Talk:Starved Rock State Park

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Most visited?[edit]

This state website and this one indicates that Illinois Beach is the most visited Illinois state park, not Starved Rock (which it lists as "one of the most"). The source listed here does not say the park is the most visited. That fact should be changed or more conclusive sourcing provided. When I made the change it was reverted. Novaseminary (talk) 02:49, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Geology vs. topography, and what created it[edit]

I didn't have a really good fix in mind so just mentioning it here. The sentence "The park's signature geology was created in a catastrophic flood known as the Kankakee Torrent....." isn't quite right and doesn't match what the refs say. They basically say that the torrent carved out the main channel of the Illinois river. The features (e.g. canyons, bluffs and cliffs) are what makes it unique in Illinois (not the geology which is just sandstone) and the canyons weren't created by the torrent, and the refs don't say that. But what the torrent did did contribute; carving the valley created the bluffs & cliffs, and presumably the torrent did much of that. If someone does something on it it should be constructive....trying to fix / source rather than delete/tag. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 03:22, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I've added a source: [1]. A careful reading of this (and it is awkwardly phrased, I grant you) makes it clear that Starved Rock itself and the other features were formed originally by the Kankakee Torrent, though of course, further erosion followed. And this source states

The Kankakee Torrent and to a lesser degree, later Lake Chicago and Lake Nipissing floods, removed glacial deposits and scoured out the Illinois River Valley at Starved Rock State Park in a relatively short period of time . . . Since the time of the floods, the canyons have been widened and deepened by the over-hanging streams, however, this widening and deepening of the canyons has been very slow comparatively.

In other words, the KT did create the canyons, other floods expanded them, and regular river erosion has added a bit over the years. HuskyHuskie (talk) 04:15, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Now, as to your point about "geology" vs. "topography", my instincts differ with yours, but I'm going to do some thinking with my keyboard before I let my opinion begin to really gel. HuskyHuskie (talk) 04:15, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Wow, I can still learn stuff. Very fortunately, there was exactly the sentence I needed to read in Topography: This meaning is less common in America, where topographic maps with elevation contours have made "topography" synonymous with relief. And this is why I thought you were mistaken--I do associate topographic maps purely with contour lines and elevation. I thought "geology" was better because it lends itself to the why of the formation, not just the relief. And I still prefer it, but with what I have learned, I can live with "topography", should you choose to change it to that.HuskyHuskie (talk) 04:21, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Right now I don't have a really good idea for rewording.
But here's what I think that actual picture is. What mostly makes the area what it is is that there is sandstone at an elevation where it would be cut by rivers. Many other rivers and streams in that area (which the torrent didn't pass through) have similar canyons. And everything that is called a "canyon" in the park is a short dead-end canyon that feeds into the Illinois River. That the torrent did not pass through those little dead end canyons, and that those canyons were 100% formed by the streams that flow through them. But the torrent probably set the stage for that as well by creating or dropping the level of the Illinois river. Of course we're not going to put what I say in the article, but it might help sort out what's in the sources. North8000 (talk) 13:57, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I think I'm seeing your point. Let me dwell on this a bit, peruse the sources a bit more, and I'll get back to this. HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:29, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Cool. I'm just trying to provide some info/thoughts, I'm not pushing for any changes. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 02:36, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
It's been a long time since high school science classes, but I'm thinking "geology" has to do with studying how the rock layers were formed, although "topography" could be a subset. So how long would this "torrent" have to last to do such work? I'm thinking of a (larger) parallel, the formation of the Columbia River Gorge. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:44, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
If you're talking about the effect of the Missoula Floods upon the Columbia River, yes, it's much like that, except that I've never seen anyone who has proposed such a long-lasting cycle for the Kankakee flooding. The consensus appears to be one massive event followed by two or three smaller events with much less impact. And in terms of time frame, the original Torrent appears to have lasted perhaps longer than a month, or perhaps less than a week. Pretty amazing, compared to standard uniformitarianism, eh?. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:20, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I took a wild back-of the envelope calc/guess. Might have drained 100 trillion cubic feet of water in a couple weeks. That's about 150 million cubic feet per second, which equals about 250 regular-day Mississippi Rivers. Would have made an exciting boat ride. North8000 (talk) 03:40, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I think I learned enough from sources to try to tweak the discussed sentence. The mega flood carved out most of the Illinois river in that area, which includes lowering it. The canyons in the nearby streams and rivers are there because the mega-flood cut the Illinois river much more quickly than would otherwise occur (combined with the presence of sandstone near enough to the surface to be cazarved) The rivers and streams are still "catching up." After they "catch up" (a zillion years from now) the canyons will be gone. Fully cut and then weathered away. Finally, I think "geology" sounds good and coveys the correct thought, even if it may not be technically correct. Maybe a minor tweak but keep it in. So I think that a minor change in the following sentence will bring it in line with this. Change this:

