Friday, March 27, 2015

Jane Addams in Illinois

Following up from the previous post:


I-90 from Wisconsin border to Chicago is now named the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.  It is 76 miles long and be prepared to pay lots and lots of coin/dollars.  Originally was the Northwest Tollway and opened in 1958, renamed in 2007.


Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois, (pop. 741) west of Rockford and off US-20 north of Freeport.  She grew up there until after college and is buried in the Cedarville Cemetery in her family's plot (marked by an obelisk).  Her birthplace home is still there.

There is the Cedarville Historical Museum at 450 W. 2nd Street and open weekends during  spring-fall.


In Rockford, Illinois.  This is where Jane Addams went for her higher education.  It was called the Rockford Female Seminary back then.


12.85 mile hiking/biking trail in Stephenson County, Illinois.

I have never visited any of these sites but sure will now.


Eight Sites in Chicagoland Honoring Great Women-- Part 1

From the Marcg 19, 2015, Chicago Tribune "March of history: 8 local sites honor great women" by Kenny Reid.

For the next time you visit Chicago.

Chicago has elected one woman mayor, the late Jane Byrne (and has named the Jane Byrne Interchange after her.  But this is just one place to honor great women in Chicago.


The first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize lived in several different sites.  Her home and office outside of Hull House today serves many different functions where you can learn about her life, work, and her peace  efforts during World War I.

There is also the Jane Addams memorial Park near Navy Pier.  The Louise Bourgeois sculpture honoring her (the first piece of public art to honor a woman in Chicago) was moved in 2011 to Chicago Women's Park in the Prairie Avenue Historic Park.

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

Jane Addams Memorial Park--  550 E. Grand Avenue

Chicago Women's Park--  1801 S. Indiana Avenue

Had An Impact.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Tropics Restaurant

From"Images of 66" by David Wickline.

The Tropics Restaurant (1942) at 1007 Hickox Rd.  It is located on the northwest corner of Route 10 and Business Loop 55 on the 1941-1977 alignment, Lincoln.

It has a great neon sign with a palm tree.  The Johnson family, Proprietors since 1955. (217-732-6710)

David has a picture of that great old sign.  The building itself was rather nondescript and thoroughly modernized.


What's With Lincoln, Illinois, and the Tropics Sign?

I was much upset yesterday to see a picture of the horrible state of the the sign of the Tropics which was recently taken down.  The city promised to take care of it until something could be done for it and they certainly haven't lived up to their word.

I saw pictures of it and was disgusted.  Lincoln is a city that acknowledges and takes care of its Route 66 heritage and are currently working on the Mill Restaurant to restore it and turn it into a museum.

The Tropics opened in Lincoln in around 1950 and served food up until the early 2000s.  We count ourselves fortunate to have eaten there and even once enjoyed a Chicago Bears football game in the bar with a whole bunch of Chicago fans.  However, the building has been closed for years, but the famous old sign remained.  It was always a joy to see it and get the feeling of a South Seas Isle with its palm tree.

We were hoping that perhaps it could be placed by the Logan County welcome center or by the Abraham Lincoln covered wagon.

I see that the Route 66 Association of Illinois is willing to pick up the Tropics sign and take it to the their museum in Pontiac and repair and restore it at that site.  Hopefully, Lincoln will accept their offer if they have no plans for it although I would prefer to see the sign stay in Lincoln.

Geoff Ladd Certainly Wouldn't Like This.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 Bald Eagle Trip-- Part 6: Iowa's Oldest Restaurant, Breitbach's

JANUARY 22ND, 2015:  Now having at least seen some bald eagles (we hate to get shut out after driving so far), we left Dubuque and drove the 25 miles or so to Balltown, Iowa, to eat at Breitbach's, which bills itself as Iowa's oldest continually operating restaurant.

Back in 29014, I had seen an article in the Chicago Tribune Travel Section:  BREITBACH'S COUNTRY DINING, Balltown, Iowa.  Opened (2009).  Billed as Iowa's oldest place to eat and drink,  Breitbach's is in its sixth generation, having opened in 1862 on a bluff near the Mississippi River.

