The voyageurs were French Canadians who engaged in the transporting of furs by canoe during the fur trade years. The emblematic meaning of the term applies to places and times where transportation of materials was over long distances; this major and challenging task of the fur trading business was done by canoe and by French Canadians. The term in its fur trade context applied, at a lesser extent, to other fur trading activities. Being a voyageur included being a part of a licensed, organized effort, one of the distinctions that set them apart from the coureurs des bois. Additionally, they were set apart from engagés, who were much smaller merchants and general laborers. Immigrants, engagés were men who were obliged to go anywhere and do anything their masters told them as long as their indentureship was still in place; until their contract expired, engagés were at the full servitude of their master, most a voyageur. Less than fifty percent of engagés whose contracts ended chose to remain in New France.
The voyageurs were regarded as legendary in French Canada. They were heroes celebrated in music. For reasons of promised celebrity status and wealth, this position was coveted. James H. Baker was once told by an unnamed retired voyageur: I could carry, paddle and sing with any man I saw. I have been twenty-four years a canoe man, forty-one years in service. I have saved the lives of ten voyageurs, have had six running dogs. I spent all of my money in pleasure. Were I young again, I would spend my life the same way over. There is no life so happy as a voyageur's life! Despite the fame surrounding the voyageur, their life was one of toil and not nearly as glorious as folk tales make it out to be. For example, they had to be able to carry two 90-pound bundles of fur over portage; some carried up to four or five, there is a report of a voyageur carrying seven for half of a mile. Hernias were common and caused death. Most voyageurs would start working when they were twenty-two and they would continue working until they were in their sixties.
They never made enough money to consider an early retirement from what was a physically grueling lifestyle. Europeans traded alongside the coast of North America with Native Americans; the early fur trade with Native Americans, which developed alongside the coasts of North America, was not limited to the beaver. Beavers were not valued and people preferred "fancy fur" or "fur, used with or on the pelt; the fur trade was viewed as secondary to fishing during this era. The earliest North American fur trading did not include long distance transportation of the furs after they were obtained by trade with the First Nations. Soon, coureurs des bois achieved business advantages by travelling deeper into the wilderness and trading there. By 1681, the King of France decided to control the traders by publishing an edict that banned fur and pelt trading in New France; as the trading process moved deeper into the wilderness, transportation of the furs became a larger part of the fur trading business process.
The authorities began a process of issuing permits. Those travellers associated with the canoe transportation part of the licensed endeavour became known as voyageurs, a term which means "traveler" in French; the fur trade was thus controlled by a small number of Montreal merchants. New France began a policy of expansion in an attempt to dominate the trade. French influence extended west and south. Forts and trading posts were built with the help of traders. Treaties were negotiated with native groups, fur trading became profitable and organized; the system became complex, the voyageurs, many of whom had been independent traders became hired laborers. By the late 1600s, a trade route through and beyond the Great lakes had been opened; the Hudson's Bay Company opened in 1670. The North West Company opened in 1784, exploring as far north as Lake Athabasca; the American Fur Company and operated by John Jacob Astor was founded in 1808. This company, by 1830, grew to control the American fur industry. In the late 1700s, demand in Europe grew for marten, lynx and beaver furs, expanding the trade, adding thousands to the ranks of voyageurs.
