Ottawa Battle Site

Des Plaines Street at Division Street

Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown


In 1769 the Ottawa Chief, Pontiac, was murdered. His tribesmen believed the Illinois to be responsible, so they combined forces with the Pottawatomi, Chippewa, Sauk and Fox tribes to seek revenge.


The attack was said to begin just east of this location, at Fay’s Point where the Little Calumet meets Stoney Creek (now the Cal-Sag Channel). The Illinois fled the onslaught until they reached this site, where they made a determined last stand.


The battle lasted for several days – the Ottawa and their allies were victorious. Many of the defeated Illinois retreated to Joliet, were defeated again, and pulled back to where Morris now stands. The scenario was repeated once again and the Illinois were driven back to what is now Starved Rock State Park.


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