From the flat swell of the ground in Sec 2 town Lyons, which also contains its old village, the Desplaines river could be forded in three directions. North from Joliet Ave to the Pool in Riverside. South in Sec 12 to the sand ridge carrying Trail L at the Summit. East near the center of Sec 1 where the flat rock crops out of the river bottom. This trio of fords crossing the Desplaines were the only ones used by the trails in a distance of twelve miles, from Harlem to Willow Springs. This elevation was admirably adapted for signals down the valley. Even in our day a wolf hunt from Flagg creek was centered to this point.
The part of Riverside extending southwest into the bend of the Desplaines river was the "Indian Garden" so called, also mentioned by Mr Leopold Kuherr, a pioneer of 1845 and former proprietor of the brewery on Ogden Ave. This garden must have been a miniature Saint Catalina Island to them, where feasts were held and games were played. Here is where the Pool is found, where the Barry point trail strikes the Desplaines river bank, about 300 feet southwest of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy R.R. depot. This spring at the foot of large spreading elms, for sanitary reasons now covered with a flag stone, always the Oasis of the Barry point trail to the pioneer travellers as well as the Indians, is mentioned in the Bross History of Chicago, page 26, as being "near the house of Bernard Laughton," 1834.
The high river bank of the Desplaines, on the east side, from the Pool to the stoney ford is an exact counterpart of the location of the Indian mounds further up the same river at Kennicott Mounds and also at Park Ridge. Here the main part of the Lyons Riverside Indian village No. 10 was located; like a broad trail following on top and close to the edge of the bluff down to the Island (45th St produced). In this short distance the forty foot high river bank loses itself, thus making the spillway dam located here the high water mark of Mud Lake, the bank of which here becomes visible coming in from the northeast.
At this junction the first indications of former Indian camp sites are found. Coming back with the rising ground half a mile on the east side of the Desplaines (42nd St produced) between the stoney ford and the end of the spillway embankment we find the second ancient camp site and also the true outlines of an Indian mound marking the only spot on the east bank from which an uninterrupted view to the soutwest and the Desplaines valley can be had.
One hundred yards to the northwest is the stoney ford, the trail crossing with its wonderful row of very large and very old oak trees of which Mr Kuherr says that they were the only ones here when he first came and that all the rest of the timber is second growth sprung up since then. This is the stoney ford of Trail K which here bends north to meet Ogden Ave, passing through the principal chipping stations of Indian village No. 10, where 40th St strikes the east bank of the Desplaines river. This was a small chipping station on top and close to the river bank covering only about one acre of ground. West of the river and immediately south of the present Ogden Ave bridge there was also a chipping station.
Barry point, the point of timber upon the "Chicago plain" in the northeast part of the Riverside of today. Grandma N. E. Sayre journeyed here from "Whiskey point" in 1840. Mr Lovitt, her father, driving down the Sandy Ridge to make a neighborly call upon Mr Barry, returning the next day. Riverside Parkway is the new name for the road and Colorado Ave the Chicago end of it.
The additional ford of the Desplaines in Sec 12 town Lyons, was used to circumvent Mud Lake and interchange from K to L trails and also necessary to the trail from Harlem to Summit and the Sauganash, which crossed the Desplaines river twice. This route is the same today with the addition of good bridges. The head of Mud Lake was a marsh and creek beginning at Ogden near Austin Ave, which Mr Chas. Scharmer, southwest corner of Austin Ave & 39th St, says has been filled up by excavations from the Ogden ditch. This creek running south would strike the present Ogden ditch upon the Scharmer farm one fourth of a mile east of his house.
The Archer Avenue trail was a portage trail as well with the same draw-backs running from the Lee Place to Summit on the south side of portage river. At Summit, southeast quarter of Sec 12 town Lyons, Archer Ave makes an angle here upon a gravel ridge. The valley to the north is only one mile wide but the nearest point to the old river bed of the Desplaines is only one fourth of a mile in a northwesterly direction from the C & A depot. Here was shown among the marshy shores a landing point for the canoe man coming up stream. This was the portage camp for Trail L, Indian mounds surrounded by the usual cache holes were found here in a gravel pit of which Mr Graves was the proprietor. Mr Graves says that when the ground in front of the depot was filled up many human bones were found but could not say they were Indian. Stone weapons and implements were found there as well as Indian pottery.
It gives us great pleasure to record one find of the Stone-age pertaining to the early military which Mr J. F. Steward pronounces a French gun-flint. This flint was found in the old riverbed here, the northwest quarter Sec 7 town Lyons about two hundred yards east of the old land mark known as the Ogden dam.