The park's signature geology, which is very unusual for the central plains, was created in a catastrophic flood known as the Kankakee Torrent,[2] which took place somewhere between 14,000[3] and 18,000 years ago,[4] before humans occupied the area.


A catastrophic flood known as the Kankakee Torrent,[2] which took place somewhere between 14,000[3] and 18,000 years ago,[4] before humans occupied the area. helped create the park's signature geology and features which are very unusual for the central plains.

I plan to put this in. If anyone is opposed, please feel free to revert and we could work on it more here.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 19:06, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Sources and NRHP stuff[edit]

So there are several sites within Starved Rock State Park that have their own listing on the National Register of Historic Places. These sites should be integrated into this article provided that the sections on the sites do not get too long, then we can just use summary style and move the bulk of the material to their own page.

  • Starved Rock (again redirects here): The rock itself is a National Historic Landmark and could maybe do with its own section in this article, I never thought a seperate article made much sense on this one, unless it gets so long it's unwieldy. Possible sources: NRHP nom form
  • Starved Rock Lock and Dam Historic District: This site isn't really in the park, but it's right there for visitors to see. It makes the most sense to have a main article for this one off the bat and then summarize here with a link to the main article. There isn't a digitized version of the NRHP nomination materials online yet, neither for the individual site or for the Multiple Property Submission. Here is the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency's "Property Information Report" on the district.
  • This article is done, linked above, and submitted to DYK, I am looking at the Lodge and Cabins stuff next.--IvoShandor (talk) 08:51, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Also note, "done" doesn't mean done. As in final. Or complete. Just created and expanded to the point that it is more than a stub.--IvoShandor (talk) 08:52, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Archeological Sites of Starved Rock State Park: This is a multiple site NRHP listing in the state park, again it could start here and, I suspect, eventually expand out to its own article with each of the individual sites redirecting to appropriate sections in the article. The sites are:
  • All of the above now redirect to this article. They all go to their proper sections which I got started for each site. I only wrote about a paragraph, summarized from the MPS form linked above. There is, of course, much more to say about all of them. --IvoShandor (talk) 02:12, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

If you find other sources on any of the above sites you can edit my comment to add them here, this is just a listing of the NRHP stuff I have found. IvoShandor (talk) 07:48, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi. I think it was me who had created separate article on the National Historic Landmark a couple years ago, but that was redirected by another editor to this article back in June. Your plans here sounds quite reasonable, FWiw. --Doncram (talk) 14:07, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. Just needs people to get it done. :-) Sincerely North8000 (talk) 18:51, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
No worries Don, I didn't mean this as mud-slinging, I know that was part of the drive to complete and article for all the NHLs. Hopefully I will have some time to work on this soon. IvoShandor (talk) 05:05, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
This article looks useful if anyone has access to JSTOR. ::::The Starved Rock Massacre of 1769: Fact or Fiction
Mark Walczynski
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1998-)
Vol. 100, No. 3 (Fall, 2007), pp. 215-236

