Friends of the Chicago Portage

The Chicago Portage has always been a Portal from one place and time to another.

Please visit our new expanded and mobile friendly website @

Teachers Explorers The Chicago Portage Friends of the Chicago Portage

The Chicago Portage National Historic Site - Site History

Friends of the Chicago Portage

Teachers - Download Swamp to City a curricula that helps teachers and their students explore the early history of Chicago.
- Source documents & images



2015 Lecture Series

The Women of Early Chicago

Friends of the Chicago Portage will present three free public lectures by an accomplished storyteller, actress and author and about the roles women played in the development of Chicago and the Midwest.

A fourth presentation will bring the "Portage Days" actors indoors as they present a full dress public rehearsal for the Spring Portage Days event the following weekend.

All lectures will be presented on the first Saturday of January, February, March and April. All presentations will begin at 1pm and end before 3pm.


Portage Planning...the Future of the Past!

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is currently planning improvements to the facilities, new interpretive signage and trail enhancements
in Portage Woods Forest Preserve. A link to the latest plan document is here. ( ).

The work of Friends of the Chicago Portage over the last twelve years has raised the visibility of the site not only in the eyes of
the general public, but in the view of the site owner; the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. It is now identified as one of
the District's six priority sites that qualify for custom improvements (other than the standard shelter, outhouse, etc.).


The Portage Ledger is On-Line!

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Beginning in January of 2000 Phil Vierling began publishing his "Chicago Portage Ledger". Now Carnegie Mellon University has digitized
the entire 11 volume collection of Phil's original research and documentation of the stories of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site.
The collection is searchable and available on-line at:


Friends of the Chicago Portage

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Read about our DVD documentary about the Chicago Portage:

"Connecting Worlds, The Story of the Chicago Portage"

Updated: February 16, 2015