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Title: Pere Marquette State Park
Author: Illinois. Department of Conservation
Language: English
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    [Illustration: Guest House is attractive and comfortable]

                            _Pere Marquette_

    [Illustration: The hub of park activities is the rustic lodge]

Sprawling picturesque Pere Marquette State Park and Conservation Area,
located on the bluffs overlooking the gentle flowing Illinois river,
offers many diversified forms of recreation and abounds in scenic
beauty. The 5180 acre area is in Jersey county five miles west of
Grafton on Illinois route 100 and approximately 19 miles west and north
of Alton via the scenic Great River Road.

The park was named in memory of Father Jacques Marquette, the French
Jesuit missionary priest, who in 1673 along with explorer Louis Jolliet
were the first white men to enter what is now the State of Illinois at
the confluence of the Mighty Mississippi and the Illinois rivers. A
large white cross, east of the park entrance alongside route 100, marks
where these two famous men landed.

The park with its 2605.90 acres and the conservation area consisting of
2574 acres were acquired by the state in 1932. The two areas adjoin each
other. Across the Illinois river to the south and west is the Federal
Wild Life Refuge of more than 8,000 acres.


Long popular and much used is the massive Pere Marquette Lodge built of
colorful native stone and rustic timbers, and the seven stone guest
houses back of it, nestling into the hillside. The guest houses with 29
rooms and the lodge with 18 rooms are all heated, completely
air-conditioned, and each have televisions. The spacious dining room has
maintained a continued reputation for exceptionally good food and
gracious hospitality which spills over to the large lounge with a huge
700 ton stone fireplace, furnishing the ideal spot for old-fashioned
corn popping or just plain loafing. There are also many outdoor
activities including a swimming pool (open May 15 through September 15),
a five-hole, par three, golf course, shuffleboard and horseshoe courts
for lodge guests. Room or dining reservations should be made with the
Pere Marquette Lodge management, Grafton, Illinois (A.C. 618—Grafton


The recreational facilities of the park are many and varied ranging from
camping to hiking the many miles of foot trails, boating and fishing,
picnicking or horseback riding the bridle paths, or viewing the many
scenic wonders from the overlooks atop the bluffs. It’s family
recreation at its best!

Camping is popular and in addition to primitive sites, the park affords
trailer sites with electricity, shower baths, and flush toilets. Camping
permits must be secured from the park ranger who will assign you a
camping site. There are ample picnic areas with good shade, pure water,
and picnic tables at designated areas. No open fires are permitted and
no cooking can be done except on a park or camp stove. Playground
equipment is provided for the children.

If you are a nature lover and wish to commune with nature, the park
provides miles of foot trails. From April to October, a part-time
naturalist is available for scheduled trips on the nature trails. At the
beginning of the trail you will find a nature museum with excellent
exhibits pertaining to animal and plant life, archaeology and geology of
the park. The vast network of foot trails with scattered shelters, lead
you to McAdams Peak where Dr. McAdams recovered 125 Indian skeletons,
Quitt Point the highest point in the park or other popular overlooks.
During the early spring the park abounds with the added beauty of white
blossoming wild dogwood and redbud trees.

The modern new boat docks provide dockage for privately owned craft. The
convenient concession stand has row boats for rent and arranges for
scenic or speedboat rides. Fishing is an extremely popular pastime and
the angler has the opportunity of catching a variety of fish from the
waters of the Illinois.


Horseback riding over the 14 miles of bridle paths is another
recreational feature of the park. A stable with good mounts is located
within the park near the entrance.

Located in the Conservation Area, the organized youth group camping area
is equipped with kitchens, mess halls, and swimming pools. These three
areas, Camp Piasa, Camp Quatoga, and Camp Potawatomi are extensively
used during the summer months and can accommodate approximately 365
youths. Reservations for the use of these facilities are made with the
Division of Parks and Memorials, 100 State Office Building, Springfield

                       EARLY HISTORY OF PARK AREA

    [Illustration: Cross marks site where Marquette and Jolliet entered
    Illinois in 1673]

In Pere Marquette State Park there are 18 sites indicating occupation by
prehistoric Americans and a village once located where the lodge now
stands. It is believed that men, nomadic hunters and fishers, appeared
in the Illinois valley possibly about the beginning of the Christian
Era. Later stone age peoples by 900 A. D. made large leaf-shaped
arrowheads and coarse, heavy pottery. By 1300 A. D. trade had developed
and at Cahokia resulted in village-states. These peoples made small,
finely-chipped arrowheads, pottery with handles and a variety of wares
and cultivated corn, squash and beans.

