News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Obituary: Ernestina Santiago of Lake Forest

Editor’s note: Many GazeboNews readers know Ernestina Santiago as well as her daughter Tudy Gallardo. The family could use some help with funeral expenses. Info in the story.

Ernestina Santiago with her family in Lake Bluff

Ernestina Santiago with her family in Lake Bluff

By Adrienne Fawcett

Ernestina A. Santiago, 92, died on August 25, 2014, after a long life that began in Tlacolula Oaxaca, Mexico, and ended surrounded by family in her daughter’s home in Lake Bluff. The cause of death was leukemia.

Ernestina was a longtime resident of Lake Forest and was known by many names: mom, grandma, great-grandma … and Grandma’s Salsa, which she sold with tamales at the Lake Bluff Farmers Market and The Village Market for many years.

She was also known as “Tudy’s mom” by the many local people who know her daughter Tudy Gallardo of Lake Bluff from Tudy’s years working at the Jewel in Lake Forest, The Village Market in Lake Bluff, and as a babysitter to many local families.

Tudy got her work ethic from her mom, who was born on November 5, 1921 in Tlacolula Oaxaca, Mexico, and moved to the U.S. on September 10, 1954 — at noon. When asked why the timing was important, Tudy said: “That’s when she landed almost 60 years ago. She was always exact when she told us when she came here.”

Ernestina was a friend to many and a wonderful cook, who in the 1960s supported her family working on the cleaning staff at Ferry Hall School in Lake Forest (now closed) and in the rectory of the Church of St. Mary. In the 1970s she was a housekeeper for many local families until she retired in the mid-80s to take care of her grandchildren in Lake Forest, whom she walked everywhere because she never learned to drive.

Her grandson Ashley Gallardo was often by her side during the seven years Ernestina sold Grandma’s Salsa and tamales at the Lake Bluff Farmers Market; the family still gets (and fills) special orders for the brand.

Ernestina was a generous spirit who always put other people’s needs in front of her own, which is why her family finds itself in need of financial support for Ernestina’s funeral. In lieu of flowers, friends and family are asked to contribute to Ernestina’s funeral expenses. Checks can be sent to Tudy at 309 N. Waukegan Road, Lake Bluff, IL, 60044.

Ernestina is survived by her daughter Tudy of Lake Bluff; grandchildren Whitney (Mike) Draegert of Grayslake and Ashley of Lake Bluff and five great grandchildren. Visitation is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 28, at Wenban Funeral Home, 320 E. Vine Avenue, Lake Forest. Funeral Mass is at 10 a.m. Friday, August 29 at the Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest. Interment will be in Ascension Cemetery, Libertyville.

For more information, call Wenban Funeral Home (847) 234-0022 or visit

Lake Forest on the Indian Highway

By Elaine Doremus, Gazebo News Contributing Editor

Susan Kelsey stands beside a painting of Joseph Brant, a Mohawk leader at Ft. Niagra during 1776, which hangs in the Woodland Cultural Centre at Six Nations.

Susan Kelsey stands beside a painting of Joseph Brant, a Mohawk leader at Ft. Niagra during 1776, which hangs in the Woodland Cultural Centre at Six Nations.

Did you know that Native American Indians used animal paths and waterways to navigate around Chicago and the Great Lakes for thousands of years?

Lake Forest’s Susan Kelsey is tracing the steps of Chicago legend Billy Caldwell, also known as Chief Sauganash, from his birthplace of Ft. Niagara, Canada, to his final resting place of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and documenting her research while following his path. According to Susan, Chief Sauganash likely  navigated through Lake Forest when he and Chief Shabbona visited Lake Geneva in 1827 to convince other tribes not to partake in the Winnebago War.

Several of these trails cut through Lake Forest. An Indian trail marker tree once stood at the corner of Waukegan and Everett Roads. And on Wallace Road, just north of Westleigh Road, a plaque on a rock commemorates an oak savanna where Pottawatomie tribes prepared meals and manufactured and repaired their tools.

The plaque on Wallace Road

Commemorative plaque on Wallace Road in Lake Forest

Susan ultimately plans on compiling her research into a book.

