Ulysses S. Grant Boulder - Washington Park, Chicago, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 48.064 W 087° 36.518
16T E 449437 N 4627867
Quick Description: A boulder at the northeast corner of Washington Park, engraved "Tree planted by Ulysses S. Grant, December 6th, 1879."
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 6:27:14 PM
Waymark Code: WM82BE
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Stunod
Views: 3

Long Description:
Located just south of 51st St. on Cottage Grove. Follow Payne Drive west. When you reach the armory turn right and follow a curving driveway into a parking lot. The boulder is north and slightly east of the parking lot.

Excerpted from the Chicago Tribune 12/7/1879
"About 150 gentlemen met at the Palmer House at noon yesterday, by invitation of the South Park Commissioners, for the purpose of accompanying Gen. Grant to the South Park (former name for Washington Park), where he was to plant a tree....the General entered the leading carriage, already occupied by Mayor Harrison...The halt was made at point near the northeast corner of the big meadow...and here was visible a goodly elm tree, its roots resting in a circular hole in the ground...In addition to the occupants of the carriages, a couple of hundred people...from the immediate vicinity...had gathered to witness the ceremonies. Park Commissioner Morgan's remarks to the General: "we can say with pride and affection, this tree was planted by the same hand that stemmed the tide of civil war and dissolution and cemented this Union in one grand and glorious Nation." Park Commissioner Price's remarks: "Allow me to present you with a spade." General Grant's response: "I perform this task ... with great pleasure, and hope... I may see the tree which I am now about to plant growing and flourishing, and that in its growth it may be symbolical of the growth and prosperity of your magnificent city." Grant then dumped two or three spadefuls of dirt into the hole around the roots of the tree and surrendered the implement. Closing remarks from General Richard Thompson: "...thank you most cordially for planting this grateful token of good will. Who shall hereafter look upon this tree, planted by the hand that received the surrendered sword of rebellion and not feel a sense of strength and security? Let this graceful elm grow as a reminder to us of our duty as citizens...to contribute to the honor, the welfare and the prosperity of the nation."

The reporter then concluded with the fact that the assembled invited guests grumbled a bit that no formal lunch was planned.

The tree is long gone, but the memorial boulder remains.
County: Cook County

Historical Society: South Park (now Washington Park) Commission

Dedication Date: 12/06/1879

Location: NE corner of Washington Park

Website: [Web Link]

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