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Entries : Water Quality in the 1830s
Water Quality in the 1830s

Water Quality in the 1830s

When Caroline Palmer Clarke arrived in Chicago in 1835, she wrote to her sister-in-law describing the city. A few years later, Clarke would settle into her new home, which remains one of the oldest houses in Chicago, now located in the Prairie Avenue Historic District.

I am thus far much better pleased with Chicago than I expected....

I had expected to find the water very hard, but am as much disappointed in that as any one thing. The Lake water, which they use for almost every purpose, is as pure and good tasted as any I ever saw in my life. It is soft and washes perfectly well. To be sure they have the trouble of bringing it, but that costs only a shilling a barrel, which is nothing you know where they are in such a great way of doing business as they are here at Chicago.

Caroline Palmer Clarke to Mary Clarke Walker (sister-in-law), dated Chicago, November 1, 1835. Chicago Historical Society.