“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waterloo in Monroe County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail

Ditch Tavern, Ford & K-C Trail Monument, Roger's Female Seminary

Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sarah Deutch, April 17, 2020
1. Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail Marker
Ditch Tavern…
…was the first hotel in Waterloo located on North Main Street, and run by David and Hannah Ditch. David H. Ditch owned the land on which Waterloo was built until it was purchased by George Forquer in 1818.

The Old Tavern in Waterloo was picturesque! It was a large log cabin standing well back from the street leaving a beautiful front yard with fences graced by stately hollyhock. The portulaca-lined gravel walk lead from the stile to the doorway. Travelers seeking rest went down the flag stone pavement, carefully avoiding the protruding corners of flat stones. They had become tilted through frost and by the heavy avoirdupois of the travelers who feasted on venison, fowl, buttermilk and cider. The “Tavern” sign was firmly held at the top of a high pole and could be plainly seen from afar.

The Tavern’s ground floor consisted of three rooms. The roof covered the porch, with a stairway leading from below to the upper rooms. Large stone fire places were built outside at each end of the building. The kitchen and dining room were in the rear, with an open entry between. The sleeping
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rooms were upstairs, and while the roof was so framed as to exclude the rains, there was sufficient space between the rafters and the wall plate to admit fresh air and beautiful snow. Morning glories and ivy almost concealed the wood work.

It was here at Ditch Tavern that the first court was held when the county seat was moved from Harrisonville to Waterloo. Ditch Tavern also served as headquarters for circuit judge Silas Bryan.

Ford & K-C Trail Monument
Plaques in honor of Thomas Ford, and marking the Kaskaskia-Cahokia trail were placed by the Monroe County Historical Society on a concrete obelisk at the Waterloo Firehouse on North Main Street. This monument still stands today.

Thomas Ford, who spent much of his younger years at Ditch Tavern, became a lawyer and served as State’s Attorney of the Fifth Judicial District and became Judge of the Circuit Court for the northern part of the State. He was elevated to the State Supreme Court and then elected the eighth Governor of Illinois, 1842-1846. Ford county is named in his honor. He is buried in Peoria, Illinois. Elizabeth Ford, his wife, is buried in Waterloo.

This monument is one of the original markers of the Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail (KCT). “40 miles to Kaskaskia; 20 miles to Cahokia. Here passed the ancient trail, trod first by buffaloes and Indians, then by explorers,
Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Smith, April 8, 2020
2. Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail Marker
traders and French settlers of Kaskaskia and Cahokia. Revolutionary War soldiers with George Rogers Clark made the first permanent American settlements along the trail in the 1780’s.”

Roger's Female Seminary
One of the early educational institutions of Monroe County was the Rogers’ Female Seminary which opened in 1872. The building stood on the west side of North Main Street, just south of the DePuyt home.

Illinois' First Road:
The K-C Trail is a 60-mile corridor running through Randolph, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties. The trail dates back to use by Native American civilizations as long ago as 11,000 BC. It played an integral part in French Colonization and remained a main road through the founding of Illinois as a state. It remains a highly trafficed route in the Metro East St. Louis Region.
Erected 2020 by City of Waterloo FBO Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail Coalition.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionColonial EraEducationIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansRoads & VehiclesSettlements & SettlersWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1818.
Location. 38° 20.324′ N, 90° 9.056′ W. Marker is in Waterloo, Illinois
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, in Monroe County. Marker is on North Main Street, 0.1 miles north of Magnolia Avenue, on the left when traveling north. This marker is in front of the old Waterloo Firehouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 223 N Main St, Waterloo IL 62298, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ford (a few steps from this marker); Ford Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Paul United Church Of Christ (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Oldendorf-Horn Building (about 700 feet away); Schorr Brewing Co. (about 700 feet away); President Obama's Visit to Waterloo (about 800 feet away); The Moore Family (about 800 feet away); Early Politicians (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterloo.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 17, 2020, by Sarah Deutch of Waterloo, Illinois. This page has been viewed 255 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 17, 2020, by Sarah Deutch of Waterloo, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 3, 2023