When the French came to this region, the Illinois, Potawatomie and
Kickapoo Indians were little removed from their ancestors whose
cemeteries, burial mounds, house and village sites dotted the Illinois
Valley as at the park.

Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette were sent by the French
government over the Wisconsin portage, in the spring of 1673, to explore
the Mississippi River for a passage to the Pacific Ocean. They coursed
as far as the Arkansas River where they turned back and in September
entered the Illinois River. The Marquette Monument, a large stone cross,
alongside Route 100, commemorates this event as the recorded entrance of
white men into Illinois.

Robert Cavilier, sieur de La Salle appeared shortly to govern and
develop the region. His unbounded energy earned him the name “Prince of

He built Fort Creve Coeur near Peoria, now a state park, and in the
spring of 1680 sent Father Louis Hennepin down the Illinois River to
explore the upper Mississippi. Hennepin and his party spent five days at
or across from the present lodge, waiting for the ice to go out of the
Mississippi. On March 12, the expedition turned up the mighty Father of
Waters. The Iroquois Indians invaded the Illinois valley that spring and
mutinous soldiers destroyed Fort Creve Coeur as La Salle hiked to


Learning of the wrecking of his enterprise, La Salle hurried to the
Illinois valley to search for his companions, arriving at Pere Marquette
State Park by canoe on December 7, 1680. On the north bank of the
Illinois River he viewed the fury of the Iroquois, for here were
Illinois women and children tortured to death by fire, impaled on poles.

Having found no trace of Frenchmen, he stripped the bark from the trunk
of a tree, hung a board with a drawing of his party in a canoe, tied a
letter to Tonti, his trusted lieutenant, to the board directing him to a
cache of supplies hidden nearby.

On December 7, 1681, La Salle with a party of 22 Frenchmen, reunited
with Tonti, rendezvoused with 18 Indians at the mouth of the Illinois
River. This party remained 12 days building elm bark canoes for the long
trip down the Mississippi. Three months later La Salle stood at the
mouth of the river and claimed the Mississippi valley for France, naming
it “Louisiana.”


La Salle’s successor in the Illinois country was Henri Tonti, an Italian
in the French army. He had lost a hand in some battle, for which he
substituted an iron one, which so impressed the Indians that he became
famed as the man with the Iron Hand.

He served as guide to the Seminary Fathers who founded Cahokia, today
the oldest permanent settlement in the Mississippi valley. This party
stopped overnight at the mouth of the Illinois River on December 5,

In 1717 the Regent of France was influenced by John Law, a Scottish land
speculator, to draw a line from the mouth of the Illinois River,
extended east, which created New France (Canada) to the north and
Louisiana to the south. Law’s scheme to colonize Louisiana waxed until
1720 when the “Mississippi Bubble” burst, nearly wrecking France.

On October 9, 1721, Pierre Francois de Charlevoix, a Jesuit college
professor, sent by Louis XV’s Regent to search for the still
undiscovered route to the Pacific Ocean passed this way. “For at this
place,” he wrote in polished prose, “The River of the Illinois changes
its course.... One might say, out of regret to its being obliged to pay
the tribute of its waters to another river, it endeavors to return back
to its source.”


The fur trade, flourishing with the Indians as middlemen, centered on
the strategic Illinois waterway. The Indians controlled the region from
the Fox War of the 1730’s through the French and Indian War of the
1760’s, the French having possession in name only.

When the British took hold in 1763, illegal fur trading began from the
newly founded St. Louis, Calhoun Point being the place of crossing.
Otter, beaver, wolf, deer and martin are the peltry mentioned as
abounding from the mouth of the Illinois north.

