Genealogy Trails - Jersey County, Illinois
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Jersey County: Pere Marquette State Park


Located near the city of Grafton, Illinois, at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Illinois River, on Illinois Route 100. The park is operated and maintained by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and is Illinois' largest state park in the area.

The park was named in honor of Father (Pere) Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit priest who was the co-leader, with his comrade Louis Jolliet, of a 1673 voyage of exploration on the Mississippi River. Marquette was the first European to map the mouth of the Illinois River, which he and Joliet used to return from the Mississippi to the Great Lakes.

Pere Marquette State Park was founded in 1931 as the Piasa Bluffs State Park, but was soon renamed.
labor camp
Transient Labor Camp, 1936
Pere Marquette recreational demonstration project near Grafton, Illinois
Source: Library of Congress

The park's heart is a Civilian Conservation Corps-built lodge, first built in the 1930s

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Gill invite you to ...
Pere Marquette State Park Hotel-Lodge and Guest House



[date of brochure unknown, contributed by Carole and Al Martin]
The Lodge was later expanded in 1985 to contain seventy-two rooms.
Lodge

A visitor center, with exhibits on local ecology and history, opened in 1997.

The park contains approximately twelve miles (about twenty kilometers) of marked trails. Approximately 230 species of bird have been logged in the park, and a horseback riding stable operates during the warmer months. There is also a 2,000-acre public hunting area for deer, squirrel, wild turkey, and other target species. There are also several launching ramps for private boats to enter the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.
[info from wikipedia.org]


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