Lost Houses of Lyndale
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2234 N California

Detail of 1908 postcard view of Daly Brothers saloon at 2234 N. California. Ave.

Three Bachelor Brothers

The wood-frame building at 2234 N. California, at the center of the 1908 postcard photo, was built in 1887 by Thomas and Mina Peterson. The Petersons had previously run a saloon on Halsted Street, and were successful enough to purchase an empty lot here and put up a 22'x 46' tavern with apartment above.

Peterson served Hofbrau beer on tap and also sold wine, liquor and cigars. An 1891 guide to Chicago saloons describes it as "comfortably furnished with good plain fixtures, and the order and quiet are an inviting feature of the place."

Thomas Peterson had immigrated from Norway in 1849 and worked for two decades as a Great Lakes sailor before retiring to keep a saloon. At a time when Chicago was one of the busiest sailing ports in the world, and tall-masted schooners were giving way to steamships, what tales and yarns must have been told in Captain Peterson's saloon!

Tom Peterson passed away at age 66 in 1898. His widow Mina kept the saloon for a time, but sold the building in the fall of 1900 to Thomas F. Daly.

At that time, Daly and his brothers Patrick and Michael were running a saloon on Ashland near Cortland. The three bachelor brothers, born in the small village of Knocklong, County Limerick, Ireland, had came to Chicago in the spring of 1883 along with their parents and other five siblings. By 1898 most of the siblings and their mother were living in an apartment at 3074 W. Palmer Square, so the new California Ave. location would have been a much shorter commute.

Thomas Daly

1917 passport photo of Thomas F. Daly. Source: National Archives and Records Administration

While his brothers ran the saloon, Thomas Daly worked as a clerk in a Michigan Avenue office. He also invested in real estate. In 1912 he and his brothers bought a lot at 2061 N. Humboldt Blvd. and hired architect Otto Runde to build them a grand Prairie-style house which still stands today.

In the mid 1910s the brothers had opened a real estate office at 2337 N. Milwaukee Avenue. They rented the saloon at 2234 to Henry Winklhofer, who was the unlucky saloonkeeper to deal with the start of Prohibition in 1920. The Daly family owned the building at 2234 until the 1950s.