife Eliza (ca. 1847 - 199) had three children--Emma McElroy (1858 - unknown) Eliza's daughter born in Illinois; Charles (ca September 1879 - May 1880) who died from "cerebral congestion;" and Eliza Jane (1884 - unknown).

When Samuel Dent passed away on June 8, 1890, the citizens of Lake Forest subscribed to and erected a monument at Dent's grave, showing their "esteem for a lovable Christian, devoted citizen and faithful friend."
Detail of Samuel Dent monument at the
Lake Forest Cemetery.

Special thanks to Laurie Stein, Curator at the Lake Forest - Lake Bluff Historical Society. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Illinois National Guard, Camp Logan

Camp Logan in Zion was an Illinois National Guard rifle range. This Guard training facility operated from 1892 to 1974 in what is now the Illinois Beach State Park.

John Alexander Logan, namesake of Camp Logan, Zion.
Congressional Portrait Collection, Library of Congress

The camp was named for General John Alexander Logan, a politician who raised and commanded the 31st Illinois Volunteer Regiment from southern Illinois in 1861. 

The camp was located east of Sheridan Road and adjacent to the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad line. It was purchased by the state legislature in 1892 to facilitate National Guard training in the region.
Camp Logan, circa 1900. Private collection.

By 1900, the camp was well established and included a headquarters office, four regimental barracks, range office, mess hall, kitchen and arsenal. From an early date, regular Army marksmen from Fort Sheridan preferred the rifle range at Camp Logan over their own facilities. Naval Militia from the Naval Training Center Great Lakes also utilized this facility. 
Firing line, Camp Logan. Date unknown. 
The camp's arsenal is visible in the background at right. 
Private collection. 
U.S. Naval rifle range, Camp Logan. Date unknown. Private collection. 

Before World War I, the Illinois National Guard put great emphasis on rifle marksmanship. It was one of the few Guard activities that was judged by strict Army regulations.

Training at the camp included handling of small weapons, tactical maneuvers, and rifle marksmanship. Soldiers performed a variety of marksmanship scenarios on targets located from 100 to 1,000 yards oriented toward Lake Michigan. In 1902, over 6,000 soldiers attended the camp and expended over 640,000 rounds of ammunition.

Two key innovations were incorporated into the Camp Logan range, the echelon target system and Aiken targets. For more on the inventor of the Aiken targets, see my post on Illinois National Guardsman, Robert Aiken

Corp. Rex Coniglio, Lieut. D.E. Zealand, and Private M. Cherion 
using 3-inch trench mortar at Camp Logan. 
Circa 1937. (LCDM 2013.18.28)

From 1933 to 1937, Colonel George Marshall was assigned as the senior instructor at the camp. Marshall would become U.S. Secretary of State in 1947 and thereafter develop the Marshall Plan for the economic recovery of Europe after World War II. 

After World War II, training became more restrictive due to the development of more powerful weapons and the increasing civilian population around the camp. The camp’s use dwindled until it was closed in 1974.
View of some of the buildings, and more construction underway at Camp Logan. 
Circa 1918. (LCDM 99.7.6)

In 2000, the 243-acre Camp Logan National Guard Rifle Range Historic District, including the remaining 1890s - 1950s buildings and landscape structures were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Camp Logan was placed on the list because of its status as the best remaining example of a pre-World War II National Guard training facility in Illinois and the role it played in the evolution of the Illinois National Guard. 
One of the remaining structures at the Camp Logan National Guard Rifle Range Historic District. 
Photo courtesy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Passenger Pigeons in Lake County

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. This bird once numbered in the billions in North America, but in a matter of decades market and recreational hunting drove the bird to extinction.

The first non-native settlers to Lake County in the mid-1830s found an abundance of wild game, including quail and passenger pigeons. Thousands of pigeons roosted in the county’s oak trees, eating acorns.


Remembrances of those early days were documented by students across Lake County, who in 1918 asked their elders for their memories of the passenger pigeons: In Newport Township, "Wild pigeons... flew in flocks of hundreds and helped furnish the pantry with delicious meat."

