Ridge Historical Society

Ridge Historical Society RHS is non-profit historical society and archive for the Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood neighborhoods on Chicago's southwest side.
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RHS was founded in 1971 and is located in a historic mansion on the ridge, the Graver-Driscoll House, located on Longwood Drive, the major thoroughfare which runs the length of the ridge. RHS is primarily volunteer-driven, with a Board of Directors elected annually by the membership. RHS has accumulated a vast variety of materials from the earliest recorded history of the area to present times. Holdings include community newspapers, church bulletins, scrapbooks, family manuscript collections, historical real estate listings, maps, photographs, glass slides, historic costumes, textiles and physicalo artifacts. The collections are available to the public through exhibits, outreach programs, the website (undergoing revision) and research requests.

RHS was founded in 1971 and is located in a historic mansion on the ridge, the Graver-Driscoll House, located on Longwood Drive, the major thoroughfare which runs the length of the ridge. RHS is primarily volunteer-driven, with a Board of Directors elected annually by the membership. RHS has accumulated a vast variety of materials from the earliest recorded history of the area to present times. Holdings include community newspapers, church bulletins, scrapbooks, family manuscript collections, historical real estate listings, maps, photographs, glass slides, historic costumes, textiles and physicalo artifacts. The collections are available to the public through exhibits, outreach programs, the website (undergoing revision) and research requests.

Operating as usual

Ridge Historical SocietyNational Police Week: The History of the Morgan Park Police Station – Part 1By Carol FlynnMay is...
05/13/2021

Ridge Historical Society
National Police Week: The History of the Morgan Park Police Station – Part 1
By Carol Flynn

May is a busy time for “recognition weeks.” There was nurses’ week and teachers’ week, and May 9 to May 15 is National Police Week.

This seems like a good time to share the interesting story of the Morgan Park police station, now the 22nd District Police Station at 1900 West Monterey Avenue. The community didn’t always have its own police station – in fact, it was a struggle through the years to keep one here.

When the Village of Morgan Park annexed to the City of Chicago in 1914, all of the local services – fire department, police department, water, streets, utilities, schools, library - you name it - came under the control of city departments and regulations.

On Wednesday, April 22, 1914, at 5:40 p.m., Chicago took over Morgan Park and the four police officers employed by the village at that time became members of the Chicago Police Department. Morgan Park soon became part of the 32nd Ward.

On May 2 of that year, Chicago Police Superintendent James Gleason established a new police station at Morgan Park, and transferred in a lieutenant, a detective sergeant, three sergeants, and seven patrolmen. Lt. John F. Sullivan of the Hyde Park police station was given command. The first criminal complaint the new Morgan Park police station dealt with was an employee theft on May 26, 1914.

In 1916, the Police Superintendent was now Charles Healey, and he created a new police district, the 27th or Gresham, that included Morgan Park. Joseph C. Mullin was promoted from lieutenant to captain to be commander of this new district.

In 1917, there was again a new Police Superintendent, Herman F. Schuettler, an “efficiency expert” who had been acting chief four times. He proposed a reorganization of the police department, reducing the number of police stations from 45 to 22. He claimed that the money saved in administrative costs would be used to put more police officers out on the streets. The city council approved the plan. The Morgan Park station was on the list to close.

The residents of the Morgan Park area were very much against the closing of the station, and held a mass meeting attended by over 500 people to discuss what to do. The leaders of the effort to save the Morgan Park station included Aldermen Albert Fisher and James Rea; the head of the Morgan Park Business Men’s Association (MPBMA), Burten A. Knapp; and other civic organizations like the Morgan Park Improvement Association.

The concern was that the closest stations would be three miles away. A “committee” of 100 people was formed to visit city hall.

A “vigilance committee” was also formed at the time for “protection against criminal invasion.” Three hundred men signed up immediately, and money was raised to buy revolvers for all of them. A shooting range was planned so the men could learn to handle their weapons. It was announced a medal would be given to the first man who captured a criminal.

Schuettler met with fifty representatives of Morgan Park and assured them he would ask the city council finance committee to reconsider the issue. In the meantime, the vigilance committee continued its plans. It was also referred to as the “Home Guard Company” in local papers.

