I am posting a few additional pictures of Starved Rock Park in Illinois, this is from our visit last October, and in addition to my recent post Soaring with Eagles at Canyon’s Edge. We had not visited Kaskaskia canyon yet, but would definitely like to go next time as it is named for the largest recorded village of 4-5 thousand American Indians living on the banks of Illinois river.
Starved Rock, located between Ottawa and La Salle-Peru, stands as one of the preeminent archeological, historical, and scenic landmarks in Illinois. Rising over 125 feet above the river below, Starved Rock—a tree covered sandstone monolith overlooking the Illinois River amid a landscape of woodland, canyons, and waterfalls that may closely resemble the region’s landscape as it was before the Ice Age. It has a total of 18 canyons. Images below are just from 2 canyons closest to the visitor’s center: French Canyon and Wildcat Canyon.
While clearly of historical importance from both a Native and a Western perspective, Starved Rock is best known because of the legend from which it derives its name. A legend which appears to be based far more on romantic imagination than on anything resembling historical evidence. Though many variations of the legend of Starved Rock have been told over the years, most have certain traits in common. In most popular versions of the tale, an Illinois man—sometimes described as a Peoria, sometimes a Michigamea, but always a member of an Illinois sub-tribe—murdered the Ottawa Chief Pontiac in St. Louis in 17??. In response to the senseless (and possibly drunken) slaying of the popular inter-tribal leader, members of the Potowatomi nation—often said to have been accompanied by Ottawa and Mesquakie warriors—attacked the Illinois, driving them from their homes to the relative safety of the inaccessible Le Rocher. But, so the legend concludes, their escape was short-lived. Their refuge protected the Illinois from attacks, but it offered no sources of water or food. Unable to reach the river over one hundred feet below without confronting their enemies, the besieged Illinois died of thirst and starvation. Often the legend cites this as the explanation for why there are no surviving Illinois people today (the continued living presence of the Peorias and Kaskaskias is rarely mentioned—it would complicate a good story with troublesome facts). Source