The Chicago Portage archive is available for download as a single .zip file from here. The archive includes copies of The Chicago Portage Ledger, photographs of the site, and the video "Connected Worlds: The Story of the Chicago Portage.
Furthermore, this December, we are launching a new platform for our unique digital collections.
Please take a moment to preview it and let us know what you think!
“We started at dawn”.
It was after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 when the aging Hubbard began to re-write his autobiography for a second time…his first manuscript was lost in the fire! More than fifty years later Hubbard remembered the first day he entered at Chicago in the fall of 1818 in detail:
“Arriving at Douglas Grove where the prairie could be seen through the oak woods, I landed, and climbing a tree, I gazed in admiration on the first prairie I had ever seen. The waving grass, intermingled with a rich profusion of wild flowers, was the most beautiful sight I had ever gazed upon. In the distance the grove of Blue Island loomed up, beyond it the timber on the Desplaines River, while to give animation to the scene, a herd of wild deer appeared, and a pair of red foxes emerged from the grass within gunshot of me. “
“Looking north, I saw the whitewashed buildings of Fort Dearborn sparkling in the sunshine, our boats with flags flying, and oars keeping time to the cheering boat song. I was spell-bound and amazed at the beautiful scene before me. I took the trail leading to the fort, and, on my arrival, found our party camped on the north side of the river, near what is now State Street. A soldier ferried me across the river in a canoe, and thus I made my first entry into Chicago, October 1, 1818.”
Next page: Crossing the Chicago Portage