Ravenswood Land Company

From HistoryWiki

In 1868, with partners Luther L. Greenleaf, Cyrus P. Leland, and John P. Wilson, H.P. Bosworth formed the Ravenswood Land Company and purchased 194 acres of farm and wooded land eight miles north of Chicago. The company also purchased 200 acres of land near the Chicago & Great Western Railway tracks in what is now—not coincidentally–the Ravenswood neighborhood on Northwest Side of Chicago.

The company made a deal with the Chicago & North Western Railway guaranteeing them a certain number of passengers if they would open a new stop. Hoping that the fee of $7.20 for a hundred rides would attract only wealthy residents, the company divided the property into large lots.

The company planned and developed land in Evanston. In 1868, John H. Kedzie and his partner Luther Greenleaf moved to Evanston and were instrumental in laying out the Kedzie and Keeney’s addition, which formed the nucleus of South Evanston. He was also involved in founding and developing Ravenswood and took an active part in laying out the Lurton and Kedzie addition to Jacksonville.

Kedzie built his home in Evanston on Ridge Avenue. Unfortunately his home burned down in 1873 and after rebuilding, the new home also burned in 1880. The third home on the same lot in Evanston stood firm.

The Ravenswood Land Company did not build houses, sewers, or sidewalks.

The speculators hedged their real-estate gamble by building the Sunnyside Hotel adjacent to the village made up of the original 194 acres, so that potential customers might first come as visitors to a resort. By 1874, the original lone railroad commuter had multiplied to 75.