Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : Water in Chicago
Essay: People and the Port
Photo Essays:
Solitary Lives
City of Bridges
Chicago Harbors
Essay: Using the Chicago River
Photo Essays:
Goose Island
Indiana Dunes
Essay: Sanitation in Chicago
Photo Essays:
The Sanitary and Ship Canal
Water-Related Epidemics
Essay: Water and Urban Life
Photo Essays:
Houses and Water
Shoreline Development
Growing Up Along Water
Growing up along the Water

Children have taken advantage of water in Chicago in all seasons and across its history. For children, lakes, rivers, and streams were more than a source of drinking water, an industrial sewer, or an economic highway. They have been places of play, recreation, and relaxation in all seasons. Children fished, explored, and swam along the water’s edge, as well as into the lake or river in boats (and on skates in the winter). Some of these activities were organized and directed by adults, like summer camps and lessons, while others were spontaneous activities instigated by children themselves. As the region grew and expanded, more of these waterfront sites were put into economic use while pollution despoiled others. This reduced, but did not eliminate, the opportunities for play. Park districts, both within Chicago and in suburban areas, built places for children to swim, boat, and fish within their bounds.

Photo Essay Sections:

Recollecting childhood experiences
swimming in the lakes and streams
swimming at pools and lagoons
Ice skating
other winter water sports