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Collections Cameo, January 2013

North Shore Interurban Glass-Plate Negative Collection

The January 1924 image at left shows the Shore Line Route station, now demolished, formerly located at the southwest corner of Deerpath and McKinley. This station serviced the electric interurban railway that once ran between Chicago and Milwaukee and now provides the routes for the area’s bike paths. The North Shore Line saw its final run 50 years ago this month.

This image is part of a collection of glass plate negatives that was donated to the Historical Society in 1982 by Harold G. Mason. Mr. Mason, who passed away in 1985, was a former president of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the entire collection, with informative captions written by railroad consultant and historian Norman Carlson.

There are 29 glass plate negatives in the collection, each about 8 by 10 inches in size. Most of them showcase the construction of McKinley Road along the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee tracks in 1923, from Fort Sheridan and the Sacred Heart station north to Wisconsin Avenue and Scott Street. There are also four images of the North Shore Interurban tracks and station in Lake Bluff.

In August 2012, thanks to the support of Norman Carlson, Historical Society volunteer David Mattoon, and the Shoreline Interurban Historical Society, these negatives were scanned, and we now have beautiful, accessible digital images. Next, to house this collection, we hope to purchase new archival boxes with special dividers designed to support the weight of glass negatives, as well as 29 acid-free negative enclosures, thus continuing to ensure that it is preserved for future generations.

Thank you to our sponsors whose donations will help us preserve this collection:

  • Frank Beidler
  • David Cain
  • Norman Carlson
  • David Mattoon
  • Carole Stroh