Monday, June 13, 2011

On the Road to the Witness Tree

In 42N country's western Illinois, there is a country road with huge vistas of ankle high growing corn. Take the time to follow these roads, sometimes you will be surprised with what you find.

This boulder is placed just off of County Road 1210N, northwest of Neponset, Illinois. It makes the location of the first white settler's cabin in Bureau County. The Studley family established a log cabin on this site in the fall of 1837. From the looks of it the boulder was recently placed here. 

Around the corner from the boulder or about three miles south of Mineral, Illinois on the east side of County Road AA is this giant burr oak tree. Native Americans of this area used it as a meeting place. The tree received its name because it was a witness, or reference point, for surveyors of the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad during the building of the railroad through Mineral Township. Additionally the nearby landscape is in a state of reclamation from coal mining operations performed a hundred years ago. An interesting area indeed.

Take US Highway 6 or I-80 just a few miles from this location and you might never know about these landmarks. If you have the time (and gas) take the road less traveled. You'll still get where you are going but will be more knowledgeable for the effort. Know that.