Monday, September 24, 2007

Spring Grove Fish Hatchery Up to #10!!!!

Way to go Spring Grovers and friends. All this voting is paying off. I see after voting today that our pet project is up to #10 in the voting and still at 3%.

Yesterday it was #12. Keep up the good work!!!!

Votin' All the Time. --RoadDog

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Day with Johnny Reb and Billy Yank at the Lehmann Mansion

I spent a very enjoyable, albeit chilly, day last Saturday out at the Lehmann Mansion in Lake Villa, Illinois, at the annual Civil War Encampment. I was manning the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) tent with the camp commander John Jeffers. Our camp (as SCV groups are called) is named after the infamous Union prison in Chicago where some 6000 Confederate prisoners (out of 12,000 interned) met their deaths. You always hear about the horrors of Andersonville, but....

The Lehmann Mansion was a great victory for preservationists. It was slated to be destroyed at one time. Today, it has mostly been returned to its former glory and is used for many weddings, parties, and business functions. It is too bad people don't think about possible new uses for old and architecturally significant structures. Hear that, Walgreen's!!!

The mansion was built by Ernst Lehmann who founded Chicago's Fair Department Store chain. They got their name because of the "fair" prices they offered. At one time the main store was at State and Adams in Chicago, which would have put it on Route 66 after Jackson was made one way going east.

These reenactors, both soldiers and their wives are really gung-ho about what they love. Everything they wear, or at least everything visible, has to be from the 1860s.

You had to register with Senator Stephen Douglas to have a shot at the pigroast. Of course, Abraham Lincoln was there and this guy really looked like Lincoln. Of interest, I found out he was a member of the SCV and our camp. Camp Douglas was built on the grounds of Stephen Douglas' estate.

Also on hand were generals Grant, Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, and Pickett.

The high point of any encampment is the skirmish between the blue and gray, and this was no different.

Last year, there was a preponderance of Confederate soldiers, but the call had gone out so this year's battle was a little more even. A battery of Union cannons, about five, were there, as well as a couple Confederate cannons. Let me tell you that when one of those cannons went off, you felt the concussion of it even though we weren't in line of fire. Plus, the smoke was so dense it's a wonder anyone could see what was going on along the battlefield. AND, this was just a skirmish with maybe 200 men. Just imagine the carnage and confusion at a full-scale battle.

I had to wonder what the traffic going over the Illinois Highway 83 bridge which was adjacent to the battle were thinking as they were driving over it. At times, smoke drifted over the bridge. That had to be one weird sight.

I'm happy to report that the "Secesh" as notherners derisively called Confederates, carried the day. Secesh is short for seccessionists. I once had a fellow teacher bring in a letter from the Civil War in which the southerners were called "Secesh" and the teacher wanted to know what that meant.

More to come....

"Yankees at Tara!!" --RoadDog

Spring Grove Fish Hatchery Now #12!!!

I voted this morning for American Express' Partners in Preservation Chicago Initiative where they'll be giving out $1 million to projects in the Chicagoland area. You are allowed to vote once a day, but for only place. I have four I'm really interested in, but now have only been voting for my hometown Spring Grove Fish Hatchery.

One of the others is in nearby McHenry, the Petersen Historical Farmstead. The other two are in Lincoln Highway towns: the Viking ship in Geneva and the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic from the Civil War) Hall in Aurora.

Of course, all 25 nominated sites are worthy, but not everyone will get all the money they're hoping for. The first place vote-getter is guaranteed their request. Ever since the beginning of voting, that has been the Leong Merchant Building in Chicago's Chinatown which has 15% of the vote. These folks are mighty organized. Second place is Chicago's Von Stuebben High School with 12%.

The voting for my favorites:

#3 Viking ship with 9%
#7 GAR Hall with 4%
#12 Spring Grove Fish Hatchery with 3%-- that's up from #19 last Sunday.
#22 Petersen Historical Farmstead with 1%

You can vote once a day until October 10th at

Vote Fishy if You Can. --RoadDog

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tales of Old Fox Lake, Illinois

At the meeting of the Fox Lake/Grant Township Area Historical Society last Saturday, September 15th, long-time resident Bud Scott gave a bit of his family's history in town.

His great grandfather started coming out to Fox Lake in the late 1800s and he helped cut ice for use in the ice boxes of Chicago, these, of course, being the days before refrigerators.