From the beginning of the fur trade in the 1680s until the late 1870s, the voyageurs were the blue-collar workers of the Montreal fur trade. At their height in the 1810s, they numbered as many as three thousand. For the most part, voyageurs were the crews hired to man the canoes that carried trade goods and supplies to trading locations where they were exchanged for furs, "rendezvous posts", they transported the furs back to Lachine near Montreal, also to points on the route to Hudson Bay. Some voyageurs stayed in the back country over the winter and transported the trade goods from the posts to farther-away French outposts; these men were known as the hivernants. They helped negotiate trade in native villages. In the spring they would carry furs from these remote outposts back to the rendezvous posts. Voyageurs served as guides for explorers; the majority of these canoe men we
Calumet City, Illinois
Calumet City is a city in Cook County, United States. The population was 37,042 at the 2010 census, a decline of 5.2% from 2000. The ZIP code is 60409. Calumet City was founded in 1893 when the villages of Schrumville and Sobieski Park merged under the name of West Hammond, since it lies on the west side of the Illinois-Indiana line from Hammond, Indiana. In 1924, West Hammond became Calumet City after its citizens voted to change the name in 1923. In addition to being bordered to the east by Hammond, it is bordered by Burnham and Chicago to the north, Lansing to the south, South Holland and Dolton to the west, it has a flag but no digital image of it. A landmark and point of pride among Cal City residents is the pair of large water towers painted like the popular "Have a Nice Day" smiley faces. Located on Ring Road near River Oaks Mall, the other State Street near I 94 Calumet City is located at 41°36′51″N 87°32′47″W. According to the 2010 census, Calumet City has a total area of 7.314 square miles, of which 7.19 square miles is land and 0.124 square miles is water.
As of the 2010 census, there were 37,042 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 20.4% White, 71.9% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 8.1% from other races, with 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.0% of the population, including 13.4% of Mexican descent. There were 13,978 households, out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.8% were husband-wife families, 27.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 35.2% were non-families. 38.8% Of all households had individuals under 18 years and 25.9% housed someone 65 years of age or older. 12.6% were people over 65 years of age living alone. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.35. In the city, the age distribution of the population was 28.2% under the age of 18, 60.1% from 18-65 and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.1 years.
For every 100 females, there were 85.2 males. According to the 2015 American Community Survey The median income for a household in the city was $38,557, the median income for a family was $49,086. Full-time, year-round male workers had a median income of $43,494 versus $39,573 for females; the per capita income for the city was $19,483. About 19.2% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line in the past 12 months, including 33.9% of those under age 18 and 13.9% of those age 65 or over. 51.9% were employed, 12.9% were unemployed. Calumet City has a Mayor-Council type government; the City has 7 Wards. Calumet City is in Illinois' 2nd congressional district. Landon Cox, drafted to Cincinnati Bengals, July 28, 2011 Arline M. Fantin, Illinois state representative Frank Giglio, Illinois state representative John Jurkovic, defensive lineman for several NFL teams, his family moved from Chicago to Calumet City and he attended Thornton Fractional Township North High School. Calumet City is mentioned in a number of major movies.
John Belushi's "Joliet Jake" and Dan Aykroyd's "Elwood" characters from The Blues Brothers were born in Calumet City, so is the orphanage they grew up in which they save "on a mission from God" by paying $5,000 in property taxes from a $10,000 record deal at their concert, as well as "Ray's Music Exchange" that holds the famed Ray Charles "Shake Your Tail-Feather" scene of the movie. In the book and film The Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill is thought to be hiding in Calumet City, when he is in Belvedere, Ohio; the Calumet City scenes in the film were filmed in Pittsburgh, however. Lily Tomlin's prim but assertive housewife/spokesperson "Mrs. Judith Beasley" is said to be a resident of Calumet City, she said, "Hi. I am not an actress, but a real person like yourself." Calumet City is referenced by a number of popular music acts. The Black Crowes included a video of the Smiley Towers in their 1990 video for "Hard to Handle". A photograph of the "Dolton" smiley water tower is featured on the back of the Dead Kennedys album Plastic Surgery Disasters.
