Often the train buffs are seen filming trains as they travel through West Chicago. They could be photographing a particular engine, but, sometimes, they are capturing a moment of history. This is portrayed by Jeff Bloomdahl on Facebook, as he recalled the 50th Anniversary of the final run of the Chicago and Northwestern train #1 Kate Shelley, April 30, 1971
“April 30, 1971! Tomorrow a new era of passenger rail travel will start in the United States, AMTRAK! But today there are issues of greater importance. The final run of the last intercity passenger train, Train #1, the former Kate Shelley 400, on the Chicago and North Western Galena Division from Chicago to Clinton, Iowa. The diminutive train of the last EMD E7 passenger locomotive on the CNW roster and three cars left over from the days of the Chicago to Minneapolis 400. #1 left right on time at 5:00pm headed for its first stop at Geneva at 5:42pm, with a final date in Clinton at 8:00pm. It would be snaking its way thru the commuter train traffic at the height of the rush hour, barreling thru West Chicago around 5:30pm. Today, the train is headed by its long-time conductor, Paul Chadourne, on his last run, not only on this train, but his career. This will mark the end of over a century of intercity passenger trains running thru West Chicago.
So where did this little train get its start. The North Western had decided in 1955, with the continuing loss of ridership and mail contracts, to relieve itself of the operating and financial burden of being the Chicago to Omaha link of the transcontinental passenger route for the Union Pacific City and Challenger passenger trains. The answer to this was a smaller train in the heritage of the CNW 400 trains to Minneapolis from Chicago. This train was to run from Chicago to Boone, Iowa, being named for Iowa heroine, Kate Shelley. A girl of 15, who saved a North Western passenger train from certain disaster, warning the train of a bridge wash out near Boone, Iowa. Kate would later become a CNW station agent at Moingona, Iowa. The Kate Shelley 400 was born October 1955.
The Kate Shelley 400 was always a rather small train. Although at the beginning it did include a parlor car and a diner or café/coach car, in addition to regular coaches. All being hand me downs from other CNW passenger trains. The real glory years of passenger travel had passed in this country. With the passing, the ”Kate” continued to see reductions in service. Just a year after its inaugural run, the train was shortened to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1956, with another shortening of the route to its final terminus Clinton, Iowa in 1957. In 1963, it even lost its name! The North Western had discontinued its 400 service to Minneapolis from Chicago. Trains bearing the 400 trademark would be assigned just a number. The Kate Shelley 400 would be relegated to Train #1 westbound and Train #2 eastbound (#11 and #12 on Sunday and Holidays with a slightly different schedule). As time passed, the parlor car would become history, as would the café/coach car in 1967, with what many described as having the world’s finest coffee.
April 30, 1971 arrived. The need to record the last run was a necessity. Expecting a group of people, only myself showed up, later followed by another gentleman right before train time. He proudly carried the Wheaton Journal from that day, headlining the passage of this final train into history. We talked about railroads, anxiously waiting for the first sign of the bright yellow faced engine with its Mars headlight scanning the ground. Suddenly around the curve from Winfield, running on the opposite main (the main line closest to the depot), #1 running at about 30 mph, showed its proud yellow and green heritage one last time in West Chicago. In the tradition of all the great streamliners, the E7 #5012-B and three coaches smoothly followed the curve towards JB Tower, ready to rattle the “diamonds” one last time towards Clinton and a date with destiny! ” (www.merleburl.com)
AROUND AND ABOUT
“Art in Full Bloom” the exhibit at Gallery 200, continues through May 2021. Hours are from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. Fridays and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays at 103 West Washington Street..