A woodblock engraving of passenger pigeons
in flight in Louisiana, circa 1870

In Ela Township, "There used to be a great many wild pigeons, but they were all shot. They flew in flocks that darkened the sun." 
Excerpt from Wauconda School students,
regarding passenger pigeons. LCDM 2003.0.46

In Wauconda Township, "There were flocks of quail, partridges and wild pigeons which were hunted for food, taking the place of chicken and turkey.  Great flocks of wild pigeons were common and they were considered a pest by the farmers.  They would pick up to small grain almost as fast as the farmers could sow it, for grain at that time was sown by hand.  Sometimes men and women were obliged to stay in the field to drive these flocks away."

From 1860 to 1880 there was a catastrophic decline in the passenger pigeons' numbers. 

Telegraph lines and railroads made it possible to share the location of passenger pigeon roosts with a nation-wide audience, including professional hunters. The market hunters, as they were called, brought their shot birds (by the tens of thousands) to major cities in order to sell their feathers and breast meat. 

There were also venues that specialized in pigeon shoots. The best known was Dexter Park, on the south side of Chicago. One match in 1877 involved the shooting of 5,000 passenger pigeons. Another match was visited by General Philip Sheridan (Fort Sheridan's namesake). 
Henry Kelso Coale, circa 1920
Library of Congress. 

In 1879, Henry Kelso Coale (1858 - 1926) of Highland Park, an amateur ornithologist and bird collector, "took specimens" of the pigeons. At the time, the bird's demise was already being talked about by conservationists, but Coale had found them breeding in the woods along the Des Plaines River, west of Lake Forest, and shot several for his collection. (
In 1936, the Field Museum in Chicago acquired a great portion of Coale's collection). 

In northern Illinois, the species was deemed to be abundant up to 1882. The last passenger pigeon in Lake County was recorded by John Farwell Ferry on August 7, 1895 in Lake Forest.

In 1912, Coale wrote that Lake County was "one of the most favored spots in Illinois for the study of birds," because of the variety. He also noted that the passenger pigeons were "formerly an abundant summer resident but now practically extinct." In fact, they would be extinct two years later.

The last passenger pigeon in the world, named Martha, was born in Hyde Park, Chicago about 1885 and was conveyed to the Cincinnati Zoo in 1902. She died on September 1, 1914. 
Martha (c. 1885-1914), the last passenger pigeon, 
as photographed at the Cincinnati Zoo, ca. 1914.
To learn more: 

"The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction" exhibition explores connections between the human world and looks at some of the work being done to help prevent similar extinctions from occurring. Lake County Discovery Museum through February 2, 2014. 


Author and passenger pigeon expert, Joel Greenberg, will speak about the bird's demise and explain how the story of the passenger pigeon is a cautionary tale. The presentation will be based on Greenberg's new book, "Feathered River Across the Sky."  Greenbelt Cultural Center, Thursday, February 20, 2014, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Registration and payment required: Register online or telephone 847-968-3321. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Silas Nichols: Last Civil War Veteran

Silas S. Nichols (1848 - 1945) was Lake County's last surviving Civil War veteran.

Left to right: Civil War veterans Silas S. Nichols (145th Ohio) and Frederick Worth (96th Illinois), photographed by teacher Lee Riley in May 1918.  The veterans are standing on the Townline School grounds at the northwest corner of Yorkhouse and Delany Road in Newport Township. (LCDM 2011.0.226) 

Silas Nichols was born in Sandusky, Ohio, to Joshaway and Shirley Nichols. He enlisted in the 145th Ohio Infantry, Company I at its organization on May 12, 1864. This Ohio National Guard unit enlisted for 100 days service.

Under Colonel Henry C. Ashwell, the 145th Ohio immediately proceeded to Washington, D.C. where it performed garrison duty. In July 1864, when Confederate General Early threatened Washington, the Regiment was constantly under arms. It mustered out on August 23, 1864.

While in D.C. with the regiment, Nichols saw President Lincoln three times. On one occasion, Nichols and several fellow soldiers called on the President at the White House. Lincoln came to his office door to welcome them and shook Nichols' hand.

In 1873, Nichols married Elizabeth C. Helrick (1857 - 1945) in Milan, Ohio. The couple moved to Lake Villa in 1889 and then to Waukegan in 1892 where Nichols worked for the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad as a railroad detective. He remained "special police" for the EJ & E until his retirement in 1920.

Silas and Elizabeth Nichols lived at 506 Poplar Street 
in Waukegan from circa 1905 - 1945. The house was built in 1901. 

