1905 Photo Shows Fire at Jefferson Park School

During the summer of 1905, Jefferson Park residents eagerly awaited as workers put the finishing touches on the new Beaubien School on Winnemac Avenue neat what is now Laramie Avenue.

For those residents, the end of the work couldn't have come at a better time, as a fire had destroyed the school

which Beaubien was replacing about a month before classes began. A photograph obtained by Nadig Newspapers shows Jefferson Park School, which was built in 1875 and which had a capacity of 309 students, in flames with the recently constructed Beaubien behind it.

Jefferson Park School had branch locations in Edgebrook and Forest Glen and a third on Milwaukee Avenue.

Longtime area resident Molly Brandt said that the photograph was found in a former Beaubien principal's home, which her in-laws purchased in the early 1950s. The home where "Principal Swanson" lived was about three blocks to the north of the school, said Brandt, who attended Beaubien in the early 1920's before transferring to Mayfair School, which now houses the Irish American Heritage Center.

The photo was restored by local photographer Matt Schademann, and the original photo was donated by Nadig Newspapers to the Jefferson Park Historical Society.