His great grandfather opened Scott's Landing behind the present-day McDonald's on US Highway 12. He would take visitors from the train station to the various resorts located in the Chain of Lakes area. This would be done by boat as there really weren't any decent roads at the time. He built a residence which is still standing, but so extensively remodeled you can't tell that it is old.

At that time, the current lagoon was nothing more than a slough. Today. it has been deepened and the Fox Waterway Management, Gordy's Marina, and McDonald's use it for boats. How about that, you can actually boat to get your Big Macs and fries. And then there's my favorite, that mouth watering McRib sandwich and the occasional Johnsonville brat.

His great grandfather was also involved with the formation of the Village of Fox Lake in 1907. We are celebrating the centennial all year. Great grand dad also ran for mayor and got one whole vote, "but wasn't sure if it was his or somebody else's."

His family also ran the Fox Lake Golf Course in the 1940s. They had six slot machines and the proceeds fully paid for the electricity, heat, bartender's salary, and taxes for the year. And you think you're going to win when you gamble?

During WWII Bud Scott remembers convoys of trucks full of soldiers from Fort Sheridan stopping in on their way out to the Chain of Lakes State Park for training. He would give them a hard time.

A discussion followed. The president of the society said he used to work for Drake Ice Company and definitely remembers going up to the top of steep hills with much effort, only to find when they got there that the person had forgotten to take their ice sign down. Back then, people put up signs in their windows indicationg how much ice they wanted. He said that he would not be too pleased to get all the way up to the top of those hills only to find that he didn't have to do it.

There was some discussion about an old recalcitrant who ran Hennesey's Resort on Nippersink Avenue. The toilet flushes went directly into the lake.

The first several years I worked at Magee Middle School in Round Lake, there was an older woman teaching math by the name of Eleanor Smith. She was not the person a student wanted to cross and, I don't mind saying that I was a bit scared of her as well. I found out that her nickname in Fox Lake was Snuffy, probably after the cartoon strip Barney Googel and Snuffy Smith.

When she retired, all the teachers signed a big paddle, including myself, and that is part of the museum's collection.

The museum is open only on Sundays afternoons by a volunteer docent. Attendance in 2006 was 558. This year it is 829 and we still have over three months to go.

Always Neat to Find Out the Past. --RoadDog

The Lincoln Log-- Omaha's Brick Section

Omaha, Nebraska, has a $633,000 plan to enhance a 3.6 mile brick section of the old Lincoln Highway between 183rd and 192nd streets. This will also include a three-fourths mile paved trail south of the road and informational kiosks.

Several years ago, this stretch of road was redone with original 1920 bricks and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

I've been through Omaha within the last several years on the Lincoln Highway and don't remember seeing a stretch of brick roadway, other than one out by Elkhorn, to the west.

Always Glad to See a Town Pushing Its Heritage. --RoadDog

Lights Go On at Harvard Stadium

Harvard Stadium joins Chicago's Wrigley Field in the electric age tonight, 104 years after it was built. The lights will come on for the 103rd meeting between the Harvard Crimson and Brown, dating back to 1893.

The stadium is a National Historic Landmark and has elements of both Greek and Roman architecture. At one time, the American Football League's Boston Patriots played there.

I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Personally, I like football in the day time. I am very unhappy with the Chicago Bears schedule this year, what with five games after 7:30, and five more at 3 -3:30 PM. I like my Bears at noon. I can go with high schools playing Friday nights, but, let's keep college and pros during the day.

Daytime Football, That's for Me. --RoadDog

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hotel Del Sol--Yuma, Az

\The Hotel Del Sol, a relic of the jazz age was purchased by the city of Yuma in 2004 for $295,000. They intend on turning it into a transportation hub, much like Goldsboro, NC, intends to do with their train station.

This hotel is a direct link to the railroad era, first opening in 1926. It is located at 300 Gila Street. The three story hotel has Spanish colonial architecture. It was not used for decades and in the 1980s was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Let's Hope This Works Out. --RoadDog

Thinking About More Blogs

Unfortunately, the thing I'm interested in keep expanding and I might just make some more blogs to more specifically cover them.

Right now, I have which is primarily about my day to day life and history.

This one started off to be about roads and my travels on them, as well as preservation and history. Recently, I have been doing a lot of Civil War postings.

Right now, I'm thinking of one devoted just to the Lincoln Highway, perhaps calling it "The Lincoln Log" or "The Lincoln Way."

I'm also thinking of one on the Civil War called "Saw the Elephant" which is what the soldiers called the experience of battle. Every time we go to the Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting in Des Plaines, Il, we pass an auto dealership with an elephant statue in front of it. So we always tell the others that we have "seen the elephant."

