Map of Chicago
Chicago shortly after the Civil War.
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It can hardly be suspected that the city of Chicago was less than four decades old at the time of this map’s publication in 1867. Limits extend from Egan Avenue in the south to Fullarton (sic) in the north and (appropriately) Western Avenue in the west.
In addition to street names and railroads, the map identifies a variety of fascinating contemporary details from pre-fire Chicago. The lake tunnel extending to the Two Mile Crib was completed the same year of publication and was connected to the waterworks onshore. The iconic limestone pump which can still be seen today wouldn’t be constructed for another two years.
Lincoln Park, one of the city’s finest, is labeled as the Chicago Cemetery. Despite an ordinance passed in 1864 banning further burials, thousands of Confederate soldiers who died as POWs at Camp Davis were interred there. Many of their corpses were moved to Oak Woods Cemetery (Jackson Park) in 1867, and two years later, the land was acquired by the new Lincoln Park Commission.
Further details include the Brighton Trotting Park (lower right), established by Mayor ‘Long’ John Wentworth in 1855, and the first courthouse at Chicago and La Salle (a casualty of the 1871 blaze). Despite being completed two years prior to publication, the map makes no mention of the Union Stockyards.
The map was published and lithographed in Chicago by Edward Mendel in 1867 and was designed to accompany A Guide to the City of Chicago by T. Ellwood Zell & Company. The guidebook is included and contains nearly 200 pages of information, advertisements, and illustrations. Notable examples include views of Chicago from 1830 and 1868, the University of Chicago, and the Sherman House Hotel.
Numerous annotations in pencil connect each place to a former owner, with inscriptions such as ‘one block from our home’, custom building labels, and more. A wonderful snapshot of Chicago before it was devastated by the Great Fire.
Publication Date: 1867
Author: Edward Mendel
Sheet Width (in): 10.5
Sheet Height (in): 15.6
Condition Description: Former 6" tear in the lower left has been professionally repaired, though a bit of an offset remains within the image remains and there is slight discoloration along the former seam. A few light pencil marks and faint discoloration in the upper right corner. Otherwise in very good condition overall - cleaned and flattened.
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