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Friday, November 13, 2009

The Irish Settlement of Everett

The area of today's west Lake Forest, at the intersection of Route 43 and Everett Road, was once the site of a small Irish settlement known as Everett.

Students of the Everett School wrote in 1918 about the community's beginnings:

"Almost all the early settlers came from Ireland. A few of the very early ones came before the Potato Famine. Most of them came right after it." Cover of the Everett School History, 1918 (right)

The Michael Yore family was one of the first to settle in what would become an Irish-Catholic community. Yore Family cabin built circa 1841, as photographed in 1918.

The Everett School students documented what had been passed down to them by their elders about Michael Yore:

"He fostered education, he befriended the poor, he landed the thrifty and encouraged the shiftless, consoled the griefstricken, quashed the bickering, and by precept and example taught peace, industry and honesty." Photo of Michael Yore's eldest son, George, photographed in 1918 at the age of 80.

Photo taken by an Everett School student of sheep in a pen of an area farm. The photo's handwritten caption reads: "Doing their bit for their country" referencing the World War I war effort.

An anecdote related by the students was that in "those early years, pioneers saw fit to have a 'grog boss' to distribute liquid refreshments at their gatherings." John Bolgar was appointed because he had "many qualifications for this position. He would never indulge too much himself, and had a very pleasant way of being deaf to those thirsty parties who would importune him for another 'jiggar.'"

Until 1892, the community was called "Lancasterville" for James Lancaster who homesteaded here and ran a general store. This real photo postcard show's the store in circa 1910, several years after the town changed its name to Everett. The origin of the name Everett is unknown.

The settlers founded St. Patrick's Church about 1844, one of the oldest churches in the Chicago Archdiocese. Postcard of St. Patrick's Church and Rectory, 1909.

Everett School scholars who compiled the 1918 history of their school and community. Left to right: Harold Tulley, Gerald Yore, Rita Conway, Joe Yore, Florence Zieman, Fred Reum, Helen Man, Harriet Seyl, and Bessie Sneddon.

This school history is available for research at the archives. Grant funding to have this history and several dozen more from other schools transcribed, digitized and made available online is being sought by the museum.


Nicki said...

Interesting - thanks!

Linda Gardner Phillips said...

Great article. I've often wondered about this area and been curious about the community that preceded west Lake Forest. Do you know where the Lancaster store was located?

D_Dretske said...

The Lancaster Store was located on the southeast corner of Everett and Waukegan Roads, east of the railroad tracks. Waukegan Road (Route 43) was noted on maps as early as 1861, and the railroad line by 1873. Everett Road is a relative newcomer. It was laid out sometime after 1885.

Raquel Jackson said...

Very informative post thank you!