Chicago History Readings with David Sadowski, Chris McAuliffe, John Boda, and Ray Johnson

Join us on Small Business Saturday at City Lit Books for an event full of Chicago History, with readings from David Sadowski, author of Chicago Trolleys, Chris McAuliffe, author of Cycling in Chicago, and John Boda and Ray Johnson, authors of The Great Chicago Fire.

Chicago Trolleys is the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of Rail series. Chicago’s extensive transit system first started in 1859, when horsecars ran on rails in city streets. Cable cars and electric streetcars came next. Where new trolley car lines were built, people, businesses, and neighborhoods followed.

David Sadowski is a lifelong Chicagoan. He became interested in streetcars at the age of three, when his father took him for a ride on the last remaining Chicago line just before it was abandoned. In 2015, he co-authored Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936-1958, published as Bulletin 146 of Central Electric Railfans' Association. He now edits the popular Trolley Dodger blog (, which features historic pictures of streetcars, interurbans, and rapid transit cars.

Explore Chicago’s Cycling History in Cycling in Chicago. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Chicago was the center of bicycle manufacturing in the United States. As an early industrial and transportation center, two-thirds of all bicycles manufactured in the United States were from Chicago—it was the Detroit of bike manufacturing. Today, Chicago is a hub for recreational cyclists. Hundreds of miles of bike lanes, rail to trails, and bike paths, such as the Illinois Prairie Path, the Bloomingdale Trail, Lakefront Path, and the Big Marsh, provide cyclists with numerous recreational and commuting options in a crowded urban environment. Chicago was awarded Bicycling Magazine’s Best Bike City of 2016.

Chris McAuliffe, is a 25-year resident of Chicago and a long-time cyclist who competes in road and cyclocross racing. Chris holds a USA Cycling racing license and races for the XXX Racing-Athletico cycling team. He also enjoys recreational cycling and exploring the many bike trails and forest preserves around Chicagoland.

The Great Chicago Fire is an addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. After a hot and very dry summer, Chicago was largely a wooden tinderbox awaiting a spark that would come on the Sunday night of October 8, 1871. What became known as “the Great Chicago Fire” was a massive firestorm that moved faster than most men could run, fueled by southwest winds of at least 30 miles per hour. A total of 18,000 buildings were destroyed. About 100,000 were left homeless, and over 300 lost their lives.

John Boda is a native of Chicago and continues to study, research and teach many aspects of Chicago history from the Fort (Fort Dearborn 1812) to the Fire (Chicago Fire 1871) to the Fairs (Chicago World Fair 1893 and 1933-34), with special focus on The Great Chicago Fire. In addition to historical research and public presentations, John Boda is also a long time Chicago entertainer-singer-guitarist-speaker who performs at hundreds of senior communities, Park Districts, libraries, and many other venues every year. Many of his historical presentations combine live music performances also.

Ray Johnson was born in Chicago and raised in Cicero, IL. A 1992 graduate of The University of Illinois at Chicago and a 1997 graduate of the Police Training Institute at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Johnson pursued historical writing and research full time following his career as a criminal investigator. Johnson has been a member of The Chicago Historical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, Hyde Park Historical Society and the Jackson Park Advisory Council as well as volunteering for the Chicago Metro History Fair and the Great Lakes Region of the National Archives. He has been consulted as a historical expert on various media productions including those on the History Channel, Discovery ID and Unsolved Mysteries.

Event date: 
Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
City Lit Books
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647
Chicago Trolleys By David Sadowski Cover Image
ISBN: 9781467126816
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - September 25th, 2017

Cycling in Chicago By Chris McAuliffe Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781467126021
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - October 30th, 2017

The Great Chicago Fire By John Boda, Ray Johnson Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781467125666
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - October 2nd, 2017