Other Heavy Industries in 
Chicago's Southeast Side

In addition to the steel mills in the area, other heavy industries were drawn to the Calumet region by the convenient transportation opportunities provided by the Calumet River and its access to Lake Michigan.contributing to the economy and at the same time contributing to the environmental damage that was occurring in the area. 




Ford Motor Company


Ford Motor Company on Calumet River

<>It was not until the 1920's that South Chicago felt the Ford rush . The company purchased a tract of land, easily accessible by water and rail along the Calumet River in Southeast Chicago and began construction of its second largest assembly plant in the U.S . Locating the Ford Company on the Southeast Side was a really good idea and very successful . The Southeast Side had a good work force because so many immigrants had come to the area to work for the many steel mills and upon its completion the Ford Motor Company gave and brought new job opportunities. The factory is still located between 130th and Torrence and the Calumet River. The exact location of the Ford plant is near and in an area that was woodland all around, and of course since the plant was located next to the Calumet River, this created problems for mother nature . The Ford plant in the past would dump pollutants in the waters and wastes would be thrown near or inside the forestry around the area . It was in recent years that the Ford plant did local cleanups around the area, and they even agreed to clean up the waters and other areas that were damaged with pollution caused by their plant . (Article by Celina O.)


Ford Production During World War II


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State Line Generating Station

The State Line Generating Station is a coal burning plant . It is located on the shores of Lake Michigan near 106th Street and because of this the environment received incredible damage. For a time and to a lesser extent at present it still operates as a major coal burning power plant . Since the Generating Station is located near Lake Michigan, the plant found it easiest to just dump their waste in the waters . For years they had dumped waste that came from coal burning power plants right in the plant itself. In recent years this plant has opted to put a control on the waste put into the waters. They, along with other plants in the area, have set certain limitations on the wastes deposited in the lake itself. The picture above shows that this plant is built on fill extending into the lake. Outside the plant is the State Line Boundary Marker, probably the oldest monument in the Chicago area. It was placed on the state line in 1833 and it was restored and moved in front of the power plant in 1989. The letters on the original monument have been worn off over the years, probably, in part, due to acid rain which is partially caused by the emissions from burning coal.