Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Dennis Downes  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Illinois

-- Website --
-- Dennis Downes on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Dennis is a life long resident of northern Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Dennis is a painter, sculpter and historian. His book is based on Dennis' broad travels throughout North America and Europe during which he researched ancient cultures and incorporated the research into his artwork. Dennis was first influenced by his own Native American relatives and later by working with several Native American experts and historians across the country. In addition, he has made it his lifelong dedication to finding, identifying, researching, and protecting these culturally-modified living landmarks.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Native American Trail Marker Trees: Marking Paths Through The Wilderness
ISBN: 0979789281

Chicago's Books Press. 2011

Special Limited Edition includes numbered signed print of trail tree by author that matches limited edition number of book. This exciting book, a beautiful combination of history and nature, has 264 pages with more than 250 color and black and white photographs, maps and sketches. Early on the author was inspired by local historians, scouting groups, and his own Native American relative. Later, in his thirties, he would begin to follow in the footsteps of anthropolgist and botanist at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, Dr. Raymond E. Janssen. Janssen had traveled to thirteen states working with Native Americans and documenting the Trail Marker Trees from the late 1920's into the 1940's. The author has traveled to over forty states and five Canadian provinces, beginning his studies with the states that Janssen visited and then expanding upon the study from there. During his travels, he met with Native Americans, anthropologists, archeologists, and local historians. He has dedicated much of his life to photographing and researching the history of Trail Marker Trees. This is the first publication to focus in such detail on this unique form of land and water navigation used by the Native Americans and, later, the early pioneers

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)