Did You Know . . .
Fulton County . . .
. . . was named for Robert Fulton who invented the first successful steamboat in 1807.
. . . was part of the lands set aside to be used as payment to veterans of the War of 1812.
. . . was established five years after Illinois became a state in 1823.
. . . extended all of the way to the northern boundary of the state including present day Chicago between 1823 and 1825.
. . . now has a population of 37,069.
Founded in 1832 as Utica, the name was later changed to Banner to avoid confusion with the community of Utica in LaSalle County. Located along Copperas Creek, Banner was home to saw mills, grist mills, and a collection of shops. Near the mouth of Copperas Creek a lock and dam was built on the Illinois River in 1876. It was one of four locks built to improve navigation on the Illinois River so that goods could be more reliably shipped from Chicago to the Mississippi River. The walls of the historic lock can still be seen at the end of Dike Road, just a 5 minute drive from Banner.
This is also an excellent location for eagle watching during the winter months. Dike Road also provides sportsman’s access to a public boat launch and deer and waterfowl hunting in the Copperas Creek Unit of the Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area. Banner sits between Rice Lake and Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Areas, both of which offer a variety of outdoor recreation activities.