The south fork of the southern branch of the Chicago River was called “Bubbly Creek” because it carried the run-off from the Stockyards. This photo is from 1905.
Gases caused from the blood and discarded carcasses from the packing plants gave the waterway it’s name. Skimming started when people realized you could gather all the decomposing hair, bone and skin to make lard. Mmmmm.
The waterway remains heavily polluted to this day.