Fire destroyed the business twice (2007 and 2008) and the tiny community (population 68) twice urged rebuilding.  On the popular buffet are: Homemade corn relish, pickled beets, fried catfish and much more.  Secrets are revealed in Breitbach's cookbook.

563 Balltown Road; 563-552-2220,

So, this is not the original structure, but rebuilt to look old.

Glad They rebuilt It.  --RoadDog

St. Patrick's Day

MARCH 17TH, 2015:  I did buy a plate of CB&C at Val's in Fox Lake, but didn't eat it as I was hoping there would be leftovers at Donovan's Reef.

We drove to Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and enjoyed half price drinks (because we had been to the big celebration on Saturday.  Sadly, no CB&C for me.  They had run out.

Barb said they rowdy folks had taken a break around 7, but had recovered and come back at around 9 to continue being green.

Then drove to A.J.'s Horsin' Around in Round Lake Park, Illinois, on Washington Street and watched Terry and Greg Spizziri play from 3 to 6 p.m..  Even with the name Spizziri, they are half Irish and Terry sings a great Irish selection.  He describes himself as "Half Celtic and Half Garlic."  His mother was Irish and his father was Italian.

We were joined by Kevin and Kelly, two very Irish folks and Frank.

We had almost nothing but Irish songs with plenty of clapping along to songs like "Whiskey in the Jar."  Great time.  They had to leave right away at 6 as they still had to go to the Irish Mill in Mundelein to play.  They had played nine times since Friday.

A Good Old Irish Time Had By All.  --RoadDog

Kissel Kar, I Get It

Kissel Motor Car Company evidently referred to their automobiles as "Kars" in a play on their name.

Takes awhile, but I sometimes catch on.

Like My Buddy Frank Likes to Say, Even the Blind Squirrel....  --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Kissel Motor Car Company-- Part 2

The company made 35,000 automobiles, of which only 150 are known to exist today.  The Wisconsin Automobile Museum of Hartford has several of them.

The most famous Kissel car was probably the one the company donated to Hollywood actress Anita King for her transcontinental journey in 1915 that marked the first-ever such trip by a single female driving alone.

The most popular Kissel model was the 1919 Speedster, nicknamed the Gold Bug.  One each of these were owned by Fatty Arbuckle and Amelia Earhart.

In 1927, the company began producing  the sporty White Eagle Speedster.

Kissel Motor Car Company used the Mercury as its logo.  In the late 1930s, Henry Ford requested use of it as the logo of his new car line.

In 1935, Kissel manufactured outboard motors and were a major supplier of Sears & Roebuck.

In 1942, Kissel was sold to the West Bend Aluminum Company.


The Kissel Motor Car Company-- Part 1


The Kissel Motor Car Company was founded June 5, 1906, in Hartford, Wisconsin.  They specialized in custom-built, high-quality automobiles, hearses, firetrucks, taxis and trucks.  Those trucks were rated at 3/4, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 tons.

They also had a sales office at 2515 Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois in 1913.

During World War I, they produced trucks for the military and the company prospered after the war.  But stiff competition, the Great depression, mounting losses and an attempted hostile takeover by New Era Motors forced Kissel to file for receivership protection in November 1930.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Bald Eagle Update: March 23rd" Ozzy Hurt

Watching our fine-feathered friends by eagle cams.

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA:  Lots of stuff happening here.  The father, Ozzy (wife Harriett) was discovered near some railroad tracks, dazed and with a broken clavicle.  He was rescued just before a train hit him and is in the care of a group of raptor people..  They hope he will be able to return to the wild.

Harriett, in the meantime was very distraught to lose her mate.  She has also had to battle off a juvenile and a near-adult bald eagles who were interested in the nesting tree.  The eaglet, E-6 continues to grow and has been doing a lot of branching at higher and higher branches.  He/she is expected to fledge any day now.

After I wrote this, E-6 did fledge yesterday.

BERRY COLLEGE:  The two eaglets are fast approaching galoot stage and dealing with those huge talons which make movement difficult.

