Community, Organizations, Park Forest

Thorn Creek Woods: Stories from the Old Sauk Trail

Thorn Creek Nature Center, Old Sauk Trail
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Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Join other nature lovers for the Friends of Thorn Creek Woods annual gathering and program on Sunday, October 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. After a short Friends meeting, which will be open to the public, join us for a presentation on the Old Sauk Trail, the now-busy thoroughfare on the northern edge of our Thorn Creek Woods.

The Great Sauk Trail began as a Native American trail running through Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The trail evolved into a major wagon and stage coach road and the route for countless fugitive slaves seeking their freedom in Canada.

Local historian Larry McClellan has stories to tell about this now-busy thoroughfare on the northern edge of our Thorn Creek Woods.

At our annual gathering of nature lovers which is open to the public, there will be a short Friends meeting, the presentation, and refreshments. The program is free and open to those ages 12 to adult, and will be held at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Blvd, Park Forest.

Larry McClellan is a published historian and retired sociology professor. He currently is completing book manuscripts entitled “To the River, the Remarkable Journey of Caroline Quarlls” (freedom seeker from St. Louis), and “Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Illinois” a regional history south of Chicago. After graduate work at the University of Chicago in 1970, McClellan helped found Governors State University and served with the University for 30 years. For many years, he was University Professor of Sociology and Community Studies, and was Executive Director of the South Metropolitan Regional Leadership Center for six years. In the mid-70s, he was mayor of University Park (then Park Forest South).

This presentation is sponsored by the Jim Marzuki Memorial Fund, established by Friends of Thorn Creek Woods to enhance our public programming.

“Old” supporters of Friends of Thorn Creek Woods, bring someone new as a guest. New folks will find out what makes Thorn Creek unique! Members of this historic organization “got the ball rolling” several decades ago to save the woods, and continue to support Thorn Creek Nature Center and Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Thorn Creek’s many volunteers are an indispensable part of what makes Thorn Creek “tick”.

For more information or to register for programs, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd, Park Forest, 708-747-6320, email [email protected], or stop in the nature center between noon and 4 p.m. on Friday or Sunday. Please call before you plan to visit the nature center. Three and a half miles of Thorn Creek trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.

This is from the Friends of Thorn Creek Woods.