Images from Odgen Avenue

Here are a wonderful range of images from Odgen Avenue, once know as the Old Plank Road as well as a little historical overview.

The Chicago Portage and Ottawa Trail a well worn Indian trail was a significant portage traveled by Native Americans, fur traders, and explorers. The trail was improved into a plank toll road, creaking beneath the weight of settlers’ wagons and horses. Planks gave way to bricks. And smooth pavement greeted the tires of Route 66 travelers.

In 1872, the corridor was renamed Ogden Avenue in honor of Chicago’s first mayor, William Butler Ogden. Portions of the road were bricked over by 1900 to accommodate the increasing traffic. In 1920, it was paved for smooth car travel. (Text written for the Route 66 by-way marker project, collected by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point)

Remnants of the old plank road were used in constructing a hilly protection for the playground on the south side in Proksa Park.

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