Indian Village No. 16

The location of the Indian Villages of the great Saugaunash swamp is better understood by taking into account the physical aspect of the eastern half of the Sag valley, which is similar to that of the Calumet and the south shore of lake Michigan. The same conditions being brought further inland by the Sag valley in addition to the Calumet valley. The Calumet valley extending west to about Blue Isle - eight miles and the Sag valley west to its forks, another eight miles. Here we have a valley extending east-west from lake Michigan for sixteen miles, where the Chicago river valley cannot be counted as more than ten miles in the same direction and what there is left of the valley by about Evanston at file miles.

Lanes Island, completely surrounded by the great AuSagaunashkee swamp, Mr Wingate used to pronounce it Sag-a-nash, is a bare plain not more than twenty to forty feet in highth, seven miles long and from one to two miles wide, so named for its pioneer De Witt Lane. The wooded sandridge running northwest from the Trimble house, at the ford, to the Lane place, shows the only camp site on the east end of the island. Trail T from here runs west past the old Wingate place of which the daughter, now Mrs Trimble, says, "I often heard father speak of this Indian trail, but that it had been abandoned." The trail now enters what is the village of Worth to-day, where the bare plain is transformed into the visible Island covered with timber and rolled into hills and dales, the effect of the continental divide, of which this the summit, the same as at Thornton and Lyons and like them occupied by an Indian village.

The present village of Worth is situated on the west line of the township of that name between the forks of Sag creek and at an elevation of forty feet above low water mark. There are some good specimens of the weapons and implements of the stone age, of local find, to be seen at the Bishop store, also a large stone ax weighing seventeen pounds found in Sec 15 town Palos. Mr Bishop is one of the men who saw Chicago in its swadling clothes, having been born on the Deerfield road in Sec 4 town Northfield, adjoining the farm of John Kinzie Clark, who was called "Indian Clark".

Commencing in Worth the trail of chips of Indian village No. 16 forks to northwest and southwest simultaneously to cross both of the Sag arms, each one of which was half a mile wide in high water. Of course, the trail over the north arm had the advantage of a supplementary Island and the shelfing of the bluff on the opposite side, but the trail over the south arm was a clear sheet of shallow water, which some time in the dim past must have been at least fifteen feet deep as very plainly indicated by the ancient shore lines upon both sides.

The south arm of the Sag divides Sec 24 town Palos and incidentally Indian village No. 16, which is coextensive with the section, commencing with the Beidenkop farm and extending west with the main road leaving Worth. Here a large gravel hill covering sixty acres rises bold to the ancient shore line from which a paonoramic view can be had of the Sag and its former canoe path (Prof. R. G. Thwaite - Appleton's "Father Marquette"). The chipping station located here is quite extensive and compares favorably with the other villages. Pottery is scarce and mounds have not been discovered but that very rough class of stone implements showing a previous occupation is very abundant.

Low water in the Sag at the time of our Indians was probably from two to six feet deep, filled with tall grass and rushes, having no perceptible current and as a river in its latter stages had no banks. At the present day it has not even water in the dry seasons. This Indian village being located on both sides of the Sag is the counterpart of the Kaskaskia Indian village which lay in the "shadow of the Rock" upon both sides of the Illinois.

There are here landing-groves, springs, and chipping stations on opposite shores and on the south, half a mile up the Sag, west of the mouth of the creek entering there, in Sec 30 town Worth there was an additional Indian camp which was admirably adapted for noting the passing canoe. A view is had here of the Blue Island hill five miles to the east, and yet this camp could not be seen from the water, lying in the hidden valley of the creek. The trail which is now local, runs from James Gleason farm to the famous Palos Springs in Sec 26 town Palos over high bluffs to the old Robbins farm in the same section where there was a minor Indian village (Palos Park).