History of Chicago tourism: Advice for visiting the city from a small town.

Advice For Late–19th-Century Rubes About To Visit Chicago

Advice For Late–19th-Century Rubes About To Visit Chicago

The Vault
Historical Treasures, Oddities, And Delights
May 27 2015 2:35 PM

Advice For Late–19th-Century Rubes About To Visit Chicago

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This list of advice for travelers to large cities was reprinted in a Chicago guidebook published in 1888. The list advises rural dwellers, used to life in a place less packed with people, on ways that they could avoid becoming a mark for con men or an annoyance to the more savvy city folk around them. 

In the 1880s, Chicago was bouncing back from the 1871 fire that burned a third of its buildings and growing at a record-setting rapid pace. Visitors might be in the city on business—Chicago was a hub for the sale of commodities from the Midwest—or to visit such landmarks as the Marshall Field and Company department store or the Art Institute (founded in 1882).  

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The first section of this book, a history of the city, is written in a highly entertaining (if occasionally racist) style, and is worth a browse for sections titled “Hunting Wolves Around Chicago,” “The First ‘Loafer’ in Chicago,” and “How a Cat in the Old Postoffice Saved Its Life [during the Great Fire] By Jumping Into a Pail of Water.”

1Chicago
Chicago: An Instructive and Entertaining History of a Wonderful City: With a Useful Stranger's Guide, 1888.

Internet Archive.

2Chicago
Chicago: An Instructive and Entertaining History of a Wonderful City: With a Useful Stranger's Guide, 1888.

Internet Archive.