Armories: Not for Boat Shows

What goes on behind those thick, gray armory walls besides Erv Steiner's Antique Show? This turn-of-the century reprint of a Chicago tourist guide explains


Fifth Estate # 274, July 1976

photo: East Eight Mile Road Light Guard Armory

The fact that the East Eight Mile Road Light Guard Armory is strategically located in the heart of the industrial sector for the Detroit area is no accident (see story). The armory, also by no coincidence, is on the crucial border between Warren and the City. A recent Channel 1 newscast highlighted the fact that the building, housing enough weapons and munitions to equip a small army, is protected by only a small contingent of unarmed guards. (photo: Millard Berry)

“Chicago has become quite a military center. Owing to the fact that it is also a great center for labor organizations, and, in order to have a strong force of regular troops. Within easy call in case of labor troubles, the wealthy men of Chicago put their heads together and procured the establishment of a permanent military post on the Lake Shore about 25 miles north of the city, which received the name of Fort Sheridan. Incidentally the post forms a base of operations for the United States Army against the Indians of the West; but it’s main function is to furnish a ready means to keep workingmen in subjection.

“As an additional means to the same end, there are several regiments of state militia which have their headquarters here. These are recruited and drilled to the highest degree of efficiency and kept ready for service at a moment’s call. On the occurrence of a strike every man is constantly within call. The different companies can be turned out almost to their full force, in an hour’s time, whether by day or night.”

From Chicago Today And How To See It, Manhattan Publishing Co., 1898