I'll also have a blog on historic preservation, name as yet to be determined.

Things to Be Thinkin' About. --RoadDog

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Methodist Campground- Des Plaines, Illinois

The recent flooding in the Chicagoland area may be just what the historic 32 acre Methodist Campground needs to stave off the flooding problems and deterioration of many of the historic cottages and structures, many dating back to the late 1800s.

The Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois placed the campgrounds on the Top Ten Most Endangered list in 2003, where it still remains. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It dates to 1830s and has been at its current site since 1865. Many of the cottages, meeting halls, and a hotel were built between the 1880s and 1920s.

Located in Des Plaines by the Des Plaines River, (near Algonquin Road) the area has frequently been inundated with floodwaters. It is hoped that forthcoming money will enable the cottages to be raised.

I had never heard of this place before, although I did live in Des Plaines for a year back in the early 1970s. Sounds like a site that definitely should be saved. A search of the internet showed that a lot of meetings are held there.

Sept. 19th Chicago Tribune- "Flooding may help old religious camp" by Liam Ford.

Here's Hoping for the Money. --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Teddy Roosevelt's Confederate Ancestors

I came across an American Presidents Blog on two of Teddy Roosevelt's maternal uncles who served in the Confederate Navy.

Both were on the maternal side of his family. One was an admiral, James Dunwoody Bulloch. The other one, Irvine Bulloch, was the youngest officer on the raider Alabama and in command of one of the broadside 32-pounder cannons. He had the honor of firing the last two shots before the ship sank.

Roosevelt went to his maternal family's home in Roswell, Georgia, in 1905, becoming the first sitting US president to visit the south since Abraham Lincoln visited Richmond in the waning days of the war.

Wikipedia has a nice picture of the two brothers and this further information.

James Bulloch was in the US Navy for 14 years before going into private business. When the Civil War broke out, he became a Confederate agent in Europe. Among his many accomplishments was the construction of both the CSS Florida and CSS Alabama. Being a Confederate agent, the general amnesty did not apply to him, so he and his brother remained in Liverpool, England after the war.

After the war, at his nephew's urging, he wrote the two volume "The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe." He left Theodore Roosevelt $30,000 in his will and is buried in Liverpool with these words on his tombstone, "American by birth, and Englishman by choice."

Let's File this Under Things I Didn't Know. --RoadDog

King Tower Cabin Dedication This Weekend

This weekend, a five year restoration project of one of the original King Tower cabins in Tama, Iowa, comes to a conclusion with its formal dedication.

The King Tower continues to be a major attraction along the Lincoln Highway. When built in 1937, it was heralded as one of the most modern truck stops in the nation. It consisted of a two story restaurant, and an adjacent filling station/garage. The filling station/garage was torn down awhile back, but the restaurant, which was air-conditioned when it was opened, still serves some great food and has that remarkable neon Indian head sign outside.

This effort has been headed up by Ron Cory, a Tama businessman with work done by a group of volunteers who also maintain the very famous and unique nearby 1915 Lincoln Highway bridge, the one with the words Lincoln Highway carved into its sides.

Originally, there were 18 cabins behind the King Tower One Stop for overnight stays by tourists.

The formal dedication will take place September 23rd.

Congratulations to Ron and his crew.

Also, I saw that Toledo, Iowa's Wicting Theater observed its 95th anniversary this past Sunday, September 16th. It was originally the Wicting Opera House when it was built in 1912.

They had free entertainment.

Always great to see old buildings still being used and preserved for the future generations.

From the Tama Times-Republican.

Lots Going on Along the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. --RoadDog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Unknown Soldier Graves Found at Antietam

The same National Geographic page I discussed in the Teapot post also had a bit on a Civil War story. Again, this was the July 1995 issue.

Civil War buffs metal detecting (I wonder if it was legally?) made a "grisly discovery", four unmarked graves and their contents on the Antietam Battlefield.

National Park Service archaeologists have spent a lot of time analyzing the remains and now believe they have discovered the names of one of the Union soldiers, who were killed near the "Bloody Lane" and buried in shallow graves.

After examining the bones, it was determined that one of the men was in his 40s. Cuff buttons at the site, a rosary, and bullets used by the enlisted men of the Irish Brigade (made up of recent immigrants in NYC) narrowed the search to that organization. A look at records showed that there were only three enlisted men who had died at Antietam who were of that age and whose graves have not been found. They were Privates James McGarigan, Martin McMahan, and James Gallagher. All served with the 63rd New York.

