Tour Chicago's "Plymouth Rock"

Chicago owes its very existence as a city to the location of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site.  The first European explorers, Jolliet & Marquette, discovered the Chicago Portage in 1673.  It provided an easy connection between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico by linking Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River.  Since that time nearly every site of Chicago's origin's has been destroyed.  The remains of Fort Dearborn are buried under three layers of Wacker Drive, the Portage Trail is completely paved over, Mud Lake is now the site of the world's largest sewage treatment plant.

The Chicago Portage National Historic Site is the only major remnant of the discovery and settlement of Chicago.  It is one of only two National Historic Sites in Illinois.  The late Tribune columnist John Husar, after touring the site called it: "Our sacred ground".  It is certainly Chicago's "Plymouth Rock".

Tours of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site will be conducted by Friends of the Chicago Portage the first Saturday of each month between May and November beginning at 10AM at the statue of Joliet and Marquette in Portage Woods Forest Preserve.  

Enter Portage Woods on the west side of Harlem just 2 blocks north of the Stevenson Expressway (I55).  Tours are approximately 1/2 mile in length on dirt paths through the woods.  There are no restrooms at the site!  Wear long pants and walking shoes or boots.  All tours are free and open to the public.  Reservations for individuals are not required.  Groups call 773-267-0948 for reservations.

Friends of the Chicago Portage promotes the historic interpretation, ecological restoration  and appropriate development of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site through volunteer advocacy, public events and other projects that raise public awareness of its history and significance.

For more information call:
Gary Mechanic, Executive Director
773-590-0710 phone & fax

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