WBEZ | western suburbs http://www.wbez.org/tags/western-suburbs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The quest for Peabody's Tomb http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-07/quest-peabodys-tomb-100562 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/07-10--Peabody, 1920 .jpg" title="Mr. and Mrs. Peabody, 1920 (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)" /></div><p>On August 27, 1922 Francis S. Peabody suffered a heart attack and died. Though nobody realized it at the time, he had just taken the first step to becoming a Chicago legend.</p><p>Peabody was a 63-year-old coal dealer, a multi-millionaire, and a figure in national Democratic politics. On that Sunday in August, he&rsquo;d invited some friends to his Hinsdale estate for a fox hunt. When the hunt was over and Peabody hadn&rsquo;t returned, a search party was sent out. They found his body near a small lake, with his horse standing nearby.</p><p>Mrs. Peabody decided to have her husband buried at a secret location near where he had fallen. A few years later she sold the property to a group of Franciscan friars. Then the fun began.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/07-10--Peabody chapel.JPG" style="height: 300px; width: 200px; float: left; " title="The chapel: 'Mr. Peabody is NOT in!'" />A tiny chapel had been built near the lake. Wild rumors started to circulate about the mystery of Peabody&rsquo;s Tomb. Mr. Peabody was supposed to be interred in a crystal casket inside the chapel, his body floating in preservative oil like a Du Page County Lenin. Sometimes it was claimed that his infant son was there with him.</p><p>Naturally, such wondrous tales had to be verified. And so, from the 1930s on, whole generations of city and suburban kids went off in search of Peabody&rsquo;s Tomb, usually after dark. Traffic was heaviest around Halloween, and during fraternity initiation season.</p><p>The Franciscans were troubled. Chasing away all those skulking adolescents was disturbing their contemplation. Besides, the kids created a mess and sometimes vandalized the property.</p><p>Now a new rumor spread. The friars didn&rsquo;t just kick out trespassers. If they caught you, they forced you to pray on your knees all night &ndash; and whipped you if you didn&rsquo;t comply. The number of intruders dropped. No one ever proved that the Franciscans had cooked up this latest tale.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/07-10--Peabody%20Mansion.JPG" title="Mayslake Hall--Mr. Peabody's mansion" /></div><p>During the 1990s the Franciscans disposed of the property. Today the Mayslake Peabody Estate is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Du Page County, and anyone may visit the site. There are woodlands, wetlands, a restored prairie and a lake for fishing. The mansion is open for tours, and there are even summer Shakespeare performances under the stars.</p><p>But the exact location of Peabody&rsquo;s Tomb is still a mystery.</p></p> Tue, 10 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-07/quest-peabodys-tomb-100562 Culinary adventures along the Illinois River http://www.wbez.org/content/culinary-adventures-along-illinois-river <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-19/soft shell crab_CHC_CAtherine Lambrecht.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="306" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-19/fried-catfish-smaller-2_flickr_ed-fisher.jpg" title="Fried catfish from Ron's Cajun Connection in Utica, Ill. (Flickr/Ed Fisher)" width="630"></p><p>At a gathering of fellow foodies, Catherine Lambrecht was asked the following hypothetical question: If you had 10 days paid vacation and an unlimited budget, where would you go?</p><p>Her cohorts listed distant locales with enticing food cultures: Thailand, Switzerland. But the co-founder of LTHForum, an online site dedicated to parsing the fine details of the region’s local eats, replied this way: “Give me the budget and a car full of gas.”</p><p>The moderator of the conversation snorted.</p><p>“What, are you going to Gary?”</p><p>“I can make a day out of Gary,” Lambrecht told an audience assembled by Culinary Historians of Chicago in June. “There’s serendipity involved.”</p><p>Serendipity, and in Lambrecht’s case, persistence. To prove her point that one can discover delicious food in the most surprising, out-of-the-way places, Lambrecht has made a habit of exploring not just Chicago, but the city’s far outer suburbs.</p><p>When she heard that there was a region along the Illinois River where one could obtain fried turtle – a local delicacy – she spent the next three or four years hunting down leads until she found a cluster of restaurants that still served the dish.</p><p>Along the way she found a number of other unusual, and often delicious, local practices, including tortellini in broth curiously called “ravs,” and an entire county where local restaurants are fiercely competitive about their fried chicken.</p><p>In June, she shared some of her discoveries, starting with her fried turtle odyssey. &nbsp;You can hear her story, and her review of the food, in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Catherine Lambrecht spoke at an event presented by <a href="http://www.culinaryhistorians.org/">Culinary Historians of Chicago</a> in June. Click <a href="../../story/dining-under-radar-western-suburbs-and-bit-beyond-88995">here</a> to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/culinary-adventures-along-illinois-river AP: Republican Hultgren defeats Foster in 14th http://www.wbez.org/story/14th-congressional-district/ap-republican-hultgren-defeats-foster-14th <p><p>Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster has been defeated by Republican Randy Hultgren in Illlinois' 14th congressional district. With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Hultgren had 51 percent of the votes on Tuesday and Foster had about 45 percent.</p><p>The 14th district stretches west of Chicago and is heavily Republican. Foster won the seat in a special election in 2008 after former House Speaker Dennis Hastert retired after two decades. Hultgren is an investment adviser. He was a state representative for nearly a decade before serving in the state Senate.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 01:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/14th-congressional-district/ap-republican-hultgren-defeats-foster-14th