Historical Detective Work at Its Best. --RoadDog

Teapot Dome Gas Station- Zillah, Washington

I've been throwing out my old National Geographics, but before anyone goes, I browse through it and am finding some interesting stuff. The July 1995 issue on the Geographica page had a picture and short write up on the an old teapot-shaped 1922 gas station in Zilla, Washington, that is still pumping gas (well, as of 1995).

It was named after the Teapot Dome Scandal where President Warren Harding's Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall secretly leased the oil reserves of the Teapot Dome in the west to private interests for personal gain.

Lyn Dasso, who runs the "commemorative " station said, "The spout was the chimney for a wood-burning stove; the handle is a decoration." It was moved a mile in the late 1970s when I-82 was built and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is located one mile southwest of the Zillah town center and was designed by architect Jack Ainsworth.

I went to and found pictures of it as well as four other interesting Washington gas stations: Crossett's in Ellensberg, Keeler's Corner in Lynnwood, a nameless one in Walla Walla that looks like a miniature of Route 66's famous U Drop Inn Cafe in Shamrock, Texas, and a really interesting one in Seattle called Hat N' Boots.

I really love gas stations when they make the effort to look different, be they new, like Pop's on Route 66 in Oklahoma, or old like these.

I'm a Little Teapot.... --RoadDog

Chicago's Northwest Tollway to be Renamed the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway

Last week, the Illinois Toll Highway Authority announced that the Northwest Tollway was to be renamed in honor of Nobel Prize winner and humanitarian Jane Addams some 72 years after her death.

She never had a car of her own but loved to walk and ride a bike, and becomes the first woman to have a major road in Chicagoland named after her.

According to the Chicago Tribune, her "social justice work influenced many leaders including President Theodore Roosevelt, who put women's suffrage, old-age pensions and unemployment insurance on his Bull Moose 1912." She also established Hull House.

From the I-294 intersection all the way out to Rockford and to the Wisconsin border, the road will now be known as the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. It will pass close to her hometown of Cedarville, Il. (where she is buried), and where she studied at the Rockford Female Seminary, now known as Rockford College.

I doubt that I will drive it as I am still VERY unhappy with the tollway's I-Pass system where if you don't have one, you have to pay double tolls. However, this name change honors a very worthy lady.

Chicago Tribune "Drive for social justice honored" by Mary Ann Fergus and Richard Wronski.

Let's Update Those Roadmaps. --RoadDog

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Lincoln Log-- News of the Lincoln Highway

One way business owners used to get people to get off the old roads and into their business was to construct a unique structure that would catch people's attention. I know for a fact that I'm a sucker for these places. See one, and a pulling-over I go.

Along the old Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania there was the 2 and a half story Koontz Koffee Pot in Bedford and the York building that replicates an ankle high shoe. These have been getting motorists to stop for decades.

They are built for just that purpose. Now, Olga Herbert is asking some 20 architects to get in a similar mindset using their creativity in devising an updated master site plan for the Lincoln Highway Corridor Experience to be built on a six acre property at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 259 in Ligonier Township. In short, she is looking for something quirky.

There will be three phases in the $1.85 million project which will include an existing filling station, two 1938 tourist cabins, and a 1938 diner that will be moved to the site. There will also be a visitors center. I assume this is one of the things Herbert wants to be quirky.

They are also looking for any Lincoln Highway artifacts. You can call Olga at 724-238-9030.

I would recommend the visitors center to be made to look like the famous Ship restaurant since it is no longer exists.

The More Quirky, the Better. --RoadQuirk

Man, Was I Ever Being Historical This Past Weekend

Saturday, I went to the monthly Fox Lake Historical Society meeting in the morning and then out to Lake Villa's Lehmann Mansion for a Civil War Encampment and manned the Sons of Confederate Veterans booth during the afternoon. Enjoyed the skirmish between blue and gray in the field by the Illinois Highway 83 bridge. I can only imagine what the people driving over the bridge thought with the cannons going off and rifle fire. The Lehmann Mansion was the home of Ernst J. Lehmann, founder of Chicago's Fair department stores in the 1870s.

Yesterday, I went to the Petersen Historical Farmstead in McHenry  and the Spring Grove Fish Hatchery for their open houses in conjunction with the competition among 25 historic sites for $1 million in preservation funds compliments of American Express.

I have already reported on the fish hatchery, see "A Day at the Hatchery" and will post about the other three.

