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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 2:59 AM
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Historical Ring Cities

this thread is about satellite cities from the 19th century or prior.

chicago has 4 older ring cities from the 19th century that have since been gobbled up by latter-half 20th century sprawl.

what's kinda weird, though, is the almost perfect symmetry in their distances from downtown chicago.



- Waukegan, IL (pop. 86,075): ~35 miles NNW of downtown chicago (incorporated in 1849)

- Elgin, IL (pop. 110,849): ~35 miles WNW of downtown chicago (incorporated in 1854)

- Aurora, IL (pop. 197,757): ~35 miles WSW of downtown chicago (incorporated in 1845)

- Joliet, IL (pop. 147,344): ~35 miles SW of downtown chicago (incorporated in 1852)



all 4 of these cities started out as independent places; not subordinate to chicago in their early development in the 19th century. they are not "burbs" in the traditional sense.

but it is interesting to me that all of them seemed to form at roughly the same time and distance from the big alpha city in a near-perfect ring, and were then consequently consumed by sprawl.


does your metro area follow a similar pattern of a ring of older, larger, but historically independent cities that have been swallowed up?
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 25, 2020 at 4:22 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 3:08 AM
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Houston has very few but Galveston, Pasadena, Pearland, Texas City and Sugar Land to name a few. There are others as well but other than Galveston, most might have been founded in the 1800's as separate communities with their own histories but incorporated much later and became suburban Houston.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 1:51 PM
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Detroit inner satellites are: 25miles out
Mt Clemens, Pontiac, Plymouth, Flat Rock
Detroit has outter satellites: 50 miles out
Port Huron, Flint, Ann Arbor, Toledo
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 2:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth View Post
Detroit inner satellites are: 25miles out
Mt Clemens, Pontiac, Plymouth, Flat Rock
Detroit has outter satellites: 50 miles out
Port Huron, Flint, Ann Arbor, Toledo
I would consider Monroe to be the satellite instead of Flat Rock. Monroe was incorporated in the early 19th century.
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 2:50 PM
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Los Angeles has quite a few; the big ones that pop out in my mind are Pasadena, Glendale, and Long Beach, all founded in the 19th Century (though Glendale incorporated as a city in 1906), but many of the towns surrounding Los Angeles started out independently from Los Angeles. Some of them were bona fide agricultural towns, and some of them started out as real estate developments that were in cahoots with the expanding Pacific Electric streetcar system.

Some of these small towns had aspirations of becoming bigger cities, though, even bigger than Los Angeles. Alhambra is one of them. The context is that in the late 1880s, though LA was the county seat of LA County, it still basically was a small town amidst agriculture. Alhambra wanted to create a "Greater Alhambra," and early on started annexing land, and wanted to create a sewer farm outside of its city limits; the people living next to the sewer farm said "Oh HELLZ no" and that's how the cities of Monterey Park and Montebello were created; their incorporations prevented the sewer farm from being built.

Long Beach also started annexing land, and did those sneaky "shoestring annexations," which would encircle large acreages of undeveloped land or agricultural land. When the Lakewood Park Corporation started building acres of tract homes on a former lima bean field encircled by some of Long Beach's shoestrings, Long Beach had plans to annex that development, but instead, the residents formed the city of Lakewood. Pasadena also did somewhat of a shoestring annexation into the mountains north of it, to insure sources of water (many communities allowed themselves to be annexed by the city of LA to access LA's DWP water). Here's Pasadena's city limits; you can see two sections that snake up into the San Gabriel Mountains: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pa....1445155?hl=en

Of course in the early 1900s, LA did a shoestring annexation so that it could annex San Pedro for the Port of Los Angeles.

Shoestring annexations were made illegal in California in the 1950s, after 2 very notable shoestring annexations: Santa Barbara did a shoestring to annex its airport, and San Diego did it to annex San Ysidro, to be on the international border. What makes these shoestring annexations particularly notable is that the shoestring goes under water!

Santa Barbara:

ahstamant.com

San Diego; the shoestring goes through San Diego Bay:

sandiego.gov
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 3:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
I would consider Monroe to be the satellite instead of Flat Rock. Monroe was incorporated in the early 19th century.
I agree with you, saw it on the map, but didnt research statistics on Monroe. Monroe is so disconnected from Detroit that its never mentioned
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Los Angeles has quite a few; the big ones that pop out in my mind are Pasadena, Glendale, and Long Beach, all founded in the 19th Century (though Glendale incorporated as a city in 1906), but many of the towns surrounding Los Angeles started out independently from Los Angeles. Some of them were bona fide agricultural towns, and some of them started out as real estate developments that were in cahoots with the expanding Pacific Electric streetcar system.

