Calumet Marshes

Of the two canoe routes to lake Michigan the shortest one and the one mostly used in later days led from the Desplaines river at the Summit by a portage of less than nine miles into the Chicago river. The other, branching off the Desplaines with the Sag and its south arm and in later years by portage in Sec 33 town Worth to Bachelors Grove creek which enters Stoney Creek north of Vermont St Blue Island then down Stoney Creek and the Little Calumet to Hegewisch. There by bayou of the Grand Calumet to 134th St and Carondelet Ave, from here the portage trail led half a mile north of Houston Ave to the portage camp at 130th St. Here, Hyde lake and the ancient outlet of Wolf & Hyde lake, connecting with the Grand Calumet was used and then the Grand Calumet to lake Michigan at South Chicago, distance twenty five miles.

It should be noted here that the portage landing at 134th St is half a mile northeast of the Calumet Junction, also that any place mentioned near the Calumet river or lake is a distance from the water line, to-day. On the south it is two miles to the sandridge carrying Trail P where implements and weapons of the stone age can be found. Furthermore, that this route skirts the mouth of Calumet lake by one mile and a half. The Grand Calumet river in this distance was not used by the early canoe man but avoided as a dangerous cane-brake lined with bullrushes and tall grasses, where the river bed could not be located, there being no river banks, rightly described by Mr Hagar as a "new formed river."

Jos. Phillips a hunter and trapper at the Indian Ridge, Hyde Lake in 1851, now living at 134th St and Ave K, Hegewisch, says that "Fifty years ago, no one would dare go through there, that it was customary to pass around by the portage trails same as the Indians." The Wolf lake portage trail from Hegewisch led one mile southwest to Buffalo Ave and 138th St. "At Hammond" Mr Phillips says "there were always plenty Indians." The grand Calumet river, from here east, also furnished canoe passage nearly half way to St. Joseph Michigan.

The several Indian villages in these marshes were all located along the canoe routes or portage trails of which they form a part the route simply passing from one to the other and together we have one of the links of the great highway leading from the Illinois river to the "Great lake."