“Shelf-Reading” is an ongoing series where we feature various items in the Read/Write Library’s collection of location-specific, independent, and small press media.
In 1833, the same year two hundred settlers organized the town of Chicago, another nucleus of settlers began gathering about thirty miles south. Their community grew into a miniature, parallel version of its northern neighbor: a Rust Belt boomtown with its own Louis Sullivan architecture and the nickname “Crossroads of America.”
Images of America: Chicago Heights tells this story in photographs. Originally it was a farming village in southeastern Cook County called Thorn Grove, and then Bloom. The town took its third and final name in 1892 at the behest of some local real estate magnates, who called themselves the Chicago Heights Land Association. (Trivia: the association president was Chicago businessman Charles Wacker, who lent his surname to the Loop’s Wacker Drive.)