The Legend of Buck's Pond II: Manasua's Revenge LbNA # 37757
|Placed Date||Jan 30 2008|
|Last Update||Oct 19 2015|
October 19, 2015: Box inspected today. Still there and in excellent condition. -MTCobra
Note: If seeking in the summer, especially late summer, bring mosquito defenses and wear protective clothing for thorns from wild blackberry.
The first Legend Letterbox has gone missing (10/19/2015). It's hand carved stamp is a particular loss. But there remains one box to find...
Lodge Park, like the nearby small town of Lodge, is named after William Franklin Lodge, and is a part of the Piatt County Forest Preserve. It is located approximately 20 miles southwest of Champaign, Illinois. The nearest town is Monticello which is about half way between Champaign-Urbana and Decatur just off I-72. Buck's Pond is what the local's call the west side of Lodge Park. Railroad tracks and a small river divide the park.
Buck's Pond doesn't always have water in it, and sometimes looks like a clearing, or when I first saw it (back in the mid 1950's as a young Boy Scout), hard, dried mud chips, and smelling of dead fish.
Nevertheless, it sometimes is a pond. (Actually, recent years with lots of rain makes it now... "mostly is a pond." -Ed note: 7/5/2010)
And it has a legend...
In the main part of the area, just off the small gravel parking lot defined by a wooden, split-rail fence, is a small hill on which is located a big rock, set on a platform of cement. On the rock is a bronze plaque where the legend is recorded. Here are the words on that plaque:
"THE LEGEND OF BUCK'S POND
"Two Indian maidens, Chesita and Manasua, came with their tribe (The Delawares) after the Battle of Tippecanoe to the camp of Kickapoos on the Sangamon River. Both maidens fell in love with a young chief of the Delawares. Twins were born to Chesita, and according to Indian law, if they lived through the day, the young chief became the husband of the mother. But during the day the babies were found murdered. Manasua was convicted of the murder, and sentenced to die by stoning..."
That's only half of the legend on that stone, but I won't spoil it for you. You can read it in its entirety as you search for the legend's letterbox.
To get started:
Go WEST from Champaign or EAST from Decatur on I-72, and take Exit 169. Turn WEST (LEFT) at the stop sign. Note your mileage. Follow the main road as it curves from west to south (it becomes Old Route 47). When you've gone about 1.8 miles, turn RIGHT onto Crybaby Bridge Road. (There is a white on green sign on the right. If you miss the turn, you'll encounter the main entrance to Lodge Park on your right.)
Turn LEFT onto Bucks Pond Road. Turn LEFT to stay on Bucks Pond Road. Turn LEFT to stay on Bucks Pond Road (sign here: "1965N").
The entrance is a narrow gravel road on your left guarded by two tall concrete pillars that say "Lodge Park." Follow it (straight, not to the left) down to the small parking area at the bottom of the hill. NOTE: If there is a gate barring the entrance with "Closed to Vehicles" then park there, walk around the gate and down the hill -- approximately .2 mi. The "Pond" is in the area just beyond the trees in front of you.
Visit the stone and read the legend. (And learn what really happened to Manasua, and who "Buck" was. A photo opportunity.)
This second letterbox in the Legend of Buck's Pond series is called Manasua's Revenge, and is dedicated to the white men who reburied her. You will recall from your experience with the first letterbox that Manasua was thought to have murdered the day-old twins born to Chesita, and was sentenced by the Lenni Lenape (Delaware Indians) to die by stoning. Thanks to Indian law and Chief Buck, that didn't happen, but they both suffered banishment from the tribe.
When Manasua died in 1834, her husband, Buck, a former chief of the Kickapoo, buried her before moving to Indian territory with his son, Calish. In 1843, a band of Lenni Lenape found the grave and destroyed it, scattering Manasua's bones on the hillside. It was later that Manasua got her revenge. White men found and reburied her remains and thus completed the Legend.
Stand at the back of the stone facing away from it. Extend your right arm straight out in front of you, and extend your left arm straight out to your left. Turn your head so as to look in between your arms, halfway to the left, and you should spot a huge, straight, tall Oak tree approximately 9-10 paces away. (If you have a compass, it's due west, or 270 degrees.) Behind that tree, on the ground, are old log pieces... and beyond them, approximately 10-15 feet from the referenced tall Oak tree, is the remains of a fallen, hollow tree. Part of the vertical stump, totally hollowed out, and next to that, its long trunk lies. Near the base of the trunk near the stump, tucked in there somewhere, the Indian princess quietly rests, guarded by thorns, daring you to find her.