In January, Schuettler announced twelve stations, including Morgan Park, would close. However, he went on furlough after becoming ill, and the position of Superintendent was temporarily filled by John Alcock. Ten stations were closed in January 1918, but Alcock allowed Morgan Park and one other, Deering, to remain open. Deering was determined to be important because the manufacturing of war supplies went on in the district – the U.S. was involved in World War I at the time. But Morgan Park was allowed to remain open due to the pressure put on the mayor, city council, and police chief by the residents of the area and Alderman Fisher.

Then it was announced in February that the Morgan Park station would definitely close. Schuettler returned from his leave but continued to have health issues and was in and out of office during the spring.

The Morgan Park police station was finally closed on April 28, 1918. Adequate police protection in the form of mounted and motorcycle police was pledged, as well as a patrol wagon to be kept at the old station for emergencies.

The residents of the community planned to circulate a petition to reopen the station.

Schuettler died that summer and Alcock became acting superintendent again. Alcock gave a presentation to the people of Morgan Park from the pulpit of the Morgan Park Congregational Church in September of 1918. He told the audience that Jesus Christ couldn’t be chief of police in Chicago without being criticized. He said it was time to begin a larger and more loyal support of good policemen.

However, there were no plans to reopen the Morgan Park police station.

Next post: Morgan Park continues its fight for a police station.

Ridge Historical SocietyTeacher Appreciation Week – May 3-9, 2021 – Part 5School Series – Profile 11: Kate Starr Kellogg...
05/13/2021

Ridge Historical Society
Teacher Appreciation Week – May 3-9, 2021 – Part 5
School Series – Profile 11: Kate Starr Kellogg
By Carol Flynn

There was more to Kate Starr Kellogg than her life-long commitment to education, as if that wasn’t enough.

Kate was a poet and song writer. The World’s Congress held a series of events at the time of the Columbian Exposition, the World’s Fair in Chicago. A special World’s Congress of Representative Women of All Lands was formed, and held a week-long meeting in May 1893. The purpose of the event, chaired by Bertha Honore Palmer (Mrs. Potter Palmer), was to present the progress of women in “the great departments of intellectual activity.”

There were talks on education and social reform, but Kate participated in an evening event on music created by women. A song she wrote the lyrics for, “Wedding Music,” with music by Eleanor Smith, was performed by Miss Helen Root and a chorus.

Kate published poetry in other sources, also.

The Kellogg sisters also explored their spiritual sides. Through their father, a holistic physician, they developed interests in metaphysical ideas and practices including spiritualism, the Christian Science writings of Mary Baker Eddy, and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

In 1896, the Cook County Normal School held its annual alumnae reunion and “tree planting exercises.” Following an opening session, the participants marched outside for the planting of a catalpa tree. This was followed by a business meeting, and then a banquet. It was a custom then at most events like this that a series of toasts were made, and each was responded to in kind by someone giving a brief presentation. Kate was one of the responders and her topic was “The Transmigration of Souls.” This concept is related to reincarnation.

In 1901, Kate and her sister Alice were listed as members of All Souls Church, a Unitarian Church connected to Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a well-known Unitarian minister and writer who produced the Unity newsletter.

Kate along with other people responded to a 1909 request in the Unity newsletter to identify what books of literature they considered indispensable. Her number one book was Emerson’s Essays, Volume 1, followed by his poems.

One interesting story about Kate appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper on October 1, 1899, in an article titled “Chicago Stories of Ghosts.” In this New York paper, it was reported that Kate often told a story of the “supernatural” to her “intimate friends.”

According to the article, Kate reported that she was taking an overnight journey on a train, and, although not a superstitious person, was distressed with a presentiment of evil. Suddenly, at the foot of her berth, she saw a shadowy white female figure. The figure remained for several hours and finally vanished. Kate noted the time of this event, and later learned that a dear friend had died that night after a very sudden illness of a few hours’ duration, and on her deathbed the friend had said, “Tell Kate.” Kate made no attempt to explain what had happened other than to say how real the experience had been.

Kate died at the family farm in Evergreen Park in 1925 at the age of 71, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Mount Greenwood Cemetery with her family.

One remembrance of Kate stated: “Those who knew Miss Kellogg will long cherish the memory of her human sympathy, her keen sense of humor, her imagination, and her deep understanding of the youthful mind.”

