A Northside Chicago neighborhood has a new landmark that the residents call the “rat hole.”
The indentation in the pavement on West Roscoe Street resembles the outline of a rat, including claws and a tail.
People from all over have come to pay tribute to the rat hole, leaving coins, plastic flowers, a prayer candle, small toys and a pack of cigarettes. According to the Associated Press, it has been named the final resting place of “Lil Stucky” or “Chimley,” names given by some in the neighborhood to the creature that once lay there spreadeagled.
On Friday, social media posts showed that the rat hole had been filled. Transportation and Streets and Sanitation officials told the Chicago Tribune that the city was not behind the fill-in.
Neighbors gathers on Friday afternoon using a brush and water to scrub the shallow hole in the side walk clean, restoring the rat hole.
“Overall, people just appreciate that our wonderful block is getting attention — even if it’s to look at a rat hole,” Jeff VanDam told the Chicago Sun-Times for a story Friday. “It’s a small, quirky feature of a neighborhood where we get used to it, we care about it, and we want to protect it.”
Chicago resident Winslow Dumaine learned about the “rat hole” from a friend and posted a photo earlier this month of it on X, formerly known as Twitter. The post now has more than 5 million views:
Had to make a pilgrimage to the Chicago Rat Hole pic.twitter.com/g4P44nvJ1f
— Gatorade Should Be Thicker. (@WinslowDumaine) January 6, 2024
People living nearby said the imprint had been there for nearly two decades and was made by a squirrel, Dumaine said.
“I think at the end of the day, the rat hole is a silly thing, but the thing that made it so viral was the fact that thousands and thousands of people were in on a big, sweet, heartfelt joke,” Dumaine told the Chicago Tribune.
According to an X post, the rat hole has been marked as a landmark on Apple Maps:
Apple Maps grants “Landmark” status to The Famous Chicago Rat Hole
This is a transit-oriented landmark, accessible by both the Brown Line and 50 Damen bus pic.twitter.com/ZGJvuTGKRC
— michael mclean (@cornoisseur) January 19, 2024