Event—Public Programming

The Place Native Americans Called “Chicagoua”

It’s all about “Location, Location, Location” and the word ‘Chicago’ has referred to at least three geographic locations, multiple rivers and creeks, and two portage routes, begging the question, What if our Chicago isn’t really Chicago? For more than three decades retired attorney and historian John Swenson has worked on unraveling historic confusion to reveal an entirely new interpretation of the history and French discovery of Chicago.

Join us as Mr. Swenson provides a new spin on early Chicago history. We’ll hear about his deep dive into original French documents, secondary sources, and early maps to find a second “Chicagoua” portage near Frankfort as well as an ancient Indian mound in suburban Olympia Fields. This history was first captured in interviews on a Windy City Historians’ podcast; co-hosts Christopher Lynch and Patrick McBriarty will rejoin Mr. Swenson to support the telling of this potentially groundbreaking work.