On each Memorial Day from 1925 - 1942, Nichols recited the Gettysburg Address at the service in the Waukegan courthouse square. He continued to attend the memorial service, placing a wreath at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument until 1944. Nichols also participated in the procession of "boys in blue" each year in Chicago on Michigan Avenue.

On Memorial Day 1944, Silas Nichols (right) placed a wreath
at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the courthouse square, 
Waukegan. (LCDM 94.34.278)

Silas and Elizabeth Nichols were married for 71 years. They were feted as the longest married couple in Lake County. They credited their happy marriage to "independence for both husband and wife and plenty of give and take."

Silas and Elizabeth Nichols on their 70th wedding anniversary. 
Photo from the Chicago Tribune, March 7, 1943. 

While Silas was active in the Grand Army of the Republic as commander of the Waukegan post and judge advocate of the Illinois GAR, Elizabeth devoted herself to the GAR's Women's Relief Corps.

Each time a Civil War veteran passed away it made the papers. The Chicago Tribune was one of many area newspapers that covered Nichols' death on January 10, 1945.

In 1953, the last verified combat veteran of the Civil War, James A. Hard (1843 - 1953) died; and drummer boy Albert Woolson (1847 - 1956) was the last veteran of the Civil War. After Woolson's death the Grand Army of the Republic was dissolved, since he was its last member. At least three men died after Woolson claiming to be Confederate veterans, but their status was debunked.


In 1945, the Women's Relief Corps applied for a military headstone for Nichols. 
The application (above) was approved by the Adjutant General of Illinois.

Silas Nichols' tombstone at Hickory Union Cemetery, 
Edwards Road, Antioch Township, Lake County, IL.

Carved at the bottom of Silas and Elizabeth Nichols' shared tombstone are the words: "He shook the hand of Lincoln."

Monday, December 2, 2013

Girl Scouts of America

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America (1912-2012), which were formed in Savanna, Georgia by Juliette Gordon Low. To celebrate, let's take a look at Girl Scout items in the museum's collections.
Dorothy Gleiser, circa 1922.
LCDM 93.31.5
Above is the earliest Girl Scout photo in the museum's Lake County collections. This photo of Dorothy Gleiser of the Thistle Troop of Lake Forest was taken at Brae Burn Farm where her father was the farm manager, and her family lived. 


This 1926 photo shows Dorothy Gleiser wearing another Girl Scout uniform. The uniform pictured was donated by Dorothy to the museum in 1987.  LCDM M-87.3.1


Dorothy Gleiser's 1926 Girl Scout uniform (above). This is a typical button-down-the-front coat dress uniform of the early 1920s. LCDM 87.3.1


"Girl Scouts be Prepared" belt buckle from Gleiser's Girl Scout uniform, 1926. LCDM  87.3.1


Girl Scout pin from Gleiser's uniform, 1926. LCDM 87.3.1


Cover of guide book for Girl Scout leaders dating to 1937. LCDM 96.5.44


Cover of "Games for Girl Scouts: Brownie, Intermediate, Senior" from 1942. The 106-page booklet includes quiz and memory games, and also physical games the Scouts could play. LCDM 96.5.40.


The photo (above) was taken in 1965 at Fort Sheridan. The caption reads: "Sergeant George Stacey of 204th Military Police Company shows members of a Fort Sheridan Girl Scout Troop how to affix reflector-type safety tape to their bicycles." LCDM 92.24.731


Cookies are probably the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of the Girl Scouts. Here, members of the Fort Sheridan Troop sell cookies to an unidentified fireman, 1970. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917 with members baking the cookies themselves. LCDM  92.24.737


"Girl Scouts of Fort Sheridan Troop 157 that received merit badges: (from left sitting in front of table) Jackie DeThorne, Jeana Graham, Pattie Kapp, and Mary Compney, (back row from left) Kim Kusick, Kathy Phillips, Nancy Peddle, Nancy Phillips, Alesia Smith and Donna Marion. Troop 157 is headed by Mrs. Helen Hugger  and Mrs. Eunice Elliott." March 24, 1970. LCDM 927.27.729


"Members of Girl Scouts Troop 170, Fort Sheridan, hold a candle light ceremony in honor of Thinking Day, Feb. 22, 1970... Scouts are (from left) Kathy Kob, Beth Reaser, Linda Nunn, Anne Luke, Barbara Sovers, Wendy Ives, Denise Smith, Andrea Simmons, and Janice Kadomstei (center foreground)." LCDM 92.24.712 

Each year on February 22 the Girl Scouts celebrate World Thinking Day in which the girls participate in activities and projects with global themes to honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in other countries.

