About Ellendale Farm

Ellendale Farm is ingrained in the history of Crown Point, Northwest Indiana, Chicago and the World of Entertainment. Ellendale Farm takes its name from the past. The name Ellendale comes to us from the Davis family of Crown Point. The Davis family played a role in Northwest Indiana but more importantly they were prominent members of the Chicago High Society. In particular, William Davis was a member of the Theater and Entertainment Industry of Chicago. It was from his involvement in this industry that he was able to make an imprint on the Crown Point Community.

In his time working in the industry, he hosted and entertained many noted members of the Vaudeville Theater community; many of whom have been memorialized by the naming of different streets within the Ellendale Farm Neighborhood. One such performer was Jessie Bartlett. William and Jessie were married and continued to host outings to the rolling hills of their summer home.

This summer home and horse ranch was referred to as Ellendale. At Ellendale horses were raised as well as collies and fox terriers. Ellendale served as an escape from the hustle and bustle of Chicago to many famous actors and actresses as well as many other noted historical figures such as William Pinkerton of Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

Another connection to history for the Davis family as well as Ellendale is the Iroquois Theater. In a tragic event in the history of theater performance, on December 3rd 1903 the theater caught fire and resulted in the loss of 571 lives. The leading contributor to the loss of life was the way in which the exterior doors opened, at the time they opened inward making it impossible for the patrons to escape as they pressed against the doors. This sad event led to major changes to fire code of public buildings, the most significant that exterior doors swinging out rather than into the building.

While a portion of Ellendale’s history is shrouded in a darker moment, the greater part of the history is tied to the added presence to historical figures to what was already a historical community.

We continue the history by making Ellendale a continued feature of the Crown Point Community. We also continue to honor and remember the past by the continued naming of features of our neighborhood after the historical figures and places the Davis Family brought to our great community.

 
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