Suggested Reading List
Illinois and Michigan Canal (Images of America Series)
Author: David A. Belden
Description: In 1673, Louis Jolliet and Fr. Jacques Marquette were the first Europeans to explore the Mississippi and the Illinois River Valleys. Their explorations took them through what is now northern Illinois. These early explorers of the region recognized the importance of a connection between Lake Michigan and the Illinois waterways. Constructed between 1836 and 1848, the Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal began the final link in a national plan to connect different regions of the North American continent via natural and man-made waterways. Once completed in 1848, the nearly 100-mile-long canal created a new transportation corridor that linked the Eastern United States, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. During the 19th century, the I&M Canal helped launch Chicago on its path to urban greatness and fostered the growth of a dozen towns along its banks that would soon industrialize the region. This book will open the reader to the unique flavor of the region and the towns and communities along its route, as well as the nature of commerce and water transportation of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: The Work of the CCC along the I and M Canal (Images of America Series)
Author: Dennis H. Cremmins
Description: Visitors to Starved Rock State Park are often struck by the grandeur of its rustic lodge. They marvel at its massive fireplace and hand-hewn logs. Yet few realize that this structure is a tangible reminder of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which in the 1930s provided work for young men left unemployed by the Great Depression. Starved Rock Lodge was one of the biggest projects of the "CCC boys" along the Illinois and Michigan Canal, but it was far from the only one. Working as a team and living in camps from Willow Springs to La Salle-Peru, they built facilities that transformed the old canal into what became the I&M Canal State Trail (1974) and the nation's first National Heritage Corridor (1984). President Franklin D. Roosevelt's nation-wide program preserved the landscape from the ravages of soil erosion, flooding, and deforestation. In the process, the young men built beautiful parks, buildings, and shelters that we use and admire today.
Starved Rock State Park, the first 100 years
Author: Mark Walczynski
What does Starved Rock State Park have to do with the allied invasion of Germany during World War II? Where were dance lovers forbidden to do the "shimmy' and 'tickle toe?" Where was one of the most complete and up-to-date camping grounds in America during the 1920's? What famous park was described as both a playground and a schoolroom? From model T's to modern automobiles, from antiquated river ferries to modern-day tour boats, and from primitive camp sites to a luxury lodge, Starved Rock State Park, the First One-Hundred Years traces the development of the famous park from its early beginnings to today's twenty-first century world. From 75,000 visitors in 1912 to over two-million annually today, Starved Rock State Park is still a wonderful place to see native Illinois at its best. The book also includes a look at park legends, both famous and infamous and a look at the ongoing concerns over protection of the natural resources, public use, and commercial profit. Starved Rock State Park, the First One-Hundred Years is a window to the past from which we can plan the future.