Chicago River

County: Cook

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 41.8833, -87.6000

The North Branch and South Branch of the Chicago River rise north and south of the city, respectively. They converge in the western part of the city into a single stream, which empties into Lake Michigan near the center of the city. As Chicago grew, the river underwent several improvements, most notably the construction of a harbor at its mouth in the 1830s and the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848, which linked the South Branch to the Des Plaines River and then to the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

David M. Solzman, The Chicago River: An Illustrated History and Guide to the River and Its Waterways, 2d ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).