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  • Ancient & Prehistoric Illinois
  • Illinois Frontier & Indigenous People (Indian Tribes)
  • More Enthralling Illinois History
  • Chicago, Suburbs, and Collar Counties Stories

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This section follows the land that makes up modern Illinois, beginning from the Mesozoic era (250 to 65 million years ago - the Age of Dinosaurs). 

Throughout the planet's 4-billion-year history, eight supercontinents have formed and broken up due to the churning and circulation in the Earth's mantle. Beginning about 4 billion years ago was the first supercontinent "Superior Craton," next came "Vaalbara," "Ur," "Kenorland," "Columbia (aka Nuna)," "Rodinia," "Pannotia (aka Vendian)," and most recently, "Pangaea."

Illinois Frontier & Indigenous People
(Indian Tribes)
It's fascinating to learn about the early history of Illinois and how the French, British, and Spanish played a role in its development. Beginning in 1673, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet traveled through the Illinois region while transversing the Mississippi River.

The coexistence between the French and the indigenous people was due to their shared interest in the fur trade. A unique aspect of this time period was the social dynamics of what would become what we call; "common sense" in the modern day. The fact that the French population peaked in Illinois, with around 40% of them being African slaves, was a significant detail, rarely mentioned, that highlights the complex social dynamics of the time.

The rivalry between France and Britain and the Spanish's more cordial relations with France led to migration across the Mississippi, which further shaped the region's history. It's interesting to note that the British attempted to oust the French from Illinois but were unable to do so due to various disputes and French stubbornness.

The first American ferry to St. Louis was established by Captain James Piggot in 1795. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 further cemented ties with St. Louis and altered the American Bottom's relative location, making it a central access point to the West.

The Lewis and Clark expedition spent the winter of 1803-04 training at Camp Dubois (in what would become Madison County) before embarking on their expedition west on the Missouri River in the spring of 1804.

"The American Revolution and George Rogers Clark's Illinois Campaign also played a significant role in the history of Illinois. It's clear that this era of Illinois history is rich with complexity, and I can understand why it's a passion of yours. Thank you, Dr. Gale, for sharing your journal entries with me."                                                                                                                     — Prof. Dr. B., Stanford University, California.
History of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. Originally a French Settlement/Fort.
History of the Illinois Country from 1673-1782.
History of the Meskwaki (Fox) Indian Tribe; Searching for Fort du Renards (Fort Fox).
How the City of Newton and Jasper County, Illinois, got their names. 
Illinois Country - Great Plains Indians before French Colonization in the mid-1600s.
Illinois County Boundaries Maps from 1790-1859. 
Oldest Settlements, Villages, and Towns in Illinois.
One Man's Story of "Indian-Hating" in the Illinois Country Frontier. 
Peoria War of 1813 played a big part in eliminating Indians in Illinois.
Philippe de Rocheblave, a Military Opportunist in the Illinois Country.
Pierre Menard House at 4230 Kaskaskia Road in Ellis Grove, Illinois.
Plains Indians in Illinois before the French Colonization of Mississippi Valley in the mid-1700s.
Samuel A. Whiteside, an Illinois pioneer and military hero.
Saunemin, a Village in Illinois named after a Kickapoo Chief.

More Enthralling Illinois History
This section provides a historical account of the expansion of Illinois settlements in the American Bottom area, which is located, in part, in present-day southern Illinois. The account describes how access to the Mississippi River enabled the settlements to expand and how the threat of Indian attacks lessened, allowing people to establish homesteads and farms.

Articles mention the establishment of two new settlements, Ridge Prairie and the Goshen Settlement, in what would become St. Clair and Madison Counties, as well as the establishment of economic and social ties with the growing port city of St. Louis, Missouri. 

"One thing I appreciate about this Journal is the author, who's a master of consistency. High-quality Illinois history is regularly published. It's evident that he takes his craft very seriously."                                                                                                      — T. Williams
Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, Biography.
John Crenshaw's 'Old Slave House' and "Reverse Underground Railroad" in Equality, IL
John Stevens, Naperville, Illinois' First Professional Builder.
John Washington Barker, Life and Times of a 131st Illinois Civil War Infantry Man.
Josephine Garis Cochrane, the inventor of the Dishwasher.
Krauss Building at 209 W. High Street, Freeburg, Illinois, history.
Keeley Institute in Dwight, Illinois. Dr. Leslie Keeley offers a cure for alcoholics.
Keeneyville is a Bedroom Community in unincorporated DuPage County, Illinois.
Kinsella Two-Story Log Cabin (1854), Fairview Heights. 1st Interior Shots Since 1976.
Kit Houses - Harris Brothers Co. / Chicago House Wrecking Co., Chicago. (1893-1933)
Kit Houses - Lustron Homes - A mid-century attempt at future prefab houses. (1947-1950)
 Kit Houses - Sears Modern Homes - History, floorplans, and more (1908-1940)
     The story of my private tour of a Sears Modern Home in Carlinville, Illinois.
Kline Creek Farm is a Living History Farm and Museum in West Chicago, Illinois.
Plank Road History in the Chicago area.  
Police Blotter - 1845, Lawrenceville, Betsey Reed; Illinois' 1st female serial killer was hung.
Police Blotter - 1924, Rondout, Largest Train Robbery in US History.
Police Blotter - 1980s, Justice, Did the Cook County Sheriff Arrest, Resurrection Mary?
Police Blotter - 1992, Waukegan, Juan Rivera 20 years in prison for murder; exonerated. 
Police Blotter - 1993, Palatine, Brown's Chicken Restaurant Massacre on January 8.
Purple Hotel History in Lincolnwood, Illinois.
Racists Missed the Point of this Billboard in Justice, Illinois; September of 1991. 
 Radium Poisoning Killed Hundreds of "Ghost Girls" in Ottawa and other towns in Illinois.

