The Chicago Portage archive is available for download as a single .zip file from here. The archive includes copies of The Chicago Portage Ledger, photographs of the site, and the video "Connected Worlds: The Story of the Chicago Portage.
Furthermore, this December, we are launching a new platform for our unique digital collections.
Please take a moment to preview it and let us know what you think!


Portal to Places

The creation of Chicago can be discovered in these stories about places and how people used, and use them. 

It can be told through the stories about how the first peoples lived on this landscape and used the portage in its natural state.
It can be discovered in the stories of how the Europeans who came to Chicago "improved" nature and capitalized on its geography.
And the creation of Chicago can be found in the stories of how Chicagoan's have changed the landscape and our pathways through it.

Click on the links below to explore the Chicago Portage National Historic Site, and how the landscape of Chicago and the Portage were created.

The Chicago Portage National Historic Site

      The Chicago Portage National Historic Site

      A Historical Synopsis of the Chicago Portage


      Google Maps

Setting the Stage - The Lay of the Land

      What's a Portage?

      What waterways did this portage connect?

      How was the Chicago Portage created?

      What the glacier left behind

      The Wandering River Des Plaines

      The Map of the Chicago Portage

map of Chicago in 1830