In 1681 Robert de LaSalle led an 8 month expedition from Montreal to the Gulf of Mexico and passed through this region, creating bonds with the Illiniwek people. On his return trip from Louisiana, LaSalle established Fort Saint Louis at Starved Rock, Illinois.

In 1976 this journey was recreated by a group of college students. Named LaSalle Expedition II, they relived the original journey making and using the clothing, tools and foods of the first. At the completion of the 1976 expedition, the objects used were donated to the Elgin Public Museum and we have created a lifelike exhibit to show life in the Illinois wilderness. While at the exhibit, you can also view a cutaway beaver lodge, pound corn, make animal tracks and compare the two expeditions through an interactive computer program.