Rapper Twista has referenced Calumet City. Kanye West's reference to Calumet in his 2005 song "Drive Slow" does not refer to Calumet City, but rather to Calumet High School, located in the South Side of Chicago and not in Calumet City; the Smiley Tower is featured in the movie Natural Born Killers. In the Nine Inch Nails music video on the director's cut of the same film, the Smiley Tower and Dolton Avenue/State Street is featured; the founders of the Calumet Baking Powder Company adopted its brand name from the original Native American word for the land that became Calumet City. They named one of thoroughbred horse racing's most famed and successful enterprises, Calumet Farm, after the company. In 2004, Alan Keyes purchased a raised ranch house in Calumet City to establish residency in Illinois so he could run for the U. S. Senate in place of Jack Ryan against Barack Obama
Blue Island, Illinois
Blue Island is a city in Cook County, located 16 miles south of Chicago's Loop. Blue Island is adjacent to the city of Chicago and shares its northern boundary with that city's Morgan Park neighborhood; the population was 23,706 at the 2010 United States Census. Blue Island was established in the 1830s as a way station for settlers traveling on the Vincennes Trace, the settlement prospered because it was conveniently situated a day's journey outside of Chicago; the late-nineteenth-century historian and publisher Alfred T. Andreas made the following observation regarding the appearance of the young community in History of Cook County Illinois, "The location of Blue Island Village is a beautiful one. Nowhere about Chicago is there to be found a more pleasant and desirable resident locality."Since its founding, the city has been an important commercial center in the south Cook County region, although its position in that respect has been eclipsed in recent years as other significant population centers developed around it and the region's commercial resources became spread over a wider area.
In addition to its broad long-standing industrial base, the city enjoyed notable growth in the 1840s during the construction of the feeder canal for the Illinois and Michigan Canal and as the center of a large brick-making industry beginning in the 1850s, which gave Blue Island the status of brick-making capitol of the world. Beginning in 1883, Blue Island was host to the car shops of the Rock Island Railroad. Blue Island was home to several breweries, who used the east side of the hill to store their product before the advent of refrigeration, until the Eighteenth Amendment made these breweries illegal in 1919. A large regional hospital and two major clinics are located in the city. Although settled by "Yankee" stock, Blue Island has been the point of entry for many of America's immigrants, beginning in the 1840s with the arrival of a large German population that remained a prominent part of the city's ethnic makeup for many years. By 1850, half of Blue Island's population was either foreign-born or the children of foreign-born residents.
Significant groups came from Italy, Poland and Mexico. The city is one of eleven incorporated areas in Illinois to have been designated by the White House as a "Preserve America" community. Norman Rexford came to Chicago from Charlotte, Vermont in 1835 and in 1836 became the first permanent settler of Blue Island when he established the Blue Island House near the intersection of present-day Western Avenue and Gregory Street just north of the Western Avenue bridge. Before Rexford built the Blue Island House he had constructed a four-room log cabin in the wilderness at the north end of the Blue Island ridge that he intended as a tavern for wayfarers, but after a year realized that the place was not to be profitable for him and began to look for another site where he might have more success. Although farther from Fort Dearborn and the settlement at Chicago by about 3 miles, the new inn was better situated because it was located on the Wabash Road, a part of the Vincennes trail that went from Chicago to Vincennes, Indiana.
It was larger and more refined than Rexford's previous venture, being a two-and-a half-story white frame building that had various outbuildings to accommodate the needs of his guests. Because it was a day's journey from Chicago, within a few years the inn became the nucleus for a group of businesses that catered to the soldiers and other travelers who arrived by stagecoach or otherwise frequented the Vincennes trail. Events hosted by the inn lasted until the small hours of the morning, requiring an overnight stay before guests returned the next morning to their homes and places of business in Chicago and the hinterland. Through the 1970s, Blue Island's central business district was regarded as an important regional commercial center, with stores such as Woolworth's, Kline's, Montgomery Ward and Steak'n Shake. Today, downtown Blue Island is better known for its antique stores, art galleries, ethnic delicatessens and fine dining. Much of this shift in business activity has been brought on by "big box" development outside of town that space constraints make it impossible for uptown to accommodate.
