"Discovery of Chicago" Bus Tour

Friends of the Chicago Portage invite you to discover the hidden places where Chicago was born.

On Saturday, September 17, 2011 the “Discovery of Chicago” bus tour will follow the route of Joliet and Marquette though the Chicago Portage.

It was nearly 337 years ago when Louis Jolliet and Pere Marquette portaged their two canoes out of old Mud Lake over “half a league” to the South Branch of the Chicago River and became the first to record their passage though the Chicago Portage. Now you can follow the route of Jolliet and Marquette as they passed through a marsh that became our metropolis.

On Saturday, September 17, 2011, Friends of the Chicago Portage invite you to explore Chicago’s birth story on our fall “Discovery of Chicago” bus tour. And it's not too soon to make a reservation! This popular and unique tour fills up fast.

The tour will begin at 10am at the monumental statue of the Explorer and Missionary in Portage Woods Forest Preserve in Lyons, IL. Following a brief look at the last remnant of historic Portage Creek, the tour will board an air conditioned mini-bus to visit the places Joliet and Marquette carried their boats a “half a league”.

The tour will continue downtown to visit the Centennial Fountain and explore its symbolic portrayal of the Chicago Portage. We’ll stop at the location of the first trading post in Chicago and get as close as the public can get to the site of DuSable & Kinzie's settlement.

After a lunch break at the Merchandise Mart food court the tour will follow the development of Chicago from Wolf Point to the site of Marquette's return to Chicago in 1675. We'll visit "Hardscrabble", the location of the Laughton Brother's first trading post before they moved to Ottawa Trail Woods. Finally we'll visit the original terminus of the I&M Canal in Bridgeport before returning to Portage Woods Forest Preserve. The tour will conclude before 3:00 P.M.

The cost of the tour is $40.00 for adults, 35.00 for students and seniors. There is a $5 discount for Friends of the Chicago Portage members. Reservations are required.
To make a reservation click here to email a reservation or call Jeff Carter at 312-771-6855.

Attendees on previous bus tours commented:

“It was an, all-'round enjoyable "Discovery of Chicago Tour". I indeed discovered quite a few "new" old sites of my hometown that I have never even heard of or seen before like "ye ol' Bubbly Creek". I learned much more about the folks way back when, who helped put Chicago "on the map", literally and figuratively."
“I wanted to thank you for such a well done tour. I didn't even know about many of those places, let alone been there. It was really terrific. I also wanted to compliment you on your summation of the tour, what the portage has meant throughout Chicago history and how it has an impact into today.”

This is a must-see tour for history lovers, historians, educators, tour guides, and anyone who communicates the stories of Chicago to others. Stand in the places where Chicago was born! Learn what a “half a league” is! Make your reservation for this exciting bus tour today.

The tours begin at 10am in Portage Woods Forest Preserve located at 4800 S. Harlem in Lyons, IL Portage Woods is on the west side of Harlem Avenue (7200 W.) just 2 blocks north of the Stevenson Expressway (I55).