Clipped From The Daily Register
The Daily Register, Harrisburg, Illinois Page Eight Friday, June 7, In Massac County Va Bache Established in IJ02 I were brought from Kasknskia but there was the problem of getting good drinking water. This was solved by diuuing a larjje deep cistern. It rnij;hi be interesting to note that this hu^e cistern in years fell down at the edges, filled up from the bottom and known as "Round Pond." At the top of a little hill near the camp the soldiers entrenched and built their barracks. Ki^ht rifle pits, each largo enough to hold 6 to 8 soldiers, were dujj "Buttc-Pctilc" facing the river. These pits were in evidence still in the 1920's. By Ledillon Patrick Buried treasure still lies hidden in a bayou of the Ohio river near the little village of HiUerman in Massac county, according to the records. This information came to light as research as being done for a story on an old French tannery called Va Bache established on the Ohio in 1702. As the story goes, Sieur Charles Juchereau de St. Denis was grant-' ed a royal patent by King Louis XIV of France to establish a tannery on the % Ohio in the Illinois country for the purpose of killing and skinning all the buffalo he could find. Juchereau organized a company of 150 men and traveled to the Illinois country at the head of the Grand Chain of Rocks where he established Va Bache. Gnided by Indians The party, including a priest, j Father Mermet, left Kaskaskia by boat for the destined tannery at the head of the Grand Chain of Rocks At Burnham's Island near Fayvillc the party went ashore with the intention of walking overland to Va Bache because Juchereau had been to Tacaogone and knew there were rapids near the post. They followed the route of the public road from Fayville to Olive Branch. Here they visited Roenza, chief of a friendly Indian tribe, who provided Juchereau a guide to show him j At dawn musketry and la the early part of 1703 the buffalo hunt began. They hunted in Illinois. Kentucky and Missouri, April 1704 they had killed thirteen thousand buffalo. The Indians resented this whole- sale killing because they depended upon the buffalo for food. So made plans to do away w i t French al Va Bache. The Chcro- kccs, Creeks, Choctaws and of the Chickasaws gathered along the Tennessee; the Mkunis. Shaw- nces, Kickapoos and other Illinois tribes were along the U'abash the Missouri tribes were at M-Vr 4 T t l U . 1 \ / U * l It I Lf *. O * Creek. Only the tribe of lloenza did not take part. One Escapes Massacre On a moonless ni^ht in June Indians crept close to Va B;lchc. the crossing over Cache and the trail to the Ohio. The route follow- battle was short and decisive. Beed was on the right bank of Sandy | fore long Uic massacre, Creek; then down Sandy ,Creek, 1 the worst in Illinois hiMory, nearly to its mouth; and then up' finished. Only Juehereau U P , Cache to the Big Drift (which was i A mile below Tamms). The party crossed Cache at that point and member of the party exclaimed. sounded through the au escaped, There are throe legends telling how Juchereau escaped. According to the most widely Known legend. Juchereau and a companion yCe crique est Cache," (this creek had been hunting the day is hidden) and it has gone by that j and, being so far from -Va camped out overnight. The next morning they heard the noise stayed hidden until the danger past. Juchereau and his companion went to the c a m p whore buried the dead. They then duq the cedar box which had all of money and started toward the outposts. Two Indians saw them killed the companion. Juchereau killed one and wounded the Juchereau then \\ out to Sharp's Bayou and buried the cedar Dame ever since. Juchereau's company reached an ancient Indian* trail near Levings and followed that trail to Va Bache, located in "Post Creek Gap/' which lies almost five miles east of Grand Chain on the Parrish farm. Juchereau was faced with many problems when the party reached Va Bache. He had to provide shelter for all of his company; tan vats had to be made from huge oak trees; and tan bark had to be gath* j He made it safely to N ered. ' where he told of all that had hap- Killed 13,000 Buffalo j pcncd. Ten or twelve muettes (hunting Â· lodges) were constructed for shel- j The Daily Register oOc a ter. Huge quantities of supplies ! -by carrier* boy.