The spectrum of artwork on display includes paintings, photography, glass work and jewelry. Participating artists are Margaret Bucholz, Judi Horsley, Lou Jacobson, Patty Koenigsaecker, Donna “Blue” Kubica, Kathi Kuchler, Laurie Parker, Britta Renwick, Rita Skarha, Kathy Stepaniuk, Sue Tripp and Marita Valdizan. (www.merleburl.com
May is National Bicycle Safety Month. To recognize this the West Chicago Police Department is sharing safety tips and reminders on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/westchicagopolicedepartment/, plus giving away some bike-themed prizes. (www.merleburl.com)
Starting Wednesday, May 5, 2021, and through the summer, Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, is open one hour after sunset. In early May that is about 9:00 p.m. and as days grow longer, that means about 9:30 p.m. Usual closing time is sunset. Main attractions during Stroll After Sunset will be the Cantigny gardens, accented by the park’s new lighted fountain, and the First Division Museum exhibits and tanks. The Museum is open until 8:00 p.m. Due to the pandemic, the museum currently operates on a timed-entry system; tickets are free, but advance registration is required via the museum’s website FDMuseum.org. McCormick House is closed for renovation until 2022.
The West Chicago Public Library program, “When the Music Died; the Beatles Breakup,” is at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, May 6, 2021, via Zoom. In February1964 the Beatles exploded in America, but by May 1970 they were done. Using performance and interview clips, librarian Austin Hall explores the reasons it all fell apart and what, if anything, could have been done to keep the band intact. To make a reservation visit wcpld.info, under calendar. (ww.merleburl.com)
Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue in Carol Stream, hosts an Electronic Recycling Event from 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 8, 2021. Some of the items accepted include computers, laptops, monitors, cables, exercise equipment metal, televisions, power tools, VCD’s, cameras, coffee makers and appliances. Fees apply to some items. These are $20 for televisions, $10 for old tube CRT monitors, $5 for microwaves and $5 for exercise equipment. (www.merleburl.com)
To celebrate Blooming Fest 2021, there are garden-related giveaways starting Monday, May 10. To participate visit https://www.facebook.com/BloomingFest/. (www.merleburl.com)
Healthy West Chicago hosts a free virtual family cooking class, “Ratatouille,” at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, 2021, via Zoom. Chef Maria gives tips on eating healthy, saving time in the kitchen and involving children in food preparation, plus demonstrates how to make the featured recipe. Recipe ingredients are provided to the first 25 registered participants. The day to pick up supplies at the West Chicago Public Library will be communicated to those who registered first. To register visit healthywestchicago.org/newevents. For further information email Carly Smitherman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630-230-6370. (www.merleburl.com)
West Chicago Public Library computer class, “You Tube and You: What it is and How to Use It,” is at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, 2021, via Zoom. Librarian Austin hall teaches the basic of You tube and discusses why it is so popular. To register visit wcpld.info, under calendar. (www.merleburl.com)
In partnership with Cantigny Park, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton hosts a Civics Awareness program at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 13 2021, via Zoom. Professor Steve Schwinn presents the program, “Major Issues Before the Supreme Court and Constitutional Issues in the News”. To make a reservation visit my.lwv.org/illinois/wheaton/calendar/civic-awareness. A Zoom link to access the presentation is sent two days prior to the event. Schwinn is a professor at John Marshall Law school and is a frequent commentator on issues related to constitutional law and human rights. He is a co-founder and co-editor of the Constitutional Law Prof Blog and an occasional contributor to other blogs and publications.
League of Women Voters of Wheaton includes West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton and Carol Stream. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate, but whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.
The West Chicago City Museum is having a grab and go History at Home Craft Kit pick up the second Friday of each month. For May, the free kit pick up is from 10:00 a.m. to noon Friday, May 14, 2021, in front of the Museum, 132 Main Street. The kits are designed for children ages five to nine, but all ages can have fun with them. They contain four activities and a local history booklet. Supplies are limited and once they are gone, the Museum will post in the event. For individuals who live in West Chicago and cannot make it to the event, they can email email@example.com and the kit will be delivered to the door. For further information send a Facebook message or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (www.mwelwbuel.com)
Healthy West Chicago hosts a free virtual family cooking class, “Lentil Mango Salad,”at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, 2021, via Zoom. Chef Maria gives tips on eating healthy, saving time in the kitchen and involving children in food preparation, plus demonstrates how to make the featured recipe. Recipe ingredients are provided to the first 25 registered participants. The day to pick up supplies at the West Chicago Public Library will be communicated to those who registered first. To register visit healthywestchicago.org/newevents. For further information email Carly Smitherman at: email@example.com or call 630-230-6370.
