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(Le Rocher) Starved Rock

Historical Site Categories: Native American & French and Native American History

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What's The Story

Artifacts found in the park confirm the presence of Native Americans by about 12,000 years ago and document their use of the area since. More than 100 Native American sites have been documented in the park.

In the winter of 1682, men led by LaSalle and Henri de Tonty built Fort St. Louis on the crest of Le Rocher, the rock. The presence of the French attracted a variety of tribes who established villages nearby. Threatened by the potential of attacks by the Iroquois, the French abandoned Le Rocher and built Fort Pimiteoui near Peoria in 1691.

Le Rocher became Starved Rock based on an account that described how the Ottawa and Potawatomi trapped a group of Illinois on the top of the rock, where under siege they starved. To date, no evidence has been found to support this claim.

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