By the Treaty of Greenville, Ohio, in August, 1795, the Indians ceded a
twelve square mile tract at the mouth of the Illinois River, including
free passage of the waterway.

In 1811 trouble with Indians saw the building of a blockhouse near the
mouth of the Illinois River and another at the present Meppen, across
the river from Goat Cliff.

Major Stephan H. Long in September, 1816, went by keelboat from St.
Louis to Peoria with two soldiers and an interpreter, Francis Le Clair,
the founder of Davenport, Iowa. This survey party returned overland
south and west, reaching the Illinois River via the low ridge east of
Quitt Point and Deerlick Hollow.

The autumn of 1818 found Gurdon S. Hubbard as a clerk on a bateau as an
agent of Astor’s American Fur Company. Hubbard, only 18, tells of the
party passing Pere Marquette State Park singing Canadian boat songs and
spending the night of November 5 at the mouth of the Illinois, bound for
St. Louis. This party returned in the first week of December as Illinois
was accepted into the Union. Hubbard became a legendary figure in
Illinois, living a full and adventurous life in the Illinois fur trade.


Five veterans of the regular army were the first settlers in this region
this same year. One of these, David Gilbert, settled on the bank of the
lake now bearing his family name. George Finney, another veteran,
platted the village of Camden in February, 1821, in the valley now
bearing that name at the mouth of the Illinois river.

    [Illustration: Corner of interesting nature museum]

James Mason entered land in 1830 just to the east of Camden to establish
a ferry to facilitate trade with St. Louis. Late in April, 1831, a
flatboat drifted past here, manned by four men from the Sangamon
country, bound for the New Orleans market. One of the crew, 22-year-old
Abraham Lincoln, was to be indelibly impressed by the slave market at
New Orleans.

Mason built a home on his land, founding Grafton in 1836. An earth wharf
was built, becoming known as Mason’s Landing. In 1837 the town of
Hartford was platted where the Pere Marquette lodge now stands. The
church and school bearing this name are the sole reminders of this
development today. The flood of 1844 wrecked Grafton and business
shifted east to Alton.

When the Illinois and Michigan canal was opened in 1848 Mason’s Landing
became a wood and coal center for the river traffic. Corded wood came
from the surrounding forests and coal was kept in 2½ bushel boxes to
maintain the steamboats. Large rafts of pine logs and lumber from
Wisconsin appeared on the Mississippi River each spring, were caught at
Grafton, and held backed up on the Illinois River, until needed farther
down stream.

Quarrying began in 1857, and the old Lindell Hotel in St. Louis, and the
piers of the Meredosia and Hannibal railroad bridges were built of
Grafton stone. The Underground Railroad was a well kept secret of the
period in Grafton, Calhoun Point being the rendezvous for escaped


The park bluffs command the first attention of the visitor. The four
prominent hollows one views are ravines cut into an elevated plain.
About 200 million years ago, what is now Illinois, was lifted from the
sea for the last time and the age of the lizards followed. As the giant
dinosaurs flourished, this region was the scene of earth movements that
resulted in a dislocation of the rocks, producing the Lincoln Fold.

Thus it happens that one is now in the eastern end of the Lincoln Hills
which extend 30 miles from Lincoln County, Missouri, into Jersey County,
Illinois. To the north the bedrock was uplifted 50 feet per mile, and
pulled down steeply hundreds of feet to the south. At Pere Marquette
State Park the Illinois River has cut a section through these folded
beds. Rocks dipping at 45 degrees are plainly visible at two places
along the foot trail and bridle path to Twin Springs. Here one can climb
the Lincoln Fold just to the north of the Nature Museum on the foot
trail to Goat Cliff.


The life of those times, preserved as fossils, reveal the development of
the higher invertebrates, then the fishes, and finally land animals and
plants. At the foot of McAdams Peak, Twin Springs flows from
Ordovician-Silurian rocks, deposited in the sea 350 million years ago.
All the ridges are mantled with loess (pronounced “less”), wind blown
dust laid down a million years ago at the time of the Great Ice Age. The
vertical banks of yellow clay seen along the road to the upper areas are
composed of this material, capped by the black topsoil that supports the
present forest.