Guess I'm Still Hooked on History. --RoadDog

Down Da 66

A few things going on along the Mother Road.

1. NORMAL, ILLINOIS- Plans are afoot to turn the structure at 305 Pine Street into a Route 66 visitor and education center and bed & breakfast. Terri Ryburn-Laymont has secured some grant money and is asking the city council for $400,000 more for the project. Normal's mayor is in support of it.

I'd sure like Normal and Bloomington to do something with their Route 66 heritage. Of all the Illinois towns, they seem to have done the least.

2. SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA-- The annual Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous has ended. It took place this past weekend, Sept 13-16th. Last year, they had 1900 pre-1973 cars at the show.

This year, Candy Clark from the movie "American Graffiti", Ed "Kookie" Burns from the TV show "Sunset Strip" were in attendance.

3. TUCUMCARI, NEW MEXICO- So you missed out on buying the Blue Swallow. Here's your chance to get a bona fide piece of Route 66 heritage. The Motel Safari is for sale with that great old neon sign. It was reopened after extensive repairs in 2006. They feature 24 rooms with coffeemakers. Price is $250,000, a low-end price for a single family home here in the Chicagoland area.

Over the past 12 months, $262,000 in room revenue was made, with the average daily room going for $30.

Here's your chance. Go buy a motel.

Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

Spring Grove Fish Hatchery Now in 18th

I just voted and am happy to report that the Spring Grove Fish Hatchery moved up a place since yesterday. Great news. However, the Leong Merchant Building is till in first, but increased from 14 to 15% of the vote.

We've got miles to go and lots and lots of votes. Get out there and vote.

Vote, Vote, Vote. It's All I Can Say and All You Can Do. --RoadDog

A Day at the Spring Grove Fish Hatchery

One man was there because he was afraid there wouldn't be many people there.

Another woman remembered seeing them "Fish Squeezin'".

Small cups of Goldfish crackers were being given out. I thought that was a nice touch.

I was there because even though I have now lived nearly 15 years in Spring Grove, and have the property taxes to show for it, I have never toured the actual grounds of the fish hatchery. I read at the website of the new and very popular effort by American Express Partners in Preservation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to give away $1 million to projects in the Chicagoland area.

The Spring Grove Fish Hatchery was the state's first functioning hatchery, built in the early 1900s. Fish from here helped stock Illinois rivers and lakes as far south as Springfield and east to Lake Michigan. Lack of funding forced its closing several years ago.

The Village of Spring Grove hopes to turn this into a park for everyone to enjoy. No plans are for reinstating the fish hatching, however.

Today, the holding ponds are overgrown and it appears some of the grounds were also overgrown judging from the thick stalks of the freshly cut grass.

It will by a beautiful spot to visit when funds are acquired to accomplish it. The main house was built in 1913 and still stands, but is in need of restoration after all these years. There are still troughs and other machinery for the newly hatched fish downstairs and, evidently. the pumps still work.

The Chicagoland site with the most votes will receive the full amount of their request and the rest of the million dollars will be doled out to the others. Right now, the Leong Merchant Building in Chicago's Chinatown is in first with 14% of the vote. The Spring Grove Fish Hatchery is in 19th place with 2%. We need your help!!! Please vote every day until October 10th.

As far as the man worrying about attendance, he didn't have to worry. Parking was at a premium and lots of people were touring the house and grounds.

The woman with the "fish squeezing" was referring to the method for getting the eggs out of the female fish. Very high tech, indeed.

You can vote at

Get Out There and Vote and Vote Some More. --RoadDog

Port O' Plymouth Museum

The September 9th Raleigh News and Observer had an article about Harry Thompson the curator of the Port O' Plymouth Museum in Plymouth, NC. It says he is a great story teller and quite a character; well worth a trip to the museum just to talk with him.

He has the ship's bell from the Confederate ironclad ram Albemarle as well a a huge US flag that flew over Plymouth during the Civil War (Plymouth was occupied by Federal troops). He got a northern town that had unceremoniously stored it to "lend" it to him. It is not likely they're going to get it back.

He has lots and lots of other stories to spin and often goes out to schools to tell the students.

Thompson said the Civil War decimated the population of young men in the Plymouth area who left to fight. But 3000 Union soldiers stationed in the region formed relationships with the Southern women. Many of these Union soldiers returned after the war, and, according to Thompson, "Now everybody in the county has one Confederate and one Union ancestor." I'm sure this story sets well with the local folks, especially the UDC and SCV.

