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Work to Preserve Historic Trail Continues
Kenosha County Archeological Society Seeks Those Interested in Participating
Earlier this spring, members of the Kenosha County Archeological Society met at the site of the historic Jambeau Trail located in Momperís Woods in Pleasant Prairie. The group worked to clear invasive plant species from the site as part of ongoing maintenance to protect this historic location. The 27-acre Momperís Woods site was donated to Pleasant Prairie by a landowner, Nitto Americas, Inc., in 2001 as a permanent nature preserve.
The Jambeau Trail began as a prehistoric path along a glacial moraine, formed by the receding ice of the last ice age. Animals, such as elk and deer first traveled the path along the distinct ridge, followed by the Native Americans, and in the early 1800ís, settlers. The path was an alternative to a seasonal water based route along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The trail became an established route for travel on foot and by horseback between Fort Dearborn in Chicago and Fort Howard in Green Bay. It was named for French settler, Jaques Vieau, who had established a trading post on the banks of the Milwaukee River (1795) and later at Skunk Grove (Franksville). Stories say that native Americans had difficulty pronouncing the french name Jaques Vieau, so the trail to his Skunk Grove trading post became known as the Jambeau Trail.
With the widening of Green Bay Road in the early 1990ís, a large glacial boulder was unearthed. At that time, Kenosha County Archeological Society member Virginia Momper requested that the boulder be placed on her property next to the historic trail as a memorial. Virginia Momperís family had owned and farmed the adjacent property for generations while preserving segments of the trail. In 1995, a plaque was placed on the boulder dedicating the area as a historic landmark.
The Kenosha County Archeological Society is seeking those who have an interest in learning more about the Jambeau Trail and helping to preserve this and other pieces of history. If you have an interest in learning more, please contact the Kenosha County Archeological Society through their website (currently under construction) by clicking here or call Tim at 847.644.3976.