Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chain of Lakes--Illinois Summer 2007- Part 1: The Thirsty Turtle on the Chain of Lakes


One of the great places to visit in Illinois is the Chain of Lakes, located just a few miles from our home. It consists of about nine lakes and stretches of the Fox Rover running both north and south. This is a big congregating area for boaters during the summer, and especially on the weekends.

To get an idea of the goings-on here got to www.funonthe fox.com

Well. yesterday, I finally got our boat in to the marina to get it summerized. My buddy Frank came by, and we went out for our second cruise of the season on his boat. The Chicago area set an all-time high for temp yesterday at 91 degrees. Nice and warm, but very windy. Whitecaps everywhere and some of the worst I've seen. But we had the NEED to go BOATING.

We cruised up to the Thirsty Turtle from his place at Grass Lake Landing. The Thirsty Turtle is a real relic of a bygone time on the Chain. At one time, the Chain had probably 100 small mom-pop places with rooms, dockage, and beaches.

During the 1890s to 1940s, the Chain was a main destination for Chicagoans. They'd come by train for the short 45 miles and get a room. Those same trains, until the 1920s,would also haul blocks of ice from Fox Lake and Round Lake back to ChiTown. These would have been cut during the winter and stored in huge warehouses. Remember, this was in the days before refrigeration.

Along with pier space, the Turtle has a large beach for picnics, and small cottages that used to be rented out to vacationers, but now are occupied year round. There were also rooms above the bar/restaurant.

This is the only place I know of remaining on the Chain. Most of the rest have been torn down and replaced with McMansions.

Out on the Chain and Feeling No Pain. --RoadDog

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