A Project by
Washington High School
Chicago's Southeast Side
South Chicago East Side South Deering Hegewisch SECHS Events
& News

Field Museum Environmental Education Program
 Teacher Project The East Side

The Southeast Chicago Historical Museum is no longer open on the first Sunday of the month.

Southeast Side Map
Southeast Side Photo Albums
Photo Album
Cultural Institutions: Southeast Side Churches
Environmental History of the Southeast Side
Chicago's Southeast Side Revisited
Curriculum Materials
Southeast Side Tour
Membership Form
Contact Us
Chicago's Southeast Side
     Chicago's Southeast Side is an interesting and dynamic place often overlooked by other Chicagoans.  The area includes the communities of South Chicago, South Deering, the East Side and Hegewisch.  Within those communities are smaller neighborhoods with colorful names like the Bush, Irondale, Slag Valley, Arizona, Millgate, and others.  Some of these names are reflective of the natural features of the region.  Others relate to the tremendous historical influence of heavy industry, especially the steel industry.  United States Steel South Works, Wisconsin Steel, Republic Steel, Pressed Steel and other industrial operations including General Mills and the Ford Motor Company provided the engine that drove the economy in the region where the Calumet River emptied into Lake Michigan.  One must say emptied (past tense) because the Calumet River, like its counterpart to the north, the Chicago River, has been reversed and now flows backward.  The mills and other employers offered jobs which attracted thousands of immigrants to the area.  Irish, Germans and Swedes were followed by Poles, Italians, Greeks, Serbians, Croatians, Slovenians, Eastern European Jews, Lithuanians, Hungarians, and others.  African Americans from the South and immigrants from Mexico provided the labor when the United States shut the open door of European immigration after World War I.  These newcomers to the area brought their own culture and institutions with them. Perhaps the most important of these institutions were the churches and houses of worship. Whatever was happening in United States urban history after the Civil War was reflected in these communities. Industrialization, unionization, immigration, and urbanization were themes which played out in Chicago's Southeast Side. 

Click on the links at the top to tour the communities of 
Chicago's Southeast Side.


Teachers' Center
National Endowment for the Humanities
Illinois University