The History of Chicago Lake High School
Chicago (population 2.8 million) is located in far northeastern Illinois in the center of Cook County. It goes without saying, but directions or an explanation about this “town’s” history, location, and incredible growth are self-explanatory The city is famous for many different reasons and was a great influence on the growth of the United States in the 1800’s. It is, today, the third largest city in the United States and Illinois’ largest city.
Lake High School was begun in 1881 in an area called Lake Township, as the result of a family named McDermott gave a parcel of land to build a school upon. Lake High was located south of the downtown Chicago area at 47th Place and Union Avenue, and took students in that lived from 39th and 87th Streets and between State Street and 4800th. The location also housed a grade school at the same time.
As Chicago grew, Lake Township was annexed into the city in 1889. The building that the school was located received an addition in 1905 on account of the fast growth that Chicago was experiencing at that time.
Lake changed its name to Tilden Technical High School in 1915 in honor of Edward Tilden, who was a distinguished member of the Chicago Board of Education. The new school phased out female students by 1921 and became a public school for boys only. The 1905 building remains in use today at Tilden, which is now known as Tilden Career Community Academy.
FACTS ABOUT CHICAGO LAKE HIGH SCHOOL
Year opened: 1881
Year closed: 1915
School known today as: Tilden Community Career Academy
School colors: unknown
School nickname: unknown
School song: unknown
|ATHLETICS AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITES
Lake students were known on the hardwood as fine basketball players, taking a couple of Cook County League titles during the 1900’s. The school was a charter member of the league when it began playing in 1890. It is possible that other sports such as football, baseball, softball, and track could have been offered, but there is no record of them on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org).
During the first decade of the 20th Century, Lake advanced to the championship game of the Cook County League title game three times, coming home with all the marbles following the 1908 tilt with Austin. Names of coaches and records are unknown.
COOK COUNTY LEAGUE BOYS’ TITLE GAMES
1902 Medill 16, Lake 15
1905 Austin 62, Lake 22
1908 Lake 25, Austin 21
Lake offered its students the chance to play on the gridiron, and came away with a lightweight (a step lower than the varsity team) title in Chicago Public League action during the fall of 1913. No other information is available about the program.
The ladies of Lake were not to be outdone by their male counterparts as they won a Cook County League title in 1903, edging Hyde Park in a tight contest.
COOK COUNTY LEAGUE GIRLS’ TITLE GAMES
1903 Lake 6, Hyde Park 5
|FAMOUS ALUMNI OR FORMER STUDENTS OF LAKE HIGH SCHOOL
Hugo Bezdek (class of 1902) – he never played football while attending Lake High, but eventually was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. At the University of Chicago he made all-American in 1905.
Michael McDermott — he never graduated from Lake, eventually transferring to De la Salle, but he became a nationally renown breaststroke and long-distance swimmer participating in both the 1912 and 1920 Olympic Games.
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