On November 8, 1937, the new Kate Starr Kellogg Elementary School opened its doors at 9241 S. Leavitt Street. The first principal was Jennie S. Jenkinson, who also headed Sutherland School at 10015 S. Leavitt Street. Jennie was notable, too – a local resident, she lived with her parents at 1669 West 104th Place. Her father was Presbyterian minister Rev. Henry S. Jenkinson. Jennie taught at Barnard School before her promotion to principal. She died in 1972 at the age of 91 after a 42-year career as a Chicago educator. Surely Kate Starr Kellogg was a legend and inspiration to her.

This concludes our profile on Kate Starr Kellogg.

Ridge Historical SocietyTeacher Appreciation Week – May 3-9, 2021 – Part 4School Series – Profile 11: Kate Starr Kellogg...
05/11/2021

Ridge Historical Society
Teacher Appreciation Week – May 3-9, 2021 – Part 4
School Series – Profile 11: Kate Starr Kellogg
By Carol Flynn

Kate Starr Kellogg (1854-1925) was an influential educator who lived on the Ridge. We’ve briefly profiled her family and education career in the three previous posts.

Kate’s contributions to the education field went beyond just teaching issues. She also left a lasting impression on political and social issues concerning Chicago’s education system.

First, she supported employing married women as teachers. The Chicago Board of Education policy was that a female teacher who got married automatically lost her job, but married male teachers not only stayed employed, they were preferred. Kate strongly believed that school, home, and society were all inter-connected and reinforced each other. Not only did she believe married women could still have a teaching career, she supported parents having a stronger role in the education process and believed that what children learned in school should be relevant to their homes and social lives. She supported the establishment of parent-teacher associations.

Kate also supported the right of teachers to come together to achieve common goals such as protecting the integrity and standards of the profession and dealing with employment issues – in other words, to unionize. She was an active member of the National Education Association, founded in 1857, and now the largest union in the U.S., representing education professionals and students.

As a founding member of the Chicago Teachers Federation which formed in 1897, Kate personally tackled local issues, including going after corporations that were delinquent in paying their taxes that supported the public schools. The Federation publicly “outed” not only these companies, but their prominent stockholders, some of whom were businessmen claiming praise as “reformers” and philanthropists.

Kate also was a leader in advocating for the formation of a Chicago teachers’ pension system, and sat on the board of trustees for the fund once it was established. She helped wrest away control of the fund from the Board of Education and put it in the hands of the teachers themselves.

In 1909, Ella Flagg Young was named the first woman superintendent of Chicago public schools, the first woman in the U.S. to reach this level in the education field. As expected, her critics and enemies were numerous.

For 3 years, Flagg was unanimously re-elected to her position by the Chicago Board of Education. Then in 1913, without warning, school board directors who were against Young managed to gather enough votes to remove her from the superintendent position. They accused her of mismanagement of funds and making the school system inefficient. They called into question her integrity and competence. Realizing she did not have the support to continue, Young resigned.

Young’s supporters were outraged by the Board’s decision and treatment of Young. Her support was largely concentrated in the powerful women’s clubs of the day but also reached much farther than that – former students, including many men, and parents of current students supported Young. Their call for Young’s reinstatement was supported by Mayor Carter Harrison, Jr., Jane Addams of Hull House, and many other leaders. The teachers of the city strongly supported Young and “hinted” they would strike if she were not reinstated.

A committee was established to write a resolution to have Flagg reinstated. Kate was one of the eight committee members. On Christmas Eve, 1913, the Board of Education voted Young back in as superintendent.

Kate, not surprisingly, was a suffragist, supporting women’s right to vote. It was particularly jarring to teachers, overwhelmingly a female occupation, when it was announced they would be charged an income tax on their earnings, without any representation in any governmental decision-making processes.

Mary Kellogg, Kate’s older sister, and Kate were both members of the Chicago Peace Society. This group was the local branch of the American Peace Society, founded in 1828, to promote good will between nations and the use of arbitration and other peaceful means to settle disputes and avoid armed conflict. There were many prominent members in this association, including past and current mayors and governors of Illinois, judges, clergy and religious leaders, notable women organizers, and professional women such as Jane Addams and Ella Flagg Young.

