Thursday, May 17, 2018

Santa Fe tours of digging the Chicago Drainage Canal

Dave Arganbright posted some images with the comment:
It seems a little hard to fathom today, but in 1896 the Santa Fe’s passenger department created a detailed booklet for passengers to explore construction of the new drainage canal…as a destination.


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[Note the I&M Canal on the right.]
David Darszka commented on Dave's posting
It was considered a modern engineering wonder. There were even excursion boat tours.
Mike Savad made a water color of this photo. (source)\Scene in color 1900
Location: Roosevelt Road Bridge, Chicago IL
Come one, come all, and see the famous tour of the drainage canal. Tell your friends, and all your neighbors, you were able to see how effluence was made.
On your tour you will get to see industrial waste lands, and abandoned factories. Smell progress as its being made. It's fresh, current and just for you. Be a part of it!
You are in for a treat. Ride on calm bluish brown waters, bridges raise up just for you, get to see that, its quite interesting. You can choose to ride on top of the ship for a grand view of broken buildings and lost dreams. Or you can ride on a lower deck, and collect souvenirs floating by in the water. There is always something interesting to see in the Drainage Canal.
Dennis DeBruler Mike Savad, that bridge would be the long gone B&OCT bridge that served Grand Central Station before the river was straightened. This was north of Roosevelt Road. In the background is another lost bridge, the Metropolitan L Bridge, http://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../metropolitan-l.... Would you post the photo this is based on so that I can do further research on this B&OCT bridge?

I include these photo because of the view of the tailings mound. Bill Molony posted two photos with the comment:
These two photographs from our collection are of a very violent head-on collision that took place in the 1890's on the Santa Fe Railway in the vicinity of Lemont and Romeo.
In the background can be seen the mounds of tailings from the excavation of the Sanitary & Ship Canal that was under construction at that time.
The Santa Fe was still single-tracked in this area at the time of this collision, and wasn't double-tracked until about 1910 or so.
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This is the bobtail (offset swing) bridge that BSNF/Santa Fe now uses to cross the canal. Note that the drainage canal became an important commercial waterway when the 9-foot channel project was finished in the 1930s. That is why today's name is the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Unlike many areas in the Chicagoland area, industry is still exists along this canal. The edge I'm standing on is the dolostone that they first discovered in Lemont when they dug the Illinois & Michigan Canal. There are several abandoned quarries in Lemont because tehy provided dolostone for buildings until the beds around Bedford, IN were discovered.
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