Although very subtle, what passes for topography in Illinois is visible in the prairie as the Skokie Valley descends to the waterway of the Skokie River which lies beneath the power lines to the west. Thousands of years ago this land was the lake bed of Lake Chicago, later the Skokie swamp famous in Lake Bluff’s early history as described by Elmer Vleit in his book Lake Bluff, The First Hundred Years as he quoted from a letter stating that “the Skokie Swamp was impassible by man or beast” including a description of a trip to Libertyville that included a detour north to Buckley Road in North Chicago in an attempt to avoid the Skokie Swamp. Early settlers, in an effort to farm the area, “ditched” the Skokie River and installed clay drain tiles 4’ beneath your feet in an effort to dry the wetland and make it more suitable for farming and grazing livestock.