Alternate Theory[edit]

I understand the removal of the "alternate theory" but the only available reference is a tourist guide sign actually posted at the park. I should have just photographed that sign (saw no reason to at the time) to use as a reference. jaknouse (talk) 16:41, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Plum Island Bald Eagle Refuge[edit]

However, I completely fail to understand the removal of the paragraph about Plum Island. This is an ADJACENT -- I repeat, ADJACENT -- preserve area that is part and parcel of the attractions of Starved Rock State Park and the integrity of its ecosystem. Nowhere else is this place, very important for what it does, mentioned on Wikipedia. In my opinion, removal of this section was just a mindless power play by an overly-zealous and completely unthinking individual -- an individual who doesn't even allow a direct message to him, as far as I can tell. jaknouse (talk) 16:41, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

In full disclosure, to put it mildly. I've butted heads many times with the deleter. That said, I think that a directly adjacent preserve of interest, plus for the reasons which you mentioned, is certainly germane enough for a short mention in the article. North8000 (talk) 23:33, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
So much for WP:NPA... The article is about Starved Rock State Park. This tidbit of information about an adjacent preserve does not appear to be about Starved Rock State Park. If you have an RS that supports the assertion that this island preserve "is part and parcel of the attractions of Starved Rock State Park", then maybe it should be included. (The inserted inline EL which seems to have been an ill-formed effort at adding a reference rather than linkspamming is nonetheless a press release by the group doing the preserving.) The removed text made no such assertion. The only connection the text made between the island and the park was the fact that they are adjacent (in its entirety: "An adjacent island, in the Illinois River, is known as Plum Island. This island is a refuge for bald eagles, and is owned by the Illinois Audubon Society. It was established in 2004."). Novaseminary (talk) 01:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
There was nothing remotely resembling a PA in my post. A false accusation of a PA is a PA. Further WP has no requirement for inclusion such as you are implying. North8000 (talk) 01:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I was referring to the original post in this section as a PA: "a mindless power play by an overly-zealous and completely unthinking individual." Surely that is a PA. And you, North, I presume are not arguing that a fact needn't be about the subject covered in the article (various aspects of WP:NOT speak to this). And I am not arguing that every fact need meet WP:N (WP:NNC). If we agree on those points (and even Jaknouse seems to do so implicitly be claiming the island is "part and parcel" to the park, at least here on talk), then WP:RS/WP:V requires a source to support that fact that this island is relevant to an article about an adjacent park. Novaseminary (talk) 01:38, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Plum Island is mentioned in concert with Starved Rock State Park in dozens upon dozens of sources. It is a major attraction for eagle watchers and the eagles are easily viewed from the park. See: [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]. I believe that the island certainly merits more than passing mention here, perhaps even it's own stand-alone article to be linked from here. IvoShandor (talk) 02:16, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
My only objection was to the idea that an island being adjacent to a park is alone sufficent for it to be mentioned in the park's article, especially when even that not-obviously relevant fact is only sourced to a press release. If RSs support the idea that the island is relevant to an article about the park, then add in the relevant facts that indicate the nexus along with the sources to support those facts. No problem, and no need to argue about it here; there would be no argument. Novaseminary (talk) 02:33, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I wish that WP had a relevancy standard for inclusion of material at least where other issues are in question. But I've not seen it anywhere, including in the items that Novaseminary linked. If it did exist, then I think that inclusion would meet it. North8000 (talk) 13:31, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Just noticed a couple more things months later when making the new post below. Jaknouse did not claim that the sanctuary was "part and parcel with the park", nor that such was the basis for inclusion, so that is a sort of straw man argument. Jaknouse essentially claimed that it is sufficiently relevant and useful to be put into the article. Secondly, Novaseminary is implying that there is a requirement to include and source statements of relevancy in the article; such a requirement does not exist. North8000 (talk) 11:26, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────WP does have a relevancy standard of sorts. Per WP:UNDUE: "An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject." This at least implies that all text must be about or at least "significant to the subject", otherwise the proper due weight would be zero. And Jaknouse mentioned "part and parcel" in a comment above. In my opinion that would more than justify a mention per WP:UNDUE if, like every fact/assertion in a WP article, it could be sourced. My only objection was to the claim that something being adjacent to a park --and nothing else--is all that would ever be required to justify mentioning something outside the park. That was all that was in the added text and all I had to go on as a justification (along with other unsourced material not related to the Plum Island text in the same edit that even Jak acknowledged should not stay in) until Jak commented here with additional assertions (for which I asked for source). Any other mid-February issues to discuss? Novaseminary (talk) 16:49, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

