1673 French explorers Marquette and Joliet discover portage at
Chicago linking the Great Lakes region with the Mississippi River valley.
1779 Afro-French-Canadian trapper Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
establishes a trading post on the north bank of the Chicago River. A
settlement follows 2 years later.
1794 General “Mad” Anthony Wayne defeats the British in the Bat-
tle of Fallen Timbers; disputed Illinois Territory is finally ceded to the
young American Republic by treaty a year later.
1803 Garrison of Fort Dearborn is established in Chicago, com-
manded by the grandfather of artist James McNeill Whistler.
1818 Illinois is admitted to the Union as the 21st state.
1833 Town of Chicago is officially incorporated, with little more than
1837 Chicago is incorporated as a city, with about 4,000 residents.
1847 The Chicago Tribune begins publishing.
1848 The 96-mile Illinois and Michigan Canal is opened, linking the
Great Lakes with the Mississippi River.
1850 Chicago's population is roughly 30,000.
1856 Chicago is chief railroad center in the United States.
1870 Chicago's population numbers almost 300,000, making it per-
haps the fastest-growing metropolis in history.
1871 The Great Chicago Fire burns large sections of the city; rebuild-
ing begins while the ashes are still warm.
1882 The 10-story Montauk Building, the world's first skyscraper, is
1892 The city's first elevated train goes into operation.
1893 Completely recovered from the Great Fire, Chicago hosts its first
World's Fair, the World's Columbian Exposition. The world's first Fer-
ris wheel is a big draw.
1905 Robert S. Abbott founds the Chicago Defender, which becomes
the nation's premier African-American newspaper and later plays a
major role in encouraging Southern blacks to move north during the
“Great Migration” years.
for viewing Chicago's world-
renowned architecture is from the
water. See “Kid-Friendly Tours,”
in chapter 6.
• Ogling Our Inland Ocean:
Chicago's magnificent lakefront is
an emerald strand of parks and
sand beaches, linked by running,
walking, rollerblading, and biking
trails. You'll appreciate the fore-
sight of Chicago's forefathers even
more when you compare our free
and open public lakefront to that
of other Great Lakes cities like
Toronto, where much of the lake-
front is used for industrial pur-
poses or is privately owned. And
at 22,300 square miles in size and
reaching depths of 900 feet, our
great lake will look more like the
ocean to your kids. It's the only
Great Lake that lies wholly in U.S.
territory, and Chicago is blessed
with 29 miles of lakefront for