That of course was the slang term used by many to describe the area and I am sure it was not an official designation.
The area around and near Montrose and Damen ave. was largely inhabited by people from the south. This might have gone as far north as Lawrence Ave. and generally east of Damen.
i grew up in the 50s around leland and magnolia, from what i remember. people from the south came to Chicago to get a better job(in the south 50 cents as opposed to 2.00 in Chicago) most moved into the near north side area because 1) everybody spoke the same and 2)people who moved back south told about the area, 3)living was cheap, but once you moved there it was very hard to move away because of the cost of living in Chicago so many became imprisoned. back then no one thought about "cost of living" it was "were can i make the most money" some were related but for the most part everybody were related by the area it was quite a place to grow up.
my sis.zee was born on magnolia just a half block off of Wilson ave.about 3 blocks off Broadway and 2 blocks off of montrose.hillbilly heaven was givin the name in an article by either LOOK or LIFE magazine sometime in the mid 50s. i guess i started something with her on this subject. shes on a quest. can someone come up with the article for her? me also maybe.
i agree with the relocation of southern workers theory. in fact, specifically, mining families moved up here for the better wages offered in industrial Chicago. as for why they chose the northside locale? not sure really, but i suspect it was an economic consideration as well. the modern remainder of the old hillbilly heaven is Chicago's only true honky tonk - Carol's Musical Pub. they still do country music all week long, still have a dance floor, still serve fried food at long tabels and still offer the best atmosphere for drinking a cold beer over country music in the whole city. for a town that supports a great modern-traditionalist country music scene, and a country-inflected label like Bloodshot Records, this historical aspect is really cool. interested in country music and Chicago? check out that great record label, the great local honky-tonkers, The Hoyle Brothers, and arguably one of the most gifted writers of "country" music working today... Mr. Robbie Fulks. Chicago's country roots are good and deep!
Montrose, CO is a beautiful area of wilderness with a touch of suburbia. With a smaller airport that has trips every day from the larger, Denver International Airport, Montrose Regional Airport offers a shuttle service which allows easy access to Montrose from anywhere in the world. Montrose, CO is close to Black Canyon National Park makes it the perfect place to start exploring. In the summer this beautiful national park offers a number opportunities for hiking, kayaking, rafting, biking and rock climbing. In the winter the countryside is perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, and some of the best downhill skiing in the world is nearby at the Telluride Ski Area. Settled many years ago by the Ute Indians, the area that is Montrose, CO today was named Uncompahgre which means loosely warm red waters standing. This refers to the hot springs in nearby Ouray, which are still popular today.
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