Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL
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  1. #1

    Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    I live near the said park of Devils Backbone, I've done online research and discovered it was once a pirate hiding spot (originally called Jenkins Landing) to way-lay boats on the Mississippi, the town adjacent to it is called Grand Tower (IL), there is a beach there, though I've asked around and there hasn't been "detectors" there for years I guess.
    Has anyone MD'd there?
    I also live across form the Shawnee Nat'l Forest in southern IL, around the area called Trail oif Tears, has anyone MD'd there as well?
    I researched the Forest laws and apprently they are o.k. with surface MD-ing but if you have to dig, you need a prospector permit, anyone ever have to get one of those, and is it difficult?

    I'm new to the whole MD thing and recently got a used Spectrum Eagle to start out (can't jsutify the elite new units with the wife). I look forward to eharing from anyone, in the meantime I'll be reading slot online here!

  2. #2
    Aug 2005
    24 times

    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    I have never detected those areas. But I would like to welcome you to the site. If you ever come to west central Illinois to hunt give me a PM.
    MXT,  and just dumb luck.

  3. #3

    May 2005
    53 times

    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL


    welcome to the forum.

    Have never detected that area. Could be
    interesting, with the history of Illinois. Most
    things got started down there.

    Camped out in the area, years and years ago.
    Interesting area, and should be able to find a
    bunch of sites, even if your not allowed to detect,
    that would hold historical value.

    Remember talking with someone, and take this for what
    its worth, (could be just talk), but if you have a shovel
    or any type of digging tool, carry a gold pan with you(?).
    And you may not need a permit, or be in violation
    of the law.

    Has to do with that prospectors permit. I'd check out
    the permit requirements.

    I'm confused. :P

    Again, welcome to the site.

    have a good un.........

    In the academies many books, at the circus many sacks of peanuts, at the club rooms many cigar butts.

  4. #4
    Nov 2004
    MXT - DeLeon - Gamma 6000
    61 times

    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    What a coincidence!I live in central MO but our Rural Electric newspaper has a picture of Tower Rock on the MS river on it's cover this month.When my son gets home later this week,I'll have him scan it and post it here.This site I'm giving you now might have some interesting things for the river and close-by Ill towns/parks.You'll have to click on the left side for Ill and go from those links for the river also.

  5. #5
    Nov 2004
    MXT - DeLeon - Gamma 6000
    61 times

    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    I meant to also say that explorer Pere Jacques Marquette was the one who convinced the natives that Tower Rock had no evil spirit.There is a park in Ill named after him that you can find on that link I left above.
    The rock was known as Tower Rock - Grand Tower Roc - La Roche de la Croix. It rises 90 ft above the river.

  6. #6

    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    I appreciate the replys, it took a couple days for me to realise this forum had a change over.
    Well in the area of the Forest (shawnee) I typically go to, is a very rocky unstable road that ends in a swamp/pond.
    At the end is tell-tale signs of chew packs, beer cans, camp fire and shot-gun shells. Doesn't seem like this area is too concerned about what kind of characters hang out (so I don't think a Metal Detector would be noticed, probably appreciated if all the trash were picked up), there are alos ATV tracks on the apth as well. These aren't hiking trails.
    I detected there yesterday for about 2 hours, its was a ton of trash. Surprisingly on the surface near the water, I found my first find; a 1917 wheat penny. Thats it.

    This area of the forest that I researched was established in 1932, so if no one has really come down here, there is probably alot I'm not seeing. I'd be kinda paranoid digging in a State Park, so I'm trying to keep it surface. Problem is, all the solid readings I've been getting have been at 7+ inches

    yeah that whole area is like 9 minutes away, LOTS of interesting stories abound about it, here is a little about it (interesting find online as well, the real googled link went to a different page entirely, I got this info by clicking "cached" on the google links):
    Little Egypt

    In southern Illinois the rough triangle described by a line from east St. Louis to Lawrenceville, then south to Cairo, at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, is known as Little Egypt. It is an area rich in strange folklore and ghost tales, many of which have a basis in fact that should prove interesting to the treasure hunter.

    North of Grand Tower on the Mississippi River the rocky promontory known as Devil?Bake Oven is said to be haunted. If true, it should not be surprising. During the keel boat days the boatmen had to disembark at this point, and walked the shore line pulling their crafts behind them via tow lines. Such circumstances made easy pickin's for the river pirates who flocked to the area. Passengers and crew of any vessel that could not fight off the pirates were murdered and robbed. Their bodies were eviscerated, filled with gravel, and dumped into the river. Any cargo that could not immediately be divided among the pirates was transported south for bartering. The boats themselves were often sold down river, only to be ambushed again on the trip north ?more bodies, more loot, and more ghosts to haunt the region.

    Among such ruthless and blood-thirsty companions it is likely that each man kept his own share of the loot well hidden; and since death and damnation were considered routine hazards of the profession, it is likely that a number of caches are strewn about the haunted environs.

    The Devil's Bake Oven has many ghosts, but Dug Hill, about five miles west of Jonesboro, is haunted by a single specter. During the Civil War, the area along the Dug Hill Road was populated by Union Army deserters, surviving by any means they could ?both fair and foul. The bane of all deserters in Southern Illinois was Provost Marshal Welch who, according to one version, arrested over a dozen of the runaway soldiers before he was murdered by their cohorts in an ambush in 1865. It is Provost Marshal Welch who is said to haunt the road. From a relic hunter's point of view, it is the activities of all those Union deserters in the area that should haunt the imagination.

    The Devil's Backbone, just north of Devil's Bake Oven, was also a river pirate lair, with similar legends of phantoms and treasure. In Belleville grave robbers plied their grisly trade until, in the act of cutting a finger bearing a ruby ring off one of the bodies, they discovered that she was not quite dead.

  7. #7

    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    here are some photos i took last summer.

    This is primarily what the "Backbone" Area looks like.

    LOTS of deaths around this rock (couple married in 1800s atop the rock, dies leaving, the whole wedding party drowned in a whirlpool behind the rock to the left in the pic)

    This other Isle is called "SugarLoaf" when the Mississippi is low, you can actually walk to tower rock and easly reach the isle, wish I had my detector then.

  8. #8
    Dec 2006
    Southern Illinois
    Minelab Excalibur 1000 & Explorer SE
    316 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
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    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    I have sent you messages, but no contact. I live in Murphysboro,IL just a few miles from your area. I have been researching Grand Tower area for some time. There is a town historian in Grand Tower that I am going to talk to when I get down that way. Maybe we can get together sometime and do some detecting.
    I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

  9. #9
    les is offline
    Jan 2007
    Southern Illinois
    Whites Tr 66 Goldmaster,,Whites Tr Coinmaster 4,,Fisher 220x,,, WHITES 6000 DI SERIES 3,,WHITES 6000 DI series 2,,,Whites 6000d,,,whites Sl PRO,,, Whites XLT,, Whites dfx,, Quickdraw2,coinmaster 4900
    7 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Devils Backbone/Tower Rock/Devils Bake Oven IL

    Hi : I hunted on the devils backbone park & North where the spot called the Devils bake oven is,, it's just a tad north of where the pipeline crosses the Mississippi,, I hunted this area alot back in 1972 with a coinmaster4 & returned in 2003 with a new xlt, I found several coins some silver on top of the oven rock ,but nothing really old other than a few indian head pennies, the foundation of a old house is still there on the east side of the hill at the bakeoven, I was supprised that I didn't find more ,but, the area is pretty overgrown,, today,, the area north of the park is closed to the public,due to a terrorist threat to the pipeline. My Grandparents lived in Grand Tower for many years.



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