Kate and her sisters had personal as well as professional relationships with leaders such as Addams and Flagg. That friendships would develop between like-minded women is expected. Several Kellogg sisters were involved in Hull House activities, and in an earlier post, we showed the portrait that Alice Kellogg painted of Addams.

They were all involved in various women’s clubs, and the state federation of women’s clubs, as well as professional and reform groups. Other women from the Ridge were also involved, including Gertrude Blackwelder. Kate was a speaker at meetings during Blackwelder’s term as president of the Chicago Woman’s Club, so they obviously knew and respected each other.

Kate had a personal relationship with Dr. Cornelia De Bey, a homeopathic physician from the medical school Kate’s father taught at, and the attending physician for her chronically ill sister, Alice. De Bey, a well-known reformer, suffragist, labor advocate, and pacifist, had been named to the Chicago Board of Education, along with Jane Addams. De Bey worked with Addams’ Hull House community.

De Bey shared living arrangements with Kate at 6565 S. Yale Avenue. “The Yale Apartments” or “The Yale” was designed by architect John T. Long in 1892 and offered luxury apartments to visitors for the 1893 World’s Fair. Today “The Yale” is a Chicago landmark. (Incidentally, John T. Long also designed the 111th Street Metra train station in Morgan Park, and perhaps the 115th Street station that burned down a few years ago, both Chicago landmarks.)

Next post – Kate Starr Kellogg – some personal interests.

Ridge Historical SocietyTeacher Appreciation Week – May 3-9, 2021 – Part 3School Series – Profile 11: Kate Starr Kellogg...
05/09/2021

Ridge Historical Society
Teacher Appreciation Week – May 3-9, 2021 – Part 3
School Series – Profile 11: Kate Starr Kellogg

By Carol Flynn

Kate Starr Kellogg was an educator whose career spanned over 40 years. Obviously, there is no way a Facebook post can cover that much detail, but here are a few documented stories about her that reveal something of her character and philosophy of teaching - and life.

Most of what we know about Kate’s teaching philosophy comes from her twenty-two years as principal of the Lewis-Champlain School in Englewood.

A lot of times, people in early photographs come across as formal and stern, usually because of their poses and lack of smiles. Back then, that was proper photo etiquette. Early cameras and film techniques required sitting still for a period of time, and even once camera technology improved, it was some years before “spontaneous” or “candid” shots, or even smiling, became the norm. So while Kate may come across as stern in her pictures, giving the impression she might have been a “tough” teacher, other information about her shows this was not the case.

In 1895, the Chicago Chronicle newspaper ran a lengthy article about the teachers – and principal - at Lewis-Champlain. The newspaper stated: “The school stands foremost of any in the city, and the plan has been so fully developed that the school is considered almost an ideal one.”

The “plan” of the school was simple: “Co-operation is the basis upon which the Lewis school in Englewood is conducted. The principal, teachers and pupils work together in perfect harmony and sympathy, each looking out for the interest of the other. … Every teacher is interested in every child.”

The article glowed with praise for Kate as principal. While she humbly gave credit to the fine teachers under her, they said they owed much of their success to her influence and advice.

The article stated: “Miss Kellogg is a woman of great strength of character …. She is a lover of humanity, and none could come in close contact with her without being better for it.

“Every child in the Lewis school is known to Miss Kellogg personally. Such a thing as fear of her in unknown. They come to her for love and sympathy and always find it.”

As would be expected, Kate often wrote papers for and made presentations to professional education groups. She was also a popular member of and speaker at the women’s clubs in Chicago.

In 1901, she wrote a paper for the Northern Illinois Teachers Association that also received coverage by other groups The theme of the conference was “The School and Society” and Kate’s paper was on “Some Concrete Examples.”

Instilling social responsibility in children was an important tenet of progressive education. In this paper, Kate described how Lewis-Champlain approached this through “municipal civics.” Each grade level studied a component of Chicago government and services from many different angles, from how services developed and were administered to how they were paid for, as a way to incorporate many lessons.

For example, the younger grades studied the Chicago Fire Department. Other classes studied smoke “nuisance” or pollution, garbage disposition, and water and sewerage, and they were preparing to study the city’s regulations on trees. One grade studied city construction projects – they redesigned their own schoolyard and then sent a proposal to the Board of Education. Kate noted they also got a lesson in patience waiting for a reply.

