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Old 07-16-2009, 11:41 PM
Location: Dallas via NYC via Austin via Chicago
982 posts, read 2,941,916 times
Reputation: 430



I lived in Jeffrey Manor from 90-92 and my mom lived there up until around Sep 11, 01(Coincidentally) but i've always been curious about this neighborhood. I went to Luella elementary for 2.5 years and had some good and bad memories. I'm not trying to ignite a white flight discussion because like most other South Side neighborhoods, this one changed rapidly from white to black in a matter of 3 years or so(67-70). My neighbor was the first black in her entire street and when her teenaged son become friends with a white teenage girl, the family literally packed up and moved overnight. Obviously I lived there when it was black and it was a decent lower middle class neighborhood. It was pretty safe for children and there were about 4 parks as I remember. We had the GD's there but they really didn't commit random crimes or terrorize the neighborhood. I heard that its pretty bad now and that a lot of displaced Robert Taylor, etc, and Section 8 residents live there now and that it had deteriorated pretty badly. Obviously, I have nothing against these residents but that is the fact. I drove through there last year and it looked asthetically pretty nice. Basically this neighborhood has a lot of history and controversy, Richard Speck murdered those nurses back in 66 and it has brought up numerous white flight stories. I posted a couple of links below, i'm not sure if that's against the TOS, if so I apologize.

The Online Novel -- Midnight Flight: Racism and Race on Chicago's South East Side in the late 1960s

Children of ‘white flight' revisit their old neighborhood

Anyways, if anyone lived in Jeffrey Manor or currently lives there, please share your memories and stories of the area. I'm very curious of its past and present.

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Old 07-18-2009, 11:02 PM
Location: Chicago: Beverly, Woodlawn
1,966 posts, read 5,553,510 times
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I have never witnessed a neighborhood with so much nostalgia and so many recounted memories. I've read those links before just for kicks, and I saw the thousand or so responses to the Trib article last year about the police-escorted reunion. I suggest that you start a facebook page "former residents of Jeffrey Manor". You'll do much better than sifting for the one or two random people on this forum you might be lucky enough to run into.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:51 PM
Location: A Place With REAL People
2,929 posts, read 5,708,577 times
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Actually Geocities has a site for former Bowen High School students. I lived in Merrionette Manor (as the area was referred to back in the 60's) on Crandon Ave. There is a good reason why the area from 95th and Jeffrey to Yates Ave. down to 100th street has the history and yes the nostalgia. Having grown up there from 1953 (birth) till age 13 in 1967 it was an ideallic place to grow up. Keeping in mind this was also prior to the significant difficulties with race relations when Dr. Martin Luther King was killed. That was mostly the "official" beginning of the end for the non African American population in that area. The destruction that ensued after the murder, which literally decimated 87th street, was a bit much for many to take. We happened to leave earlier as my parents best friends were moving during the transition of their kid (and me) graduating from Luella and would have had to move on to Bowen, which was getting to be a challenge if you weren't a tough kid.

I was particularly disturbed when I saw the YouTube video's of the gangs across from Luella. It was a brutal reminder that indeed it was NOT the place I grew up in any longer. It is hard sometimes to accept that as they say "you can't go home". There were so many priceless memories of growing up in that neighborhood. Keep in mind that most of the businesses that existed back then no longer do exist. Countless stores and restaurants that left one with some amazing memories. Indeed the world we live in has changed, but we can retain the precious memories of where we grew up and how the world was. I acknowledge that for many individuals that either were not blessed with great parents or a stable upbringing won't welcome this sentiment. I do indeed feel for those that had to do without these essential parts of what would make for a good life. That neighborhood will remain in my heart for what it once was. Alas it is no longer. That is the wonderful part of good memories, they last forever and are never tainted. Sadly that is what it must remain........
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:35 PM
Location: Chicago
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at one time, like neighboring South Shore, it was very heavily Jewish
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:03 PM
Location: A Place With REAL People
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Indeed it had a solid Jewish population as well as Catholic. Our Lady Gate of Heaven was a large school for it's time across from Luella. I attended South Shore Temple on Jeffrey and around 7400 South. There were several other Temples mostly off of Jeffrey between there and 95th Street. There was a pretty good tolerance between faiths. We often shopped off of Stony Island as well as Cottage Grove back in the mid 60's. Even Hyde Park was decent back then. We really loved a place called Ribs & Bib's on 53rd and Dorchester if I recall. Plenty of memories to go around. The shopping center (now mostly gone) at 95th street was pretty much the hub of the Manor. It had everything you could want. Grocery store, 5 $ dime store, pharmacy and soda fountain, bowling alley, bakery, shoe store, doctors offices....you name it. That was one of the things that made the area was everything was literally within walking distance. We were a long block away from all of that. Just 2 blocks from school. Very convenient indeed.

