Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • 410 Aux Sable to Peru

    credit: K. Frazier

    "A line of trees proclaimed a river near, and we soon dashed through the Aux Sable, the horses dancing with joy, as the clear cool waters curled about their feet. The sight of a house on the opposite bank, seemed quite a novelty, as we had not seen one since leaving Joliet, at nine o'clock, and it was now one. The house was of boards painted white, and a hanging sign proclaimed it one of entertainment. Here we dined and changed horses. The meats were very good, the pies and custards tolerable, but the vegetables were the finest we had ever tasted. Peas, bean, potatoes were all very excellent. Every thing we saw was from the landlords farm, which extended over the prairie some distance from his house. He and his men, came in from the corn fields when the conch, sounded for dinner, and without their coats--their shirt sleeves rolled up, they placed themselves beside us-- one does not dress for dinner on the prairies."

    Oak Grove near present day Channahon

    They arrive at the Au Sable at 1 pm, 3 hours after leaving Joliet at 9 am. Although the agricultural transformation was underway, this was the first farm she had seen since leaving Joliet.

    Road west from Joliet
    OTTAWA, ILLINOIS: FRINK & WALKER STAGECOACH STATION

    Horses were changed while they supped in Ottawa and afterwards they re boarded the stage, and near sunset (7:40 pm their time that day), rode the last 16 miles to Peru. There they boarded the steamboat FRONTIER to take them down the river and out of our area of interest.

    July 17, 1840 Illinois Free Trader Ottawa. Library of Congress