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From:
Subject: Why Chicago?
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2005 14:49:32 EST


The Illinois & Michigan Canal was most certainly an attraction for the
Irish. Some had worked on the Eire Canal and then moved to Chicago. That was the
case with my McNally ancestors. That group and the Dempsey's settled in
Bridgeport.

In Joliet there was a Father James Francis Plunkett who was assigned to the
Irish population that was building the canal in 1840. He would ride into the
camps and lay a whip to the hides of the sinners that were avoiding Mass.

There was a documentary about Chicago on PBS a bout a year ago. It was
stated that "the Blacks moved from the neighborhood because there were too many
Irish moving in!" Things were reversed with the "white flight" of the 1940's &
50's. Now it's going the other way again in the near south Loop: The public
housing is being replaced with very expensive condos and townhouses and the
residents of the high rises are being scattered to the suburbs. Old St James
Church on Wabash is experiencing a revitalization of the parish that was once
heavily Irish. Larry


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