Southwest Suburbs: Birthplace of Chicago Video

Host and writer Geoffrey Baer travels by train, tugboat and 1958 Edsel as he takes viewers on a journey through the Southwest Suburbs.

It’s a part of Chicago that’s full of surprises. It’s home to a 28-square-mile forest with a rock canyon. It’s home to major league soccer and minor league baseball. It’s also home to a bustling industrial canal where mariners navigate a Panama Canal-sized lock past a hundred-year-old hydroelectric dam. This modern waterway follows the path of a 19th century canal that first connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi. That earlier canal transformed Chicago from an isolated trading post on the edge of the American frontier into the fastest-growing city in the history of the world.