LaSalle_County_LoreLaSalle County Lore
Editor, Marilyn Rasmusen

LaSalle County Lore concentrates on the times up to World War II. Special effort has been made to include places and happenings of LaSalle County which are not recorded elsewhere. LaSalle County Lore is meant to give a richer picture of life in early LaSalle County.


Remember_Indian_CreekRemember Indian Creek! In the Shadow of the Black Hawk War
by Heeinz Dietrich Suppan

From Indian Creek to  the Bad Axe River, a story is told about 16 settlers who were massacred during a much larger event: the Black Hawk War. To understand what led  to this massacre, it is important to trace the history of the events that led to the Black Hawk War and the suspicions  that developed between the Indians and the demands of the white settlers for their land.


Hiking_Illinois_Michigan_canalHiking the Illinois & Michigan Canal and Exploring it’s Environs
by Philip E. Vierling

A guide to hiking the Illinois & Michigan Canal and surrounding areas.




Starved_Rock_State_Park_100_yearsStarved Rock State Park: The First 100 Years
by Mark Walczynski

What does Starved Rock State Park have to do with the allied invasion of Germany during World War II? Where were dance lovers forbidden to do the “shimmy’ and ‘tickle toe?” Starved Rock State Park: The First 100 Years traces the development of the famous park from its early beginnings to today’s twenty-first century world.


Starved_Rock_MurdersThe Starved Rock Murders
by Steve Stout

On March 14, 1960, three women from Riverside journeyed to Starved Rock State Park for a few days of rest and recreation.Staying at the park’s majestic lodge, they checked into their rooms, ate lunch at the inn’s dining room and then hiked a few wooded miles across snowy trails into St. Louis Canyon.

Two days later, the close friends were found beaten to death in a cold canyon crime that sent shock waves across the Illinois Valley. Following a massive investigation that lasted for months. It was clearly the “O.J. Simpson” case of its day.


The_Black_DampThe Black Damp: The Story of the Cherry Mining Disaster : a Novel
by Steve Stout

On the morning of November 13.1909, nearly 500 men and boys went to work in the coal mine carved underneath Cherry, Illinois.  The workforce, which consisted mostly of young immigrants in their first new world job, spent long days 500 feet below the surface and miles away from the main shaft and escape shaft.  The village of Cherry was 2,000 strong and in one way or another, everyone’s life was connected to the town’s only industry—the St. Paul Coal Company.


The Day It Rained Leaves: A Starved Rock Park Adventure
Author Steve Stout, Illustrated by Charles Funk

Utica House Publishing Company, Dec 1, 2002 – Legends – 40 pages
Explains in simple terms why leaves fall off trees every fall within a story about a family hike in the woods.


rally_round_the_flagRALLY ROUND THE FLAG
by R. G. Bluemer

A unique view of the Civil War based on the accounts of the young soldiers who wrote to the area newspapers about their experiences in the training camps and battles.



Back_to_the_50sBack to the 50’s
by R. G. Bluemer

Memories of the fabulous 1950s, releasing a book that spans the highs and lows of the decade in the Illinois Valley.




The_Cherry_Mine_DisasterThe Cherry Mine Disaster
by Steve Stout and Jason Kotecki

About 480 men and boys went to work in the Cherry coal mine on Nov. 13, 1909. Most were from Europe and new to America. Many lived in Streator or in towns that dotted the Illinois River. They knew the risks. Five to seven miners died on average every month in northern Illinois mines during that time.


Fire_BelowFire Below! The Cherry Mine Disaster of 1909
by R. G. Bluemer

This book provides the factual information on the Cherry Mine disaster collected from newspapers interviews, personal published accounts of the miners, and inquest testimony in 1909-1910.



Connecting_LinksConnecting Links From Chicago to the Mississippi River
by R. G. Bluemer

A history of the Illinois & Michigan and Hennepin Canals and the Illinois Waterway System describes the construction and of the use Illinois & Michigan Canal, Hennepin Canal, and the Illinois Waterway Project.



Remember the One Room Schools of LaSalle County

LaSalle County was a fertile area for the book: At one time, the county had more one-room school houses (1906) than anywhere else in the country, according to federal researchers. This book contains personal stories and reminiscences, backed by more than 350 previously unpublished photos, breathe life into the county’s 298 rural schools spread across 37 townships.