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Continental Divide Online Exhibit

Five new signs tell timeless story of Continental Divide

Continental Divide marker,
located at the northeast corner of Scoville Park

More than 20 years ago, Oak Park architect Bill Dring worked with the Rotary Club of Oak Park and River Forest to create and install five colorful and educational signs marking the contours of the Continental Divide traversing Oak Park from near the corner of North and Ridgeland avenues to Lake and Forest in Downtown Oak Park.

Dring's fascination with the story of the connection between the Mississippi and Great Lakes watersheds that runs through his hometown led him to reach out again to the Rotary Club and Oak Park River Forest Museum to re-design, update, and replace the 1999 signs with new and improved versions that will tell the story of the geological history of our area for another generation.  

Continental Divide marker,
located at the northeast corner of Scoville Park

In 2020, all five of those original signs were updated, edited, re-designed, and re-manufactured.  The signs were re-installed in 2020 and 2021. 

The locations of the signs, from north to south:

  • Parkway of the parking lot, southwest corner of North and Ridgeland avenues
  • Northwest corner of Taylor Park
  • Parkway of Chicago Ave. between Linden and East avenues
  • Northeast corner of Scoville Park
  • Southeast corner of Lake and Forest

Explore These Online Exhibit Pages

To find out more about this geographical history, follow the links below to view our online exhibit.

The Continental Divide in Oak Park

The Chicago Portage

The I&M Canal 

The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal

Watch a Program by Bill Dring

Learn more about the Continental Divide and Bill Dring's work in researching this subject, watch our virtual program "Ask the Historians" from October 2021.