I remember as a kid I used to join a friend, and for a couple of bucks we could ride the bus downtown from the pickup point on Yates Ave, have lunch and visit the musical instrument stores (I played guitar). It was a full day of fun for a couple of dollars. And as hard as it is to believe safe. My last visit like that was in 1967, when going through the Hyde Park area 2 guys got on the bus drunk, and one grabbed me by my throat calling me some not so nice expletives. That was my last bus ride. I decided I liked living
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:15 PM
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Now a days, Jeffrey Manor is a strong hold for the Gangster Disciples and LAFA Gang. Lots of drugs and violence. I grew up on VanVlissingen around the way, it used to be a good, middle class neighborhood. We used to run wild, playing back in the Prairie and going to Funtown. Walgreens and Great Scott Records along with the Osco that used to sit near 95th and Jeffrey. But now, I wouldn't feel safe over there, not with all the gangs. There were always gangs in the Manor, but now it's just out of control.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:21 PM
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I lived in Jeffery Manor from 1958 to 1968. I have great memories of the neighborhood. I lived on Yates and everyone was so friendly and looked out for each other. You could leave your doors unlocked and not worry. I went to Susan B Anthony. I was eight years old when Speck killed the eight nurses and I still remember that the police came down Yates and told people to stay in their houses because a killer on the loose. Even with the murders I still loved the area but like everything else things change and the neighborhood became scary right before we moved to the north side of Chicago.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:03 AM
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I lived at 100th and Paxton from 1956-1971. Jeffrey Manor and Merrionette Manor were wonderful neighborhoods of many religious backgrounds. Our Lady Gate of Heaven was across from Luella School and across Luella was a Luthera Church, across Crandon was the Temple and down the street from the Temple was the Community Bible Church. When I was in 7th and 8th grade at OLGH, we were dually enrolled at both OLGH and Luella. We were able to take classes like gym, home ec, art and music that weren't offered at the Catholic School. Our choir sang at the Temple one year for a holiday. It was a wonderfully diverse and cohesive place to grow up in. In the late 60's the city started bussing black children into Luella from somewhere else in the city. By 1970, the neighborhoods were mostly black, mostly fuelled by unethical scare tactics by Chicago real estate companies. I remember my mom and dad receiving a flier in the mail box about "being the last white family on the block" and also stating how our property value was declining at a rapid rate. Such a shame. As our neighborhood changed we made many new friends of the black kids who moved in. It was still a wonderful neighborhood. But eventually, as our parents became more stressed out by what was happening in the city and by being badgered by the real estate industry, there was more and more tension. Add to that the gangs that were moving in ever closer and the area started becoming violent. It got to the point where even some of the original black people started to move out. Had it been up to all of us kids, nothing would have ever changed. The blacks would have just been the newest members of our community and life would have gone on as always. Sometime after the "Great White Flight" as it was called, the government passed the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal for real estate agents to steer people toward or away from certain communities, makes the type of badgering that went on back then illegal, etc. We had a wonderful community with so much culture. In fact, all of us went to dances at OLGH hall in the parking lot. They closed off 99th street one time and we enjoyed a free street theatre. Everone enjoyed it, blacks, whites, hispanics, Jewish, Christian, etc. It was just an exceptional place to grow up. But, all types of crime started to increase and it became unsafe for everyone, esp with the racial unrest and the Democratic National Convention problems. Such a shame that a small amount of greedy racists were able to destroy our beautiful community.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:13 AM
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I remember Sol's drugstore, Grocerland, Johnson's Hardware, Tobe's Boutique, Johnny's Red Hots, the cleaners, Bennie's candy store, the Clark gas station, Skyway bowling alley, the Public Library, Tastee Freeze, all on 100th street. Then at 95th there was O"henry's (later McDonald's), Jewel, Hillman's, Walgreen's, Grant's, 31 Flavors, Red Top? restaurant, A & P, Ben Franklins and a pharmacy right across the entry way from 96th. Remember summer camp at Trumbull park? Or summer social at Luella? All kinds of programs to keep kids interested and active. Even today, at 55 yrs old, when I dream about home I dream about the home we had in Jeffrey Manor.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:46 PM
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Great posts, Manor Girl! I lived on 99th Street just off of Van Vlissingen, attended Luella until the 5th grade and loved my childhood there. I'm surprised you remembered O'Henry's. I also remember Slagel's, Kiddieland and the nearby trampolines. Yates Park was just a bike ride away. What a great place to grow up. Later, we moved to Dolton, which was also a terrific place to be a kid.

I hope your subsequent years have been good ones.
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