The New International Encyclopædia/Chicago River
CHICAGO RIVER. A navigable stream in the city of Chicago, which formerly emptied into Lake Michigan, but the direction of whose current has been reversed by the construction of the Chicago Drainage Canal. It is formed by two branches, the North Fork and the South Fork, and it is less than a mile from this junction to Lake Michigan (Map: Chicago, J 9). Nearly 4 miles from the main river, the south branch separates into a west fork and a south fork. The United States Government and the city of Chicago have expended large amounts of money in keeping the river open to navigation. The Illinois and Michigan Canal connects the Chicago River at Bridgeport with the Illinois River at La Salle, a distance of nearly 100 miles, and during 1893-1900 the Chicago Drainage Canal (q.v.) was constructed, connecting the west fork of the south branch and Joliet, on the Des Plaines River, the distance being 28.05 miles. See Chicago.