Off-Site Event: Like a Secondhand Sea: A story of the River and Lake told in 3 Parts

Jul ’12
11:00 am

Pocket Guide to Hell presents Like a Secondhand Sea, a 3-part historical reenactment that uses costumes, props, and audience participation to tell the story of how human contact has altered Lake Michigan and the Chicago River on Sunday, July 15th. Using costumes, props, music, and a cast of hundreds, it tells a three-part story: Marquette and Joliet’s expedition along the original coastline of the Lake in 1673; Captain George Wellington Streeter’s founding of a squatter community on the reclaimed land that bears his name in 1886; and the Sanitary District’s reversal of the Chicago River in 1892-1900. This free and interactive event uses stories of the past to increase awareness of how human contact is continuing to change the waterways today. It’s FREE. Come whenever you want. Stay as long as you like. THIS EVENT IS NOT AT QUIMBY’S.

Part 1: Marquette & Joliet, starts at Chicago & Michigan at 11:00 AM
Part 2: Streeterville, starts outside the River East Arts Center (435 E Illinois) at 12:00 PM
Part 3: River Reversal Dedication, starts at Centennial Fountain at 2:00 PM

In Part 1 join Marquette & Joliet as they retrace the original coastline of the lake, today’s Michigan Avenue, in voyageur canoes on wheels. Part 2 brings to life the District of Lake Michigan, aka Streeterville, the outlaw and outcast community of gambling dens, saloons, and brothels that Capt. George Wellington Streeter built on land reclaimed from the lake. The Sanitary and Shipping Canal is dedicated and the Chicago River is reversed in Part 3, which restages the official ceremony inaugurating this marvel of engineering, complete with nickel-plated shovels and a marching band. Each Part leads directly into the next and will be used to highlight contemporary challenges to the health and sustainability of Chicago’s waterways.

With costumes by Claire Schaubel, Michelle Faust, & Nat Ward and props by Kenneth Morrison and Matt Malooly.

With performances by: Jon Langford, Martin Billheimer, Sally Tims, Tim Tuten, Alison Cuddy, Justin Amolsch, Rob Cruz, L. Wyatt, Scott M. Priz, Water Reclamations District Commissioner Debra Shore, Rich Cahan, Nick Fraccaro, Nicki Yowell, Kenneth Morrison, Matt Malooly, Nat Ward, Michelle Faust, Brant Veilleux, Tim Newberg, The Chicago Poetry Bordello, Sarah Crawford, Rich Bales, Ingrid Haftel, Kate Keleman, Meghan McGrath, Burke Bindbeutel, David Durstewitz, Tim Samuelson, Kevin Robinson, Jerry Boyle, Claire Glass, Richard Bales, Gail Spreen, Steve Mosqueda, Joe Mason, Nicki Yowell, Liz Mason, Tim Dashnaw, Rozi Cohen, Neville, Kennedy Greenrod, Justin Amolsch’s Brass Inferno Productions,  The Chicago Poetry Bordello, circus acrobats and puppeteers under the direction of Scott M. Priz,  Chris Olsen will provide tintype photographs. Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore will make a special guest appearance alongside Tim Samuelson, Rich Cahan, Thom Cmar, Richard F. Bales, and Kevin Robinson and many, many more.

With Art & Culture cops provided by: members of the Chicago Architectural Foundation, SOAR, Quimby’s, The Hideout, Public Media Institute, Chicago Publishes, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Read/Write Library, and the Newberry.

Event partners include: Quimby’s – TimeOut Chicago – The Hideout – The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) – Read/Write Library – Haymarket Pub & Brewery – Chicago Publishes – The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame – Public Media Institute – Steampunk Chicago

Poster by Edie Fake. Handbill by Lyra Hill.

is a series of free and interactive walking tours and historical reenactments dealing with Chicago’s past. Last spring’s full-scale 125th anniversary Haymarket Reenactment had over 1000 participants. has been written about in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, TimeOut, and Vice among other places. See for information about past and upcoming events.

Interested in representing Quimby’s at this event? Contact liz(at)quimbys(dot)com