History of Chicago
This marshy area where the Chicago River flowed into Lake Michigan was inhabited around eleven thousand years ago, when the ice sheets retreated north after the end of the last Ice Age leaving the Great Lakes in their wake.
More recently, the Native American Potawatomi tribe lived in the region and trekked across a short gap or "continental divide" between the Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers.
When the French explorers reached the area in 1673, rowing upstream along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers their native guides showed them the portage point.
Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to use it. The portage was a muddy slough 8 mi. long (13 km). La Salle explored the area later and realized its strategic importance and recommended establishing an outpost here.
After a war with England, France ceded the territories in the 1750s, and shortly after it became part of the U.S., following its independence from Britain. The Indians ceded the mouth of the Chicago River to the US by the Treaty of Greenville (1795), in 1803, U.S. soldiers erected fort Dearborn at the river's mouth, rebuilt it in 1816 (the natives had burned it down during the War of 1812).
In 1818, this territory incorporated into the Union as the state of Illinois. There was trading along the portage, but the roads were terrible. Chicago was platted in 1829 and incorported in 1833.
Cook County was created in 1835 and named after Daniel Pope Cook (1794 - 1827) newspaper editor and politician, he was the first Attorney General of Illinois, and later a congressman.
Cook County is the second-most populous county in America after Los Angeles County.
Dearborn Fort closed in 1837. The previous year construction began on the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which was completed in 1848.
The town grew as a trade crossroads, a hub linking the north, the Mississippi, the Great Lakes and the east Coast. The Railroads in the mid 1800s fueled its growth and made it the gateway to the west.
The city burned down during the Great Chicago Fire in Oct. 1871, that killed over 300 people and razed 3.3 square miles (900 ha) of the city leaving 100,000 people homeless.
You can get to Chicago driving along Historic Route 66 or I-55, from the freeway exit at Exit 283 There are other freeways in the area (I-355, I-290, I-57, I-90, I-94 and I-88) US 34, US 20 and US 45 also bring you to Chicago.
The Lou Mitchell's Story 94 Years Later, We’re Still the Best for Great Food and Fun! Uncle Lou’s father started the Chicago family diner in 1923 specializing in breakfast, brunch, and lunch dishes. The family restaurant was later turned over to his son, Lou Mitchell. Enough fresh eggs have been cracked, made into omelets, cooked in skillets and sold for breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s to go side-by-side more than a few times around the world. We’ve poured enough cups of our signature coffee to fill the Chicago River and our delicious pancakes could fill Wrigley field. And to think, it all started with one man’s food dream in Illinois. The man was “Uncle” Lou Mitchell. His graciousness, friendliness, hospitality and consistent quality, soon had droves of hungry Chicago diners standing in line not only for breakfast but also one of his famous home-cooked lunch specials and fresh char-grilled burgers. The fun part of Lou Mitchell’s magic formula was added one day in 1958 when the restaurant began offering breakfast diners donut holes. A tradition was set in place and since that day, millions of donut holes and boxes of milk duds have been given out to our fabulous customers. The news of this spectacular diner spread quickly and patrons flocked from all around the world to try Lou Mitchell’s homemade food: England, France, Germany, and Italy...patrons traveled miles to see the signature Chicago restaurant. Today Lou Mitchell’s is not only a classic Chicago icon, but our food is recognized both nationally and internationally with endless accolades. Among the list are USA Today, American Way, newspapers, magazines, food critics, television. “It’s a must see place.”
565 W. Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60661-5701
Tel: (312) 939-3111