The Tribune article at the left indicates that the Cavalry was using Lincoln Park's Lake Shore Park as a camp site before Governor Dunne arranged a land swap for the parcel at its western edge.
(The Land Acquisition tab, above, shows the correspondence leading to the procurement of the armory grounds.)

Chicago Daily Tribune, February 3, 1915
            Out on the made ground where Chicago avenue runs into the lake a little group of shelter tents – disrespectfully called “dog houses” – showed dimly through the almost complete darkness. Inside of each tent a couple of troopers, wrapped in their service blankets, slept on the bare ground.

            Every night from March 1 to the closing in of winter the men of the First cavalry, Illinois national guard, drill on this little field at the foot of Chicago avenue, the use of which is donated by its owners. Two or three times a month one of the nine Chicago troops goes into camp for the night in the same spot, setting up its tents, digging its sinks, picketing and caring for its horses, preparing the breakfast, and as nearly as possible living the life of a cavalry command in active service.

Practice March Yearly.
Once a year the twelve troops of the regiment – three are from downstate – go on a practice march for ten days, often covering 225 miles or more on horseback, pitching camp every night and reproducing, so far as possible, the conditions of cavalry life in the field. And six nights a week, in the desolate old armory on North Clark street rented by the regiment, one or more of the troops is hard at work drilling on horseback and dismounted.

Real Work Done Here.
            There is much more actual military discipline and less social side to the First cavalry than to most national guard commands. Several of its officers are West Point graduates, while among the others are men who have seen active servide in both the army and navy of the United States.
            The First is unique among the national guard cavalry regiments of the country in that it has always on hand about seventy-five horses for the use of its troopers. The horses actually are owned by a civilian organization of its officers and friends, who realize that to be a real cavalryman the trooper must be used to and fond of his horse.

            To support and maintain the First cavalry costs about $25,000 a year more than the allowance from the state. Part of this extra cost is made up out of the profits of the riding academy which is conducted at the armory on North Clark street and in which the horses belonging to the regimental stud are used. The balance, one hears it whispered, comes out of the private pockets of Col. Milton J. Foreman and other officers and friends of the regiment who are enthusiasts in the belief that the young men of the country should not only love their country but should know how to defend it from unjust aggression.

Rents Nine Separate Stables.
            Only men who are enthusiasts would have persisted for so many years in the face of public indifference. At present, besides the tumbledown old armory at 1427 North Clark street, the regiment rents nine separate stables, and occupies, in addition, for drill and lecture purposes, an ex-weinstube and an ex-hardware store on the same thoroughfare.
            Two years ago, after much hard work on the part of Col. Foreman and the other officers, the state legislature appropriated $225,000 to build a suitable armory and drill hall for the First. A site has been bought at the corner of Cornelia street and Broadway, but there have been such strenuous objections to the location of the armory at that point that the project has been practically abandoned. Negotiations are now under way which may result in the building of the new armory in Lincoln park, near the present stable of the park board.

Rent Their Chargers.
            In addition to the drill on horseback and in the manual of arms, the 575 troopers in Chicago have the ten days’ practice drill each year. They are also permitted to rent their chargers at a nominal charge for long rides in the country during the summer. The officers, both commissioned and “noncom,” go out on regimental rides three or four times a year, on which they attempt to solve military problems which are set for them by an accompanying officer of the United States army.
            Strict military training, with few fancy frills, is the rule of the regiment. But just by way of making a brilliant exception, Troop F has issued invitations for its sixteenth annual military ball, which will be held at the Hotel La Salle on Friday evening this week.

This 1917 Chicago Daily News photograph taken from a building on Chestnut Street shows Lake Shore Park filled with Illinois National Guard tents. The new armory building was under construction just to the right of this view.

By permission and courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

Another 1917 view of the Illinois National Guard camp in today's Lake Shore Park.

By permission and courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

This August 16, 1917 photograph is captioned on the negatives emulsion: "Co. A. 2nd ARTILLERY LEAVING FOR TEXAS." The regiment travelled to Houston's Camp Logan for training.

By permission and courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

Chicago Daily Tribune, July 26, 1917

Chicago Daily Tribune, July 30, 1917

National Guardsmen Given Day’s Leave.
Week of Heavy Work Ahead.

            “They went to church,” said Col. Milton J Foreman of the Second artillery in telling yesterday how the members of his regiment, formerly the First cavalry, spent their first Sunday in camp. Then he added: “I trust they did. I gave them the opportunity.”
            “He was sitting in the shade of his tent near the foot of Chicago avenue. His army coat was off and he was reading. Sentinels here and yonder lazily patrolled the company streets around him and small groups of visitors passed in search of friends or relatives.

