One of Chicago's features that it is most closely identified with is it elevated railroad system, affectionately referred to as the "L". Now over one hundred years old, the "L" was created for, and had expanded and declined according to the population of Chicago. From its conception as a sleepy village near Fort Dearborn in 1803, to its charter as a city in 1830 to its enormous expansions in the late nineteenth century, convenient transportation has always been a necessity in Chicago. As the city's borders expanded, the distances between residential areas and the jobs and commercial districts of the city were widening. As walking became impractical and few could afford horse-drawn carriages or, when they were invented, automobiles, a form of mass transportation was soon required in the growing metropolis of Chicago. Horse-drawn omnibuses, started in 1850, horse-drawn street cars, started in 1859 and eventually a massive street car and motor coach system, beginning after the Civil War, all helped, but all were slow, worked only locally and contributed even more to street congestion. To "rise above the problem", so the speak, the answer was the "L". Always existing to serve the people, the "L" has been expanded and reduced, changed and reformed according to the intra-city migration habits of the people of the Chicago metro area. This can best be illustrated by examining the system's rich history and seeing how each line was created and adapted to best serve the most populated sections of the city.