At the start of the 19th century Chicago was under attach. Fort Dearborn (built in 1803) came under attack by British forces and its inhabitants were killed or taken prisoner. It wasn't until 1818 that the fort was rebuilt and used into the late 1830s. In 1829 the population of Chicago was less than 100. The town was officially recognized in 1830 after the filing of the recognition of the municipality known as Chicago. Three years later Chicago was incorporated.
It was the area's rich farmland that attracted settlers and real estate operators were responsible for the overnight growth of the city. Farmlands grew as fast as the city and roads were built to enable hundreds of wagon shipments to enter the city every day.
Chicago became a shipping hub in 1848 when the Illinois and Michigan Canal was opened, creating clear access from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and down to the Gulf of Mexico. The same year the canal was opened the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad was completed. These new additions to the city -also including its roads and air travel- made Chicago the transportation hub of the US. National retailers would be the next entrepreneurs to take advantage of Chicago's perks, offering a new kind of shopping to consumers- catalog shopping.
In 1886 (the year our Chicago map was made) an immigrant landscape designer named Jens Jensen came to town and helped rebuild the city after the devastating Great Chicago Fire that burned approximately 18,000 buildings.
Once the city was seeing better days Chicago put on the most influential world's fair in history, bringing in over 27 million visitors. From there things began to look up once more for Chicago. The rise of industry and commerce were just around the corner. Expansion took to the streets and the skies making Chicago what it is today; one of the most populated cities in America.
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