However, several local businesses have served the area for generations: DeMar's Restaurant, for example, opened its doors in 1950. In the 21st century, the city and a dedicated group of volunteers, working with the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago and the Center for Neighborhood Technology devised the Blue Island Plan for Economic Development, which addresses not only the commercial expansion of the historic uptown business district, but the continued improvement of the housing stock and industrial base; the Blue Island Opera House was built by Blue Island's first mayor John L. Zacharias to replace the Robinson Block, destroyed by the Great Blue Island Fire of that year; the opera house was host to vaudeville and repertoire shows until 1913, when it became the Grand Theater and a venue for motion pictures. In years the building was home to the Blue Island Sun-Standard newspaper and Kline's Department Store. Although the auditorium has been remodeled out of existence, the building, with its award-winning exterior restoration, today provides both commercial and office space to the historic "uptown" district.
The building has been designated as a landmark by the Blue Island Historic Prese
Highland, Lake County, Indiana
Highland is a town in Lake County, United States. The population was 23,727 at the 2010 census; the town was incorporated on April 4, 1910. It is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and North Township, is surrounded by Hammond to the north, Munster to the west, Schererville to the south and Griffith to the east. In 1847, two pioneers from Ohio and Judith Johnston, became Highland's first settlers; the town expanded until the early 1880s, when the development of Chicago & Atlantic railroad trackage through the town attracted agriculture and manufacturing industries. Dutch settlers began moving to Highland shortly thereafter from nearby Munster. 304 people resided in Highland when it was incorporated in 1910. In 1992, the Indiana Historical Bureau placed a state historical marker at 8941 Kleinman Road to recognize the immigration of Dutch in the Calumet Region. In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge visited and delivered the dedication address for Wicker Memorial Park, located on the west side of the town.
Highland, as with other towns along the Little Calumet River, has been subject to flooding during spring, in areas away from Ridge Road, which runs along the highest land in the town. Significant floods have affected Highland in 2008, 2007, in September 2006. On October 31, 2008, Barack Obama, who four days would be elected the 44th President of the United States, stopped in Highland for a rally that drew 40,000 people to Wicker Park, it was the largest crowd there since President Coolidge dedicated the park in 1927. Highland is located at 41°32′59″N 87°27′29″W. According to the 2010 census, Highland has a total area of 6.96 square miles, of which 6.94 square miles is land and 0.02 square miles is water. Highland has several subdivisions, they include: Arbor Hill, Ellendale, Highland Terrace Estates, Hook's, Meadows, Pettit Park, Southridge, White Oak Estates, Wicker Highlands, Wicker Park Estates and Wicker Park Manor. Highland's downtown area features a number of buildings exhibiting Mid-Century Modern style architecture.
As of the census of 2010, there were 23,727 people, 9,924 households, 6,547 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,418.9 inhabitants per square mile. There were 10,335 housing units at an average density of 1,489.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 88.6% White, 4.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 3.4% from other races, 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.8% of the population. There were 9,924 households of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 34.0% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.97. The median age in the town was 41.5 years. 20.9% of residents were under the age of 18.
The gender makeup of the town was 48.0% male and 52.0% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 23,546 people, 9,636 households, 6,677 families residing in the town; the population density was 3,428.3 people per square mile. There were 9,925 housing units at an average density of 1,445.1/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 94.45% White, 1.26% African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.10% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.80% from other races, 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.61% of the population. There were 9,636 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.7% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97. In the town, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over there were 89.2 males. The median income for a household in the town was $51,297, the median income for a family was $59,106. Males had a median income of $46,217 versus $28,635 for females; the per capita income for the town was $24,530. About 1.8% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over. The commercial airport closest to Highland is the Gary/Chicago International Airport in Gary, but most Highland residents and visitors travel from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport or Chicago Midway International Airport. Highland lies just south of the Borman Expressway. U. S. Route 41, known locally as Indianapolis Boulevard, is a major north-south artery in the town. Due to Highland's proximity to Chicago, several other Interstate and U. S. highways are within a 20-mile radius. The town's pedestrians and cyclists are served by the Erie Lackawanna Trail, a cycling/multiuse, paved rail trail, which cuts diagonally through Highland, connecting the town with Griffith, Crown Point, to the southeast.
