Skokie Lagoons – Glencoe IL

Description

Skokie Lagoons is a 190 acre nature preserve in Glencoe and Winnetka, Illinois. The Skokie Lagoons are notable as a CCC work because the project merged the ideas of fixing a pertinent mosquito issue in the area and of developing the area into an escape to nature for the community.

The Skokie Lagoons project began in 1933 with with 1100 eager, working men from the CCC (“Start Digging First Lagoon in Skokie Project”). Soon after the Forest Army downsized to 1000 men looking to aid in clearing the area of mosquitoes, which used the weedy swamps as a breeding ground. The goal was to create alternating stretches of lagoons and wooded islands (“Forest Troops Speed Skokie Marsh Project”). The finished project was to have eight lagoons, three dams, foot and bridle paths, and trees and shrubbery (“Start Digging First Lagoon in Skokie Project”). The project was funded by Congress to relieve financial distress by giving jobs to young men who otherwise would be on relief and unemployed (“Forest Troops Speed Skokie Marsh Project”).
The workers reported to the area on June 27, 1933 (Forest Troops Speed Skokie Marsh Project”). They first built their living quarters for the project. Excavation for the first of the lagoons began the following month on July 21 (“Start Digging First Lagoon in Skokie Project”). Most workers were paid $30 a month, of which $25 was required to be sent home to their families. They typically worked six-hour days, five days a week. Men were given leave Saturday and Sunday nights (“Forest Troops Speech Skokie Marsh Project”). The work was first done solely by hand with picks and shovels. Machines were obtained soon after the commencement of the project to aid workers (“Shades vs. Steam Shovels”).

The Skokie Lagoons are located north of Chicago in Cook County bordering the Glencoe, Winnetka, and Northfield communities (“Skokie Lagoons – Cook County, IL”). The area is bordered by Dundee Road to the north, Skokie Boulevard (Edens Expressway) on the west, North Forest Way on the east, and Willow Road on the south (“Skokie Lagoons Development”). Skokie Lagoons can be found just south of the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Forest Preserves of Cook County maintain the Skokie Lagoons. They manage over 68,000 acres of public land in Cook County (Forest Preserves of Cook County). The area is well kept and used today most commonly for fishing and its beautiful walking trails.

Source notes

“Forest Army Makes Progress in Skokie Valley.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 9. 30 	August 1933. ProQuest. Web. 5 November 2013.

“Forest Army Starts Work in Skokie Valley.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 3. 28 June 	1933. ProQuest. Web. 5 November 2013.

“Forest Army Workers Build Lagoon in Skokie Valley.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 5. 	26 July 1933. Web. 5 November 2013.

Forest Preserves of Cook County. Forest Preserves of Cook County. Web. 9 December 2013.

“Forest Troops Speed Skokie Marsh Project.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 11. 11 	August 1933. ProQuest. Web. 5 November 2013.

“Shades vs. Steam Shovels.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 12. 24 August 1933	ProQuest. Web. 5 November 2013.

“Skokie Lagoons – Cook County, IL.” Windy City Fishing. Web. 1 December 2013.

“Skokie Lagoons Development.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 15. 18 April 1935. 	ProQuest. Web. 5 November 2013

“Start Digging First Lagoon in Skokie Project.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 5. 22 July 	1933. ProQuest. Web. 5 November 2013.

Project originally submitted by Kristine Kulp on December 11, 2013.

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Location Info


Skokie Lagoons
Glencoe, Illinois 60022

Coordinates: 42.123373, -87.774246

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