Your Tuesday story, “Who was Black Hawk?”, mentioned Blackhawk Golf Course but not the nearby two-sided historical marker titled “The Black Hawk War” and “Black Hawk’s Grove.” But your Aug. 3, 2001, issue carried an article, “Remember Black Hawk: New marker tells story,” about its unveiling.
Saying “It does not appear he (Black Hawk) was ever in Janesville” may be inaccurate. The late Crawford B. Thayer, in “Hunting a Shadow: The Search for Black Hawk” (1981), the first of his three books based on eyewitness accounts, says Black Hawk’s 1832 route through present-day Illinois and Wisconsin included stops at Turtle (Beloit), Storrs Lake and Lake Koshkonong. It seems likely then that Black Hawk and his group followed the Rock River north through this area, as did the militia trying to catch them.
Militia statements say Indians camped along a creek near a bluff--this may have been Spring Brook at the present site of Blackhawk Golf Course. In 1835, early white settlers of this region found remains of Indian tent poles and campfires, and they were so convinced it was the remains of Black Hawk’s 1832 camp that they called the area Black Hawk’s Grove.
The marker committee that I was part of and the State Historical Society agreed to this wording: “According to local tradition, Black Hawk’s band went north up the Rock River, camping several days here at Spring Brook Creek….”