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Illinois to create marker for original northern boundary

A state historical marker celebrating Illinois’ bicentennial and recognizing the originally proposed northern Illinois border will be installed in downtown Yorkville this summer.

Its City Council voted to approve the installation of the state historical marker at the Van Emmon Activity Center.

Illinois resident Mary Alice Fellers is paying the $3,200 cost of the 44-by-51-inch cast aluminum marker and $200 for the mounting pole.

Evans said officials are hoping to get the marker installed by the end of July or beginning of August. A dedication ceremony will take place at that time, he said.

According to a draft of the marker’s text, the originally proposed northern boundary for Illinois was parallel to the southern tip of Lake Michigan. While the measure to include Illinois in the Union was still pending in the House of Representatives, Nathaniel Pope, the Illinois delegate in Congress, proposed amending the northern boundary to include a portion of Lake Michigan.

The marker states that Pope “felt the necessity of giving Illinois a firm footing on the lake thus committing her interest to northern commerce flowing through the lakes to offset the influence of southern trade on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in case of internal conflict.”

“Pope felt that the territorial addition would ‘afford additional security to the perpetuity of the Union, inasmuch as the state would thereby be connected with the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, through the lakes.”

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