Summary

The story of the making and perpetual remaking of the Chicago River by everything from preglacial forces to the interventions of an emerging and mighty city is encompassed in this intimate biography of the heroic body of water. The book discusses how when French explorers Jolliet and Marquette used the Chicago portage to access the Mississippi River system, the Chicago River was but a humble, even sluggish, stream in the right place at the right time.

American Regional History Publishing Award - 1st Place - Midwest Region
Midwest Independent Publishers Association Merit Award - 2nd Place - History
One of ten "outstanding nominations" for the Abel Wolman Award for the best new book in the field of public works history

Used and abused. Straightened and channelized. Reversed and revered. But never ignored...

An Intimate Biography of the Heroic Creek that Chicago Made

When French explorers Jolliet and Marquette used the Chicago portage to access the Mississippi River system, the Chicago River was but a humble, even sluggish, stream in the right place at the right time. That's the story of the making of Chicago. This is the other story--the story of the making and perpetual re-making of a river by everything from pre-glacial forces to the interventions of an emerging and mighty city.