Chicagology (pronounced shə-kä-goh-OL-luh-jee) is a study of Chicago history with a focus on the period prior to the Second World War. The purpose of the site is to document common and not so common stories about the City of Chicago as they are discovered. It is not intended to be a nostalgia site nor to collect info in order to promote services or products of any kind.
Research is a never-ending journey of discovery. Information posted here is constantly being revised with either additional or corrected information. Therefore, the site is in a constant growth and change state. However, browsing through Chicagology is like flipping the pages of a book. You can visit any section or page at random, yet have no difficulty in knowing where you are.
I hope that you enjoy your visit and welcome any input that you want to offer—good or bad. The intent is to provide each visitor with a pleasant ad-free experience and to ignite a flame that discovering history is just as exciting as living it.
1850-1871 Pre-Fire Chicago – A large collection of photographs to recreate a vision of what the city looked like at this time.
1871 Chicago Fire – A section devoted to the cause and aftermath of the Great Fire.
1872-1879 Rebuilding of Chicago – A collection of the first buildings built after the Great Fire.
1880-1900 Golden Age of Chicago – A collection of the buildings that included the dawn of the skyscraper.
1893 World’s Fair – The biggest event of the 19th century was held in Chicago and the White City was born.
1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair – The second World’s Fair held in Chicago celebrated her first hundred years.
Century of Progress Gallery
History of the Century of Progress
Robert & Peggy – Twelve part series of children visiting the Century of Progress exposition.
1933 Aida – A special performance of Aida at Soldiers’ Field.
1940 The New Deal – Article from the Chicago Tribune detailing the buildings lost to the wrecking ball due to the 1933 New Deal.
Baseball – Take a trip to a bygone era where the Cubs were called the White Stockings and had to miss two seasons because a fire in 1871 destroyed their uniforms.
Bicycling – Before the automobile, the bicycle was the new mode of individual transportation and Chicago played a major role.
Biographical essays on some of the first pioneers of Chicago.
John H. Kinzie
Gordon Saltonstall Hubbard
W. D. Kerfoot
Charles D. Peacock
John T. Pirie
Mrs. Bertha Palmer Sr.
George M. Pullman
Camp Douglas – A Civil War prison of war camp that at one time was the setting of an event that could have changed the outcome of the war.
Central Manufacturing District – The story of the first planned manufacturing district in the United States.
Cemeteries – Chicago is the home to four of the oldest cemeteries in a large city.
Chicago Streets – Articles about the street numbering logic as well as who her early streets were named after and why.
Chicago Courthouses – A brief history of the seven Chicago courthouses.
Chicago Golf Club – A brief history of the one of the most important golf clubs in the United States
Chicago Harbor – Articles pertaining to the history of the harbors and life along the Chicago River.
City Hall V—1873-1874
City Hall VI—1886-1897
Chicago Public Library—1897-1991
Harold Washington Library—1991-Present
Chicago Libraries—A brief sketch of the libraries in Chicago written in 1895.
Chicago Newspapers – A complete family tree directory of all the Chicago Newspapers. Organized by each successive owner by date.
Chicago Police Department – A brief history of the Chicago Police Department plus several articles on the Chicago Police Department.
The Chicagoan – Covers of the short run The Chicagoan social magazine that was published in 1926
Fort Dearborn – The fort that started it all.
Notorious Chicago – A collection of stories that made up Chicago’s notorious past.
Population & Ward Maps – A complete set of charts that indicate each ward’s boundaries during Chicago’s early years.
Raising Chicago – Article describing how the citizens of Chicago got its town out of the mud.
Seal of Chicago – A brief description of the Seal of Chicago.
Sporting Goods Capital — With names like Spalding, Wilson, Brunswick, Schwinn, and Kiefer, Chicago has been home to many of the most recognizable brands in sporting goods manufacturing.
Tallest Buildings — Tables that show the history of the tallest buildings in the United States and Chicago
Theatres of Chicago — A comprehensive list of the the theatres and music houses that existed in pre-1900 Chicagp.
Civic Opera House – A description of the new Civic Opera House written at the time of its opening in 1929.
Civic Opera’s First Season, 1922-23
Chicago Symphony Orchestra — A short history on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Hall, written in 1929 by CSO conductor Frederk Stock.
The Mikado in Chicago
Union Stock Yards—History of the Union Stock Yards.
Union Stock Yards—Description of the new stock yards as published in Chicago Illustrated, September, 1866
Hough House (Transient House)—Description of the Hough House Hotel as published in Chicago Illustrated, September, 1866
A Day at the Union Stockyard—An article that was published in the July 1907 issue of “Chicago The Great Central Market Magazine.” It was possibly written as a PR piece to combat Upton Sinclair’s exposé “The Jungle,” which was published as a book on February 26, 1906.
1910 Union Stock Yards Fire.
1934 Union Stock Yards Fire.
Chicagology was created on March 17, 2003