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

Sauk Trail

 
 
Sauk Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
1. Sauk Trail Marker
Inscription.  This mural depicts various aspects of the Joliet area's Native American heritage. Prominently featuring a map of the Great Sauk (or Sak) Trail, which many tribes used to traverse Will County, it also shows a Potawatomi child, examples of how Indians drew sustenance from the land for food and shelter, and a mother and infant in forced flight from Illinois. The painting is rendered largely in earth tones - browns, greens, and ochres - to underscore Native American's crucial relationship with the land.

Since the 1600's, many different Indian nations had made the Upper Illinois River region their home; first and foremost were the Illinois. After the Illinois departed from the area because of intertribal warfare and the general westward spread of European settlers, several other Algonquin-speaking peoples extensively utilized what is now Will County; most prominent were the Potawatomi and the associated Ottawa and Ojibwa. The Potawatomi, formerly of the Upper Great Lakes, was the last and largest tribe to inhabit the region. Many of these semi-sedentary Indians lived in small villages on lands adjacent to Hickory Creek near the Sauk Trail,
Sauk Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
2. Sauk Trail Marker
Next to the mural that accompanies it
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primarily in what are now the Joliet and New Lenox Townships. Here they hunted, fished, farmed, gathered berries, and fashioned flints from the nearby hills.

The Sauk Trail was a major Midwestern Indian route, traversing the Illinois Basin. Perhaps originally made by wild game like buffalo, the trail was blazed by the Sauk on journeys from their village of Saukenuk (near Rock Island on the Mississippi River) to Fort Malden at Amherstburg, Ontario (near Detroit), where they received annual payments from the British Government. Today U.S. 30 follows much of the original trail.

Lead artist: Javier Chavira. Assistant artist: Ilario Silva. Mural sponsored by the City of Joliet. Plaque sponsored by the Joliet/Will County Center for Economic Development Foundation. Copyright Friends of Community Public Art 1996
 
Erected 1996 by Joliet/Will County Center for Economic Development Foundation. (Marker Number CC, 21.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
 
Location. 41° 31.438′ N, 88° 4.782′ W. Marker is in Joliet, Illinois, in Will County. Marker is on New Street east of Chicago Street (U.S. 6). Marker is on a limestone wall, near Joliet train station. Touch for map. Marker
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is at or near this postal address: 50 E Jefferson St, Joliet IL 60432, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Joliet Steam Train (within shouting distance of this marker); Hickory Creek in the 1830's (within shouting distance of this marker); Katherine Dunham: Pioneer in African Dance (within shouting distance of this marker); Morris Building (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Samuel Benedict Reed (about 600 feet away); Civil War Memorial (about 700 feet away); Illinois Sesquicentennial Time Capsule (about 700 feet away); Will County Courthouse (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Joliet.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 27, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 46 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 27, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Mar. 8, 2021