31 Aug WALK THE LINE – Commemorating The 200th Anniversary of The Indian Boundary Line
Three cultural walks showcased multiple layers of Chicago’s history and city development still visible in neighborhood urban fabric.
On Sunday, August 28, 2016, a group of more than 50 Chicagoans participated in WALK THE LINE – cultural walks and neighborhood tours that commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Indian Boundary Line. Cultural tours along the neighborhood streets of Jefferson Park, Forest Glen and Sauganash, were guided by Good City Group team members. Urban planner and urban design advisor with the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning, Benet Haller, led the Jefferson Park tour. Architect and faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Odile Compagnon, led the tours of Forest Glen and Sauganash.
We were delighted that our WALK THE LINE event drew so many cultural history enthusiasts, many of whom are long-time residents of these neighborhoods. Along the walks, many also contributed their knowledge of local history and memories of earlier eras and community landmarks. We also welcomed 5 visitors – hailing from the nearby western suburbs, and as far away as California, Maryland, and Indiana! Each tour had between 20-25 participants – with about a dozen participants who accompanied us for two or all three of the walks.
We were also thrilled that Alderman Laurino joined us for the cultural walk in Sauganash. This well preserved residential area is a city treasure of architectural history from 1920-1950, and designated on the National Register of Historic Places.
More about the 200th anniversary of the Indian Boundary Line
The Indian Boundary Line ran along Rogers Avenue on the Far Northwest Side and resulted from the U.S. Treaty of Saint Louis. The 1816 treaty, which several Native-American tribes signed, ceded a 20-mile corridor of land to the United States, and it was intended to provide safe passage to those traveling from Chicago to the Illinois River. The land north of the Indian Boundary Line remained a Native-American reserve for several more decades, while the city’s development grew south of the line.
A commemorative plaque marking the site of the “Treaty Elm”, purportedly the site where the 1833 Treaty of Chicago was proclaimed. The elm tree that stood in this location was a local attraction until it was removed because of Dutch Elm disease in 1933.