The Highland portion of the trail is a
Munster is a town located in North Township, Lake County, United States. This bedroom community lies in the Chicago metropolitan area 30 miles southeast of the Chicago Loop, shares municipal boundaries with Hammond to the north, Highland to the east and Schererville to the south and Lansing and Lynwood directly west of the Illinois border; the 2010 U. S. Census counted the town's population at 23,603. Munster is located at 41°56′45″N 87°51′25″W, at a point on an ancient shoreline of Lake Michigan, today Ridge Road; this ridge runs east and west through the north part of town, hence the town's nickname "Town on the Ridge". The town's boundaries contain three small lakes, one of which, located within Centennial Park, is marshy and undeveloped. Munster is bordered on the north by the Little Calumet River, a shallow river surrounded by a thin strip of wooded area. According to the 2010 census, Munster has a total area of 7.65 square miles, of which 7.57 square miles is land and 0.08 square miles is water.
The Ibach House and Stallbohm Barn-Kaske House are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Potawatomi. Although a village did not exist in what was to become Munster's town boundaries, a trail along the dry sandy ridge now known as Ridge Road was well traveled by the indigenous inhabitants. Today, Munster's downtown area, the Town Hall and Fire Department headquarters, the Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts, the Munster Post Office are all situated on Ridge Road. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the area, today Munster was part of land claimed by France as French territory. In the 1760s the British claimed the land. Twenty years George Rogers Clark overran the British, claiming the land for the new and independent country known as the United States of America. In 1828 the federal government relocated the Potawatomi Indians to the Oklahoma territory; as the numbers of Native Americans dwindled, pioneer settlers began to inhabit the area which would become Munster.
When Jacob Munster, a young man from the Netherlands who until the 1860s spelled his surname "Monster," opened an area General Store complete with a U. S. postal station on the back, the local farmers and settlers came to rely on the postal station, which soon became a United States Post Office. The post office was named Munster. Before long more and more people moved to the "Munster" Area, in 1907 Munster was incorporated as a town, with 76 residents voting "yes" for the incorporation and 28 voting "no." Munster soon became a booming town. Munster saw difficult times through the rough years of the Great Depression. During the Cold War, Munster served as the site of the Nike-Zeus Missile defense base C-46; the site was closed in 1971, is now under private ownership. In September 2008, Munster's northern portions suffered flooding resulting from the impact of Hurricane Ike, which caused the Little Calumet River to overflow. A main break occurred in the levee located near the intersection of Calumet Avenue and River Drive in the northwest quadrant of the town.
Munster has requested the Army Corps of Engineers to elevate the levee in low-lying areas. The levee improvements have been completed and the majority of homes destroyed have been rebuilt, in most cases, with larger, more amenity-filled homes; the 2010 Comprehensive Plan for Munster's next twenty years includes plans for a new town center with shopping and dining to be organized around a proposed train station. As of 2011, the median income for a household in the town was $75,349 while the mean income for a household in the town was $97,222; the median income for a family was $95,108, the mean income for a family is the highest in Lake County at $117,985. The estimated per capita income for the town was $36,914. About 2.3% of families and 3.1% of the population were estimated to be below the poverty line. As of the census of 2010, there were 23,603 people, 9,015 households, 6,540 families residing in the town; the population density was 3,118.0 inhabitants per square mile. There were 9,393 housing units at an average density of 1,240.8 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the town was 85.6% White, 3.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 5.8% Asian, 3.1% from other races, 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.2% of the population. There were 9,015 households of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 27.5% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.10. The median age in the town was 44.8 years. 23.4% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the town was 48.0% male and 52.0% female. The average was done in 1999; as of the census of 2000, there were 21,511 people, 8,091 households, 6,141 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,852.8 people per square mile.
