Far Southeast Side
This neighborhood was first a settlement to farmers and fishermen, who gave it the name “Ainsworth.” Prospectors saw promise for this area, believing it would become a connecting point for outside shipping routes due to its location on the Calumet River. Therefore, people bought up the land around 1883, including many Irish Catholics.
The convenience of the railroad also helped this area’s early growth. After the Great Fire of 1871, industry began making its home in South Chicago, migrating further south. The steel, grain, railroad and lumber industries grew in this area as companies such as South Works of North Chicago Rolling Mill Company, which opened in 1880.
At this time, almost half the population of South Chicago was African American and another forty percent Latino. In 1992 the South Works steel mill was shutdown, many people lost jobs, and local business was in great decline. Since then urban planners and some industry have moved in, but progress continues to be slow.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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