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Caption 2222

Countdown to Lake Forest’s Art Fair on the Square

Updated August 26 with art from Eddie Ottoman Risher

Labor Day is coming up but it’s labor week for the Deer Path Art League as it prepares for the 60th annual Art Fair on the Square, a juried fine art show that takes place on Market Square in Lake Forest Sunday August 31 and Monday (Labor Day) September 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During the week, GazeboNews will share some photos from artists who will be exhibiting at the event. These are from local artist Mark McMahon:

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Ohio State University stadium by Mark McMahon

Ohio State University stadium by Mark McMahon

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain, by Mark McMahon.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain, by Mark McMahon.

Notre Dame Blue Gold Game 2014 by Mark McMahon

Notre Dame Blue Gold Game 2014 by Mark McMahon

Deadly Summer For Trees in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

By Adrienne Fawcett

Empty branches, felled trees, naked stumps on just about every block: This has been a terrible summer for trees. Since June alone, Lake Forest’s forestry department has identified 5,629 public and private ash trees that still need to come down in addition to the thousands of trees the city has already lost since Emerald Ash Borer was detected on Juno Terrace in 2009. In Lake Bluff, where ash accounts for about 10% of the public forest, 600 trees await the buzz saw.

The EAB nadir has been building since the invasive pest arrived in Michigan in 2002 and spread to Illinois a few years later, but the visual of so many tree stumps on local streets this summer is jarring.

Stone Avenue, Lake Forest. Photo submitted by A.J. Goldsmith.

Stone Avenue, Lake Forest. Photo submitted by A.J. Goldsmith.

“What’s happening now with EAB is no surprise but we knew it would be a shock to homeowners and that is exactly what is happening. People are realizing there are entire city blocks void of trees,” said Kathie Hayden, plant information specialist at the Chicago Botanic Garden. “Have you been to Gurnee Mills? Every tree in the parking lot is an Ash. There may be life in some but just barely; otherwise all are dead.”

Though EAB is by far the most significant scourge on local trees in decades, it is not the only problem. Last winter’s bitter weather and droughts from previous summers have stressed Sugar Maples; Dutch Elm Disease is threatening elms in this area; and other fungal diseases are affecting Spruce and Pines to the point that many are dead or dying.

East Sheridan Road, Lake Bluff

East Sheridan Road, Lake Bluff

“We had a really hard winter with a long deep frost,” said Jake Terlap, director of Public Works in Lake Bluff. “Coupled with the drought of the past two summers, it’s been a very stressful time for trees in general.”

The EAB problem is placing financial pressure on municipalities that pride themselves on their Tree City USA status. “Unfortunately Ash removals are outpacing the funds available,” said Gordon, who is presenting an EAB update to City Council on Sept. 2.

He said the forestry staff was unable to meet its goal of removing 600 trees a year on its own because of other commitments such as the BMW Championship Golf Tournament, snow removal efforts and the Forest Park redesign. As a result, Lake Forest contracted with Kinnucan Co. and other tree removal services to remove 232 public property trees in 2014 and 2015. Lake Bluff also has hired out, primarily for larger trees.

In addition to tree removal expenses, Lake Forest is spending nearly $30,000 annually to chemically treat 650 ash trees in 2014 and 2015. Gordon said treatment costs will surpass removal and replacement costs in 10 years, and he pointed out that the treatments have no end, as they are not a cure.

Stumped in Lake Bluff

Stumped in Lake Bluff

Homeowners, too, are feeling the stress of tree-removal fees that can range from $500 for a small Ash tree to more than $1,200 for a huge tree. And that’s when the tree is still showing signs of life. Removal of failing or dead trees can cost 50% more, said T.J. Blockhus, arborist at Kinnucan.

Despite all the publicity that EAB has received, some homeowners are unaware of the problem or are just learning about it. Blockhus said he still gets up to a dozen calls a day from homeowners wondering if their Ash trees can be chemically treated. This far into the epidemic, only about 15% of the trees are treatable, he said.

“The only time we treat them is if we see an Ash tree with at least 75% of its full canopy,” he said. “Once the tree is showing signs it has the borer it’s too late to treat.”

And therefore, it needs to come down. Lake Forest and Lake Bluff require property owners to remove infected ash trees from their properties. Lake Forest initially set out to tag all trees on private lots but the effort proved too difficult.

