ROBINSON WOODS
INDIAN BURIAL GROUNDS
EAST RIVER ROAD AT LAWRENCE AVENUE
 

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Weird Chicago Tours!

One of the last places in the busy city of Chicago that you would expect to find a Native American Burial Ground would be along a busy stretch of roadway.... but you will if you go looking for Robinson Woods. And the graves of the Robinson family may not be the only thing that you find there either... some have found their ghosts also!

Andrew Robinson was the son of an Ottawa Indian woman and a Scottish trader and may have been one of the most influential early leaders of Chicago. Robinson became a permanent resident of Chicago in 1814 and cultivated good relationships with the mixed culture of the region. He was highly regarded by the local tribes and by the white settlers who were beginning to arrive.

ROBINSON WOODS

The stone which marks the burial site where Andrew Robinson was laid to rest. It is in this area where much of the strange phenomena is reported.

In 1829, the area's Indian leader, Powawatomi, made a large cession of land and set aside a huge section for Robinson at Lawrence Avenue and the River Road. In addition, he was awarded a lifetime benefit of $200 per year, an amount that increased according to the Chicago Treaty to $500.

In 1830, Robinson opened a saloon in the city and five years later departed for Iowa. He lived away from Chicago for a few years and then returned with the departure of most of the regional Indian tribes. He lived in Chicago until his death in 1872, signing away huge portions of land to the arriving settlers and attempting to make the transition of Chicago from a fort to a growing city a smooth one. In the early 1900's, the remaining Robinson family continued to be a visible presence in the city. There were many stories told about the Robinson house, located in the woods off of Lawrence Avenue, that told of wild living and unseemly parties. In spite of their reputation, the family continued to live in the house in the woods until 1955, when the structure burned to the ground.

A short time after the fire, another, more horrifying event took place here. In October 1955, the bodies of John and Anton Schuessler and Robert Peterson were discovered bound and naked in a ditch at the edge of the woods. The case stunned the city and would remained unsolved for almost 40 years! Not surprisingly, this event left a dark stain on the atmosphere of Robinson Woods!

Robinson Woods still remain today, just off Lawrence Avenue. If you go there and leave the street, walking a short distance, you will see a large stone that serves as a burial monument to Andrew Robinson and his family. There bodies lie here underneath the earth.... but do they rest peacefully?

Strange events have been reported here for many years and first-hand accounts claim the sightings of apparitions that look like Native Americans, odd lights that have been spotted in the woods by passing motorists, sounds of drums beating and disembodied voices that seem to come from out of the air. Investigations by Dale Kaczmarek of the Ghost Research Society have traced reports where people claim smell the scent of flowers in the air... even in the winter, when no plants or trees are in bloom!

A dozen paranormal experiments carried out here in 1974-1975 managed to pick up some of the strange sounds that people reported hearing on audio tape. What resulted sounded exactly like Indian tribal drums. The source for these sounds remains a mystery.

Robinson Woods are located on East River Road and Lawrence Avenue, not far from the O'Hane airport. Most of the strange phenomena that has been heard and recorded here seems to come from the left side of the Robinson Family monument.

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT 2000 BY TROY TAYLOR. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.