Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • 402 Brooklyn to Chicago

    CHICAGO AS SEEN FRON THE PRAIRIE IN 1845 (from approximately modern Roosevelt Rd. & Halstead Ave.)

    On Sunday, June 14, 1840, the Steeles departed New York and travelled up the Hudson by boat and then by stagecoach to Buffalo. Here they boarded the steamer

    Constellation on June 30. They arrived in Chicago on Monday, July 6.

    LAKE HOUSE HOTEL (lower center) VIEWED FROM EAST 1857. Palmatary, J.T. Library of Congress

    On their arrival they met with friends at the Lake House Hotel.

    Lake House Hotel Chicago about 1860

    "The Lake House is a very good hotel, situated among the dwelling houses. It is built of brick, painted white, which, with its green blinds, gives it a pleasant appearance; every thing within was comfortable and good of its kind. According to our usual practice, we ascended to the cupola of the hotel, where is a lovely view of the cottages and gardens at our feet, the broad prairies beyond, and the bright waters of Michigan behind us."

    It was then they decided to alter their plans and travel on to the Mississippi River.

    "friends here, however, seemed to think it so monstrous thing to return without beholding the celebrated Mississippi, when within a few hundred miles only, that we determined to alter our course and go down the Illinois river."