Sag Island

The trail running west through the Sag Indian village to the Desplaines river at Sag Bridge runs onto Sag Island in the northwest quarter of Sec 14 town of Lemont. This was a flat Island in the Desplaines river about two miles long and half a mile wide, now obliterated by the Drainage canal. Here we find the junction of the two canoe routes to Lake Michigan. The one starting in with the Sag creek and the other still continuing in the Desplaines river.

The Archer Ave Trail souths here one mile over the stoney bottom through the old town of Aux Plain, on the line between Sec 13 & 14, town Lemont. Alexander Reid of Sag Bridge in 1846 found a cache in the southwest quarter of Sec 13 of one bushel of flint arrowheads and sixty or seventy five stone axes of all sizes, several rods south of the Sag (Andreas Hist. Chicago, p 60).

At the Pullman farm corner of Michigan Ave and 27th St we have a very abrupt beginning or ending of Trail S, the Illini trail. Here we also find the ancient shore-line of Calumet lake and the water as already stated one mile to the east to-day, the lake of the Illini. At Dolton where Trail P, on a line with the old Michigan City road crosses the Calumet river, there was a minor Indian village marked by Indian burials. The accompaniment of Trail S, is on the south bank of the Calumet river from Dolton to Blue Island both passing through Indian camps as stated the distance three miles, the bluffs here forty feet high and good canoe navigation. Making Indian village No. 15 at Blue Island a center of the portage trails of the Calumet Sag region.

As will be seen by reference to the map that what we call Blue Island today was the point and Vincennes the trail that circumvented the double and treble crossing of the Calumet river, marshes, lake, and all. Trail T crossing Stoney creek in the northwest quarter Sec 26 town Worth just north of 123rd St was the only alternative and was used as such.

Before again taking up Trail T where we have left in Sec 24 town Worth we will say that the Calumet river in Illinois was not a fordable stream. Any body that crossed it had to swim like the bufflao. The ford at Blue Island was not over the Calumet river but through a confluent, known as Stoney creek. Therefore by going two miles up stoney creek shallow water was encountered and this shows the utility of Trail T. The early pioneers among them DeWitt Lane & A. Wingate, used this crossing.

Once upon Lanes Isle, we find trail R from Thornton & Blue Isle, running to this ford on the west side of Stoney creek. A branch of J continues the journey northwest across the center of the Isle to the Worth Indian village. Again to locate this ford according to the early pioneer you would go to the Turner farm in Sec 23 town Worth, from there southwest to the Canal feeder dam in Sec 27, where you would cross Stoney creek then ascend the ridge in front of the Wingate-Trimble house and keep that direction about a mile to Bachelors Grove creek, coming from the southwest on the left and the south arm of the Sag on the right.

Here we have the other ford leaving Lanes Island. In time of highwater of course no ford was visible, the water of the creek and Sag mingling and running with the wind east or west thus indicating a summit level, but the Calumet Canal feeder from Blue Isle to the old town of Aux Plain now called Sag station according to Ossian Guthrie, had a fall West, inch to the mile. Stress should be laid on the description of this ford (in the northwest Sec 33 town Worth) because it cuts across the Calumet-Sag Indian Canoe Trail running from the Desplaines river to lake Michigan.

Thus debouched, Bachelors Grove creek empties into Stoney creek a confluent to the Little Calumet, in the centre of Sec 36 town Worth just north of Vermont St. This is the notorious "Blue lakes" one mile wide, studded with small Islands and three and a half miles east and west, nothing but water or short grass, no shrubbery and very little bullrushes or bogg. To day, in dry time a beautiful smooth meadow unlike the Desplaines Sag where the ground is rough & boggy.

After crossing, Trail T immediately forks, West for Palos Springs and Orland, one branch crossing the Desplaines river at the mouth of the Sag also meeting the Archer Ave trail and touching Lemont and Isle La Cache. The branch Southwest merging with the S trail near the Midlothian Golf club, again shows the choice between the two fords of Stoney creek.

We now come to the Illini trail S with its accompaniment S both run Southwest from the Stoney creek fords, one from each, one by way of Mokena, the other through the old village of "Hadley" better known as the Yankee settlement, to the Desplaines river and through the Indian village at Joliet, where they cross the Sauk trail. Hadley is Sec 35 town Homer. In this now deserted village at the crossroads, there is still standing a house the rear part of whcih stood in 1833 at the time of the Black Hawk scare of which Mr Savage of Marley (Also Andreas History Cook Co) relates that at the time, the dinner table was all set & ready, when everybody fled to Fort Dearborn for safety. Sometime later, upon the return of the family the vitals were still upon the table, not a thing having been touched.

This was the same time the Beggs fort was built at Plainfield about fourteen miles West of here. By the way Mr Savage also speaks of the Indian trail following the ridge from Orland through Hadley to New Lenox and south, having seen Indians passing there many times.

The Illini trail S after leaving the Calumet valley does not wander into space but goes straight as a string Southwest to the nearest point leading to the Illinois valley, distance twelve miles, at Mokena it leaves the open prairie.

The junction of the Illini & Sauk trails on Hickory creek in the township of Frankfort where south of the creek in Sec 20, there was a minor Indian village which seems to have been a half way place between Joliet & Chicago, Blue Isle being another, for traveling parties, where wood and water was to be had. Even the up-river traveler left the Sauk trail at "Skunk Grove" for Chicago.

In the city of Frankfort, the Sauk trail (Blanchards History Illinois p. 123) is the principal street today, the same as in New Lenox, Richton or Dyer Indiana. The Sauk, like the Illinois trail having entered the valley of the Illinois (Hickory creek) at the minor Indian village in Sec 20 now follow its waters down stream.