Origins Settled by William Sayre c. 1836 and annexed c. 1889
Area Northwest Side

Belmont on the north, tracks through Sayre park on the south, Nashville Ave on the east, Harlem on the west

Gangs headquartered Maniac Latin Disciples,

Montclare was first settled in the year 1836 by William Sayre.  In 1838 he officially purchased the land from Jefferson Township.  In the year 1840 Sayre built a home of these lands making him the first resident.  The lands were barren for decades to come until 1872 when the Chicago & Pacific Railroad Company wanted to lay tracks through Sayre’s land, Sayre accepted, and the Sayre Station was built directly on Sayre’s property.  In the year 1873, some more plots of land were sold that built up a small town of about 120 English and German farmers.  The growth was brief because the area lacked adequate transportation to and from the town.  The train would only arrive here once a day.  (Fact source,,Montclare%20after%20Montclair%2C%20New%20Jersey.)

This community remained the same size for decades even after annexation into Chicago in 1889.  It wasn’t until 1912 when the Grand Avenue streetcar line laid tracks which brought much more interest to the area.  In 1916 the Sayre family donated acres to the city which established Sayre Park.  Growth was slow but once roads were paved in the 1920s a population boom happened.  More subdivisions were built in the 1930s.  The Grand and Harlem retail strip was built in the 1930s which became the busiest part of Montclare.  During these decades the neighborhood had a strong Italian, German and Polish influence. (Fact source,,Montclare%20after%20Montclair%2C%20New%20Jersey.)

This neighborhood was a quiet community that had low crime rates and residents treated this community as a small town instead of a part of Chicago.  Many residents in present years hold up those same values.  This is what attracted members of the Gaylords and C-Notes street gangs to this area in the year 1979.  Montclare was regarded as part of “white wonderland” to white gang members from other neighborhoods.  Montclare was unscathed by Hispanic or black migration but just to the south of Sayre Park Hispanics were moving into the northern part of Austin.  Gaylords advanced on these north Austin streets to battle gangs like Latin Brothers and Latin Stylers.  Another group of Gaylords settled north of Sayre Park to protect this beloved community from Hispanic gangs.  There were fears these gangs would advance north.  The Gaylords then established their notorious Sayre Park branch in 1979.

In the same year of 1979 the C-Notes were welcomed into Montclare by the Gaylords to settle Belden and Normandy which was just a few blocks east of Sayre Park.  Gaylords and C-Notes guarded this border together as allies.  The settlement of Gaylords and C-Notes started with an interest in escaping to a neighborhood that was not full of gangs and crime.  This was like a semi-retirement type of plan for the founders of these sections, but they soon would learn there was a threat at the southern border.  Gaylords and C-Notes aimed to make this neighborhood unsafe and unpleasant for Hispanic gangs and often discouraging for Hispanic migration.

For three years C-Notes and Gaylords were allies and fought legendary battles in Sayre Park that was mainly fist fighting.  In the year 1982 Gaylords and C-Notes began feuding city-wide and as a result the Gaylords and C-Notes began a war in 1982 that would last until the later part of the decade when C-Notes left the neighborhood.  After C-Notes left in the late 80s a small wave of black migration came to Montclare which was as few families.  Many residents reacted negatively to this arrival and racially driven incidents occurred that were settled some time later; however, blacks were mostly discouraged from moving to Montclare.  In the late 80s a Hispanic migration began in Montclare that seemed to attract less racial tensions.

Hispanic migration slowly progressed through the 1990s.  Despite gang activity between the neighborhood Gaylords and their rivals from other neighborhoods Montclare remained on the safest Chicago neighborhoods.  Gaylords remained visible and active until the later 1990s and by the early 2000s the Sayre Park Gaylords became less visible, and this is when Maniac Latin Disciples settled on these streets that remain the dominating gang until present day.

In later decades Greeks, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Lebanese, and Hispanics have become the majority population of the neighborhood as much of the Italian, Polish and Germans relocated to the suburbs.   Over the decades residents have worked hard to maintain the neighborhood’s value so it can remain one of the safest neighborhoods in the city.  Regardless of Maniac Latin Disciple presence the community continues to be one of the safest.

In the 1980s Gaylords and C-Notes dominated this neighborhood.

In the 1990s Gaylords dominated this neighborhood as the only gang here.

In the 2000s and later the Maniac Latin Disciples dominate this area as the only gang here.

The gangs that have walked these streets over time are:

Gaylords Established 1979-2000s

Grand & Harlem Established 1982-1990

Belden to Altgeld, Harlem to Oak Park Ave (Sayre Park) Established 1979-2000s

C-Notes Established 1979-late 80s

Belden & Normandy 1979-late 80s

Maniac Latin Disciples Established 2000s-present years

Wrightwood to Grand, Harlem to Oak Park Established 2000s-present years