Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wolf Point

The piece of land jutted out into the river at the junction of the North Branch and the main stem of the Chicago River is called the Wolf Point. It's about 4 acres of land just west of Merchendise Mart ..

Wolf Point gets it's name from a tavern that existed here, with a sign of a wolf on a pole in front. Also "The Wolf" was a native American known to the early settlers ..

"In early days this elbow of land, formed by the junction of North and South branches of Chicago River, was the site of three taverns, Wolf Tavern, `Miller`s,` and the Sauganash."

Site of the Sauganash Hotel/Wigwam .. is designated a Chicago landmark ..
Address: Southeast Corner of Lake Street and Wacker Drive
Year Built: Sauganash Hotel: 1831 (Destroyed 1851)
Wigwam: 1860 (Destroyed ca. 1867)
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: November 6, 2002 ..

From the city of Chicago Official Website ..
"The Site of the Sauganash Hotel/Wigwam is important in the history of Chicago's early development. Mark Beaubien built the Sauganash Hotel in 1831 at Wolf Point, on the east bank of the south branch of the Chicago River at the "Forks" of the River where the north and south branches meet. It was at the Sauganash Hotel in 1833 that the newly-formed Town of Chicago voted to elected its first town trustees and where many of the town meetings occurred. During a brief period in 1837 when the building was not in operation as a hotel, it served as Chicago's first theater. The Sauganash Hotel remained in almost continuous operation until it burned down in 1851.

The Wigwam, constructed on the same site nine years later, was home to the 1860 Republican National Convention. It was at this historic convention that Abraham Lincoln was nominated as the Republican candidate for president. His nomination and eventual election as the nation's 16th President triggered a series of dramatic events surrounding the abolition of slavery and the secession of several southern states, ultimately culminating in the Civil War. His powerful leadership skills are credited with having led the country successfully through perhaps its darkest time."