The One Minute Geographer: The Chicago Portage and the ‘Everglades of the North’ at South Bend

Jim Fonseca
5 min readJan 29, 2024
Sections of the Illinois Waterway near Chicago. Map from “Geology, hydrology, water quality…” by Robert T. Kay, Patrick C. Mills and P. Ryan Jackson on researchgate.net

In our previous posts we looked at the Fall Line and portage paths in the Southern U.S. and along the Great Lakes in Erie and Akron. We’ll finish with a look at how portage paths encouraged early settlement in Chicago, South Bend Indiana and Wisconsin.

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Jim Fonseca

Geography professor (retired) writes The One Minute Geographer featuring This Fragile Earth. Top writer in Transportation and, in past months, Travel.