Map of Riverdale and Surroundings, Cook County, Ills.
1874 (dated) 30.5 x 18.5 in (77.47 x 46.99 cm)
1 : 15500
An exceptionally rare 1874 survey map of Riverdale, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago bordering the Calumet. The survey centers on a bend in the Little Calumet River just east of the modern day limits of Riverdale, including the lavish Wildwood estate of the industrialist James H. Bowen – now a metal processing plant and chemical facility. The presqu'île created by the bend in the river was at the time marked for settlement called 'Lockwoods Riverdale' and portioned out into lots, complete with a commuter rail service. Nonetheless, today this hopeful property is the abandoned remains of the defunct Acme Steel Mill. Other developments, to the east and north of the river, did in fact develop into residential districts including Eden Green and Altgeld Gardens, but the street grid bears little resembles to the suggested layout here. The map extends north as far as Pullman and Kensington Station where a new road, possibly East 115th Street, has been added in manuscript.
This survey was produced by R. W. Dobson, surveyor and lithographer who maintained offices in the Republic Life Insurance Building (Old Republic Building), Chicago. The map appears to have been folded into a report, but cannot confirm this as we have found no other records of this map in any collection public or private.
R. W. Dobson (fl. c. 1870 – 1888) was an English lithographer, surveyor, and civil engineer active in and around Chicago in the second half of the 19th century. Dobson immigrated to the United States with John D. Riley, a distant relative from Lancashire England. Dobson produced several maps of Chicago and is known to have surveyed and platted much of South Chicago, where he lived. He did extensive surveys for the City of Chicago as well as for the town of Lake. We have been able to discover little else of his life.
Good. Some wear along original fold lines. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue.