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

 4. Niles Township: Rees Map Detail, 1851


This detail from the Rees map shows the area which would become Niles Center and then Skokie. The township of Niles, as was explained, was frac­tional, and we can see how the sections from 1 to 6 are lacking at the top and how Ridgeview, later Evanston, has also taken over the eastern tier of sections.

In the south-western corner of the township are the lands reserved for Billy Caldwell, a Potawatami chief, Victorine Potier, a Potawatami woman, and Jane Miranda. This rather odd intrusion into the checker­board pattern persists to this day, as the Caldwell Forest Preserve. The Indian Boundary Line which runs along the edge of the reservation may also be traced at intervals on the city’s street-maps as Rogers Avenue (no doubt taking this name from the P. Rogers on our map).

The population of Niles was 331 and was concentrated along the river. Note the distinctive road-crossing near the figure 21.  This seems to be the same upright V crossing as the one shown on map 1 (with Saint Peter’s church in the V). The former Indian trails are in the process of changing into the main diagonal roads, later to become known as Lincoln Avenue and Niles Center Road. Running our eyes across the map, we catch a good many names which have survived: Mulford lives on in Mulford Street, Carpenters Bridge in Carpenter Road, and Jefferson In Jefferson Park, to name only a few.






James H. Rees, Map of the Counties of Cook and DuPage (Chicago, 1851).
Chicago Historical Society.

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

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