There were 8,339 housing units at an average density of 1,105.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 92.28% White, 1.03% African American, 0.06% Native American
Harvey is a city in Cook County, United States, a south suburb of Chicago. The population was 25,282 at the 2010 census; the city suffers from high levels of unemployment and crime. Harvey is bordered by the villages of Riverdale to the north. Harvey was founded in 1891 by Turlington W. Harvey, a close associate of Dwight Moody, the founder of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Harvey was intended as a model town for Christian values and was one of the Temperance Towns, it was modeled after the company town of Pullman, annexed into the city of Chicago. The city had its greatest growth in the prosperous postwar years, reaching its peak population in 1980, but it suffered losses in jobs and population through restructuring of steel and similar industries in the late 20th century. The Dixie Square Mall closed in November 1976. In the 1990s, the city used part of its parking lot as the site for construction of a new main precinct of the Harvey Police Department. In the 2000s and 2010s, Mayor Eric Kellogg attempted to boost Harvey's economy, with little success.
Kellogg offered developers millions of dollars in incentives to revive the long vacant Dixie Square Mall, but trends in retail adversely affected malls around the country. The city granted a developer $10 million in incentives to redevelop the Chicago Park Hotel, but he abandoned the project before completion, leaving the building gutted. In February 2018, Harvey became the first city in Illinois to have its revenue garnished by the State in order to fund the city's pension liabilities; the city laid off employees in order to deal with the changes. As of the 2010 census, Harvey has a total area of all land. Per the 2010 United States Census, Harvey had 25,282 people. Among non-Hispanics this includes 913 White, 19,046 Black, 199 Asian, 33 Native American, 267 from two or more races; the Hispanic or Latino population included 4,799 people. There were 7,947 households out of which 43.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.1% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with children & no husband present, 28.7% were non-families.
24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 26.2% had someone, 65 years of age or older. The population was spread out with 68.5% over the age of 18 and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.8 years. The gender ratio was 51.3 % female. Among 7,947 occupied households, 50.1 % were owner-occupied. As of the census of 2000, there were 30,031 people, 8,990 households, 6,760 families residing in the city; the population density was 4,842.2 people per square mile. There were 10,158 housing units at an average density of 1,639.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 79.57% African American, 10.02% White, 0.26% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 7.94% from other races, 1.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.78% of the population. There were 8,990 households out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 31.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.8% were non-families.
20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.30 and the average family size was 3.80. In the city, the population was spread out with 35.1% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $31,958, the median income for a family was $35,378. Males had a median income of $30,610 versus $25,248 for females; the per capita income for the city was $12,336. About 20.3% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.8% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over. Harvey is in Illinois' 2nd congressional district; the city faces severe financial problems. From 2010 to 2013, it failed to fund its police and fire pensions, paying just $140 of $10.1 million required contributions.
This problem has been reported in other Chicago suburbs with economic problems. Since 2007, Harvey has refused to audit its municipal finances; the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that during this time, there was "a scheme to divert bond proceeds for improper purposes."As of September 2014, some aldermen were concerned the city could soon be unable to make payroll. In 2017 the city was forced to pay $11 million in unpaid and underpaid pension fund contributions for the city's firefighters. A panel of judges on the Illinois First District Appellate Court in Chicago determined that Harvey's mayor and city Council had improperly abused their discretionary powers for years. According to the Cook County Record, "The case had landed in Cook County court in 2010, when the Board of Trustees of the City of Harvey Firefighters’ Pension Fund first filed suit against the city of Harvey, alleging chronic underfunding of the pension fund, which managed pension money for 67 retired firefighters, had left the fund teetering on the verge of insolvency."
Harvey Public School District 152 operates public elementary schools in most of Harvey. A portion of Harvey is within the Posen-Robbins School District 143½. Thornton Township High Schools District 205 o
South Chicago, Chicago
South Chicago known as Ainsworth, is one of the 77 well-defined community areas of Chicago, Illinois. This chevron-shaped community is one of Chicago's 16 lakefront neighborhoods near the southern rim of Lake Michigan 10 miles south of downtown. A working-class neighborhood, it is bordered by East 79th Street on the north, South Chicago Avenue on the southwest, a small stretch of East 95th Street on the south. With the Calumet River on the community's southeast side, South Chicago can be considered the literal gateway to the Calumet Region and the first among the four Chicago neighborhoods that are considered by the locals as Chicago's Southeast Side; the Southeast Side is a description that, although true, the city itself continues to resist including this neighborhood with all of Chicago's South Side communities. Once a separate community, South Chicago began as a series of scattered Native American settlements before becoming a village. First occupied by a chief named Askhum, considered'lord' of the vast Callimink Valley and leader of the Pottawatomie people.