(This post was originally posted August 10, 2012)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Robert H. Aiken, Tilt-Up Construction Inventor

In 1907, Robert H. Aiken (1859 - 1925) of Winthrop Harbor, Illinois invented "tilt-up construction."

Aiken's fast and economical method of building concrete-walled buildings revolutionized construction and is still in use today. The process involves pre-fabricating concrete wall sections and lifting or tilting them into position on a concrete foundation.

Aiken was born in Abingdon, Knox County, Illinois. He came to Lake County, Illinois by 1895, when he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and assigned as the range officer at the new rifle training center at Camp Logan in today's Zion. Camp Logan was an Illinois National Guard training facility established in 1892.

On December 16, 1895, Robert Aiken married Jannette Kellogg (1879 - 1953) of Winthrop Harbor.

Jannette was the daughter of George P. Kellogg and Phoebe F. Landon Kellogg. Jannette was also the granddaughter of Nelson Landon (1807-1884), one of Lake County's most influential and wealthy pioneer settlers. Jannette and Robert resided on her father's farm along the east side of Sheridan Road just south of Kellogg Creek in Winthrop Harbor.

Aiken came up with his idea of constructing buildings using pre-cast concrete walls and raising them into position in early 1907, when he built concrete target walls for use at Camp Logan. Previously, the Camp's targets were made of wood. The new concrete targets kept ordnance from being shot into Lake Michigan and endangering boaters, and allowed the lead to be retrieved and reused.

After filing for a patent on a "method and apparatus for constructing concrete buildings," Aiken built a factory to manufacture the concrete targets and steel target frames, and used his new tilt-up method to construct it. The factory stood on his farm in Benton Township along Sheridan Road and was 80 x 75 feet and 14 feet high.


His next project was an ammunition and gun house at Camp Logan (above), and then a large mess hall at Camp Perry in Ohio. His first commercial store was built near Kenosha and was 30 x 40 feet with a cellar.

On November 14, 1908, Aiken organized the Aiken Cement Home company and incorporated it in the State of Maine (for tax purposes).

In 1909, he made plans to build a residential subdivision on his farm on Sheridan Road, using his tilt-up technique. The houses were to be concrete and two-stories high with six large rooms, front hall, stairways and bathroom. The subdivision was never built.

In February 1909, Aiken had a booth for his Cement Home Company at the 2nd Annual Cement Show held at the Coliseum in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune called him, "the novelty of the show" for demonstrating his invention of building concrete homes by actually constructing one inside the Coliseum.


In 1910, Aiken completed a new church for the Memorial United Methodist at 2935 Sheridan Road in Zion (above)
Detail of the church as it appears today. (above)

By 1910, Aiken had formed a partnership with Frederick H. Sears of Chicago with Sears organizing the Aiken Home Company of Chicago with offices at the Peoples Gas Building. Fred Sears expanded the company across the country, including in Los Angeles. The business was valued at $1,000,000.

It is unclear when and if Aiken and Sears parted ways.


Jannette Kellogg Aiken Black and grandson Hector Aiken, from History of Lake County Illinois 1939.

In 1924, Aiken and his wife, Jannette, and her sister Josephine Kellogg, subdivided the northern portion of their property, south of Kellogg Creek into the "Kellogg's Home Site Subdivision." The site was improved with one and two bedroom concrete, Spanish-style bungalows that were rented on a daily basis to tourists. In addition, there was a campground and sandwich shop on site. This was Robert Aiken's last project using his method of tilt-up construction.


Josephine Kellogg was the proprietor of the tourist camp (above), which she named "Hollyhock Hill." Aiken's concrete bungalows are still visible today on Sheridan Road in Winthrop Harbor.

Aiken's tilt-up construction remains a dominant form of construction throughout the United States. He is honored each year by the presentation of the Robert Aiken Memorial Award at the annual World of Concrete Convention.

Inventor Robert Aiken's tombstone at the Lake Mound Cemetery, Zion, Illinois.

Special thanks to museum volunteer, Al Westerman, for his extensive research on Robert Aiken.