Some of these small towns had aspirations of becoming bigger cities, though, even bigger than Los Angeles. Alhambra is one of them. The context is that in the late 1880s, though LA was the county seat of LA County, it still basically was a small town amidst agriculture. Alhambra wanted to create a "Greater Alhambra," and early on started annexing land, and wanted to create a sewer farm outside of its city limits; the people living next to the sewer farm said "Oh HELLZ no" and that's how the cities of Monterey Park and Montebello were created; their incorporations prevented the sewer farm from being built.

Long Beach also started annexing land, and did those sneaky "shoestring annexations," which would encircle large acreages of undeveloped land or agricultural land. When the Lakewood Park Corporation started building acres of tract homes on a former lima bean field encircled by some of Long Beach's shoestrings, Long Beach had plans to annex that development, but instead, the residents formed the city of Lakewood. Pasadena also did somewhat of a shoestring annexation into the mountains north of it, to insure sources of water (many communities allowed themselves to be annexed by the city of LA to access LA's DWP water). Here's Pasadena's city limits; you can see two sections that snake up into the San Gabriel Mountains: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pa....1445155?hl=en

Of course in the early 1900s, LA did a shoestring annexation so that it could annex San Pedro for the Port of Los Angeles.

Shoestring annexations were made illegal in California in the 1950s, after 2 very notable shoestring annexations: Santa Barbara did a shoestring to annex its airport, and San Diego did it to annex San Ysidro, to be on the international border. What makes these shoestring annexations particularly notable is that the shoestring goes under water!

Santa Barbara:

ahstamant.com

San Diego; the shoestring goes through San Diego Bay:

sandiego.gov
Very interesting. Had no idea the Pasadena city limits extended above la Canada and past the 2 into that part of the Angeles National Forest.. There is no water source in that area so I wonder why
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 5:26 PM
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Very interesting. Had no idea the Pasadena city limits extended above la Canada and past the 2 into that part of the Angeles National Forest.. There is no water source in that area so I wonder why
My guess is maybe the Devil's Gate Dam and the Arroyo Seco.

Also, for a while I always wondered why JPL uses a Pasadena address. I guess it's in that general area.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 5:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
My guess is maybe the Devil's Gate Dam and the Arroyo Seco.

Also, for a while I always wondered why JPL uses a Pasadena address. I guess it's in that general area.
JPL is partially operated by Caltech, so that might be why.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 7:50 PM
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JPL is partially operated by Caltech, so that might be why.
That could very well be; the city of La Cañada Flintridge only incorporated in the 1970s, and JPL was founded way before that. I assume JPL was in unincorporated territory when it was founded, adjacent to that particular section of Pasadena.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 7:57 PM
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Philadelphia's Ring Cities are all over the place. Here are the main ones and their distances from Center City Philadelphia:

- Camden, NJ (pop. 73,562): ~1 mile E of Center City, Philadelphia (Settled in 1626, Incorporated in 1828)

- Atlantic City, NJ (pop. 39,558): ~62 miles SE of Center City, Philadelphia (Incorporated in 1854)

- Wilmington, DE (pop. 70,166): ~32 miles SW of Center City, Philadelphia (Settled in 1638, Incorporated in 1731, City Charter in 1832)

- Reading, PA (pop. 88,375): ~58 miles WNW of Center City, Philadelphia (Settled 1748, Incorporated in 1847)
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 8:19 PM
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Montréal has an historical ring of satellite industrial/manufacturing towns.

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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 8:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth View Post
I agree with you, saw it on the map, but didnt research statistics on Monroe. Monroe is so disconnected from Detroit that its never mentioned
I would also add Windsor, ON, and Sarnia, ON, as Detroit satellites.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 8:58 PM
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Pittsburgh has a ton of these places... small, old industrial cities which developed along with Pittsburgh, but are now just satellites connected by suburban sprawl. Some of the larger of the enormous number of small municipalities in SW PA:

Washington, PA (1781) (pop. ~14,000; peak ~13,000) ~25 miles SW
- first place to be named Washington, home of Washington & Jefferson College (1781)

Butler, PA (1802) (pop. ~13,000; peak ~24,000) ~25 miles NE
- home of the Jeep

Greensburg, PA (1799) (pop. ~15,000; peak ~18,000) ~25 miles SE
- Greensburg Athletic Association is was one of earliest pro football teams

Latrobe, PA (1852) (pop. ~8,000; peak ~12,000) ~30 miles SE
- home of Rolling Rock beer, Latrobe Athletic Association was one of earliest pro football teams, home of Arnold Palmer and Mister Rogers, banana split invented there

