Produced and edited by Candace Kuzmarski
Originally named Rogers Ridge, Rogers Park was named for Philip McGregor Rogers, who began purchasing land from the U.S. government in the mid-1830s for $1.25 an acre. The original 600 acres was located along the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad, now the Metra.
The Rogers Home
1. Rogers lived with his family in a home on the corner of what is now Rogers Avenue and Clark Street, and is currently a Walgreens parking lot. At the time of his death in 1856, Rogers had acquired nearly 1,600 acres that would become Rogers Park, West Ridge and Ravenswood.
The First Residents
2. The first inhabitants of what would become Rogers Park were Native Americans who used two famous trails known today as Rogers Avenue and Ridge Avenue. The first residents were mostly from Luxembourg, Germany with immigrants also coming from Ireland and England.
3. Rogers Park annexed to Chicago in 1893, and that same year residents protested an overpriced mass transit system. At the time, saloons were operating without legal license due to a law that prohibited them from serving alcohol within four miles of a university. This was known as the Four Mile Limit Law.
Rogers Park Diversity
4. Rogers Park became incorporated in 1878 and is currently one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. The Pollards, the area’s first African-American family, arrived in 1886.
Rogers Park Housing
5. Housing in the Rogers Park area currently ranges anywhere from 19th-century wood-frame houses to bungalows, 2-and-3-flats to multi-unit courtyard buildings, and a few remaining high-rises from the teens and 20s closer to the lake.
* Rogers Park/West Ridge HIstorical Society
* Encyclopedia of Chicago: Rogers Park
* Chicago Reader: The Rogers Park and West Ridge Issue