Michigan and Wacker in 1920s

As an amateur Chicago history buff, one of my all-time favorite Chicago history focused websites is Forgotten Chicago. Forgotten Chicago, as described in its mission statement, aims to "discover and document little known elements of Chicago's infrastructure, architecture, neighborhoods and general cityscape, whether existing or historical." Their ultimate goal is to champion preservation over demolition in our beloved city. 

I could peruse the forum of Forgotten Chicago forever, where amateur history buffs like me share information and help one another out on personal history quests. I recently posted a picture of my great, great, grandfather, Walter Daker, a Chicago fireman in the early 1900's, hoping to identify the location of his firehouse, and within hours fellow forum members had both answered my question and directed me to a Chicago museum I didn't even know existed: The Fire Museum of Greater Chicago!

If you're looking for a unique tour of some of Chicago's most undiscovered, hidden corners, check out Forgotten Chicago's exclusive tours. You'll learn more about the lesser-known and overlooked places in Chicago, under the guidance of a Chicago history expert. 10 out of the 11 planned tours this year were never offered previously - so you'll be the first to learn about under-recognized new and old places. Search for remnants of the cable car system, explore the Indiana Harbor by boat, or take a walk down a former rail line that's about to be converted to an elevated park. 

And while you're on Forgotten Chicago, be sure to check out the many well-researched articles and smart columns. I was fascinated by the recent article on Chicago's Shoreline Motels, as well as the post on Chicago's best and brightest neon signs

To sign up for a Forgotten Chicago tour, visit forgottenchicago.com/events/2013-tour-schedule.

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