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2014 Lecture Series

The Earliest Chicagoan's

We're moving our annual lecture series to the late winter and spring (when we're not doing the tours on-site).
The 2013/14 Friends of the Chicago Portage Lecture Series  will bring to life the lives of "The Earliest Chicagoan's".
Here are the dates, topics and presenters....mark your calendar now!

Nov. 30, 2013 - "Searching for Marquette" by Ruth Nelson

Feb. 22, 2014  "The Life of John Kinzie" by Jerry Garrett

Mar. 29, "A Walk Around Early Chicago with E.O. Gale" by Gary Mechanic

Apr. 26, "William Butler Ogden, the Canal Building Mayor" by Lou Ritten

May 31, "Gurdon S. Hubbard, the Swiftwalker" by Jeff Carter

All presentations are at the Village of Lyons Community Center located at 4200 S. Lawndale Avenue in Lyons.
All presentations will begin at 1pm and will end before 3pm. Groups should RSVP by calling
Jeff at 312-771-6855. Light refreshments will be served.

 


 

Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 at 1pm

"Searching for Marquette"
by Ruth Nelson

Rediscover the life and legacy of the 17th Century French Jesuit explorer, Father Jacques Marquette, who was considered by many as Chicago's “founder.”

Author and Friends of the Chicago Portage member Ruth Nelson will discuss her new book about the mission that brought Marquette to Chicago, and how Chicagoans, in turn, claimed his as their own.

Presented at the Village of Lyons Community Center located at 4200 S. Lawndale Avenue in Lyons

 

 

 

Presented by Friends of the Chicago Portage member Ruth Nelson. Ruth received her MA in Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For her thesis research on the Marquette Building in Chicago, she received the Corning Museum of Glass Rakow Research Grant in 2005. Her main area of interest is American art.

 

"There is no picture of John Kinzie. His family said that he looked so much like George Canning, British Prime Minister around 1800 that after Kinzie's death they kept a picture of Canning around, to remind them of their late relative."
from Ulrich Danckers, January 25, 2002.)


Portrait of George Canning (1770-1827)

 

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at 1pm

"The Life of John Kinzie"
by Jerry Garrett

Follow the life of one of Chicago's earliest residents. John Kinzie was a silversmith, trader, a US Indian Agent, and perhaps, a British spy and Chicago's first murderer.

Presented at the Village of Lyons Community Center located at 4200 S. Lawndale Avenue in Lyons

 

 

Presented by Jerry Garrett.

 

   

Saturday, Mar. 29, 2014 at 1pm

"A Walk Around Chicago in 1835 with E.O. Gale"
by Gary Mechanic

The Gale family arrived in Chicago on the schooner Illinois on May 25, 1835. The next day young Edwin Gale took a walk around the town:
"What strikes us especially on going out is the entire absence of streets, of which, properly so called, there is not one, no, not even a ditch to mark the roads. Moreover, there is nothing to indicate where they ultimately will be, save the surveyor's stakes. And, as there are no streets, so there are no sidewalks."

Gale was born in 1832 and lived in Chicago and Oak Park until his death in 1913! Gary Mechanic presents stories from E. O. Gale's long life as one of Chicago's earliest residents and businessmen.

Presented at the Village of Lyons Community Center located at 4200 S. Lawndale Avenue in Lyons

  Presented by Friends of the Chicago Portage member and Tour Guide Gary Mechanic.
 

 

 

Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 1pm

"William Butler Ogden, The Canal Building Mayor"
by Lou Ritten

William Ogden first arrived in Chicago June 1835 to handle his brother-in-law`s real estate investments. Less than two years later he became the 1st mayor of the new City of Chicago. He built the first railroad into the city in 1848 and cut the Ogden Slip and Ogden Canal (which created Goose Island). An early Chicago real estate genius, Ogden and his family bought and in part, preserved large tracts of land around the west end of the old Portage Road which today make up parts of Portage and Ottawa Trail Woods Forest Preserves.

Presented at the Village of Lyons Community Center located at 4200 S. Lawndale Avenue in Lyons.

 

Presented by Friends of the Chicago Portage member, Tour Guide, author and amateur historian Lou Ritten.

 

 

 

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 1pm

"Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard"
by Jeff Carter

Join Jeff Carter for the story of a remarkable but nevertheless little known “city father” of our area, settler and explorer, Gurdon Hubbard.

Hubbard first came through Chicago in September 1818 as a 16 year old apprentice of the American Fur Company. He moved to our town in January of 1834 and was one of it's leading citizens until his death in 1886.

Hubbard could count as friends both Indians of our early period as well as later industrialists and captains of industry, and he literally bridged the gap between the primitive fur trade and the modern city. Upon his death, as the city's population neared one million, Hubbard could easily have heard about plans for the Colombian Exposition!


 

Presented by Friends of the Chicago Portage President and Tour Guide Jeff Carter.

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