Dinner and the history of Trail Marker Trees

Dennis Downes

LA SALLE - Join the Canal Corridor Association on Thursday, Nov. 30 for a delicious buffet dinner and some history at their next dinner lecture, Trail Marker Trees: Past & Present with speaker Dennis Downes. The event will take place 5:30–8 p.m. at the Lock 16 Café & Visitor Center in LaSalle. 

Indigenous peoples, including Native Americans, have always been consummate travelers, whose trade and social networks crossed the continent. Few are aware, however, of the various techniques used to mark routes, including bending tree saplings. These distinct and durable markers known as Trail Marker Trees are a natural navigational method that still exists today.

Speaker Dennis Downes has traveled widely throughout the United States and Canada collaborating with Indigenous communities and learning about their involvement with these trees. In consultation with Native American experts and historians, Downes has made it his lifelong dedication to identify, research and protect these living landmarks. Richly illustrated with maps and numerous photographs of these distinctive markers both past and present, his lecture raises awareness about Native American travels and navigational methods. 

Reservations are required. To book or for more information, please call (815) 220-1848 or visit www.iandmcanal.org.

The Canal Corridor Association, a 501(c)3 non profit, is the coordinating entity for the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area, America’s first national heritage area. As such it preserves history, protects nature and open space, and creates destinations where people can learn and have fun in the I&M Canal National Heritage Area from Chicago to LaSalle-Peru.

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