Audio Conversations These conversations were recorded in 2008.
Click on the portrait or the name to go to the individual conversation.
Julia Bachrach, Chicago Park District Historian. We met at the Park District's Special Collections Archive, where she told me how the archive was formed. We discussed the very early years of Lincoln Park, its landscape, and the early park system.

Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Historian of the Chicago History Museum. We had a conversation about this project and spoke generally about Chicago historic research. We also discussed the 1998 excavation in Lincoln Park during the construction of the museum's parking facility, and he told the story of John LaLime, whose skeletal remains are in the collection of the Chicago History Museum. Jeff Wade, Graduate Intern, Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northeastern Illinois University. We spoke about IRAD's collections, and he showed me the 1865 document asking for the fireproof safe that evidentally saved the Common Council files from the 1871 Chicago Fire. Graduate students from Illinois' state universities support various aspects of the archive and research needs. Jeff assisted me during the summer months while I read hundreds of Common Council files on microfilm. Later, he pulled dozens of documents I photographed for this Web Site. Dr. Lester E. Fisher, Director of the Lincoln Park Zoo, 1962-1992. Dr. Fisher shared stories about his thirty-year history with the zoo, and told me about his surprise finding during the construction of the Farm in the Zoo in 1962. David Keene, President and Senior Archaeologist at Archaeological Research, Inc. He headed the team that excavated the Lincoln Park grounds for the new parking facility for the Chicago History Museum in 1998. He told me the story of finding an iron coffin during that time. In addition to discussing the Lincoln Park project, he spoke of his work during the Dunning excavation in 1989. Among other functions, Dunning was the location of Chicago's second potter's field.
Dawn Cobb, Biological Archaeologist, and Archaeological Research Associate at the Illinois State Museum. We met at the ISM's Research and Collections Center in Springfield Illinois, where we discussed the list of remains from the 1998 Lincoln Park excavation for the Chicago History Museum's parking garage. The facility in Springfield holds the skeletal remains of 81 bodies from the Chicago City Cemetery.
Jon N. Austin, Executive Director, Museum of Funeral Customs in Springfield, Illinois. We met at the iron coffin display in the museum, where we discussed the Fisk Metallic Burial Case in the collection. We also talked about funerary customs during the 19th century, and the age-old fear and fallacy of being buried alive.














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