Over a century ago this month, 105 years to be exact, Chicago got its first airline service.
Lake Shore Airlines, was created in May, 1914 and began its first scheduled flights the next month. The airline served three destinations: Lake Forest, Grant Park, and the South Shore Country Club. The airline was created by several Aero Club of Illinois members including Harold F. McCormick and Jack Vilas. Both McCormick and Vilas owned Curtiss Model F hydroaeroplanes which were used by the airline. Tickets were $10.
As far as I can tell, Lake Shore Airlines was only the second airline started in the U.S. Only a few month earlier, in January 1914, the St. Petersburg - Tampa Airboat Line began operations between those two Florida cities flying Benoist Model 14 Airboat. The first airline operated for only four months wand ceased flights about the time Lake Shore Airlines took off.
Sadly, Lake Shore Airlines fate was not much better. As we know all too well, weather off Lake Michigan is not always conducive to flying. Open-cockpit aircraft made of wood and fabric and landing on the Lake during foul weather was not for most well-heeled customers. The airline folded its wings before the end of the year.