More than 60 species of trees have been listed; Pecans, Red Cedars and
Butternuts being notable. Spring comes with the flowering of the
Shadbush; Redbud and Wild Plum are succeeded by the even more lovely
Dogwood. Flowers abound, and later berries light up dark places, and
mosses, ferns and lichens, form an agreeable ensemble. Mushrooms are
conspicuous for their number. With autumn the woods are a
never-to-be-forgotten blaze of color.


The varied habitats support a vast and unusual assemblage of animals.
Fish, as only the Illinois valley knows them, fatten in the waterways.
All four species of lizards known in Illinois scamper over the
lichen-covered rocks. The whole series of fur-bearing animals now left
in Illinois are here to be seen. It may be that in these endless acres
that a Whitetail Deer or Wildcat still lingers, certainly an occasional
Coyote and the re-introduced Beaver.

Hundreds of species of birds, especially in time of migration, can be
seen and studied to great advantage. The Mockingbird sings all day; the
woods ring with the calls of Thrush, Wren and Towhee, and the fields
echo with Meadow Lark and native sparrow songs. Vireo, Oriole and
Cardinal are everywhere. Hawks, Vultures, and the symbol of the United
States, the Bald Eagle, soar over McAdams Peak. Osprey, Herons,
Bitterns, Cormorants, Grebes and Loons are about the water. Even
Pelicans and Ibises appear in the summer. Especially in migration,
Ducks, Geese, Gulls, and all the tribe of Sandpiper, Plover, Snipe,
Cranes and Swans on very rare occasions. All these and many others
frequent this part of the Mississippi Flyway, the migratory highway of
central North America. This was the Indian’s happy hunting ground, now
an American paradise in perpetuity.

  For further information concerning Illinois State Parks and Memorials
  write to the DIVISION OF PARKS AND MEMORIALS, 100 State Office
  Building, Springfield, 62706.

  Our numerous State Parks and Memorials are of easy access from every
  part of the state. Lodges, cabins, and dining rooms are important
  features of Illinois Beach, Starved Rock, Pere Marquette, White Pines
  Forest, and Giant City State Parks. Reservations for lodging should be
  made with lodge managers.

  All State Parks are open the year round, except when weather condition
  necessitates the closing of park roads during the freezing and thawing
  periods. Then access to park facilities is by foot traffic only. All
  State Memorials open the year round except Thanksgiving, Christmas,
  and New Years.

            (Printed by authority of the State of Illinois)
                               Issued by
                       DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
                    Division of Parks and Memorials

    [Illustration: Illinois natural beauty sails around]

    [Illustration: A magnetic charm dominates lodge lounge]

    [Illustration: Excellent food complements dining room]

    [Illustration: Three-lane boat ramp on Illinois River basin]

    [Illustration: Docking area on Illinois River basin]

    [Illustration: Map.]

  ILL RT. 100
  ILL RT. 100
  Jersey Co.
  Calhoun Co.

    [Illustration: There are several observation points at Pere
    Marquette State Park. Take the road to the top of the bluffs. On a
    clear day, from the overlook near McAdams Peak, you can see the
    Illinois and Mississippi rivers and the backwaters of the Missouri

                   Relax in the Rustic Atmosphere of
                       Pere Marquette State Park

    [Illustration: Pere Marquette in canoe.]

    [Illustration: Pere Marquette Lodge.]

    [Illustration: Area map.]

    [Illustration: Lodge fireplace.]

    [Illustration: Cabin.]

    [Illustration: Lodge dining room.]

    [Illustration: Swimming pool.]

