December 27, 1865 – The first shipment of hogs arrives at the Union Stockyards, opened officially just two days earlier. The vast facility that would come to occupy land bordered by Pershing Avenue, Halsted Street, Forty-Seventh Street, and Ashland Avenue, got its start in 1864 when nine railroad companies purchased 320 acres of swampland on the southwest side of the city. [www.chicagohs.org] Fifteen miles of railroad track brought the critters to the stockyards, and 500,000 gallons of water from the river were pumped into the yards each day, with waste water dumped into a channel flowing back into the river, that channel now known as “Bubbly Creek”. From the 320 acres in 1865 the stockyards grew to 475 acres by 1900 and contained 50 miles of roads with 130 miles of railroad track at its perimeter. 16 million animals a year were processed in the stockyards during the peak years of World War I, an average of nine million pounds of meat every single day. The above photo shows the Union Stockyards in 1867.