The Chicago metropolitan area, "Chicagoland", shares much in common with other major metropolitan areas but also has a great number of features unique to its location, built environment, and history. Orthography varies on the original Potawatomi
name for the Chicago, Illinois area; common variants for the form from which the
city derives its present-day name -- Chicago -- include Eschikagou and Checaugou.
The translation or implied significance of this word also runs a gamut:
"skunk cabbage", "garlic", "great/great one".
One of the most common translations, and arguably the most compelling,
is "wild onion" or "wild onions".
Related to lilies, wild onions grow in "loose moist soil"
and have a ritual significance to many Native American peoples (see:
cherokee.org). The "onions" described by early missionaries
in the Chicago area might have been leeks, meadow garlic, or nodding
onions; so common was the latter that it "tinged [the landscape]
in midsummer"(see: Forest Preserve of Cook County,
Nature Bulletin #184). These varieties of hardy, savory vegetation
make a worthy landscape mascot for the Chicago region today. Used
in both culinary and medicinal recipes, they invoke the untamed richness
of the wilderness, and the strength, perseverance, and character of
In the spirit of this early idea of the Chicagoland character, this regionally-centered website, WildOnions.org, founded in 2004, is here for you to learn where and how to experience Chicagoland more extensively.
We showcase the traditional Chicago highlights as well as focusing on many parts
of the city and its surrounding communities that too-often seem unheralded. WildOnions.org
offers a visually compelling and highly organized collection of information, images, maps,
and personal knowledge about the greater Chicago
metropolitan area. We feature the neighborhoods of the City of Chicago as well as many suburbs in the Chicagoland area, with a focus on local interest and on each community's unique sense of place.
WildOnions.org is a project of the MiraVantage Division of the Miramonte Foundation.
Its text and image content is provided through a licensing agreement with Barrington Authorship Brands, which is the current coordinator of NodesProject and the owner of the Chicagoland: Inside the Map media, including text and images, that appears throughout WildOnions.org
BEGIN YOUR CHICAGOLAND JOURNEY HERE:
image-based portal | map-based portal
Search Chicagoland on WildOnions.org
& the World Knowledge Database on TrueCanoe