The Town of Two Rivers

Ottawa, Illinois, owes more than its current nickname, The Town of Two Rivers, to its location. The junction of the Fox and the Illinois was a significant trading post for Indians, and the city derives its name from those transactions – “adawe” is an Algonquin word meaning “to trade.”

Ottawa maintained a prominent role in commerce as the Illinois & Michigan Canal revolutionized 19th century commerce and transportation in the Midwest. First (and still) a seat for LaSalle County government, Ottawa could once boast that the state supreme court sat here.

That brick-and-limestone building now houses an appellate court division and is but one example of historic and beautiful architecture that lines Washington Square in the heart of a vibrant downtown shopping district. Here in Ottawa, where Abraham Lincoln’s presidential career and the Boy Scouts of America began, we treasure our heritage and eagerly anticipate our future!


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