Habitat For Humanity needs volunteers for WeGo Community Cares Week, Tuesday, May 25, through Saturday, May 30, 2021. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Minimum of seven volunteers per day is needed. The work is for doing exterior repair projects for families in need. To register, visit dupagehabitat.galaxydigital.com/need.detail/?_id=582955. For further information, call Jill Sobie, Family Services Manager, at (630) 510-3737, extension 315, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. DuPage Habitat for Humanity selected West Chicago to be a part of its first Community Cares Week. The selected families, meeting certain criteria, submitted applications to DuPage Habitat. A portion of the repair cost will be repaid by the applicant based on their income at time of application. (www.merleburl.com)
Support our local businesses. We Grow Greenhouse & Garden Center, 1055 West Washington Street, has new hours for May. They are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday. (www.merleburl.com)
Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins, 110 West Roosevelt Road, holds a Guest Appreciation event. Persons can get a free single scoop of ice cream from noon to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 5 and 6, 2021. Also offered are free giveaways and a chance on the spinning wheel for free pizzas. (www.merlebul.com)
The Funnel Cake food truck is in the parking lot of Daniel and Associates Real Estate, 465 East Roosevelt Road. The times are from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, and from 11:30 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The last day it will be there is Saturday, May, 8, 2021..Other items on the menu include Curly Fries, Ribbon Fries, Lemonade and hot coffee. (www.merleburl.com)
Some of the local eating establishments have specials for Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, 2021.
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is open from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road. The clinic is for persons age 18 and older. To make an appointment, call the church office at (630) 231-3787 or email email@example.com. Reverend Josh Ebner explained, “Our church has been involved in vaccination efforts and had communicated to community partners that we were interested in hosting vaccine clinics. We were already partnered with VNA since they use our parking lot for their mobile COVID testing site.” (www.merleburl.com).
A COVID-19 testing site is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in a VNA Health Care Mobile at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road. There is no charge. Appointments are required and may be made at (630) 892-4355 or (847) 717-6455
The DuPage County Health Department developed a dashboard to provide information on the total number of people, in DuPage County, who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the dashboard includes a map which shows the distribution of reported cases by municipality and is updated at 4:00 p.m. daily. DuPage County’s “COVID-19 Dashboard” is a one-stop-shop for all the information it offers including a town-by-town breakdown of cases. As of Monday, May 3 2021, there were 4,568 cases and 50 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording. It is important to remember to follow the social distancing order, wear masks and wash hands.
A COVID-19 testing site is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in a VNA Health Care Mobile at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road. There is no charge. Appointments are required and may be made at (630) 892-4355 or (847) 717-6455.
To keep residents aware of community COVID-19 updates, the City has posted West Chicago’s COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS CENTER on its website, www.westchicago.org. It is located on the upper left-hand side in red. Clicking on this, residents can see the latest information.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Richard Alan Bell, who at the age of 73 passed away Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Fred C. DiMeo, who at the age of 74 passed away Thursday, April 8, 2921.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Ramon Quiroz, who at the age of 96 passed away Thursday, April 29, 2021.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Terrence Richard (Terry) Treudt, who passed away Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Donald G. Bloomberg, who at the age of 46 passed away Wednesday, April 12, 2021.
Deepest sympathy is extended to the family of Robert A. Kwosek, Sr., wo at the age of 74 passed away Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of James E. McGriff, who at the age of 63 passed away Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
PSI Innovations recently donated 4,000 face masks to the West Chicago Police Department. (www.merleburl.com)
Thirty-seven West Chicago Community High School students in Community High School District 94 were named 2021-22 State Scholars for their outstanding academic achievement. The students are Emily Bove, Payton Campbell, Sophia McComb, Shailee Patel, Brock Ullman, Maryam Al Kubaisi, Emily Ayala, Luciana Balzer, Annette Barron, Lola Browning, Charles Cardenas, Christina Champagne, Teegan Cook.