“With over 3,700 as trees posing a potential hazard, the forestry department isn’t staffed to physically tag all of them,” Gordon said. Instead, the city sent two letters, one by regular mail and one by certified mail, to inform homeowners that their infested Ash trees need to be removed. The letters also state the homeowners are liable if their failing trees injure people or nearby properties.

McKinley Road, Lake Forest

McKinley Road, Lake Forest

Going Up: Work on New Hospital To Start Soon-ish

Submitted by Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital

Supporters filled the tent for the NLFH ground-breaking ceremony.

Supporters filled the tent for the NLFH ground-breaking ceremony.

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital hopes to begin work early this fall on its new hospital at 660 N. Westmoreland Avenue, Lake Forest, but a specific date has not been set yet because a lot depends on the weather and other factors.

Speaking of the weather, it was not so great on Friday, Aug. 22, when local politicians joined the hospital administration, physician leaders and community supporters for a ground-breaking ceremony. But the dark skies did not dampen the excitement over the new facility.

Local pols included Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL); Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL 10th District); Lake Forest Mayor Donald Schoenheider (R) and Dean M. Harrison, President & CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare.

Ready, set, go ...

Ready, set, go …

Want to Be A Fly on the Wall at LFHS Frosh Clap-In?

What did you wear, who were you with, how did you feel on your first day of freshman year in high school? This video from Friday’s Freshman Clap-in at Lake Forest High School will bring you back in time while providing a glimpse of what our teens experience. The “Freshman Clap-in” video was produced by Steve Douglass’s students in the school’s New Media department: Michael McAfee, Tucker Doyle and Miles Peyton.

Deerpath Garden Club To Dedicate Blue Star Memorial

Submitted by Deerpath Garden Club of Lake Forest

Deerpath Garden Club is dedicating this marker this week ...

Deerpath Garden Club is dedicating this marker this week …

The Deerpath Garden Club of Lake Forest, in cooperation with the City of Lake Forest, invites the community to the dedication ceremony and reception of our new Blue Star Memorial Marker honoring all our armed forces.

The dedication will be held on Thursday, August 28th at 9:30am – 11:00 am (rain or shine) at the Telegraph Road Train Station Gardens.

The McKinlock American Legion Post #264 along with Captain James Lovell, Honorable Mayor Donald Schoenheider, and other dignitaries will be participating in the dedication ceremony. Patriotic music will be provided by local musicians honoring all branches of the armed forces.

The Blue Star Memorial Marker will be an integral part of our award winning gardens which were designed by our club members in 1993 and have been maintained since then by our members.

Parking is provided at the north parking lot at the Fire Station on Telegraph Road (south of Everett Road). There will be limited handicapped parking at the train station.

(The Deerpath Garden of Lake Forest is a member of National Gardens, Inc. and Garden Clubs of Illinois, and is a 501c3 not for profit organization, dedicated to civic beautification and horticultural education.)

Lake Bluff Police Take Aim at Lake Forest, Knollwood …

The Lake Bluff Police Department took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during Saturday’s Public Safety Day event, accepting the summons from the Deerfield Police. In turn, the LBPD challenged the Lake Bluff Fire Department, Knollwood Fire Department, Lake Forest Police Department Deputy Chief Karl Walldorf and Commander Craig Lepkowski. If they don’t accept the challenge, they’re expected to donate $100 to ALS Foundation.

“While we are all having fun with the challenge, ALS is a very real disease and has affected our department. Our retired Commander, Debby Hartwig, lost a family member to ALS. This is the least we can do to help promote awareness to this disease,” said Lake Bluff Police Chief David Belmonte.”At the same time, it was great to have the opportunity to do this at our open house with the Fire Department. I think everyone had a great time!”

Jon Harlow, the Knollwood Fire Department Chief, has accepted the ice bucket challenge from both the Lake Bluff Police Department and Chief Jeff Steingart, Countryside Fire Protection District, challenging all Lake County Fire Chiefs. The Knollwood Fire Department will respond at 6 p.m. Monday.

