Monuments letter I

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Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor – though construction of the Illinois & Michigan Canal did not begin until 1836 and was not finished until 1848, the anticipation of this undertaking began to stimulate the growth of Chicago as early as 1832, so much so that by 1837 the modest village had become a city. What remains today of the canal is carefully preserved by Illinois State effort, and is made accessible to the public by publicized canoe routes, hiking and horse trails, and campgrounds. The various portions of the canal extend from Chicago to Peru, IL. For information and brochures, call the Joliet office of The Heritage Corridor at 1-800-926-2262.

Illinois Centennial Monument [1] – 1918 · ornamental Tennessee marble column topped by an eagle at the intersection of Logan Boulevard and Kedzie Avenue; erected by the B.F. Ferguson Monument Fund to celebrate the centennial of Illinois statehood. Architect: Henry Bacon; sculptor: Evelyn Beatrice Longman Batchelder. [Photograph by Alan Gornik, 2010]

Illinois Centennial Monument [2] – additional details of the monument shown above. [Photographs by Alan Gornik, 2010]

Illinois State Line Marker – 1822 · believed to be the oldest historical monument in Chicagoland—a tall, plain, but harmonious limestone structure with multiple fossils (crinoids?) weathering out on its surface, located where the northwest corner of Indiana touches the eastern border of Illinois. To state that this is the intersection of State Line Road and 103rd Street is correct, except that both streets are interrupted near this point by industrial and railroad developments. The visitor must approach from the north to find the monument in the small Allen J. Benson Park at the entrance to the Commonwealth Edison State Line generating plant. Bronze plaques explain that the “State Line was retraced by Act of Congress 1833” and that the marker is now located 191.09 feet north of its original site, and 159.359 miles due north from the Wabash River. [Photo compliments of Alan Gornik, 2006]

Indian Alarm [1] – 1884 · bronze sculpture showing an Ottawa Indian family on the move, halting as if alert to some imminent danger; located in Lincoln Park, 3000 N. Four incised granite tablets at the base depict scenes from Ottawa life: “The Peace Pipe – The Corn Dance – Forestry – The Hunt.” Sculptor: John J. Boyle. The sculpture was the earliest work in Chicago to realistically portray and feature American Indians. This 2008 photograph was taken by Alan Gornik.

Indian Alarm [2] – shown here is “The Corn Dance,” representing one of the four incised granite tablets at the base of the above bronze sculpture. The sculptor`s benefactor was Martin Ryerson (1818-1887), who spent several years trading with the Indians in Michigan. Thus the inscription on the base reads: “To the Ottawa Nation of Indians, my Early Friends.” Ryerson established a lumber business and came to Chicago, where he had several office buildings built in the Loop. This 2008 photograph and the Ryerson information were provided by Alan Gornik.

Indian Army Trail – see Army Trail Road.

Indian artifacts and culture – see Mitchell Museum of the American Indian; see Forest Park Library.

Indian Boundary Lines – 1937 · bronze plaque on Rogers Avenue, northeast corner with Clark Street, inscribed: “Indian Boundary Lines – Clark Street honors George Rogers Clark, whose brother William Clark, with Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau, in 1816 negotiated Indian treaty ceding land including Chicago site from Rogers Avenue to Lake Calumet. – Erected by Chicago`s Charter Jubilee – Authenticated by Chicago Historical Society – 1937.” The plaque commemorates the successful efforts of Gov. Ninian Edwards and others to negotiate with local Indian tribes, at the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis, the acquisition by the United States of a tract of land, 20 by 70 miles, that extended from Lake Michigan to the Illinois River near Ottawa and included Chicago, the portage, and the area for which construction of a canal between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system was contemplated. Rogers Avenue now forms part of the northern boundary of this tract; Indian Boundary Road southwest of Plainfield also follows this northern line.

Indian Boundary Park – 1979 · located at 2500 W. Lunt Avenue in Chicago. The aluminum plaque shown here can be found just northeast of the field house; it reads: “Indian Boundary Park – 1916 – This 13.06 acre park commemorates the Treaty of 1816 which established the land boundaries of the Pottawatomie Indians. –Indian Boundary Area Council · 1979–” For further information on the treaty, see Encyclopedia section, treaties, 1816 – St. Louis. Photograph provided by Alan Gornik, 2006.

Indian Cemetery – see Robinson grave site.

Indian Cemetery Marker – 1941 · a tall triangular granite column on a small hill at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, showing an Indian on horseback in bas-relief and the following inscription: “This is the site of a village and burial ground of the Pottawatomie Indians from ancient times until 1835 when they were exiled to lands beyond the Mississippi. Later this locality was known as Indian Hill. … Here stood the cabin of Leon Bourassa, the trapper. His Indian wife, Margaret, had been reared in this grove and, after the exodus of her tribe, she chose to remain near the graves of her ancestors. … As the years passed, the visits of the Pottawatomies became ever less frequent and this memorial has been erected to perpetuate their memory. … In 1832 federal troops under General Winfield Scott skirted this grove, forded the river a mile north, and marched on to the Black Hawk War in the Rock River country. These soldiers had encamped at a point that is now the Village of Riverside to rest and recover from an epidemic of Asiatic cholera. … Upon the arrival of white settlers these acres became the homestead of Ferdinand Haase and his family. The first person to die in this new home was buried on this hill in 1854. … Thus, many years ago, Ferdinand Haase and his sons re-established and dedicated to sepulcher the ancient forest home of the Pottawatomie to become the present Forest Home of the white man. A.D. 1941.” Designer: Paul Strayer. Sculptor: Guido Rebechini.