Also named are Coen Garling, Sarah Gimre, Sarah Gramit, Maxwell Harris, Autum Hosticka, Monica Huizar, Christiana Kapetaneas, Adam Khim, David Kuehn, Ruby Lebo, Casey Mantz, Lianna Mateski and Josiah McLean.
Others named are Sarah Miller, Claudia Mora, Julia Nosky, Sadie Obenauer, Leah Ryan, Caleb Shade, Brooklynn Worth, Giovanni Zavalza, Justin Blackburn, Matthew Stavenger, and Evan Wing.
The ISAC State Scholar Program recognizes students attending approved high schools for outstanding academic achievement. State scholar designation provides honorary recognition with no monetary award. Approximately the top ten percent of graduates from approved high schools are announced as State Scholars each year. The 2021-22 designation applies to the year students will begin their postsecondary education.
A year ago, the student team from West Chicago Community High School captured the 2020 Illinois State LifeSmarts title, earning the chance to compete for the national title at an event, which was subsequently postponed due to the pandemic. The rescheduled event took place virtually on April 17, 2021. West Chicago returned to battle against 23 other state champion teams for the national title and finished in seventh place. The WCCHS 2021 team, all freshmen, participated against 33 teams competing for the 2021 crown. Don Zabelin is the coach and Marc Wolfe is the assistant coach.
The students from the 2020 team are Danny Eaton, David Fatheree, team captain David Kuehn, Sean Slattery and Brock Ullman. Kuehn finished in the top 10 out of 57 contestants for topic test on Technology. David Fatheree finished in the top 10 out of 57 contestants for topic test on Consumer Rights. Students from the 2021 team are Angie Jacobo, Arely Jacobo, Rahim Khan, and team captain Dana Tomasevic.
LifeSmarts, a consumer education competition that challenges teens in grades through 12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities, is a program of the National Consumers League. The program has been in existence for 27 years and WCCHSl has competed for the last 24 years. In LifeSmarts, students compete online and in-person at the local and state levels leading up to a national event. he Illinois Consumer Education Association sponsors the Illinois LifeSmarts program. (www.merleburl.com)
On its Facebook page, Greco/DeRosa Investment Group announced its purchase of the Pheasant Run Golf Course property, which was owned by the DuPage Airport Authority. The purchase price for the 84,7 acres of land was $11,275 million. Greco-DeRosa plans to construct a six-building industrial park with retail businesses along Route 64. (www.merleburl.com)
By the end of Thursday, April 29, 2021, more than 300 West Chicago Community High School students, age 16 and over, received COVID-19 vaccinations during the Physical Education classes. The high school partnered with Jewell-Osco to make this possible. (www.merleburl.com)
Wheaton Academy recently celebrated the its faculty and staff. Receiving the Wilbur A. Hiller Teaching Award was Eric Bowling, a resident of West Chicago. The recipient of this award is selected by the faculty and students for the consistent exhibition of Christian graces, integrity and service. Bowling teaches psychology and is the Director of Student Leadership and Service.
Recognized for 40 years of employment at WA was Ken Ellis, for 20 years were Matt Dominguez, Gene Frost and Rich Mills, for 15 years were Steve Bult, Richard Clancy and Dawn Earl. (ww.merleburl.com)
Thursday, April 29, 2021, West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Board of Education held a special meeting to reorganize and seat the new Board of Education members following the April 6, 2021, election. Reinstated for another term and taking the oath of office were Chad McLean and Felicia Gills. Also taking the oath of office for their first terms were Morgan Banasiak and Sandra Garcia, Outgoing board members Kalpesh Dave and Christian Rivera were thanked for their years of service. Appointed to the position of President was Rita Balgeman, to the position of Vice President was Felicia Gills, and to the position of Secretary was Tom Doyle. (www.merleburl.com)
It was the thirteenth Annual Wellness Walk of West Chicago Elementary School District 33. The weather Friday, April 30, 2021, was just perfect for walking and wearing “Wellness Walk” shades. Mayor Ruben Pineda visited each of the schools. (www.merleburl.com)
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