Monday, December 5, 2022

Marker Details

Illinois 2 north of Oregon, Illinois (missing)
No coordinates identified
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
Sculptor Lorado Taft designed the massive statue as his tribute to the various Indians who lived on these wooded bluffs. Taft's reinforced concrete figure, popularly called Black Hawk, was begun in 1909 and dedicated in 1911. From its base more than one hundred feet above the river, it stands nearly fifty feet high. Taft completed the statue while a member of the nearby Eagle's Nest Camp, an artists' colony. The camp was on the property of Wallace Heckman, a Chicago attorney and patron of the arts, who in 1898 invited Taft and other artists to establish a scenic retreat and workplace. Painters, musicians, sculptors, writers, and architects lived there with their families during the summer. The colony, which flourished until 1942, took its name from Eagle's Nest Bluff, whose beauty was noted as early as 1843 by traveler and poet Margaret Fuller. In 1945 the State of Illinois purchased this land for Lowden State Park, a memorial for World War I Governor Frank O. Lowden, who resided southeast of Oregon at Sinnissippi Farm. In 1951 that portion of the park known as Eagle's Nest was transferred to Northern Illinois University and named the Lorado Taft Field Campus for Outdoor Education.

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