Chicago 1850s, Falling in Deep Collection, raising Chicago streets

Never Too Late to Learn

Somehow Fortune has smiled on me and I’ve managed to fall in with some of the most awesome Indie authors around.  It happened with the Celestial anthology and now it’s happening again. 

The Blazing Indie Collective writers have inspired and taught me so much over the past few months.  Although I think they were all born with super-human doses of energy and ideas — and I can barely keep up — I was able to sneak my way into an upcoming box-set of novellas that will be published this summer. Check out our FB page for the collection: Falling In Deep

I’m working on the book right now and, while I don’t normally love research, I’m loving this!

The novella, Immersed, is Steampunk that takes place in Chicago circa late 1850s.  Now I knew that Chicago was built on marshland and was basically sinking into the muck.  And I also knew that disease was rampant in this environment, since the sewer system needed to be overhauled, and good.  But I didn’t realize how the city streets were actually RAISED between four to eight feet to accommodate a new sewer pipes, gas pipes, etc.

This meant that since the streets and sidewalks were raised, the buildings needed to be as well.  Using jacks, buildings were lifted several feet and new foundations were laid underneath. But not all owners wanted to do this or could afford to do so.  Therefore, some decided instead to relocate entire buildings, pulling them down the street on rollers!  And others…well, others just decided to leave their homes as is.  That meant the ground floor became the basement, and the second story was now the first!  You can still see houses in certain areas of Chicago that were never raised:

from /Pilsen Plus on photobucket

Now, seriously?  How cool is that?

Check out some blogs and webpages on the raising of Chicago streets:  An Illustrated History from Chicago Magazine, Street Grades from Encyclopedia of Chicago, Raising of Chicago on Wikepedia

2 thoughts on “Never Too Late to Learn”

  1. That is pretty cool. My husband and I live in Chicago in a 1915 bungalow but wasn't raised here so a lot of it is new to me. I found your site through Indie Brag and being a popcorn eating, dog mom and such I had to order your book. Congratulations on their selection of your book last year and I'm looking forward to checking out the collection you are in as well. LB Johnson – author of The Book of Barkley – Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s