A Labor Day to remember

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Labor Day has been a big deal in Pullman ever since the 1894 strike, which lead to the creation of the holiday. Each year, representatives of different labor groups convene in Pullman for a day of speeches and musical entertainment. There are also exhibits and oftentimes rides for children and displays for adults.

Since 2015, when President Obama declared Pullman a National Monument, plans have been drawn up, contracts awarded, financing secured, National Park Rangers assigned, construction completed and landscaping installed. Each of these items have been checked off the “to do” list, and the time has finally come for the monument/s grand opening.

Festivities fittingly will take place over the Labor Day weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 4 and 5.

A weekend full of activities, including scheduled tours of the Pullman Visitor Center and Hotel Florence, interpretive programming, live music and food trucks. Throughout the community there will be other activities including the Jesse White Tumblers, a Pullman civic organization car caravan, the Urban Renaissance Festival at the Pullman Porter Museum on the north end of the neighborhood, and programming by the Historic Pullman Foundation. There will also be the unveiling of a commemorative Mitch Markovitz poster by the Historic Pullman Foundation.

If you have ever thought about coming back to the Pullman/Roseland/Kensington area for a visit, this would be a great time to do it. Keep in mind that there are many people that will want to attend this event and you will be running into quite a few people that you’ve known. Also expect to do some walking as the grounds have been landscaped with a stroll in mind to give visitors the opportunity to take in all the wonderful work that has gone into creating the Pullman National Monument. Continue through the neighborhood and you’ll be able to enjoy our well-preserved community, with some of our houses more than 140 years old and as sturdy as ever.

Living in Pullman and seeing the progress being made on a daily basis has been an exciting experience. When I gave tours of the Pullman factory site for many years, I would stop my tour and tell them to envision all the weeds and underbrush gone. It is now a fact, and the grounds are magnificently sculpted. The entire monument has been re-imagined into an educational tool so that we have the opportunity to learn about the past and focus the present on a positive future.

Love the column? Buy the book!

Copies of “Petals From Roseland: Fond Memories of Chicago’s Roseland, Pullman and Kensington Neighborhoods” are available from me with prompt delivery at $20 + $5 s&h.

Almost 700 copies have been sold. Roselandites who have bought my book are excited to have their memories brought to life. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have provided so many fond memories of Roseland.

My book is also available at D & D Foods, 1023 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights and at Bookie’s New and Used Books, 10324 S. Western Ave, Chicago.

Contact CJ Martello at 11403 S. Saint Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60628; 773-701-6756; or petalsfromroseland@gmail.com.

About C.J. Martello

CJ Martello has returned to his roots as the author of “Petals from Roseland.” After five years of writing his column as a resident of Chicago's North Side, CJ put his money where his heart is and moved to Pullman, near the Roseland area in which he grew up. Having joined the Spaghetti-Os, Veneti nel Mondo and St. Anthony of Padua Parish and being one of the founders of the Roseland Roundtable Facebook page, CJ has become reacquainted with countless friends and acquaintances from his youth. CJ is looking forward to retirement and completing the books he has put on hold, including one that will encompass as much of Roseland's rich, beloved history as possible.

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