“The Insider's Guide” Of Where To Go And What To Do In Chicago
Chicago has always had a rich history as a city on the water. The northern border of Illinois was deliberately drawn to ensure that some of Lake Michigan was within the state. The reason for that was to cash in on having both the Mississippi River and the lake as waterway entries into Illinois. Chicago’s harbor was also once North America’s busiest port (rivaling even some in Europe, like London and Hamburg), connecting what the Midwest produces with rail and water-way distribution.
The Chicago Maritime Museum reflects the importance Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, and Lake Calumet played on the growth of Illinois. In a visit, you can take a tour through Chicago’s local aquatic history, including the fur trade and more modern watercraft, such as the Ralph and Rita Frese canoe collection. In its time, Chicago has played a role in the trade of not just fur, but also lumber, grains, and coal. Now, the city has a reputation for being a launching point for boating sports such as sailing races to Mackinac Island.
Both the lake’s effects and those of the Mississippi River are documented in model ships, pieces of art, displays, books, articles, images, and artifacts. The museum holds around 6,000 items in their collections, which they have been gathering since the museum opened in 1982. The museum also holds events, which you can view online, such as workshops, open studios, and holiday markets. Tickets are $10 for adults and half that price for students. They are open every day except Mondays from 10 AM to 4 PM.