Strategically placed on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago has always been an important transportation and trading hub. Early Native American settlers discovered Chicago's rich resources, French missionaries and trappers found the Chicago River an excellent portage to the Des Plaines, Illinois, and Mississippi Rivers, and merchants used it to ship lumber and grain to the rest of the world.
"Maritime Chicago" tells the story of the city situated on the great "inland sea." From the thrill of two lakefront World's Fairs, to the unbelievable sorrow of the "Eastland", which went down just a few feet from the banks of the Chicago River, taking with it 800 souls, Chicago's maritime past bears witness to much triumph and tragedy, victory and defeat. Today, the 29 miles of lakefront, and the revived riverfront are virtual parts of the economy in the recreation of Chicago.
Theodore J. Karamanski and Deane Tank, Sr. have gathered these fascinating images, mainly from the collections of the Chicago Maritime Society. Browsing through the pages of the insightful new book, the reader is taken on an unforgettable journey through an essential but little-known aspect of the history of this all-American city.