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    Posted: 02/August/2010 at 9:22am
Out of the flooding has come a tangent about the age, condition and organization of our sewer system.

Perhaps Oak Park's sewers more than ours? And what OP has done over the years to upgrade theirs.

Rather than toss this morsel into the mix, I've started this area.

I doubt very many people know that sewers were a big reason Oak Park exists as it does today. By extension, it's also why FoPa is here.
Along with the Temperance movement, what spurred Oak Park's break from it's surrounding settlements and detachment from Cicero township centered around sewers. In the late 1800s, property east of Harlem Av. paid taxes to Cicero township for public improvements. Residents of what are now Oak Park and Berwyn were unhappy with the Cicero plan. They paid their taxes while the Town of Cicero and the Austin area seemed to enjoy the bulk of the improvements. When they complained, they were told that their upgrades were on the way.

The unhappy residents got together and decided to do something about it.
At first they didn't succeed. For almost 20 years they lost the battles.
Charges of ballot stuffing, skullduggery, bribes and back room deals were common.

The Chicago Fire turned the near west suburbs first into refugee camps, then into booming bedroom communities. Both Oak Park and (then) Harlem
attracted settlers with wide "fully improved" paved streets with state-of-the-art sewers and lighting.

By 1899, Austin and Cicero's battle for control had angered and alienated just about everyone, so when Chicago sought to annex Austin,
the rest of Cicero township voted them out of CT and into Chicago.

In 1901 Oak Park had incorporated (as a Temperance community) and in 1902 Oak Park Township was validated by Cook County. The build-out of Oak Park's infrastructure, unhampered by wider entanglements, made it a gem and attracted dozens of builders and developers who embraced the temperance movement's CLEAN image.










"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/August/2010 at 9:35am
yer killin' me - waaaay cool :)
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