Directions

To sites 20 and 21
Turn left (north on Torrence) to 122nd Street
Turn left (west) and stop before the railroad tracks
After viewing the marshes, drive back to Torrence Avenue and turn left (north)
Proceed to 106th and Torrence

Wetland at Indian Ridge Marsh
20) Indian Ridge Marsh and Paxton Landfill
Indian Ridge is a 105 acre parcel of land bordered on the east by Torrence Avenue, the Norfolk and Western tracks on the west, 116th Street on the north, and 122nd Street on the south. Indian Ridge is owned by numerous private owners. Surrounding land use includes waste disposal sites, heavy industry, and private residences. The property to the west is primarily private active and inactive waste disposal sites. Open land sand sludge drying beds owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago are located south and southwest of the marsh. There are several other natural resource areas located in close proximity to this site, including Dead Stick Pond, Big Marsh, and Heron Pond. Indian Ridge Marsh has been classified as degraded wetlands, although it contains a large nesting colony for the black-crowned night heron and other endangered species.

Paxton Landfill

The use of the area for waste landfills began in the 1940's. In 1948 the Clean Water Act directed industry to treat waste or dispose of it on land. This resulted in the destruction of many wetlands, which were prime sites for landfills. In 1971 the Paxton I Landfill was opened. The landfill accepted general refuse, industrial waste, and sludges under permits authorized by the IEPA. In 1974 inspections of Paxton I showed inadequate daily cover which resulted in standing water pooling at the bottom of the trenches which surounded it. Two years later Paxton II was opened. In 1992 the City of Chicago closed Paxton II because of concern about its safety. Paxton II remains in the news even today because of inadequate capping has led to "Sludge Slides" which threaten the natural wetlands in the immediate vicintiy such as Big Marsh.

The chemistry students at Washington High School tested water and soil samples from Big Marsh and Paxton landfill in the spring of 1999. Most of the tests came back in the acceptable range except for a high calcium concentration in the soil and a higher than average bacteria level for Indian Ridge South. The city of Chicago is considering this site for a new resource Nature Center for the south side of Chicago, because of its diversity of wet lands, birds and species. The biology classes noticed different types of trees like black maple, red oak, black walnut, and more. The Indian Ridge Marsh is entirely within an area of minimal flooding. This area is known as the cluster site. Indian Ridge North has been categorized as degraded wet lands, it contains a large nesting colony for the state of Illinois. Indian Ridge Marsh is the home and a nesting site for the endangered black crowned night heron.

21) Irondale (112th to 103th, Torrence west to Trumbull Park)
 

106th and Torrence Avenue South View

106th and Torrence Avenue North View

105th and Calhoun Avenue
Typical Workers Housing in Irondale

109th and Torrence

Irondale Views

The name "Irondale" came in 1875 when the Joseph H. Brown Iron and Steel Company constructed a plant on the west bank of the Calumet River at 109th Street. People began to call the area "Irondale". In early South Deering, about 1880, the Brown Mill built a row of company houses along the east side of Torrence Avenue between 106th and 109th Street. The area extended west to Trumbull Park.Business men, around this time, rented the property from the Brown's Mill for $1.00 per year. Businesses were mainly taverns Irondale residents referred to these taverns as the "Buckets of Blood". 

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