Chicago Stories
There are a lot of interesting and unique topics to explore in the history of Chicago. From its early beginnings as a small settlement to its rapid growth as a major city, Chicago has seen many significant events and changes over the years.

The various fires, riots, and other incidents in Chicago offer a window into the city's history and the challenges it has faced along the way. Learning how Chicago has dealt with transportation, infrastructure, and sanitation issues is fascinating. 

Given the large number of horses that were used for transportation in the city at the time, the issue of disposing of their 1,650 tons of daily waste was a major concern. The manure vaults were one solution that was used to help manage this problem, but they were not without their own issues. Nonetheless, they were an important part of Chicago's history and the efforts to keep the city clean and healthy. Then burning your refuse in the alley wasn't a good idea either.

Your distinctive Chicago viewpoint adds depth to these articles, offering readers an invaluable and insightful experience.

Just want you to know that this website has been very helpful to me as I research my novel about Chicago in the early 1900s, a story inspired by my family history. Thanks for all these well written details. They make my story come alive in more interesting and realistic ways.                                                                                                                  ─Unknown, Jan. 12, 2024 
Bull's Head Market, Chicago's First Stockyard.
Bund leader Fritz Kuhn promised to make Germany & America great in a 1939 Chicago rally.
Cable Court, a One Block Private Street, a Turnaround for Cablecars, in Chicago.
Carmelita Pope - One of the First Ladies of Chicago Television.
Carroll Street, a little-known subterranean street, runs along the River North neighborhood.
Carter Harrison Sr., Mayor, Assassinated by Patrick Eugene Prendergast 10/28/1893
     Carter Harrison Sr., Last Speech at World's Fair before His Murder; Night of 10/28/1893
Cemetery History of Early Chicago. 
Central Station, Chicago Terminal. Also known as the Illinois Central Depot.
Clarence Buckingham and his Memorial Fountain in Chicago's Grant Park.
Charles Dickinson Inn and Tavern History in today's Portage Park Community of Chicago.
Charles "Carl" Frederick Günther, The History of Chicago's "The Candy Man."
Charles Jerold Hull, a biographical sketch of Chicago's philanthropist of Hull House fame.
Chicago's 19th-century public police force history. 
Chicago's Air Quality.
Chicago's Alley History. 
Chicago, The Stark Truth About the 1890s.
     "The Everleigh Club Illustrated." [pdf]. As a paper booklet, it's extremely rare.
Frink & Walker, Stage Line Company, started service in Chicago in 1832.
Galena & Chicago Union Railway Station at Canal and Kinzie, Chicago's first depot. 1855
General McArthur Day, April 26, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois.
Ghost Signs found in Chicago, Illinois. Over 200 are presented with sign locations.
Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab Kit, the Most Dangerous Toy in the World.
Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil, Chicago's Con-Man Extraordinaire. "The Sting" is based on Weil.
Kadish's Natatorium on the corner of Michigan Ave. & Jackson Blvd. in Chicago, 1880s.
Kalo Shop, the "leading maker" of the Arts and Crafts silver movement in Chicago.
Kate Sturges Buckingham was one of the Great Women in Chicago's History.
Keanon Kyles, a black opera singer, gets his big break after years as a night janitor.
Keeley Brewing Company of Chicago. (1876-1953)
Kit Houses - Chicago Shelter Cottages - Mass short-term house kits for 1871 Fire Victims.
Kit Houses - Harris Brothers Co. / Chicago House Wrecking Co., Chicago. (1893-1933)
Kit Houses - Lustron Homes - A mid-century attempt at future prefab houses. (1947-1950)
Kit Houses - Sears Modern Homes - History, floorplans, popular Illinois choice. (1908-1940)
     The story of my private tour of a Sears Modern Home in Carlinville, Illinois.
 "Kiosk Sphinx" built by a Chicago millionaire, a crazy house with lots of pictures to prove it.
Kolze's Electric (Amusement) Park, Chicago, Illinois.
 Kwa̱nu’sila, “The Thunder-Maker” Totem Pole. Amazing history at Addison & LSD, Chicago.
La Rabida Hospital at Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.
Reasons why Chicago's property grid system isn't completely perfect.
 Red-Light District or the Vice Districts of Chicago's Past.
Red Scare (aka the Palmer Raids) in 1919 Chicago. 
Relic House of Chicago; a Pictorial History.
Republic of Forgottonia; 16 western Illinois counties tried to secede to form a new state.
Richard J. Daley was elected to his first political office... but as a Republican in 1936.
Richard W. Sears, the Story of an American Merchant in Chicago in 1893.
Riverview Stadium; Different Stadiums at Different Times in Chicago's History. 
Robert Hall Department Store and Clothier, Chicago and Illinois Stores.  
 Rogers Park and West Ridge Communities of Chicago, their Intertwined History.
Rogers Park and West Ridge Communities Movie Houses' History in Chicago. 
Rogers Park Community of Chicago's Clark Street History.
Rogers Park Community Baseball Club and Ball Park at Devon and Clark, Chicago.