Starved Rock

Also known as: 11-Ls-12, Site of Fort St. Louis-Le Rocher
6 mi. from Ottawa on IL 71, Starved Rock State Park, Ottawa, Illinois

A prominent rock formation along the south bank of the Illinois River.

Photos 

Starved Rock Locks & Dam

1. OVERALL VIEW OF UPSTREAM FACE OF DAM

Photo from the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

Map 

Description 

Starved Rock is the central feature of Starved Rock State Park, six miles west of Ottawa, Illinois, off Route 71. The prominent rock formation with a flat top and sheer sides rises about 150 feet from the south bank of the Illinois River. from the Nation Register nomination form.

LaSalle, who had claimed the Mississippi Valley for the French, was given the power to govern trade in the Illinois country. In 1683, Fort St. Louis was built on top of Starved Rock, a prominent rock formation on the south bank of the Illinois River and across from the Grand Village of the Kaskaskia-Illinois. Fort St. Louis was the first official center and was meant to be a link in a chain of forts which were expected to confine the English colonies to the east coast. The fort also had a strategic position; towering above the lowest rapids in the Illinois River, it controlled a main passage from Canada to the south. from the Nation Register nomination form.

Indian legend has it that during the 1760's a group of Illini took refuge atop the rock while trying to escape from an Ottawa-Potawatomi attack. The Illini were surrounded and starved into submission, thus the name Starved Rock. from the Nation Register nomination form.

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Reference number
66000325
Areas of significance
Archeology - Non-Aboriginal; Exploration/Settlement
Level of significance
National
Evaluation criteria
D - Information Potential
Property type
Site
Historic function
Fortification
Current function
Park
Period of significance
1650-1699
Significant years
1685; 1683; 1691

Update Log 

  • October 26, 2015: New photos from GS
  • September 27, 2013: Updated by Jim Allen: Added overview & description

Sources