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

 12. Niles Center: Aerial Photograph, c. 1925


Some of the plots shown on the map of 1886 were quite large but most were very small, especially around Niles Center itself. The reason for their origin as timber lots may have influenced the development of specialized farming in the area. The small size, and sometimes the sandy nature of the soil, led to an emphasis on growing vegetables. In this aerial photograph of 1925, we see that many of the plots were owned by truck farmers, whose businesses could be concentrated into a small space. Notice their greenhouses and the distinctive chimneys, with several areas of open gardens.

On this photograph the new branch line of Chicago and North Western Rail Road is also prominent, with a steam engine at work on the left. The newly cut Skokie Boulevard runs just to the east of it and beyond that is the new east west Main Street, to the north of which may be seen the golf course. Away on the horizon, beyond the wooded area, we can see the town of Evanston and Lake Michigan.

Saint Peterís church stands out at the fork in the roads; its graveyard is still half empty. On Floral Avenue we have a good view of the village firehouse, which at present houses the Skokie Historical Society.





Aerial Photograph in the collections of the Newberry Library c.1925.

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

Back to Skokie: A Community History Using Old Maps

Web design by Jimmy Zhu (Skokie Public Library) and Pat Witry (Skokie Historical Society), ©2006