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Lasalle, IL 61301
The Trail Marker Trees as well as the Marker Trees in general, were part of an extensive land and water navigation system in our country that already was in place long before the arrival of the first European settlers. While the Native American’s had a widespread trail system in place, the Trail Marker Trees served as exit signs off of these land and water routes bringing them to areas of specific interest and then directing them back to the main route, much like the exit signs off of our major interstates today. The state of Illinois is where much of the earliest research and documentation of Trail Marker Trees began, as early as 1836.
Dennis Downes has given over 150 lectures on the Trail Marker Tree System at museums, libraries, historical societies, and community centers across the country, as well as in the United Kingdom and Canada. Downes’ research on the Native American Marker Trees has been ongoing for nearly three decades, taking him to countless ancient Native American sites.