Last edited by pj3000; Sep 25, 2020 at 10:14 PM.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 9:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
Philadelphia's Ring Cities are all over the place. Here are the main ones and their distances from Center City Philadelphia:

- Camden, NJ (pop. 73,562): ~1 mile E of Center City, Philadelphia (Settled in 1626, Incorporated in 1828)

- Atlantic City, NJ (pop. 39,558): ~62 miles SE of Center City, Philadelphia (Incorporated in 1854)

- Wilmington, DE (pop. 70,166): ~32 miles SW of Center City, Philadelphia (Settled in 1638, Incorporated in 1731, City Charter in 1832)

- Reading, PA (pop. 88,375): ~58 miles WNW of Center City, Philadelphia (Settled 1748, Incorporated in 1847)
I think Trenton would fall into the mix.

Camden doesn't really seem to be a "ring" city since it's right across the river. Reading is probably there, and Allentown/Lehigh Valley is likely getting there pretty soon. Calling Atlantic City a ring city of Philly is a major stretch though.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 10:45 PM
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Cleveland's would be Painesville (27 miles NE, founded 1800), Elyria (30 W, 1817), Lorain (30 W, 1807) and Akron (30 S, 1825) - apart from Lorain which borders Elyria, all are county seats of the neighboring counties, all about the same distance away, and all founded around the same time as Cleveland (1796). Now we are all connected by glorious sprawl too.
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 11:01 PM
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Santa Monica, Calif: first settled in the 1700s and incorporated in 1886
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2020, 2:51 AM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
I think Trenton would fall into the mix.

Camden doesn't really seem to be a "ring" city since it's right across the river. Reading is probably there, and Allentown/Lehigh Valley is likely getting there pretty soon. Calling Atlantic City a ring city of Philly is a major stretch though.
Trenton is “technically” not a part of the Philadelphia MSA or CSA, which is why I didn’t include it as a “ring city” of Philadelphia. Trenton is a part of the NYC CSA. Of course, we all know that’s BS, and Trenton is indeed a ring City of Philadelphia, but that’s why I didn’t include it.

Reading is a part of the Philadelphia CSA, so absolutely qualifies and acts as a Ring City to Philadelphia.

I would absolutely say Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton (Lehigh Valley) are indeed ring cities of Philadelphia, but again, they’re not a part of the Philadelphia MSA or CSA on paper, which is why I didn’t include them.

Atlantic City is 100% a ring city of Philadelphia. It grew up as a resort city for Philadelphia. Look up its history. Even to this day, the only commuter rail line into Atlantic City is from Philadelphia. Furthermore, Atlantic City is a part of the Philadelphia CSA.

Of course, I didn’t include the numerous smaller “Ring Cities” in the Philadelphia area like Media, West Chester, Doylestown, Ambler, Norristown, Phoenixville, Newark, Bristol, Burlington, Mount Holly, Vineland, Glassboro, etc. etc.
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2020, 4:02 PM
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Hamilton and Oshawa are the only two real "cities" with a sizeable old urban core and an industrial feel that are less than an hour's drive from downtown Toronto. They are sort of ringing Toronto to the East and West.

Brampton's downtown is too small as are Mississauga's old town centres such as Port Credit and Streetsville. Same with Whitby, Newmarket and Aurora, they have old "small town" cores that are surrounded by suburbia, and don't feel like real "cities" in their own right.

You have go a bit farther out before you get to the outer Golden Horseshoe cities such as Brantford, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, St. Catharines/Niagara Falls and Barrie, which are all about 1 to 1.5 hours away from the city centre by car.

All of these cities are connected to Toronto by Go Transit.
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2020, 5:08 PM
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Seattle would include:

Tacoma about 30 miles south. It was roughly equal to Seattle until 1900 or so. It's a seaport and military city, while its white collar workers often commute to Seattle. It also has reservation land close to the core, so there are big casinos. It has a reviving downtown aided by a growing UW Tacoma campus. Settled by whites in 1864 (after battles when they originally left) and incorporated in 1875. The view of Mt. Rainier is like Seattle's but 25 miles closer.

Everett is 30 miles north. It's home to the largest Boeing factory, and the largest Navy base established during the Home Port program of the 80s/90s. Also a growing/reviving downtown. Settled by whites in the 1860s and incorporated in 1893.

Bremerton is closer, but across Puget Sound. People commute to Downtown Seattle by ferry. Bremerton has one of the Navy's largest shipyards. It's smaller than the others. Bremerton was established as a Navy base in 1891 and incorporated in 1901.
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