White Pelican Canoe & Kayak Rental - Oregon, IL
Oregon, IL History
Oregon, IL, once named Florence for its resemblence to the town in Italy, is an historic town founded in 1839.  Before it was founded by settlers, it was the home of numerous Native American tribes.  We have included some of our favorite Oregon, IL history facts below.

Eagle's Nest Art Colony

Eagle's Nest Art Colony was an extrodinary art colony for men and women that existed in the late 1800's through early 1900s.  It was founded by Loredo Taft and was populated by artists (many who became famous worldwide).  Northern Illinois University purchased the campus and named it Loredo Taft Campus and use it for outdoor education purposes.  While the campus is not open to the public, the Blackhawk Statue is available for viewing at Lowden State Park .  Other exceptinal artworks produced in the time period are also available to see at Oregon's Public Library in the gallery. 

The Prairie Bandits and the Regulators

The Prairie Bandits were a group of outlaws back when Oregon, IL was more of a "wild west" in the early to mid 1800s.  The Prairie Bandits terrorized communities in Illinois and Iowa with robbery, theft, and murder.  In response to the Prairie Bandits, a group of citizens dubed the Regulators fought back agains the Bandits.  Eventually, the leaders of the Prairie Bandits were placed in front of an 111 man firing squad and executed at a site just east of Oregon.  An historical marker is placed at the site and can be seen just past Chana, Il on Chana Rd. 


Lincoln was said to spend a considerable amount of time in Oregon, IL and may have fought in the Blackhawk War.  There are numerous accounts of Lincoln sleeping in hotels and houses when he would visit.  A stone marker on north 4th st, just blocks away from White Pelican signifies a place where Lincoln gave a speech.  The stone reads "Lincoln Spoke Here."