Local historians and paranormal researchers will join in a volunteer clean-up Saturday September 14th at 10:30 am at Robinson Woods as part of this month's celebration of the Des Plaines River, which runs through the historic enclosure, also noted for its Chicago ghost stories.
The location, situated on East River Road at Lawrence Avenue, holds an important place in Chicago history. The site, which includes the Robinson Woods Indian Burial Ground, was originally given to the family of Chief Alexander Robinson (also known by his Native American name of "Che-Che-Pin-Qua") in a gesture of thanks for Robinson's peacekeeping efforts during the time of Anglo settlement of the Chicago area.
Though Robinson himself chose to live in a house in town (nearby Schiller Park), his descendents lived and farmed on the picturesque land until the 1950s. No one is quite sure why the family disappeared from their land, but today the area is part of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's northern holdings, and many nature lovers hold that the preserve is one of the District's most beautiful.
Karl Kochmann, a security professional and amateur photographer, was drawn to the preserve several years ago. The native south sider eventually made his home on East River Road, directly across from Robinson Woods, and has spent countless hours visiting the preserve and photographing its wildlife. Last year, Karl K. (as he is known) was named site leader for the preserve in the District's "Adopt-a-Site" program, and today he leads the "Robinson Woods Heritage Progam"--an informal association of fans of the site's natural beauty and rich history.
Historian and paranormal investigator Ursula Bielski will be on hand September 14th to share history of the site--and also some autumnal ghost stories of the woods from the annals of Chicago ghost lore. Bielski, author of the popular "Chicago Haunts" book series, has just completed a new edition of the bestselling book, "Gravyeards of Chicago" with Matt Hucke, founder of the widely-known website, www.graveyards.com, in which new developments in the history of Robinson Woods are featured. Also on the guest list will be an esteemed descendent of Alexander Robinson and the family's official historian.
All are welcome to participate. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Wear old, comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a pair of work gloves and a snack. Bags and bottled water will be provided. Meet at 10:30 am at the Robinson family marker at the preserve entrance. Parking is available in the wayside at the entrance and additional parking on the side streets across East River Road. For more information contact Karl K. at email@example.com or find his program on facebook at www.facebook.com/robinsonwoodsheritageprogram.
For more on Robinson Woods and other Chicago ghost stories, visit www.chicagohauntings.com for a list of Ursula Bielski's books and tours.