They divided the school buildings and grounds into “wards” and the children acted as “aldermen” with duties defined by the “citizen-pupils” themselves.

The innovative plan was well received by educators.

Kate suggested the idea be expanded into the community. She made a presentation to the Englewood Woman’s Club suggesting that boys could develop into better citizens and more informed voters as adults if, as children, they were encouraged to become more aware of their community’s needs by monitoring such activities as garbage collection and smoke nuisances.

The next day, the Inter Ocean newspaper ran a blistering response to Kate’s suggestions.

“Miss Kellogg evidently knows little about boys. And what is more, she is palpably deficient in knowledge of the boy’s father,” wrote the paper.

The paper went on to say fathers didn’t want their sons to be busy bodies, spying on the neighbors. The boys would turn into self-opinionated, self-righteous, self-conceited, meddlesome men. Their fellow schoolboys would be against it, and instead of developing a social conscience, it would earn a boy well-deserved kicks and black eyes.

“The safety of this republic lies in the fact that the average father and mother think most of the boy who is least inclined to win favor by stooping, even as a civic duty, to the garbage-box level,” insisted the paper.

That newspaper writer might not have thought highly of trying to instill social responsibility in children, but without a doubt, his opinion did not deter Kate.

Another interesting article Kate wrote for the American Education magazine in 1906 was titled “Democracy in School Relationships.” She called for allowing children, within reason, to have a say in classroom activities. She believed independent thought should not be stifled, but directed to mutually beneficial activity, with the child understanding the effect his individual behavior was having on his “room society.”

Kate gave as an example a visit she made to one of the classrooms, where the young teacher was under “nervous strain” trying to control her class. Kate suggested a group activity allowing the children to construct or illustrate the story they were learning about. The teacher replied she was afraid if she did that “they would get away” from her.

Kate replied, “They won’t get away from you if you go with them.”

Kate returned to the classroom a half-hour later to check on the situation, and found the children “quietly and happily engaged in cutting and pasting a miniature Fort Dearborn.” They were freely sharing supplies and working together on the model. The teacher gave a sigh of relief and “the joy in the room was reflected in the teacher’s face.”

“I never would have believed it possible. An hour ago I was ready to give up,” said the young teacher.

It’s a good thing she listened to Kate Starr Kellogg.

Next post: Kate Starr Kellogg – Board of Education politics and some personal interests

Address

10621 S Seeley Ave
Chicago, IL
60643

General information

Contact RHS at 773-881-1675 or [email protected]

Opening Hours

Tuesday 12:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 09:30 - 15:00
Friday 09:00 - 12:00

Telephone

(773) 881-1675

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Membership categories:
Student under 18 - $10 per year
Individual - $25
Family - $50
Contributor - $100
Patron - $150
Guarantor - $500
The membership year runs January through December, and membership includes the quarterly RHS newsletter, the Ridge Historical Society Record, and discounts on research and program fees. Several books are available; house history research; paver brick program and educational and entertaining programs and exhibits;

