Along the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Rail Line
Starting in 1901 as a three-mile-long trolley line in East Chicago, Indiana, the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad expanded in 1908 to connect South Bend, Indiana, with Chicago, Illinois.
Once a treasure in the Sam Insull utilities empire, today it is the only functioning electric interurban in the United States.
From a world-class city through rolling agricultural acres, from steel mills through a national lakeshore, some 200 vintage photographs illustrate the unique view of the Calumet region that South Shore passengers have traditionally enjoyed.
Images of rolling stock, passenger depots, excursion destinations, and historic sites along the way combine to reveal the century-long story of the railroad and its 90-mile corridor.
Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Rail Lineis Cynthia Ogorek’s third book with Arcadia Publishing. With the first two, it forms a set on the history of transportation in the bi-state Calumet Region.
Cynthia’s first two books, Along the Calumet Riverand The Lincoln Highway Around Chicagoboth won accolades from the Illinois Women’s Press Association, the National Federation of Press Women and the Illinois State Historical Society.
A native of the Calumet Region, she attended St. Victor’s Elementary School and Thornton Fractional North High Scool, both in Calumet City. She received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Dominican University (then RosaryCollege) in River Forest, IL. She holds a masters degree in U.S. history from Purdue University-Calumet where she was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society for historians. Subsequently, she received a certificate from the Seminar for Historical Administration which was then located in Colonial Williamsburg.
In the late 1990s Ogorek began her work in presenting programs about historical topics with “Romancing the Spoon, the Victorian Love Affair with Silver.” In it she explores the development of the United States' silver industry between 1840 and WWI and its relation to Gilded Age economics and social mores.
From 1985 to 1997, Ogorek was a freelance correspondent for The Times of Northwest Indiana, Antique Week-TriState Trader and the Chicago Sun-Times among other regional and national periodicals where she concentrated on food, business and history-related topics. Her byline also appeared in the Encyclopedia of Local History, Dictionary of American Biography, and Women Building Chicago.
Ogorek has long been active in the Calumet region’s bi-state historical community where she has served on the boards of the Calumet Heritage Partnership and the South Suburban Heritage Association. She is a past president of the Calumet City Historical Society where she was also one of the co-founders of the Society’s history museum. She continues to maintain memberships in many local historical societies in Indiana and Illinois including the Historical Community of Northwest Indiana (HCNWI). She has served on the board of the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition and the Illinois chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association.
She has lectured widely on silver as well as the topics covered by her books. Her interest in women’s history has resulted in a series of programs-with-exhibits called “First Ladies from the Midwest.” They feature biographies of all the U.S. first ladies who have called the Midwest home: Anna Harrison, Mary Lincoln, Julia Grant, Lucretia Garfield, Lucy Hayes, Caroline Harrision, Ida McKinley, Helen Taft, Florence Harding, Lou Hoover, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Betty Ford, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
Research into the lives of Anna Harrison and Mary Lincoln have led Ogorek to do research in repositories from Kentucky to Ohio, New Jersey and Long Island, NY.
In 2008, Ogorek was named Outstanding Alumna of the Department of History and Political Science at Purdue University-Calumet and the following spring she received the “Distinguished Friend of Southern Suburbs Heritage” from the South Suburban Heritage Association.
Cynthia lives in her childhood home between the Little and Grand Calumet Rivers about ten miles north of the Lincoln Highway and always within the sound of a freight train.