ALCOA:  Still on the one egg.

DECORAH:  Still on the three eggs.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Kissel Military Road Scout "Kar"-- Part 3

A committee of three San Francisco artists will do the camouflage of the Scout Kar.  Another source said the three were architect Arthur Brown, Jr. and artists Druce Nelson and A. Sheldon Pennoye.

Another article dated October 28, 1917, said it had been completed and was touring.  Various reports have the camouflaged "Kar" as being practically invisible at a short distance.

The Collectible Signs site has a whole lot of advertisements for Kissel Kars.


Friday, March 20, 2015

The Kissel Military Highway Scout "Kar"-- Part 2

The Kissel Motor Car Company of Hartford, Wisconsin was founded in 1906 by Louis Kissel and his sons.  He owned the firm until 1930.  In addition to motor cars, they also manufactured trucks, hearses, fire trucks, taxis and utility vehicles.

In a World War I news article in Motor West (Oct. 15, 1917) W.L. Hughson (President of the Pacific Kissel Kar branch) said that he had donated his famous Kissel Military Scout Car, recently used to blaze the "Three Nation Run" to the government department which deals with camouflage.

That Explains Some.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Kissel Military Highway Scout "Kar"-- Part 1

Back on March 4th, i wrote about the Shorpy picture "Meet Me At Multnomah: 1918 from Mar. 3, 2015.  I was wondering about a Kissel Military Highway in Oregon that perhaps went by the Multnomah Falls, and the date would make me think World War I, especially with the camouflage, so did some more research into the subject.

I found another picture of the car for auction on e-Bay.

From the Camoupedia: A Blog for Clarifying and Continuing the Findings That Were Published in Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage by Roy R. Behrens  Quite the name for a blog.

He had a newspaper advertisement in connection with the Shorpy photo.  It read: "The Hundred Point Six: The car of a Hundred Quality features''  Kissel-built from the ground up --  Distinctively individual in appearance and performance. --  Inspect it today.  --  DEALERS--  Unusual opportunities in unallotted territory.  Write or wire us today.  --  Kissel Motor Car Co.  --  Hartford, Wisconsin.

So, Kissel was the name of a car company.  Perhaps there wasn't a Kissel Military Highway in Oregon.

Fort Sheridan, Illinois-- Part 4: A Fort With No Soldiers

Continued from January 17, 2015.

This entry grew out of the importance of Civil War General Phil Sheridan in Chicago history and the naming of Sheridan Road.

During the Korean and Vietnam wars, Fort Sheridan was a reception and processing center for recruits.  It also provided logistical support for 33 Nike-Hercules missile sites..

By 1975, it had the largest-ever military-civilian contingent in the fort's history posted there with some 5,000.  By 1980 it was down to 1400.  By the late 1980s there were no military personnel.

It was among the first installations to be announced they would be closed in 1990, but it did provide aid during Desert Shield and desert Storm.

It was closed officially by the Army on May 28, 1993.

The Story of a Fort.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Doing Our Irish Thing This Past Weekend-- Part 2: Another Parade, More Bars

MARCH 15TH, SUNDAY:  After listening to Rock and Roll Roots, we drove to McHenry, Illinois, for the Rotary St. Patrick's Parade.  This was the 8th time it was run and the first time I knew about it.

We parked behind the Gambler and went inside and had a green beer in a very packed place with parade celebrants.  The bartender was pregnant and had a little Irish hat attached to her stomach.  The little lad or lass was having a St. Patrick's Day even before being born.  How Irish is that?

Another couple next to us gave their grandkids St. Patrick's light up beads and ordered the corned beef and cabbage dinner ($10.95).  When it came, I was amazed at how small the portions were until I found out they had split an order.

We went outside just as the parade started passing.  This was a big parade and there were lots of people watching and cheering.  Unlike yesterday's parade, they had had  a big bagpipe and drum band and two groups of Irish dancers.  A whole lot of hair bouncing up and down.

There were lots of floats and organizations marching in it.  Of course, it was politician paradise.

Vote for Me.  --RoadDog