A beautiful state park in Illinois actually got its name from a pretty gruesome situation.

Starved Rock State Park is a lovely place to explore. There's a waterfall, 18 canyons, sandstone bluffs, 13 miles of trails, and plenty of wildlife, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Starved Rock itself is a towering 125-feet sandstone cliff. Within the park, you can hike, go camping, go fishing, and generally live your best outdoorsy life.

But the area has a dark past.


The Basic History of Starved Rock

Before we get to the intense stuff, let's review the basic history of the land from the DNR. According to them, humans have lived there since 8000 B.C. Hopewellian (read: a bit of a hot minute), specifically Native American tribes, but the French explorers came across it in 1673. The French built Fort St. Louis on the butte in 1682 because it has such a good view of the Illinois River. Many Native American tribes lived on the land and were called the Illinois Confederation.


Here's Where It Gets Thick: Retribution Enters The Chat

Starved Rock got its name years later in 1770, after Fort St. Louis was abandoned. The Native American legend is this: Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa Tribe was killed by a Peoria brave while he was attending tribal council. Legend says that in a fight to avenge the chief's death, a band of Peoria were under attack by the Potawatomi (which were allies of the Ottawa tribe). The Peoria tried to get to safety on a tall butte (as you guessed: Starved Rock).

Their efforts were ultimately in vain.

The Potawatomi and Ottawa tribes outlasted the Peoria by surrounding the butte and staying there until the Peoria eventually died of starvation on the rock.

Thereby, giving the butte the name 'Starved Rock'.

Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources
Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources

The Rock Discovered

According to the Illinois DNR, the legend says that it was traders who found the dead Peoria.

A few days later, traveling traders enroute to Canada stopped to see why flocks of buzzards were circling the rock. On approaching the top, the traders were sickened by the numbers of decaying bodies. The stench was so offensive that the traders left and took with them the legend of the dead.


Is It True?

In short, it's hard to say. The DNR says that there aren't written records to show that this event actually happened. But stuff did go down on Starved Rock. Because it has a good strategic location (with its good view), there's evidence that it was definitely used as a battleground at some point, with excavations turning up skeletons and weapons.

Signs a Long Hard Winter is Ahead

Have you seen any "evidence" of a harsh winter ahead? Let's take a look at some Midwest folklore stories that could predict how early or rough our winter will be.

10 Household Tasks To Get Your Home Ready For The Fall Season

When September hits I'd like to think the world divides into two. One half is clinging on to summer with everything they have, while the other half is already starting to put pumpkins around their house and watching scary movies by the fireplace.

Although the official first day of fall is September 22, many people like to start fall traditions early as it excites them and brings them that warm fuzzy feeling. As the days become shorter and the weather changes there are tasks to be done when being a homeowner. Not only does one's mindset change as the seasons do, but the chores around the house change as well.

Now that the seasons are changing it is time to start preparing your home for the weather to come. We have gathered some important fall home maintenance tasks to get you and your home ready for the chilly season.

Here are 10 ways to get your home ready for fall.

More From B100