Here’s the Deerfield Police Department’s video from Aug. 22, when the challenge was posed to the Lake Bluff Police Department, Glenview Public Safety Communications and Highland Park Police Department:

Things To Do This Weekend

By Elaine Doremus, Gazebo News Contributing Editor

Here are a few area events worth checking out this weekend. For more local happenings and activities, check out the Gazebo News calendar.

On Friday eventing from 5:30-7:30 pm,  join the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation for  “A Summer Garden Stroll” around the Mathis property. Landscape designer Dorothy Ebert will be present to speak about her work. Tickets between $20-$30.

Beginning at 5 pm on Saturday August 23, the Lake Forest High School Boys Soccer teams will be hosting its annual “The Christopher Quon Alumni Game” and fundraiser at LFHS, West Campus. Raffle and auction proceeds will benefit the Christopher Quon Foundation. In addition, this year the soccer teams will be collecting food to donate to one of the organizations that the CQF supports Beacon Place. .

Art  and food lovers won’t want to miss the annual Port Clinton Art Festival on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-6pm and Taste of Highland Park starting at 5 p.m. Friday and running concurrent with the art festival through the weekend, on Central Avenue in Highland Park. More than 260 juried artists come together to showcase their work. The weekend also includes youth art division exhibits, onsite interactive art demonstrations by master artists, scavenger hunts designed for kids, food from area eateries and live entertainment.

Scott Olson painting at the Port Clinton Art Festival this weekend in Highland Park

Scott Olson painting on display at the Port Clinton Art Festival this weekend in Highland Park

Funds Rise As Dust Settles on Forest Park Rehab

Editor’s note: This Reader Forum article was submitted by Forest Park Project Board members Karen Stensrud, public relations chair, and Mary Hoffman, fundraising chair. Reader Forum articles represent the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of GazeboNews. We encourage you to comment on this article, but please include your full name per the GazeboNews comments policy.

GazeboNews Reader Forum


Spectacular Vistas and Pathways – Your Park – Forest Park

Along Chicago’s North Shore there are very few lakefront enclaves that compare to the treasures of Forest Park. This threshold to Lake Michigan and 7-acre parcel of forested land gave the City of Lake Forest its signature name. It contains not only a rich cultural and natural history, but offers an enchanting experience along the lakefront bluffs, ravines and woodlands.

Deteriorating infrastructure, obscured views and overgrowth of invasive plant communities were threatening the park’s health and appearance, which inspired a public-private stewardship effort to rehabilitate, enhance and preserve Forest Park.

Once complete, Forest Park will reopen to the public with 1,300 feet of new woodland paths, expanded views, benches and other amenities for the community’s enjoyment. This work is possible through a partnership with the City and the Forest Park Project Board, a non-for-profit organization established to ensure the revitalization of the park.

The work is being done in accordance with a Master Plan created by Stephen Stimson and Associates and honors the legacy of the original 19th century landscape architects Almerin Hotchkiss and O.C. Simonds. Special care has been given to the historic natural woodland, bluff and ravine ecosystems, and contemporary community needs.


Photos submitted by Forest Park Project Board

Photos submitted by Forest Park Project Board


“Forest Park is one of the most important projects in our community and worthy of all our attention. We are grateful to the individuals, families, and businesses that have chosen to contribute and hope more will do so as we strive to complete the project this fall,” Lake Forest Mayor Don Schoenheider

The Forest Park fundraising began with an early generous donation from Lake Forest Bank & Trust, the first major corporate donor to the project. This gift was followed by a donation from the Chicago Bears. Both organizations have made a Legacy Circle commitment to the project as a way of honoring their history and leaving a legacy to the community that has been their business home. Sharing this same sentiment, Lake Forest families and businesses have contributed gifts ranging from $50 to $250,000, totaling over $2.47 million dollars towards the $3.2 million goal. Approximately $725,000 remains to be raised.

As a tribute to the community support, a donor board will be placed within the park, listing contributors of $1,000 or more. Members of the Legacy Circle (gifts of $100,000 or more) will be further recognized with their names engraved on a bench overlooking a primary lakefront vista. The Forest Park Project Board’s goal is to have as many as possible Lake Forest families and businesses represented on the donor board in perpetuity for contributing to the good stewardship and honoring its historical significance now and for generations to follow.