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Songs and Stories
     April 8, 2019      #79-98 SsK

Jack Klasey: Growing the state park

By Jack Klasey

An island that was home to a rare wildflower was part of the first step toward what would become, within a period of a half-century, the 4,000-acre Kankakee River State Park.

Langham Island in the Kankakee River, where the endangered Kankakee Mallow is found, was included in a 1938 gift of land to the state of Illinois by Mrs. Ethel Sturges Dummer, a prominent Chicago civic leader. The 35.6 acre plot she donated to establish a state park was located just outside the tiny village of Altorf. Most of the tract was on the north side of the river, but it also included the island (sometimes called ...

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Jack Klasey
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