Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • 403 On to the Wet Prairie

    FRINK, WALKER & CO. STAGE OFFICE c. 1844 SW CORNER LAKE & DEARBORN STS.. ANDREAS' 1884, "HISTORY OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS"

    --Eliza and Joseph Steele purchased tickets on the the Frink, Walker & Co. stagecoach line.

    --Frink, Walker & Co’s U.S. Mail contract was worth over $78,000 a year at the time; just over $2,000,000 when adjusted for inflation. They eventually won mail contracts in multiple Midwestern states worth many millions of inflation adjusted dollars.

    --The stage headed west out of Chicago on Madison Street.

    Chicago 1857 J.T. Palmatary Library of Congress

    "At nine o'clock at night we entered a commodious stage drawn by four good horses, which was to take us to Peoria, upon the Illinois, one hundred and fifty-seven miles distant, for which we were to pay twenty-two dollars, eleven each, bed and breakfast included. Beside us were two other passengers. Crossing the bridge, we took up the mail at the post office, and then drove through a long range of cheerfully lighted shops until we found ourselves outside of town."

    Leave city limits at Wood St. 18 blocks west of State St. On Madison just past 2800 W (California Ave.) “Barry Point Road” turned southwest across the wet prairie.

    "Here the road crossed the wet prairie, as it is called, which, in some seasons, when the lake is high, is overflown. Through this wet land we went splash, splash, nearly half the night."