Hunting on the marsh
The Grand Kankakee Marsh was a paradise for sportsmen. Hunting and trapping were world renowned and they flocked to the clubs. Water fowl was plentiful and hunters seldom went away unhappy.
Photos (Left) Two hunters display their days results, 1911. Gene Kangas Collection. (Right) Good day on the marsh and these 1899 hunters pose with their prizes. Gene Kangas Collection
Photos (Left) To the hunt. A hunting party displays the days take. Gene Kangas Collection. (Right) Dafy never stood a chance. Hunters pose with the kill. Gene Kangas Collection (Yes, it was enhanced with Photoshop.)
Photo Left: Looks a great season trapping.
Read an article on Kankakee Marsh Pintails by Gene and Linda Kangas, with Ron Gard
Photos (Left) Hunting party at Baum's Bridge. -Kankakee Historical Society- (Right) Hunters camping in the Grand Kankakee Marsh.
Fishing on the Kankakee River
Photos (Left) Fishing camp somewhere along the river. (Right) Fishing camp near Shelby.
Photos (Left) Postcard made to illustrate the great bountiful fishing on the river. -Walkerton Area Historical Society- . (Right) Pickrel fishing on the Kankakee near Hebron. -Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society Collection-
Photos (Left) One of the many typical cabins along the river, 1912. In the early days, these cabins were on high ground, or islands. (Right)Fishing on the Kankakee. -Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society Collection-
Photo Left: Man fishing on the Kankakee near English Lake in Starke County. -Starke County Historical Society-
Photos (Left) Little girls even enjoyed fishing in the Kankakee. -Gerald Born Collection- Fishing parties and boathouses at Baum's Bridge.
Photo Right: Group of fishermen at Baum's Bridge getting ready for a day on the river. -Kankakee Valley Historical Society-
(Photo Left:) Fishing camp along the Kankakee River in LaPorte County. -Michigan City Library Collection-
Enjoying The River
The river was known for special boats. A Kankakee River boat was a uniquely designed craft, of a special pattern suited to the marshes, puckerbush, and other conditions encountered while duck and goose hunting along the river. Many of the boats were built locally.
The following photos are of people enjoying a few hours on the river. We believe that most of these are between Baum's Bridge and Water Valley.
Photos (Left) Two gentlemen pose. (Right) Club launch with ladies along the Kankakee. -Marc Buhurmester Collection-
Photos (Left) Group of ladies are enjoying the day on the river. (Right) Lots of activities on the river near Baum's Bridge, early 1900's. -Marc Buhurmester Collection-
Photos (Left) Group about to leave on an excursion at Baum's Bridge. (Right) Several of the clubs offered boats for camping. Here is aboat, named "Driftwood" along the river, 1912. -Marc Buhurmester Collection-
Houseboats were common along the river. This boat, built by James Hall was once a supply barge used by the dredging crews when they worked on the marsh in LaPorte County. It measured 34 feet long, 14 feet wide and 2 feet deep. The barge originally had a canvas tent, but Hall replaced it with a wooden cabin and lived on the barge for many years until it began to leak badly. Hall rented land along the river and just pulled the houseboat up on shore. Hall was a lumberman and worked in the many lumber camps of the area.
Photo Left: Boating on the Kankakee at Shelby, Indiana. -Gerald Born Collection-
Photos (Left) Group poses along the bank near Baum's Bridge. (Right) Boater sits along the river at English Lake. -Starke County Historical Society-
Photos (Left and Right) Boaters on the river, near English Lake. -Starke County Historical Society-
Boats working the River
Photos (Left and Right) The powered launches provided many services to the clubs. They transported passengers and guests fromn the railroad depots, hauled supplie like coal wood and dry goods. Pictured here is one of the Alhgrim's launches moving a log barge along the river. Beside a camping resort, the Alhgrim Family also operated one of the many sawmills and lumber operations of the Kankakee Marsh. -Marc Buhurmester Collection-
Photo Left: Very rare photograph of the Kankakee River steam boat the A. R. Bragg. There are stories of a steam boat running the river for years. Unknown date on this photo. Once the railroads arrived it is unlikely this boat was able to travel to locations in Indiana. No location is listed on this photo. -Gerald Born Collection-
To view a video of the formation of the Kankakee River and the history of the Kankakee Valley, visit
This video was produced by the Kankakee Valley Historical Society.
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