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La Salle in Indiana
Location: South of US 30 on CR 50 E/ N. Range Road, 0.6 mile east of the La Porte & Starke county line & Kankakee River; Turkey Foot Conservation Area parking lot, Davis Station, Hamlet area. (Starke County, Indiana)
Installed: 2000 Indiana Historical Bureau and Starke County Historical Society
ID# : 75.2000.1
Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, born Rouen, France 1643; died 1687. Emigrated 1666 to New France (near present Montreal, Quebec, Canada). Led explorations 1679-1682 in search of trade, expanded empire for France, and mouth of Mississippi River. On April 9, 1682 claimed entire Mississippi River basin for France, naming it Louisiana.
In 1679, La Salle and his men came to present Indiana traveling on St. Joseph and Kankakee rivers. They canoed down the meandering Kankakee River through vast marsh-swamp-dune ecosystems--which covered over 625 square miles and teemed with game including fish, waterfowl, and mammals. Kankakee River forms part of northern and northwestern boundary of Starke County.
Early Settlement and Exploration