Marker 63: Marquette

© Photographed April 1, 2017
Erected 1957 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Portage, Columbia County, Wisconsin
 43° 33.294′ N, 89° 26.073′ W

On June 14, 1673 Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet started the portage (1.28 miles) from here to the Wisconsin River, which led to their discovery of the Upper Mississippi June 17, 1673 at Prairie du Chien. The expedition, in two birch bark canoes, traveled south to the mouth of the Arkansas River and returned to St. Ignace, a trip of nearly 3000 miles. Thus a new era of exploration, settlement and commerce began for the Great Lakes region, the Mississippi Valley and the Far West. Stabilization of the fur trade followed and also the organization of numerous Indian tribes under French rule. Marquette, a talented Jesuit missionary, dedicated his life and energy ministering to the Indians. Born June 1, 1637 in Laon, France, he died near Ludington, Michigan May 18, 1675.
The marker is located in a small park on westbound East Cook Street / Wisconsin Route 33, just west of its intersection with County Road F, Portage, Wisconsin 53901.

Searching for Marquette: A Pilgrimage in Art, by Ruth D. Nelson, MA
Through monuments and artwork, Ruth D. Nelson retells the story of the 17th-century French Jesuit missionary-explorer, Father Jacques Marquette, the celebrated surveyor of the Mississippi River. But his expedition down the Great River was only part of the Marquette legacy, which began on the southern shore of Lake Superior and ended on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Searching for Marquette follows his journey through today's cities and towns in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Arkansas to uncover French relics, Native-American royalty, and hearty settlers in a drama of faith, the fur trade and the future of Americas heartland.

Ruth presented at the June 23, 2014 meeting of the Door County Historical Society. I had the privilege of being present. Ruth gave a fascinating account of Father Marquette's journey and provided deeper insight into the man whose life is memorialized in so many of the markers / monuments I have photographed.

Ruth received her MA in Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For her thesis research on the Marquette Building in Chicago, the received the Coming Museum of Glass Rakow Research Grant in 2005.

PBS: American Experience: Jacques Marquette (1637-1675) and Louis Joliet (1646-1700)

The Biography Channel: Jacques Marquette

Wikipedia: Jacques Marquette

Use the "Pere Marquette" label below to view all markers on this website related to Father Marquette; there are many.

The marker is directly across the road from Old Fort Winnebago Surgeon's Quarters.

These markers / memorials are also at this location:

 To Honor Pierre Pauquette (on the right), also at this location.

View from the highway . . .

 Photographed October 7, 2014

Pere Marquette 1869
by Wilhelm Lamprecht (German 1838-1906)
This media file is in the public domain;
click here for more information.

 Photographed October 7, 2014
The marker is a short walk from the parking area.

View from across the road at Old Fort Winnebago Surgeon's Quarters

 The marker is located in Portage, Wisconsin.

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