Wheaton Public Library (lower level), 225 N. Cross Street, Wheaton, Illinois
America is a land of immigrants. Most arrived on the East coast and eventually pushed westward towards the Mississippi River and beyond. This migration was made possible by trails cut through the wildness and then the use of barges on the rivers. The number of new settlers increased after the American Revolution and was helped by the Erie Canal and the construction of the railroads.
The migration trails did more than open the door to the west. The need for more and better transportation led to the demand for more wagons, barges and more importantly for railroad equipment and supplies. This is more than the story of the settlement of the Midwest and western states but the explosive development of the Industrial Revolution in America. This program will try to show how our immigrant ancestors were one of the forces that caused all of this.