October 12, 1889 – On a cold and windy day 1,500 Chicagoans show up for the unveiling of the statue of Robert Davalier de la Salle in Lincoln Park. The ceremony begins with the reading of a letter from Judge Lambert Tree, the man who commissioned the statue. In the letter the Judge writes, “In studying the early history of the country, the services and character of La Salle have inspired me with the highest admiration, which I am sure is equally shared by all others who have read the story of his achievements. He unquestionably discovered the Ohio and Illinois rivers, and whatever may be the weight of evidence as to the real discoverer of the Mississippi I think it is beyond controversy that he was the first white man who ever descended the river to its mouth.” The Chicago Daily Tribune observes, “The statue is admirably located on high ground at the meeting of three roads . . . The memorial will always be highly valuable, an incentive to patriotism and a spur to grateful remembrance.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 13, 1889] The statue still stands at the junction of those three roads today, north of the Chicago History Museum at the junction of La Salle Street, Clark Street, and North Avenue. For additional information on the statue and on Judge Lambert Tree you can click here.