Archer Avenue (Chicago)

Archer Avenue (Chicago)

Archer Avenue (formerly Archer Road) in Chicago, Illinois is a diagonal street running southwest between the area south of the Chicago Loop and Harlem Avenue. It follows the old portage trail between the Chicago River and the Des Plaines River, and parallels the path of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and the Alton Railroad.

, William Beatty Archer [ [ Encyclopedia of Chicago ] ] . One early map of Chicago (ca. 1830) listed the future Archer Road as "The Road to Widow Brown's". [ [ Map of Hardscrabble Area, 1830 ] ]

Archer Avenue is the street made famous by Finley Peter Dunne in his books and sketches about the fictional saloonkeeper Mr. Dooley, whose tavern was on "Archey Road". The fictional Dooley "lived" in the real-life Bridgeport, Chicago neighborhood.

The east end of the street begins in Chicago's Chinatown, then passes through the Bridgeport, McKinley Park and Brighton Park neighborhoods on its way to Archer Heights.

The former site of Argonne National Laboratory and its predecessor, the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory can be entered from an access road on Archer Avenue, in the forest preserve near Red Gate Woods [ [ Argonne National Laboratory ] ] . This was once a secret Manhattan Project site, and is now known as the Site A/Plot M Disposal Site. Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1), the world's first nuclear reactor, was moved from Stagg Field to this site in 1943 and renamed Chicago Pile-2 (CP-2). The remains of CP-1, CP-2, and Chicago Pile-3 (CP-3) remain buried at this site.

Archer Avenue is also known as one of the most haunted roads in the world, mainly because it is home to Resurrection Cemetery, located along Archer in the village of Justice, Illinois. Resurrection Cemetery is believed by many historians and paranormal researchers to be the burial site of the young woman who became, after death, Resurrection Mary, one of the world's most famous ghosts. Several miles south of the cemetery, also on Archer, is the Willowbrook Ballroom, where Resurrection Mary was said to have spent her last evening. Mary is a ghost known as a vanishing hitchhiker, a phantom who is generally picked up by drivers along the road only to disappear from the car before reaching the intended destination. Ghost experts believe Archer is haunted because of at least three factors: 1)It was originally an Indian Road, perhaps built over a sacred line (or "ley line") in the region; 2)It was the building route of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, where many Irish immigrants died under severe working conditions in the early-mid 19th century; and 3)The is a high concentration of water (much was in the form of marshy areas which mostly have been reclaimed, but includes the Cal-Sag Channel, the Des Plaines River, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal) in the area, which is believed by some paranormal researchers to contribute to paranormal activity. [ [ Haunted Archer Avenue! ] ] [Ursula Bielski, "Chicago Haunts: Ghostlore of the Windy City, 2nd ed." Chicago: Lake Claremont Press, 1997]

Archer Ave. has also experienced its share of illegal street racing, as evident by the "No Racing" signs present at intervals throughout.


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