Rogers Park is the northernmost neighborhood community of Chicago, Illinois, USA, bordering the City of Evanston. Rogers Park is the location of the lakeshore campus of Loyola University Chicago and its famous Madonna Della Strada, chapel church of Chicago's Jesuit community.
Native American roots
The Rogers Park area was developed on what once was the convergence of two Native American trails, now known as Rogers Avenue and Ridge Avenue, pre-dating modern metropolitan Chicago. The Potawatomi and various other regional tribes often settled in Rogers Park from season to season.
Rogers Park was named after a pioneer settler and developer Philip Rogers. Rogers often traded and worked with the local tribes. Envisioning a future settlement, Rogers eventually purchased the land from the tribes for later development.
Becoming part of Chicago
From 1830 and 1850, waves of immigrants from Luxemburg and Germany came to Rogers Park, where farming was the main industry. The average price of land at the time was $1.25 an acre, and the dominant crops were hay and pickles. On April 29, 1878, Rogers Park was incorporated as a village of Illinois governed by six trustees. In 1893, the village was annexed to the City of Chicago. Successive generations brought about vast cultural changes to the village. Elite Chicagoans began to move to new planned communities in the suburbs by the 1930s, which ushered in the migration of Germans, English and Irish families to Rogers Park. With the settlement of these migrants, their cultural traditions and languages flourished.
Rogers Park continued to see massive changes in its demographics into the twenty first century. It is known to be one of the most diverse American communities. Today, diversity is not restricted to ethnic heritage. More recently, Rogers Park (east of the Red Line tracks) has seen a burgeoning of gay and lesbian residents. It is expected that Rogers Park will anchor one of the largest gay and lesbian populations in Illinois, rivaling neighboring communities of Andersonville, Edgewater and Lakeview. Gay and lesbian culture is already making itself known in the area with new galleries, theaters, museums, retaurants and community centers popping up.
Madonna Della Strada is the chapel church of the Jesuit Province of Chicago, a Catholic religious order based in Rogers Park.
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