They and other Native peoples used South Chicago and the shallow Calumet River area as portages, for seasonal settlements and fishing thousands of years before White settlers arrived to the "New World". The post-Civil War era brought with it great industrial innovation. Developer James H. Bowen, the "Father of South Chicago," and others in a massive land grab wrested the land from its former existence and founded "Ainsworth" among other communities; this community was formed out of wetland prairie to provide residence for the labor force of European immigrants coming to work at the industries developing along the Calumet River, most notably the North Chicago Rolling Mill Company, built at the mouth of the river in 1881. Only fractions of the original topography and habitat remain as is the case with most of urban Chicago. With the entire Chicago Lakefront built on miles of landfill and slag there still remains a small stretch of semi-secluded beachfront just north of the Southworks Site; this bit of lakefront, once a seasonal settlement for the Pottawatomie, was left alone due to an umovable and embedded bedrock of granite, which defied the development techniques of the time.
It is the only natural beach frontage left and unknown on the entire Chicago coastline. This beachfront and the massive outcrop of the Southworks table slag to the south and the water treatment plant to the north is a perfect demonstration of the vigorous advancement of the steel industry and 20th century development; the four communities of Ainsworth. The predominantly woodframed architecture of the Bush and eastern Cheltemham are a lesson in Victoriana with the'sunken yards' and bridge-like walk ups from street like Houston and Brandon attesting to the degree infrastructure built up from the original topography of that time, it demonstrates how South Chicago was not affected by the housing ordinances restricting the use of lumber for home building after The Great Fire of 1871. Most of the neighborhood north of East 83rd Street and west of South Manistee Avenue was developed after WWII and contain brick homes, but under the ordinance brick homes began being built throughout the newly annexed neighborhood after 1883.
South Chicago was bustling with waves of immigrants as the popularity of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The steel mill became U. S. Steel South Works in 1901, continuing to attract immigrants from Ireland, Eastern Europe and Italy. During the 1950s many residents called the northeast section of South Chicago *"The Bush" and worked in the local massive steel mill, US Steel. Others worked in neighboring steel mills such as Youngstown Steel, Republic Steel, Bethlehem Steel, LaSalle Steel. At its zenith, South Chicago helped make the Chicago metropolitan area the leading producer of steel products in the nation; the Willis Tower and the Hancock Building were built from South Chicago steel. The embers, from the smokestacks would cause the cars and sidewalks to sparkle and created a golden glow throughout the night. Softball and bowling were popular pastimes. Large Polish weddings on Saturdays were a common sight. Throughout the early 1910s, Mexicans from a variety of regions within Mexico began to settle in communities throughout Chicago including South Chicago.
South Chicago became one of the first growing Mexican communities in Chicago. The community faced many challenges including many racist attacks by the more assimilated groups; the early Mexican community began to band together and worked to help build Our Lady of Guadalupe Church as they were not welcomed in other churches throughout the area. South Chicago's Mexican Patriotic Club's Mexican Independence Day Parade was the first such parade in Chicago celebrated with a carnival of rides and booths. While South Chicago has a sizable African American population, existing ethnic groups continue to have strong community ties in the area. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the oldest parish founded by Mexicans in the City of Chicago. Immaculate Conception, St. Michael's, two churches built in the'Polish Cathedral style' and Saint Bronislava have served South Chicago's Polish residents for over 80 years and now have significant sized Latino populations as well; the first Catholic parish established in South Chicago was St. Patrick, founded by Irish Catholics.
Much of the business and shopping is done along Commercial Avenue. Several owned businesses such as clothing stores and retail, and