Tag Archives: Little Italy

The Chicago River, 1895

A ship belching out a lot of smoke and soot ambles down the Chicago River somewhere downtown. Pollution was a serious problem at the time.

Discovered a photo of Chicago from the time when my great-great grandfather, Dr. Jerome Darling, lived there. It’s from 1895.

He had been studying dentistry. A son, Leslie Warren Darling, was born in August of that year in the city. My great grandmother, Geneva, was a toddler, three or four years old.

They lived in what she described as the Italian section of the city.


Little Italy, Chicago


The story goes that when my great-great grandfather lived in Chicago, during the 1890s, the family lived in a tenement house in the ‘Italian’ section of the city. I am assuming this is the Little Italy referred to on maps and in histories of Chicago.

My great grandmother, born in rural Iowa in 1891, was just a baby. I wish I had the chance to talk with her about any experiences she remembered from that time. She died in 1983 and I was just a kid, and it was before my interest in the family history blossomed into a sincere passion, which I started compiling in 1989.