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Tuesday, March 21

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Events Thu Jul 12 2012

Like a Secondhand Sea: Police Raids on Lake Michigan


Nelson Algren's Chicago: City on the Make, tells 120 years of Chicago's history from the perpectives of those seldom given license to tell their stories. Ex-cons, hoboes, and blue collar workers dominate the 1951 text to show what the world looked like for most people. Local historical reenactment group, Pocket Guide to Hell, promises to deliver a Chicago past in a three part program that takes its name, Like A Secondhand Sea, from Algren's project. The afternoon will show how human interaction has reshaped the Chicago River and Lake Michigan over time. Find the group assembled at the park across from the River East Arts Center (435 E. Illinois St.) from 12-2pm.

The day begins in 1673 with explorers Marquette and Joliet as they trace the original coastline of Lake Michigan in voyageur canoes (on wheels). Next, experience Streeterville in its former glory as the "District of Lake Michigan," founded by Captain George Wellington Streeter in 1886. Read more about the Captain's attempt to claim the "District of Lake Michigan," where his sailboat was marooned, as a new territory of the United States in this New York Times article published in 1915. He even went to Washington D.C. seeking admission to Congress as the new land's first delegate. According to Pocket Guide founder, Paul Durica, Streeter stories are often shrouded in some bit of legend, but the article's claims are echoed by other sources.The third and final part of the day will transport you to the 1892 dedication of the reversal of the Chicago River.

The event is completely free, save for some crafts, including tintype photographs by Chris Olsen and paper silhouettes by Nina Nightingale, which can be purchased with "Streeterville Dollars" (get yours on site). There will be lots of opportunity for audience participation, too.

Expect performances by Jon Langford, Justin Amolsch's brass band, and the Chicago Poetry Bordello. With special appearances by Tim Samuelson, Rich Cahan, Alison Cuddy, Dick Bales, Tim Tuten, Kevin Robinson, and Water Reclamations District Commissioner Debra Shore. With poster by Edie Fake and handbill by Lyra Hill.

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