Cantigny started out as a country estate for publisher Joseph Medill and later became the home of his grandson, Robert McCormack (as in the same family as Cyrus McCormack). Both were publishers of the Chicago Tribune and McCormack Place was also named after Robert.
Reading and hearing about his life makes one’s mind go in a 100 different directions. You just aren’t sure whether or not you would think he was a good guy or a bad guy if he lived today and you could follow his life in the media. As one line in Wikipedia says: McCormick carried on crusades against gangsters and racketeers, prohibition and prohibitionists, local, state, and national politicians, Wall Street, the East and Easterners, Democrats, the New Deal and the Fair Deal, liberal Republicans, the League of Nations, the World Court, the United Nations, British imperialism, socialism, and communism.
He opposed the US entering World War I, yet a big attraction at his estate is the First Division War Museum which takes you through both World Wars, VietNam and Desert Storm.
When I find out more about him, I’ll let you know.
Meanwhile – his 500 acre is open to the public and for $5.00 a carload – you have access to his house, the beautiful gardens, the visitor’s center and the war museum – all very interesting.
As far as the kids are concerned, however, the most exciting part of all are the tanks.
Now, our family is good about not putting up embarrassing pictures of each other or telling embarrassing stories about the kids – but since he is ok, I do have to share this story. The two 7yos were off playing away from THE SISTERS! Suddenly we heard screaming – one of them (I won’t mention names) was getting off the tank and somehow got his jacket caught on something hanging off the tank itself – which caused him to be stuck in midair! The other 7yo did try to help, but wasn’t too sure what to do about his screaming cousin. Fortunately, Mom quickly came to the rescue.