Major Samuel L. McFadin was a prolific writer about the Kankakee River. Much of the source material I have comes from his pen.
Most early Kankakee River settlers trapped, hunted, farmed and logged. All of these activities required a means to get their product to market. The river met most of those needs. The problem was that the Kankakee was a rather slow and cantankerous waterway. Steamboats solved this predicament.
The Baum's Bridge area in south Porter County has had continuous occupation for more than 11,000 years. In early times, it was a Native American encampment; later it was the site of a ferry crossing where today a bridge from Jasper to Porter counties is located.
KOUTS | High school students from the University of Notre Dame's Summer Scholars program found artifacts at the Collier Lodge in Kouts after two days of digging.
The more than century-old Linden log cabin is ready for its resurrection.
"Pioneer Hunters of the Kankakee" by J. Lorenzo Werich is considered by many as a must-read book about the Kankakee Marsh.
The Hall family story is one of the more interesting Kankakee River tales. Edward Hall was born in Ireland in 1812. He immigrated to Canada with his wife, Ann Maxwell, where they lived for two years and then on to Indiana in 1836. Major McFadin was a close friend of Edward Hall's and wrote t…
One of my first columns was about the Rowley and Bertha Morehouse 50th anniversary in 1937. Rowley was arguably one of the most knowledgeable and legendary characters of the old Kankakee River. Rowley was born in 1859 in Michigan. Around 1882 he moved to Jasper County. Eventually, Morehouse …
KOUTS | The train ride from Chicago was 40 cents, and $2 purchased a room, meals, a boat, and a river guide.
PORTAGE | The Linden log cabin has found a new home.
Porter County Parks Department is working on construction of a park in south county. I am overjoyed about this project — it is long overdue! The Dunn's Bridge boat launch is currently the only county facility along the Kankakee River in Porter County.
PORTAGE | The Linden log cabin is ready for a another journey, it just needs a permanent home.
Max Ahlgrim was 17 years old when he took his first trip down the Kankakee River.
Scrawled in pencil, Max Ahlgrim took note of every day happenings, from his children's clothing sizes to the depths of points along the Kankakee River.
John Hodson, founder of the Kankakee Valley Historical Society, holds a hand written journal from 1899 to 1901 by Max Ahlgrim who helped settle the area along the Kankakee River in Lake County. Ahlgrim had measured parts of the river and recorded the distance in the journal.
An entry in Max Ahlgrim's journal from August of 1899 in which he kept track of debts and their payments. (Provided photo)
Max Ahlgrim came to the Kankakee River area in 1875. He founded Ahlgrim Park and, with his wife Ida, raised 11 children in the area. An early entrepreneur, Ahlgrim kept a journal. One of his journals, similar to the one sticking out of his vest pocket in this photograph, recently surfaced. (…
John Hodson, of Kouts, founder of the Kankakee Valley Historical Society, talks about the research completed in linking a century-old journal with early Kankakee River pioneer Max Ahlgrim.
Max and Ida Ahlgrim and their 11 children gathered for this family photograph at their home. The photograph was likely taken in the early 1900s. (Provided photo)
A page in the century-old journal of Max Ahlgrim shows his sketch of a boat's rudder and measurements. (Provided photo)
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