With this web site we invite you to explore the past, in order to more fully experience the present. This site deals with a time before Chicago grew its big shoulders and before its grand buildings arose; a time when one could stand
on the lake dunes and gaze west across a prairie stretching to the horizon.
With luck or by chance, clouds of passenger pigeons might pass overhead,
darkening the sky.

This site offers something new to anyone who wants to learn about the origins and early history of Chicago. Our main focus has been the period prior to 1835, a pivotal year, during which the native Americans were forcefully escorted west beyond the Mississippi, and the local language and customs had just swung decisively from French/Indian to English. Results of recent historical research have been incorporated wherever possible. In this we have appreciated the help of Chicago scholar John F. Swenson.

We entreat those who love Chicago to glance backward and share our fascination in the rendezvous.

“The air was literally filled ….. the light of noon-day was obscured as by an eclipse, as passenger pigeons passed overhead a billion strong in 1813.” [John James Audubon]