Skokie A Community History Using Old Maps

Skokie Historical Society

Chicago Neighborhood History Project

Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library

 10. The Four Mile Limit, c. 1893


This map of 1893 again empha­sizes the relatively underde­veloped nature of Niles Center, as compared with communities like Evanston and Wilmette. It also demonstrates the temptations it offered to the “dry’’ citizens of Evanston and to the students of Northwestern university. The University’s charter stated that no liquor could be sold within four miles of the school. Just outside the four-mile limit lay the saloons of Niles Center, along Oakton Street and Niles Center Road; we may imagine that students and others made joyous pilgrimages to the west.

The “X’s” on the map marked saloons that the Citizens League claimed were illegal because they were located within the four-mile limit. An 1866 court case, however, ruled that the saloons were legal because they were over four miles distant from the University by the nearest traveled roads. But by 1893 new roads had been built and this was no longer the case. Therefore the League used this map as a weapon in the battle for reform.





Detail from a Rand, McNally map of Cook County (1891) as modified by the
Citizens League about 1893.

The Chicago Neighborhood History Project is Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Skokie Public Library. 

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