                      EXTENDS A CORDIAL INVITATION
                            AT NOMINAL RATES

                      EUROPEAN PLAN—WITHOUT MEALS

                              RATE PER DAY
                         EFFECTIVE NOV. 1, 1969
                     European Plan—(Without Meals)
                         Lodge or Guest Houses
                                                One Person     Two

  FULL SIZED BED                                    $10.50      $13.50
  TWIN BEDS, 2 PERSONS                               15.00  and $16.00
  ALL COTTAGE ROOMS                                 $15.00  and $15.50
  ADDITIONAL PERSON IN SAME ROOM                                 $4.50
     Adult Rate Charged If Occupying Separate Rooms
  CHECKING IN TIME IS 3.00 P.M.—but we will assign you sooner if room
  is prepared.

_Just above the Lodge—nestling in their woodland setting are the Guest
Cottages—each containing 4 large rooms—modern in every respect—which are
rented as separate rooms or en suite of 2 rooms. All are bedrooms,
however, with either twin beds or double bed. Rooms are air

                            DINING ROOM HOURS

      8 to 9:30 A.M., 12 to 2; 6 to 7:30 P.M.
   SUNDAYS                                      April 1 to November 1:
      8 to 9:30 A.M.; 12 to 7:30 P.M.
   SUNDAYS                                      November 1 to April 1:
      8 to 9:30 A.M.; 12 to 2; 6 to 7:30 P.M.

All meals are served in our lovely air conditioned dining room located
in the main Lodge building. The transient public is invited. Meals are
reasonably priced. See prices listed below.

                         TRANSIENT MEAL PRICES

  Breakfast          $1.50    Luncheon     $2.60      Dinner     $4.20
  Sunday and evening dinner                                      $4.20
  Principal Holidays                                             $4.20
  Children under 10—
     Breakfast       $1.00    Lunch        $1.95      Dinner     $3.20
      A la carte service available.          Special Child’s Menu

            _We cater to Dinner Parties—Weddings—Receptions
                  CONVENTIONS—Private Room available.
           Cocktails available with lunch and dinner meals._

                         RECREATION ACTIVITIES

We have provided various games in the lobby and out of doors for your
pleasure. Checkers, Chess, Indoor Shuffleboard (21 ft. long), Ping Pong,
Television, World’s Largest Chess games (12 ft. square), and several
other games.

Visit our curio and gift shop. Many interesting items are offered for
your approval.

Pop corn is provided at the great fireplace during winter months. Out of
door games—Shuffle boards, Horse Shoe courts. Two large and well
equipped playgrounds for children. Five hole, par 3, GOLF COURSE. Ice
Skating and Tobogganing in Winter.

Trail hikes with naturalist in charge daily at 10:00 and 2:00 except
Tuesday, in season only.

Boating available at a small fee. Fishing boats available at dock.
Riding horses for rent at stables. The trails are of unsurpassed beauty,
winding thru the hills, giving you hours of delightful pleasure.

                     ALL BED ROOMS AIR CONDITIONED
                          TV IN ALL BED ROOMS
                           _OPEN YEAR ’ROUND_


Reservations should be made in advance. State number in party, children,
if any, and their ages; day and time of arrival, as well as day of
departure. Type of accommodations desired, also alternate type in case
what you wish is not available. It is also desirable to select an
alternate date. This will save time and unnecessary correspondence. All
reservations should have enclosed a deposit of $5.00 for each and every
room. In the event it is necessary to cancel, your deposit will be
returned provided we are notified of such cancellation one week prior to
day you are scheduled to arrive. Reservations held until 6 P.M., unless
advised of later arrival. A reservation constitutes a contract for full
payment of the room that is held for you.

No pets or dogs permitted in Lodge or Guest Houses.


FROM ST. LOUIS: North on Route 67 to Alton, turn left off the Bridge and
continue (thru Alton) and on to the beautiful, scenic, new 4 lane
highway (River Road) thru Grafton, direct to lodge.

FROM ALTON: New River Road as above or Route 100.

FROM JERSEYVILLE: Routes 109 and 100.

Address all written requests to: JERRY C. SMITH, Manager.

PERE MARQUETTE LODGE, Grafton, Illinois. Phone Grafton, Illinois - Area
Code 618 786-3351. Ask for Reservation Clerk.

Rates are authorized by the Dept. of Conservation, Division of Parks,
State of Illinois.


                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Transcribed some text within images.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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