In 1824 the United States Army built a small post near today's Clybourn Avenue and Armitage Avenue (formerly Centre Street). Indian settlements existed along Green Bay Trail, now called Clark Street (named after George Rogers Clark), at the current intersection of Halsted Street and Fullerton Avenue. Before Green Bay Trail became Clark Street, it stretched as far as Green Bay, Wisconsin, and was part of what still is Green Bay Avenue in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.
In 1836, land from North to Fullerton and from the lake to Halsted was relatively inexpensive, costing $150 per acre ($370 ha) / 1836 prices, not adjusted for inflation). Because the area was considered remote, a small poxhospital and the city cemetery were located in Lincoln Park until the 1860s.
In 1837, Chicago was incorporated as a city, and North Avenue (to the south of today's Lincoln Park neighborhood) was established as its northern boundary. Settlements increased along Green Bay Trail when (1) the government offered land claims and (2) Green Bay Road was widened. The area north of Chicago, including today's Lincoln Park, was eventually incorporated as Lake View Township. The city, nonetheless, owned extensive tracts of land north of North Avenue, including what is the now the park. The Township was annexed to Chicago in 1889.
From 1896 to 1903, the original Ferris Wheel was located at a small amusement park near Clark and Wrightwood. The site was from 2619 to 2665 N. Clark, which is now the location of a McDonald's and a high-rise residential building.
In 1968 a violent confrontation between demonstrators and police in Lincoln Park was avoided during the week of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
"I pointed out that it was in the best interests of the City to have us in Lincoln Park ten miles away from the Convention hall. I said we had no intention of marching on the Convention hall, that I didn't particularly think that politics in America could be changed by marches and rallies, that what we were presenting was an alternative life style, and we hoped that people of Chicago would come up, and mingle in Lincoln Park and see what we were about."