Here the Rocky and Portage Rivers join the winding St. Joseph River. Many centuries before the coming of the white man the junction of these water routes made this a favorite camping site for Indians. La Salle came through the region in 1680 on his way east and in his wake came other Frenchmen who traded with the Indians. Three Rivers, founded in the 1830s, was as far as large boats could come up the St. Joseph. Flatboats and rafts were used to carry goods to and from Lake Michigan.