Thursday, May 17, 2018

MWRD: 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.






[Note the I&M Canal on the right.]

There is even more photos in Views of Chicago Drainage Canal as seen along the Santa Fe route.

Once again, I'm reminded that people didn't have radio, TV, video games, etc. for entertainment back then.
MWRD posted
When the MWRD built the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in the 1890s, the construction areas were popular sightseeing destinations. This cyanotype print shows a group of visitors taking a ride on a hopper 95-feet above the excavation of the canal in 1895. 
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, Would you post the photo this is based on so that I can do further research on this B&OCT bridge?

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 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 they provided dolostone for buildings until the beds around Bedford, IN were discovered.
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