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Louis Jolliet

Their journey had led them to the Illinois River, and then into the Des Plaines River.

Standing on a high mound which would one day bear his name, Louis Jolliet shaded his eyes as he looked up and down the Des Plaines River Valley. From this vantage point Jolliet enjoyed a commanding view of the area, including the beautiful site off in the distance where more than
150 years later the city of Joliet would stand.

Jolliet imparted his name to the landmark mound, and it became known as "Mound Jolliet."

Over time, the area was commonly called "Juliet" in reference to the area's most prominent landmark, "Mount Juliet," as it was then known.

As the exploits of Louis Jolliet were becoming more widely known, the mound southwest of town was more commonly--and more accurately--referred to as "Mound Joliet."

In 1852, when an act of incorporation was passed, the
City of Joliet was established.


Read the extensive history of Louis Jolliet and the City of Joliet in the book JOLIET, A Pictorial History, by Robert E. Sterling.

Joliet, Illinois is named after the French Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet, who discovered the area known as Joliet in 1673.

In the fall of 1673, Louis Jolliet, a twenty-seven-year-old French Canadian explorer, and Father Jacques Marquette, a thirty-five-year-old Jesuit priest, along with five voyageurs in two birchbark boats paddled up the Des Plaines River.

Jolliet and Marquette had been sent out from a Jesuit mission post to search for the "Great Water" (Mississippi River) and to discover whether it flowed southward into Spanish territory
or westward toward the Orient.

Jolliet was also interested in discovering any other commercial opportunities the river and its immediate region might offer,
while Marquette was looking for opportunities to minister to Indians no "Black Robe" had visited.



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