Starved Rock- part 1

by Camellia March. 29, 2019 305 views

You are probably thinking…what is wrong with these people from Illinois? First they have corrupt politicians and now they starve their rocks??? But rest assured, while we do have corrupt politicians, we do not starve our rocks. On the contrary our rocks are very well fed.

Starved Rock is not a starving rock but rather a state park, so named due to an incident that took place there centuries ago. The story goes as such………

"In the 1760's, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe, was attending a tribal council meeting. At this council of the Illinois and the Pottawatomie, an Illinois-Peoria brave stabbed Chief Pontiac. Vengeance arose in Pontiac’s followers. A great battle started. The Illinois, fearing death, took refuge on the great rock. After many days, the remaining Illinois died of starvation giving this historic park its name – Starved Rock. "

In 1890 Ferdinand Walther bought the land for $14,000 from Daniel Hitt, who had purchased the land from the United States Government, as compensation for his tenure in the U.S. Army. Recognizing the potential for developing the land as a resort, Ferdinand Walther constructed the Starved Rock Hotel and a natural pool near the base of Starved Rock, as well as a concession stand and dance hall. Walther set up a variety of walkable trails and harbored small boats near the hotel that made trips along the Illinois River. Unable to keep up with the expenses of the resort, Walther sold the land to the Illinois State Parks Commission for $146,000 in 1911. In 1912 the park was opened to the public and the attendance was calculated to be 75,000 people in that year alone.

Starved Rock Lodge and Cabins were designed by Joseph F. Booten and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Lodge has a central lounge, known as the Great Hall, hotel wings and a dining room wing. On its exterior, the Lodge is primarily constructed of stone, unhewed logs, clapboard and wood shingles. Booten’s design intended to impress upon visitors the idea of a “woodsy retreat.” This is seen in the way he designed round log purlins (horizontal beams) whose unevenly hewn ends extend beyond the Lodge’s eaves. Surrounding the Lodge are 21 cabins: two large cabins separated into four units are just west of the Lodge while the other thirteen cabins are situated across a steep ravine, known as Fox Canyon. The cabins are constructed of unhewn logs with random corner notches and sit in heavily wooded areas meant to evoke a “camping in the woods” feeling. The 21 cabins and the Lodge cover an area of 3,205 acres. Despite the changes through modernization, the Lodge still retains much of the charm its architect intended.

In 1966, Starved Rock State Park was named a National Historic Landmark. Starved Rock State Park’s Lodge and Cabins were listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 1985. By the National Register’s criteria the Lodge and Cabins are considered significant in the areas of architecture, entertainment and recreation.

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Jay Boggess 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What a wonderful place! Thanks for the fine series!

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It looks a wonderful place to spend some days in communion with nature.

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Replied to Antonio Gil 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Exactly what it is. Mind you Illinois is extremely flat  hence why so many people come to this site because it is so different than the rest of the state.

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 5 months, 2 weeks ago

what a cool place, and for the record I would have run down the hallway and knocked on every door?

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Replied to Pete Fitzgetald 5 months, 2 weeks ago

😂😂😂😂......... I have no doubt you would!

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Jennifer Raknerud 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It looks like a very cozy place to stay.  I just might have to grab a friend and travel there.  Thank you for the interesting story.  I just finished watching the West documentary on Netflix and it was really good.

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Replied to Jennifer Raknerud 5 months, 2 weeks ago

You would love it Jennifer and for sure a worthwhile trip.

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
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