Wolf's Point in 1833. Rufus / SHOBER BLANCHARD, George, Charles / DAVIS, publisher, lithographer, artist.
A Very Beautiful View Evoking Chicago's Beginnings
Early Chicago.
[Chicago, 1867]

Wolf's Point in 1833.

15 x 18 ¼ inches, Hand-colored lithograph. Mounted on archival paper, a few mended marginal chips & split one entering small view at lower left, bit of scuffing, overall very good.

Depicted here with exceptionally fine color is Wolf Point, a seminal area in the Chicago's development, where its earliest hotel, taverns, theatre and other buildings of note were located.  The area is shown as it was in 1833, the year the city was first organized.  Wolf Point is located at the confluence of the North, South and Main branches of the Chicago River in the present-day Near North SideLoop, and Near West Side community areas of the city.  The view shows the Wolf Point Tavern on the left, with its painted sign of a wolf, and a two-story building with an adjoining log cabin, possibly the former Miller’s tavern and store, on the opposite bank.  In the center is the first bridge to cross the Chicago River, a very modest plank affair.  The subtle coloring evokes the warm hues of dusk as the various figures in the view take their ease, even while Indians can be seen in a canoe on the river with their teepees in the background.  In the lower margin on either side of the title are vignettes: “Bird’s Eye View of Chicago in 1823” and “Chicago in the year 1818.”  Although this view appeared only 34 years after the city's founding, it has already cloaked its early days in a warm wash of nostalgia.

Charles Shober was the leading Chicago lithographer of his day. Born in Germany, he emigrated to the United States in 1854 and was working as a lithographer by 1855, beginning in Philadelphia.  In 1859 he relocated to Chicago and opened his own firm.  Rufus Blanchard (1821-1904) is considered the father of Chicago mapmaking. He was born in New England and began his career as a wilderness hunter and trapper in Ohio. He then worked in New York as a salesman for the Harper Brothers publishing house, and operated bookstores in Lowell, Massachusetts; Cincinnati; and New Orleans. Returning to New York in 1849, he began publishing maps using the cerography wax engraving process with C. Morse, son of the inventor Samuel Morse. Blanchard moved to the Chicago area in 1854 and continued in the map business, eventually moving to Wheaton, Illinois in the 1860s. There he published numerous pocket maps and guidebooks of Chicago and of Midwestern states.

“Shober, Charles.” Library Company of Philadelphia. 2017. https://digital.librarycompany.org/islandora/object/digitool%3A79765 (22 April 2019). “Wolf’s Point in 1833.” Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003677757/ (22 April 2019). “Wolf’s Point in 1833.” New York Public Library. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/aa0b84b0-c5ed-012f-b148-58d385a7bc34 (22 April 2019).

Price: $2,850.00