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Hi. I have been taking care of the grave of Robert "Pony Bob" Haslam at Mt. Greenwood cemetery for about a dozen years. He is probably the best known of the Pony Express riders and his story is far more than I could fit in here. Despite being injured by attacking Indians he finished his leg of the run to deliver Lincoln's Inaugural address to California, and by doing so may have helped shape the history of this country. When I began caring for Pony Bob's grave, it seemed likely to me that his grave hadn't been cared for since his widow passed away in 1954. (Bob married much younger than his own age, and his widow remarried, but after her 2nd husband passed she had the current gravestone installed for Pony Bob, so I expect she also cared for his grave.) Bob had no children of his own (at least officially) and all his siblings were sisters whose names would have changed upon marriage, so if there are any of Bob's relations anywhere - even distant ones - their last names would be different. In short, Bob has no known or provable family alive today to care for his grave. It's an hour's drive for me to get to Mt. Greenwood Cemetery to care for his grave, and that used not to be a problem. But over the years I've become a father and had other new responsibilities, so I have only been able to trim around and plant flowers at Bob's grave three times a year for a while now - before Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Bob's grave is said to be the cemetery's biggest draw for visitors. Now I am moving hundreds of miles south and it will be pretty much impossible for me to do this any longer. Bob had an interesting life but in his last several years this icon of American history was poor and sickly, living in a cheap cold-water apartment. Five floors up with no elevator, paralyzed by a stroke, he was not able to go anyplace and a stair climb like that certainly discouraged visitors. He deserves better than to be forgotten, and that is what prompted me to begin caring for his grave. Back in the day, it was considered an honor to be able to do even a small favor for a Pony Express Rider. To care for the grave of the greatest of them all has been and is an honor and privilege. I am hoping I can find someone more local to the cemetery to take over the task of maintaining his grave. Perhaps the Society itself could do this, rotating the task among interested members, so that one person moving away will not cause a problem. It is not often a chance like this comes someone's way... is anyone up for the responsibility and honor?
Hi. Is 10621 S. Seeley Ave. the mailing address? Thanks Pat
Carol Flynn Iwas at the begining of BAPA about 1960 with Sherm Swanson,Mr.Shapiro,Gerald Gorman,Mr Grobel. call me at 239-731 1808 for the rest of the story. Ft Meyers Fl.
Dear Carol, I am so excited that you did all that research. We were married on April 16th 1966. I was helping my three babies to get into the car and my ring was loose because of the cold. It flew off my finger and landed in the snow. Those babies are now 49, 50 and 51 yrs old. We had been visiting my Grandmother and were on our way home. We lived in Oak Forest at the time. Soon after we got a job transfer to Indiana and a few years later to Texas. I am 75 now and we have lived in Texas for the last 30 some years. I have never dreamed that I would have a chance to get my ring back. My husband took my engagement ring and had the stone reset in a different band for me. I lost that one many years later. It had fallen into the folds of the sofa and was gone for several years. My daughter took that old sofa when she got her first apartment. On day her boyfriend, who is now her husband for 21 yrs, was searching for the TV remote, and pushed his hand into the recesses of the sofa and found my ring. I thought that was a miracle, but this tops it all. If you could mail it to me I will reimburse you for the postage. I would also love to be able to send a thank you note to the current owners of my grandmother's house. Thank you...Karen Berk Autenrieth message me again and I will provide you with my address and phone number.
Has anyone ever done an archeological dig on the Morgan property?
On a tiny, forgotten patch of land, simply called the "Memorial Triangle," a small memorial to WWI veterans sits and waits. It's not a large tribute at 112th and Lothair in the Morgan Park neighborhood. Rather, it is an inscribed boulder that was placed after the war to honor the seven graduates of Morgan Park Military Academy who gave their lives in the Great War. For years, it was the annual gathering place for a huge celebration of what was then called Armistice Day on November 11th. In 1925, over 2,500 attended the ceremony where the "Memorial Stone" was rededicated. Although difficult to read now, the wording on the stone states: "In honor of the sons of Morgan Park who served in the World War." Perhaps no other high school in America contributed more than Morgan Park Military Academy during WWII. Approximately 875 graduates and staff served in the military and 48 never made it home. If you're ever in the area, stop by and visit the "Memorial Boulder." While the boulder may be forgotten, the memory of the veterans it honors never will be...
Tracy Ave vs. Tracy the Neighborhood?: Researching something on the North side, stumbled on a 1906 Blue Book (see Preface, page 17: http://livinghistoryofillinois.com/pdf_files/1906%20Chicago%20Blue%20Book.pdf), "a compilation of about twenty-four thousand names of the most prominent householders in Chicago and suburbs within a thirty mile radius." I knew 103rd Street was formerly-known as "Tracy Avenue." So was that area of today's Beverly known simply then as Tracy? Sort of like it is known as Beverly now, a neighborhood?
Hi! I've been trying to connect to the RHS website and it appears to be down! Just thought you would like to know!
If you attended my presentation on Chicago Railroad History at RHS, I mentioned our new poster. Its now for sale online:
The second season for Concerts at the Castle is now under way! Next up is the Charles Heath Quartet on Sat, Nov 30 @ 7pm. Proceeds for all concerts in this series benefit the Givins Beverly Castle Building Fund. Details are at www.concertsatthecastle.org.
What station was this one? my source: Ebay