Chicago has had its winners, its losers, its opportunists, but most of all we have had our colorful characters. George Wellington Streeter was one of the most colorful characters in Chicago history. In the 1800’s, Streeter staked out 186 acres of promised land and invited other squatters to loiter, they then put up permanent shacks. Streeter names this area the “District of Lake Michigan” and considers it not apart of Chicago or the United States. The mayor and governor attempted to force Streeter off the land, but he resisted all attempts. Thirty years later, Chicago’s current mayor, “Big Bill” Thompson sent out 500 police deputies to burn down all the shacks in the area; thus, forcing Streeter to move. Today, the Streeterville area is home to some of the most expensive real estate in Chicago and is one of the highest rent districts in the United States.

To learn more about Streeterville and George Streeter take the historical cruise, which runs at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:20 pm everyday.