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

Bourbonnais Grove

 
 
Bourbonnais Grove Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
1. Bourbonnais Grove Marker
Inscription. Bourbonnais Grove’s first families came from Quebec’s Upper St. Lawrence Valley in the 1830s and ’40s to settle what would become the largest 19th century French-Canadian agrarian village in Illinois. Some immigrants moved on to found St. Anne, St. Mary, L’Erable, and Papineau. In 1865 Viateurian Fathers established St. Viateur College. The Letourneau Home Museum, Maternity V.B.M. Church and surviving Viateurian buildings are memorials to these French Canadians who were an influential part of Illinois’ pioneer population.
 
Erected 1990 by the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Illinois State Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 41° 9.489′ N, 87° 53.217′ W. Marker is in Bourbonnais, Illinois, in Kankakee County. Marker is on Straford Drive East just west of Main Street NW (Illinois Route 102), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. It is at the Letourneau Home Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 698 Stratford Dr E, Bourbonnais IL 60914, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dedicated to the Memory (here, next
The Letourneau Home Museum and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
2. The Letourneau Home Museum and Marker
to this marker); Jardin aux Potages (within shouting distance of this marker); The Durham-Perry Family Legacy (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home (approx. 0.9 miles away); Durham-Perry Farmstead (approx. 0.9 miles away); Rockville Illinois (approx. 6.1 miles away); McHie Ferry (approx. 7.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society Museum. “Present-day Bourbonnais is the namesake of the French-Canadian courier de bois, Francois Bourbonnais, Sr., who resided north of Bourbonnais Creek from about 1829 to 1834. Bourbonnais made a living trading with the Potawatomi, most likely as an independent contractor, buying trade goods from Astor's American Fur Company, trading with the locals for furs, and then selling the furs back to the fur company. He and his wife, Catherine (Catish) Chevalier, a metis member of a prominent Potawatomi family, lived in a cabin a few rods north of Bourbonnais Creek (just northwest of today's Dairy Queen) with their 6 children, Francois Jr., Washington, Peter, Catherine, Mary Josette and Anthony, until 1834. They then moved to a site on the north bank of the Kankakee River, where the senior citizen's
The Letourneau Home at the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Site image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
3. The Letourneau Home at the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Site
high rise in the city of Kankakee now stands. Eventually, Francois, Catish and most of their children left the area during the removal of the Prairie Potawatomi to the Platte country of western Missouri. It is thought that Francois Bourbonnais Sr. died sometime in the late 1840s.” (Submitted on July 16, 2017.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
The Back Garden at Bourbonnais Grove image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
4. The Back Garden at Bourbonnais Grove
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 19, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 16, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 76 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 16, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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