            “My boys,” he continued, “went home or went to church or went to see their sweethearts today, as pleased them. All of them were given leaves of absence, except those guarding the camp.
            “Pretty soon I won’t be able to let them go home.”
            Judge Landis, leisurely inspecting everything around him as he came, appeared at the end of the parade. He shook Col. Foreman’s hand.
            “The finest I ever saw, this camp,” the judge exclaimed. “Absolutely ideal and cool enough for me to want to stay here myself.”
            “We’ve got shower baths,” exclaimed the colonel proudly. “There are fourteen of them. And every street has running water.”


Chicago Daily Tribune, August 1, 1917

What the Chicago Regiments Did Yesterday.
SECOND ARTILLERY (“Streeterville.”)

            Regimental drills in a blazing sun will be relieved of many an irksome feature under plans which Col. Milton J. Foreman is preparing in the camp at East Chicago avenue and the outer drive.
            Three hundred men are being organized into a choral society, and concerts in the camp square, assisted by the ukulele orchestra of the regiment, will be given each evening.
            Another group is joining the “dramatic club,” and performances, with real “movies,” are to be given. Concerts by the regimental band will be given on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
            The regiment was given its liberty last night after being held under strict guard for 24 hours. The cause of the trouble rested in a stubbed toe of Col. Foreman.
            Driving up to the camp in his automobile Monday he passed two of his soldiers sitting in the shade of a tree. Instead of rising to their feet with a military salute, one waved a cigarette and the other bawled:
            “Hello, Colonel, old top.”
            The colonel jumped from his car and started toward them. His toe struck a tent peg and he struck the ground. Before he got up, the offending soldiers had disappeared.
            “No one shall leave this camp until those men are found,” he said.
            Late yesterday the offenders were discovered and marched to Col. Foreman’s tent. Their punishment was not made known.

Chicago Daily Tribune, August 2, 1917
Hard Work and Some Play Are Rapidly Making Guardsmen Fit for Service

            “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
            Second artillery officers believe in that old saying, and as a result have arranged a variety of entertainment to keep the men brightened up until they leave for the south. A large screen is being erected near the entrance to the camp, on which movies will be shown. There is also something of a stage in front of the screen and singing, dancing, and other kinds of entertainment will be staged. The first performance was given last night.
            Aside from the play, the men of the Second work. Drill and school training make up the program of the day’s work, besides the regular camp duties, such as policing.
            No orders have been received as to the examining or the mustering of the men.

Chicago Daily Tribune, August 3, 1917
Guard, Rushing Through Muster, Soon to Be Regular Sammies
SECOND ARTILLERY (“Streeterville.”)
            It was a quiet day at the Streeterville village yesterday. The federal “medicos” were busy examining the men for tuberculosis, and the regiment was busy drilling and attending classes at the several schools.
            Elaborate plans are under way for the entertainment of the men while they are at home. A field day at which all the athletes of the regiment will compete is being planned for some day next week. Next Saturday night, Aug. 4, is to be a red letter night for the enlisted men. A dance will be held in front of the officers’ quarters. The enlisted men are privileged to bring their wives, sweethearts, mothers, friends, or anybody else they choose. The officers will act as chaperons and therefore will look on.
            Col. Foreman expects to be notified that the examining and mustering officers will be in camp almost any day now.

Chicago Daily Tribune, August 14, 1917

Second Artillery Will Give Similar Event Tomorrow.

            About all the Second has to do outside of drilling twelve hours a day is to think of the field day tomorrow and practice for it. The affair will take place in the afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Chicago avenue playgrounds, Chicago avenue and the lake front.
            An organization of the friends and families of the men is making preparations to send them comforts.
            Sweets, home made socks, mufflers, and comfort kits are to be sent to the camp in Texas and to Europe. In addition, these families of the men in the regiment which are left in great need will be cared for.


The second and third chapters of Shifting Grounds collide with the meeting of Cap Streeter and the Illinois National Guard: "Battling Squatter on "Deestrict of Lake Michigan" Agrees Amicably to Let Second Artillery Camp There and Declares the Kaiser "Ain't No Good, Nohow."
(See Cap Streeter's Saga in the Streeterville section to learn the grounds' history up until the summer of 1917.)

Chicago Daily Tribune
, July 25, 1917