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View, Illinois, Chicago, Wolf’s Point in 1833, Antique Print, 1867

$1,500

George Davis (act. c. 1833) (after)
Charles Shober (1831-after 1900) (lithographer)
Wolf’s Point in 1833
Rufus Blanchard, Chicago: 1867
Chromolithograph
13 x 18.5 inches, image
17.75 x 21.5 inches, overall
$1,500

View of Wolf Point at the confluence of the North, South and Main branches of the Chicago River, an historically important location in the early history of Chicago. At this site the first three taverns, hotel, ferry, drugstore, church and theater were built, as well as the first bridges across the Chicago River. The view looks back in time to 1833, the year that Chicago was incorporated. It shows the Wolf Point Tavern on the left, where a painted sign of a wolf hangs, and a two-story building with an adjoining log cabin, possibly the former Miller’s tavern and store, on the opposite bank. A plank bridge crosses the river between them. The pastoral scene shows a woman and her son gathering flowers, pairs of men walking and chatting, another pair fishing from the banks, and three distant figures in a canoe. Another building is in the distance, and cattle graze along the bank. In the lower margin on either side of the title are small black and white illustrations of “Bird’s Eye View of Chicago in 1823” and “Chicago in the year 1818.” Other examples of this view are in the collections of the Library of Congress and New York Public Library.

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Description

Charles Shober was the leading Chicago lithographer of his day. Born in Germany, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1854 and was working as a lithographer by 1855, beginning in Philadelphia. In 1859 he relocated to Chicago and opened his own firm. After the great fire of 1871, he took over management of Chicago Lithographing Company with Louis Kurtz and Edward Carqueville. In 1876, Kurtz left, and Shober & Carqueville was established, publishing sheet music, posters, maps and trade cards. Shober left that company in the early 1880s and later became president of the Chicago Bank Note Company. He was listed in censuses as of 1900.

Rufus Blanchard (1821-1904) was a mapmaker and writer of histories. He was born in New England and began his career as a wilderness hunter and trapper in Ohio. He then worked in New York, as a salesman for the Harper Brothers publishing house, and operated bookstores in Lowell, Massachusetts; Cincinnati; and New Orleans. Returning to New York in 1849, he began publishing maps using the cerography wax engraving process with C. Morse, son of the inventor Samuel Morse. Blanchard moved to the Chicago area in 1854 and continued in the map business, eventually moving to Wheaton, Illinois in the 1860s. There he published numerous pocket maps and guidebooks of Chicago and of Midwestern states. In 1867 he joined with his nephew George F. Cram to make maps from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surveys. Blanchard became interested in the stories behind the places in the maps, and published histories of Cook and DuPage Counties, the City of Chicago and the Northwest Territory. He lost many of his business assets in a major fire in the Wheaton business district in 1871, and the rest in a second fire in 1885. After Blanchard’s death in 1904, Cram managed his estate and continued to publish maps under Blanchard’s imprint until about 1917.

Full publication information: Published by Rufus Blanchard Under the Auspices of the Chicago Historical Society. Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1867, by R. Blanchard in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois. Lith. by Chas. Shober & Co. Chicago.

References:

“Blanchard’s Map of Chicago with the New Street Names (1906).” David Rumsey Map Collection. 2010. http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~34147~1170881:Blanchard-s-map-of-Chicago-with-the (31 January 2014).

“Shober, Charles.” Library Company of Philadelphia. 2017. https://digital.librarycompany.org/islandora/object/digitool%3A79765 (22 April 2019).

“Wolf Point, Chicago.” Wikipedia. 31 August 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Point,_Chicago (22 April 2019).

“Wolf’s Point in 1833.” Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003677757/ (22 April 2019).

“Wolf’s Point in 1833.” New York Public Library. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/aa0b84b0-c5ed-012f-b148-58d385a7bc34 (22 April 2019).

Additional information

Century

19th Century