While traveling down the lakefront path behind the Shedd Aquarium, the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse peeks into view from around the corner.
The Chicago Harbor Lighthouse is the city’s only remaining lighthouse (and one of only two lighthouses in Illinois), but the city’s location makes the lighthouse particularly important in the history of Chicago and Great Lakes transportation.
The 1800s saw Chicago Harbor become an important strategic military location and shipping route, and the U. S. government authorized the construction of the harbor’s first lighthouse in 1832 to help guide the ever-increasing water traffic.
Chicago experienced rapid growth as the century progressed and in 1850 the government decommissioned the original Chicago Harbor Lighthouse.
Two other lights appeared at the harbor to take it’s place.