Indian Council – within the northwest corner of the U.S. Post Office`s Loop Station at 211 S Clark Street, a five-foot-by-15-foot oil mural entitled, “Great Indian Council, Chicago—1833.” The mural was one of many commissioned by the Treasury Department`s Section of Painting and Sculpture, beginning 1934, to decorate the public-works buildings being constructed throughout the country. Painted by the Chicago artist Gustaf Oscar Dalstrom for the Chesnut Street Post Office at 840 N Clark Street in 1938, the work was later moved to its present location; the original plaque is missing. Also see “Treaty 1833” in the Monuments section. [285]

Indian Lookout – 1933 · “Lookout Point – Used as a Signal Station on Main Highway of Indian Travel – Marked by Dewalt Mechlin Chapter – Daughters of the American Revolution – June 14, 1933.” [text in preparation]

Indian Monument – statue of a group of Indians on a tall concrete base. [additional text in preparation]

Indian Signal of Peace – 1890 · bronze statue of Sioux chief on horseback, giving the Indian peace sign; exhibited at the 1893 World Columbian Exhibition, then placed on a high granite pedestal in Lincoln Park, north of the entrance to Diversey Harbor. Sculptor: Cyrus Edwin Dallin. Photographed in 2008 by Alan Gornik.

Indian Signal Station and Campground – marked by a granite boulder in the Dan Ryan Woods of the Calumet Division of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, north of 87th at Western Avenue. A bronze plaque on the boulder bears the inscription: “Lookout point used as a signal station on main highway of Indian travel. – Marked by the Dewalt Mechlin Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. – June 16, 1922.” The boulder stands on elevated ground, a moraine of the early Wisconsin glacier, and the rise still affords a distant view to the northeast, where Chicago`s skyline is visible above the trees of the preserve.

Indian silver – see Forest Park Library.

Indian Sun Vow – 1898 · The Sun Vow bronze sculpture [cast in 1901] of a seated elder Indian observing a young archer releasing an arrow aimed at the sun; exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago until defaced; now restored and exhibited in The Field-McCormick Galleries of American Arts, Rice Building, AIC. Sculptor: Hermon Atkins MacNeil. Photograph taken by Jane Meredith.

Indian Trail Marker – 1942 · the head of an Indian brave carved into a stone boulder at the Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, with the following inscription: “An ancient Indian trail once passed this boulder, skirting the forest along the Des Plaines River, through groves of wild plum and hazel thickets. … Eastward the tall grass of the prairie stretched as far as the eye could reach. Later it served as a road for the early settlers in the long months when the flooded prairies were impassable. May those who now follow this trail gain comfort from nature`s peace and beauty.”

Indian Village and Chipping Station – 1923 · bronze plaque upon a granite boulder on the front lawn of Evanston Hospital on Sheridan Road, inscribed: “This stone marks the site of an ancient Indian village and chipping station, last occupied by the Potawatamie, who were removed from the location in 1835 – Placed by Fort Dearborn Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1923 – Replaced 1974.” Arrowheads and spearheads were fashioned from flint stone at chipping stations.

Indian Village Site – on a small triangular plot of land at the intersection of Meadow and Ridge roads in Winnetka, a bronze marker reads “Indian Village Site · Unearthed relics and testimony of early settlers indicate that this ridge, throughout its length, was a frequent camp site of Potawotomi Indians and antecedent tribes.” Winnetka Historical Society. Photograph provided by Alan Gornik, 2006.

Indians – also see Historic Panels.

Indians Warriors [1] – 1928 · two bronze statues of Indians on horseback, flanking Congress Expressway where it enters Grant [now Millennium] Park, one referred to as the Bowman, the other as the Spearman, both holding imaginary weapons; each are 17 feet high. The sculptures were created by Ivan Mestrovic. Shown here is the Bowman.

Indians Warriors [2] – the Spearman.

Iroquois Woods – named after a confederated group of Indian tribes with similar languages who lived mostly in present-day New York State. The triangular woods are located in the southernmost portion of the Des Plaines Division of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, bounded by Touhy Avenue, Algonquin Road, and the Tri-State Tollway.

Isle a la Cache Museum – an island in the Des Plaines River near Romeoville, IL, reached from Chicago via the Chicago Portage in one day`s canoe travel on the way toward the Illinois River settlements, was already known to the earliest French traders in the days of Father Marquette`s second exploration to Illinois in 1674. They used the island as a campsite and to temporarily hide their valuable trade goods. The Forest Preserve District of Will County now maintains a small museum there that presents the cultural history of the Indian and French fur trade era. It is located at 501 E Romeo Road in Romeoville; call (815) 886-1467.