The lands surrounding the southern end of Lake Michigan were once rich with oak woods, savanna, marsh and prairie, home to the Illiniwek then Pottawatomi – and gradually, non-Native American settlers. Among the earliest trade routes was the Vincennes Trail following the route of what later became Dixie Highway.
The Land Ordinance of 1785 established the rectangular survey system for mapping lands of the United States. In 1803, the first survey began of lands that would become part of Illinois. In 1816, Congress established the Office of the Surveyor General for Illinois and Missouri, and the State of . . .
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