Purely by coincidence, the Lady I rescued signed up for The History Puppy Crawl, a dog-friendly walking tour of Lincoln Park, at the Chicago History Museum on October 4th, right in the middle of Walk Your Dog Week. Perfect timing for us, off we went under heavy gray skies with the hope that it wouldn’t rain.
Larger than New York’s Central Park, Lincoln Park is located along Chicago’s north shore. It’s history is long and diverse, officially a cemetery turned park in the late 1860s, named after the recent death of President Lincoln.
We had a small, lively group of dog lovers, all Chicagoans, interested in learning more about the history of where they lived. The amount of history just around our starting point at the museum itself, located in the center of the bottom of the map, is lengthy. Which means the tour started out very slow, and I am bored.
Our first stop, at the busy corner of Clark Street and North Avenue is the beautiful Children’s Fountain, recently saved from construction downtown. A theme of the tour is the saving and restoration of many of the historic monuments. Click the link for more information and a full photo.
First, a disclaimer about the photos. Between the dark skies, and the Lady forgetting the big camera and treats, I did not cooperate fully with posing for photos. These are the best we’ve got.
After a few more stops we are into south end of the park in front of the imposing Abraham Lincoln statue. Here we heard the story of Lincoln, the dog lover, having to leave behind in Springfield, IL his beloved dog Fido when he moved to Washington, D.C. Fido would not do well with large crowds and noises so a family took him in, with Lincoln believing that they would be reunited when he returned to Springfield. But instead, lying in state at the capitol in Springfield, Fido’s family brought him to say the final goodbye to Lincoln. Click here for more information on Abraham Lincoln: The Man.
From Lincoln, we walked further north into the park, the oldest area where the cemetery stood. Here, some of us dogs started getting into mischief. I enjoyed the walking part, not so much the standing part. Mischief included lots of sniffing and even stick chewing.
This tomb is all that remains of the original cemetery. It’s never been opened and it’s history is shrouded in mystery.
We continued to work our way north, towards the South Pond, stopping to learn more about monuments including Benjamin Franklin.
Overlooking the South Pond, we arrived at the Ulysses S. Grant Monument. For the Lady, this is the highlight of the tour for her, as she’s never been in this part of the park. The Grant statue overlooks Lake Shore Drive, something she has driven by thousands of times. But never having actually stood behind the statue, and under it, is thrilling. Not to mention the view of Diversey Harbor’s South Lagoon, Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan from it’s location.
Here we are learning more about the Grant monument from our guide Kathryn and exploring under the monument.
We’ve arrived at our final destination, on the bridge over the South Pond, overlooking the beautifully restored, historic Cafe Brauer, in it’s classic Prairie-style architecture.
The view from the other side of the bridge, looking south, is the South Pond and what you can see below the clouds of the Chicago skyline.
Last but not least the Lady had to check out a little cottage next to Cafe Brauer, originally known as a comfort station and beautifully restored, its a little known gem in the park.
The Lady and I hope you enjoyed our History Puppy Crawl! Sometimes being a tourist in your own town can be a lot of fun, especially if you can bring your dog.
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