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!


Chicago Portage Day 2024


On Saturday, August 10th, celebrate Chicago's origins at the Chicago Portage National Historic Site with a day of storytelling, tours, exhibits, and educational family fun. The event will be free to the public and open from 10 am to 3 pm. in Portage Woods Forest Preserve at 4800 S. Harlem, Lyons.
351 years ago this summer the French Explorer Louis Jolliet and Jesuit Missionary Jacques Marquette were led to the portage between the Des Plaines River and the South Branch of the Chicago River by Native Americans. They were the first Europeans to pass through the ancient Chicago Portage and write about it.
Their accounts of their discovery of an easy passage between the Great Lakes and Mississippi watersheds led to the creation of Chicago. Learn about the history of their journey and the many stories of the Chicago Portage at Portage Day 2024.
Tours, activities, demonstrations and exhibits will be offered by the National Park Service, Cook County Forest Preserves, Friends of the Chicago Portage, the Illinois State Archeological Survey and Friends of the Forest Preserves.
Explore Chicago's only National Historic Site, its cultural significance, and the amazing history of Chicago.
FREE INTERPRETIVE TOURS at 10am, 12 noon and 1:30pm.
The Story of Jolliet and Marquette at 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm
The Illinois State Archeological Survey will have artifact displays, a ground stone tool technology demonstration and activities for children.
Friends of the Forest Preserves will lead short walks in Portage Woods to search for mushrooms and demostrate various volunteer workday activities.
For more event, media and sponsorship information and exhibitor registration contact:
Gary Mechanic
Friends of the Chicago Portage
773-590-0710 (8a - 8p only please)



Statue of Jolliet, Marquette and their Native American guide
Meet a fur trader
Meet Jolliet and Father Marquette!