The Chicago River

The Chicago River

A Natural and Unnatural History

Book - 2019 | Revised edition
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"A social and ecological account of the Chicago River, beginning with its geological foundations and extending to the present, the book tells how a sluggish waterway emptying into Lake Michigan became central to the creation of Chicago as a major transportation hub. Originally published by Lake Claremont Press in 2000 and reprinted by SIU Press in 2016, this revised edition updates the story."--Provided by publisher.
Contents: Part I. Prehistory through the eighteenth century
Location, location, location
Geological foundations: bedrock and ice
The Chicago River: branches and forks
The natural Chicago River: animal, vegetable, and mineral
Tribal land
Passages and treaties: on the path to a canal
Part II. The nineteenth century
The Illinois and Michigan Canal
Redesigning the harbor
Early commerce and the river
The North Branch settlement
The Chicago River: clean stream to open sewer
The I&M Canal: shipping channel to open sewer
Toward the Sanitary and Ship Canal: from 1880 to shovel day
Building the channel that saved Chicago
Part III. Twentieth century
Reconnecting the city and the river
The North Shore Channel and the North Branch
The ascendance of federal authority
Straightening the South Branch
Transforming the Skokie Marsh
The metropolitan water reclamation district, modern sewage treatment, and the tunnel and reservoir project
Citizens and their river
Part IV. Early years of the twenty-first century
The MWRD and disinfection
Invasive carp: the case of the Sanitary and Ship Canal
Greening the watershed
The evolution of a riverwalk
Publisher: Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, 2019
Edition: Revised edition
Branch Call Number: 977.311 H rev.ed. PBK
Characteristics: xxiv, 301 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
ISBN: 9780809337071


From Library Staff

Expanded from a book the same author published in 2000, this is quite simply a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the Chicago region. Or the natural world and humanity's relationship with it. Or environmental justice. Or Skokie's own O'Brien Wastewater Reclamation Plant, which turn... Read More »

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