As noted, not a new discussion, just something I missed. My 13:31 16 February post pretty much sums up my take on this including your post today. I don't think wp:undue does it. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 16:59, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
You actually think an editor would have no justification for removing material entirely irrelevant to an article, so long as it was sourced (though you've seemed to view that as optional, too, in the past) and neutral? I find it difficult to believe that you would support me in including statistics from the 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks to this article because the Blackhawks play in the same state. Less crazy, do you really think that all one needs to justify including reference to "something" in an article is an unsourced claim that the "something" is adjacent to whatever the article covers? And that removing such a reference would be an "unthinking", "mindless power play"? That is what happened here. Novaseminary (talk) 17:11, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
You blended about 6 topics into one there. Happy to talk about any one or a few of them, but it would be too complex and time consuming to try to tackle them all and while blended. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 17:50, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, here's a quick try:
  • ""unthinking", "mindless power play"" are not my words and I do not support them. They guess at and strongly word pre-cursor to and motivation for the behavior rather than addressing the behavior itself.
  • Plum Island is relevant from many standpoints and should be include-able in this article. The straw-man example of Blackhawks info in this article does not meet that test and that should not be included.
  • Sourcability (not sourcing) is a condition for inclusion, but not a mandate (or sufficient condition) for inclusion.
  • I don't see where your implied incident exists of somebody asserting that it was a sufficient condition, but if it did, I would agree with your implied position on that.
  • Per the "souceable vs. sourced" distinction, your implied error (your "optional" statement about me) on my part is itself in error.
Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 13:35, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

"Climate" contradiction[edit]

The Climate section has an issue, it states: The highest recorded temperature at the park was 112 °F (44 °C) in 1936, and the record low was −25 °F (-32 °C) in 1985. and The highest recorded temperature at the park was 104 °F (40 °C) in 1988, and the record low was −19 °F (−28.3 °C) in 1982.

Anyone know which is correct? Anyone have a cite for that paragraph's information in general? --IvoShandor (talk) 04:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Don't know, but I think that the first set is more plausible as the actual highs and lows, and I would consider the second set to be implausible as such. Possibly there is a condition or context on the second set which makes those narrower. North8000 (talk) 09:02, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I fixed this awhile ago. Just went with what we had a citation for. IvoShandor (talk) 04:23, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Cool! North8000 (talk) 11:12, 12 September 2011 (UTC)


This article could use some better photos. If anyone has any or is capable of getting any, it would greatly improve the visual presentation of the article. We need a new shot of Starved Rock - that one isn't very good, interior and exterior shots of the Lodge, exterior shots of the cabins, and any other assorted park pictures that would improve the article. IvoShandor (talk) 09:43, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Long term plan (could take months or a year) I could do that, but hopefully somebody will beat me to it. Also I have a possible source for a good photo of the 1974 archeological dig. North8000 (talk) 11:05, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Excellent. No time constraints here, so whenever. I may make it back to Starved Rock sometime in the next year as well. The archaeological site photos sounds intriguing, keep us posted. IvoShandor (talk) 19:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Did the latter. North8000 (talk) 12:58, 28 July 2012 (UTC)


A place to compile sources. Feel free to add.

IvoShandor (talk) 15:30, 29 August 2011 (UTC)