The illinois and michigan canal

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the illinois and michigan canal

Prairie Passage: The Illinois Michigan Canal Corridor by Edward Ranney

Prairie Passage celebrates the remarkable ninety-seven-mile water highway known as the Illinois and Michigan Canal, completed in 1848 and closed in 1933, that helped turn the muddy settlement of Chicago into the most important city in the Midwest. The photographs in Prairie Passage, which provide a fresh perspective on how we use and live on the land, are complemented by historical images and essays that document how people have traveled through, settled, and altered the region, as well as by a prologue that puts the Canal Corridor in a national context of regional conservation movements and an epilogue that offers a personal statement on the resonance of special places for those who care about the American landscape.
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Published 10.01.2019

Illinois and Michigan Canal

The canal crossed the Chicago Portage , and helped establish Chicago as the transportation hub of the United States, before the railroad era. It was opened in
Edward Ranney

Technology that Changed Chicago: The Illinois and Michigan Canal 1848-2014

Browse all items in the collection. The photographs range in date from to , and covers locks, aqueducts, bridges, commercial structures, construction sites, boats, and people associated with these waterways. This image collection is invaluable learning resource for students and the general public, as well as for historians of the Chicago region, Illinois, and water transportation in the United States. The canal enabled navigation across the Chicago Portage and helped establish Chicago emerge as a transportation hub of the United States before the construction of railroads in the area. To cover the foot height difference between Lake Michigan the Illinois River, the canal was built with seventeen locks and four aqueducts. Towns were planned out along the path of the canal spaced at intervals corresponding to the distances the mules could haul the boats and barges. The canal had its peak shipping year in and remained in use until

Louis Jolliet first suggested the possibility of such a link in when he encountered the Chicago Portage. The idea was taken up in , when Congress made an initial land grant to Illinois for constructing a canal. In the canal commissioners platted Chicago and Ottawa in the vain hope of raising sufficient money by selling land from a second land grant. The commissioners and private speculators platted numerous towns in the s and s, including Lockport , Joliet , Channahon, and LaSalle, as well as other towns that did not survive. Canal construction began in , but a depression over the following seven years brought the state to the brink of bankruptcy. The canal was finally completed after a financial and administrative reorganization in

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A little-known waterway built in the s allowed Chicago to grow not once, but twice! Hear the story of the crucial canal that you may never have heard of, and the story behind one of the South Side's best known public works of art in tonight's edition of Ask Geoffrey. Could you please explain why and when the Illinois and Michigan Canal went out of use? But for this canal, Chicago would probably be like Galena or the Quad Cities today, or perhaps even smaller. Much of that route is now the Stevenson Expressway through the southwest suburbs. The explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet are desperately paddling north on the Mississippi River, eager to return home to Michigan before winter sets in.


  1. Herodiade M. says:

    Illinois and Michigan Canal | canal, United States |

  2. Bradley O. says:

    The Illinois and Michigan Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. In Illinois, it ran 96 miles ( km) from the Chicago .

  3. Dustin B. says:

    Upon its completion in , the Illinois & Michigan Canal joined the Chicago River at Bridgeport near Chicago with the Illinois River at LaSalle, 96 miles distant.

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