Who Am I? A Famous Gravesite

Potawatomi Fashion at the Field Museum in Chicago
photo by Victorgrigas
I was the first roadside attraction in Illnois and now a park in Belvidere.  Passengers on the Chicago-Galena stagecoach line and other travelers were very curious to visit me. They had never seen anything like it and wanted to take a piece of me with them. Who am I?

Gravesite of Chief Big Thunder.

Chief Big Thunder, a legendary Potawatomi statesman, died before Euro-American settlers began arriving in the Belvidere area in the 1830s. After his death and following an ancient custom, Potawatomi tribespeople gave their chief an above-ground burial, clothing him in his best ceremonial garb and sitting him upright inside a six-foot-high stockade. They equipped him with pipes, tobacco, and food for his afterlife journey, and left his remains to decompose in the open air.

Scavengers in the form of tourists later vandalized Big Thunder's burial site. Residents compensated by erecting a memorial near the county courthouse. Read more here.