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Bourbonnais in Kankakee County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

NoŽl Le Vasseur

1799-1879

 
 
NoŽl Le Vasseur Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2021
1. NoŽl Le Vasseur Marker
Inscription.  
Father of Bourbonnais
Voyageur, Fur Trader and
First Permanent Settler
of Bourbonnais Grove

NoŽl Le Vasseur and his wife Watch-e-kee arrived here in 1832. He bought large tracts of land from the Potawatomi Indians and encouraged hundreds of French-Canadian families to emigrate from Quebec Province to Bourbonnais Grove, thus forming the nucleus of the villageís population. The LeVasseur home, the first brick building in the county, stood 75 yards northeast of this marker. These bricks were salvaged from the house which was demolished in 1885.
 
Erected 1979 by Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society; and residents and friends of the Village of Bourbonnais.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1832.
 
Location. 41° 9.297′ N, 87° 52.712′ W. Marker is in Bourbonnais, Illinois, in Kankakee County. Marker is on South Main Street (U.S. 52) just south of Main Street Northwest (Illinois Route 102

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), on the right when traveling south. Marker and monument are located in the triangular plaza between (old) South Main Street and US Highway 52. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bourbonnais IL 60914, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Night of Tragedy and Heroism (within shouting distance of this marker); Jardin aux Potages (approx. half a mile away); Dedicated to the Memory (approx. half a mile away); Bourbonnais Grove (approx. half a mile away); The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home (approx. half a mile away); The Durham-Perry Family Legacy (approx. half a mile away); Durham-Perry Farmstead (approx. half a mile away); McHie Ferry (approx. 6.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bourbonnais.
 
Also see . . .
1. NoŽl Le Vasseur. Wikipedia entry:
When the Potawatomi left the Bourbonnais area in 1838, La Vasseur persuaded many Quťbťcois to migrate to the region. These efforts have given him the epithet "Father of Kankakee." (Submitted on July 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Village of Bourbonnais History. Village website entry:
The Pottawatomi Indians called this area "Te-yar-ac-ke", meaning "wonderful land". Some years later, the word "Ky-an-ke-ke" evolved and eventually became Kankakee. In 1830, Francois Bourbonnais, Sr., a fur trapper, hunter and agent of the American Fur Company arrived. Bourbonnais Grove was
NoŽl Le Vasseur Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2021
2. NoŽl Le Vasseur Monument
(looking north ē US Highway 52 in right background)
Bricks salvaged from LeVasseur home are mounted on both sides of marker.
named after this early pioneer. Two years later, Noel LeVasseur, born in the province of Quebec, located his fur trading post in Bourbonnais Grove and became the first permanent non-native American settler of the area. (Submitted on July 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
A young Noel LeVasseur, French Canadian fur trader image. Click for more information.
via Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society, unknown
3. A young Noel LeVasseur, French Canadian fur trader
as depicted by local historian Vic Johnson.
In 1832, LeVasseur and his Potawatomi wife, Wa-che-ke, established a trading post at a place in Bourbonnais Grove called La Pointe, a "point" of timber that grew along a branch of Bourbonnais Creek and was a landmark for travelers along the Danville-Chicago road (Route 102).
(Submitted on July 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Click for more information.
NoŽl Le Vasseur Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2021
4. NoŽl Le Vasseur Monument
(looking west from US Highway 52 • Old South Main Street in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 218 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   3. submitted on July 19, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   4. submitted on July 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Sep. 29, 2023