Raleigh News and Observer "His stories make NC history come alive" by Jerry Allegood

I'm Going to Have to Look This Guy Up. Quite the Character.  --RoadDog

Confederates Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

I must admit that I did not think any Confederates were buried at Arlington National Cemetery, but I recently came across a blog that says around 482 were buried there in Section 16. That will also be a must-see site the next time I'm in the area.

The North started burying its dead there in 1864, after Robert E. Lee's home and grounds were confiscated for failure to pay back taxes. Imagine that? What would make Robert E. Lee not pay his taxes to the Federal government in 1862 and 1863. As I once heard in a movie, "Don't surprise me none."

As of 2006, there are 320,000 buried at Lee's former estate. Even some Confederates were buried there, but their families were not allowed to visit their graves until 1900 when Congress also authorized Confederate burials. Confederates from all around the DC area were reinterred at Arlington.

An interesting Civil War blog site. "Throwing Down the Gauntlet' at

File Under Things I Didn't Know. --RoadDog

What Caused the Hunley to Sink?

I watched a special on the History Channel series "Digging for the Truth" about the ill-fated Confederate submarine Hunley which disappeared after its successful attack on a Union ship blockading Charleston, SC's harbor.

It was lost for 130 years until recently found, raised, and currently being stabilized. A big search is on to find out what caused the submarine to sink.

Some think it was caused by the force of the explosion that sank the USS Housatonic. A mock-up of the Hunley was made and plastic explosives approximating the charge were set off at a similar distance. This rocked the sub some, but nothing else.

A more plausible reason was carbon dioxide from the exertions of the seven crew members in the very confined area. A test was run on the show's host which measured his carbon dioxide output on a bike. This would have been enough to cause the men to die.

The bones of the men were found at their stations, so, whatever caused the Hunley to sink happened quickly. Had they had time, they would have been bunched up by the cunning tower attempting to escape.

They found a small piece of cast iron under the commander, Lt. Dixon. The only part of the sub that was cast iron was from the cunning tower. Presently, there is a big hole in the cunning tower by where a porthole was. When the Hunley attacked the Housatonic, it was pelted with small arms fire. Had a bullet stuck one of the portholes and broken it? Sounds like a plausible reason for sinking to me.

However, we will probably never really know why it sank.

It was a very well-done show, except when they referred to the Housatonic as a battleship and one of the Union Navy's strongest ships.

The Hunley's crew's remains were buried with full Confederate military honor at Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery. The next time I visit Charleston, that is high on my list of must-visit sites.

A Salute to a Very Brave Crew. --RoadDog

Saturday, September 15, 2007

GAR Hall in Aurora, Illinois

I am a Southerner and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but when it comes to the Civil War and preservation, we are all brothers. The Grand Army of the Republic Hall in Aurora, Illinois, is in dire need of repairs.

This was built between 1877-1878 and was a meeting place for Union veterans of the Civil War. It was funded by "popular subscription". It is an octagonal Gothic Revival structure constructed of locally-quarried limestone and  features arched stained glass windows and has a Union soldier on guard duty standing on the top.

In the late 1960s, public outcry prevented it from being torn down and turned into a parking lot.

American Express is donating $1 million toward preservation projects in Chicagoland, but only those with the most votes will getbthe dough.

You can vote for it at

I'd Definitely Appreciate Your Vote. --RoadDog

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Get Out There and Vote for Preservation

American Express has a million bucks that they would like to donate to various preservation projects here in the state of Illinois. They have selected 25 potential sites. The only catch is that you have to go online and vote for the ones you want. You're allowed to vote once a day until October 10th.

I read about it in the Chicago Tribune, then received an e-mail from my SCV, Sons of Confederate Veterans organization which had been forwarded from the Sons of Union Veterans requesting votes for their GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Hall in Aurora. How about that, almost 150 years later, the two groups locked in that four year struggle are cooperating!!!

I have also notified other organizations that I belong to.

I'm begging for votes for the Spring Grove Fish Hatchery here in my hometown, the Peterson Historical Farmstead in nearby McHenry, the Viking ship in Geneva, and the GAR Hall in Auror(the last two are along the Lincoln Highway.

If you would help us out and do some voting, I'd sure appreciate it.

You will have to register to vote, however.

Go to

You can also find out about the sites requesting funds. Most are in Chicago, so we suburbs need all the help we can get.

Vote Early, Vote Often. --RoadDog

September 10th- Lincoln Highway's Anniversary: 94 Years

I saw on a This Day in History site that this past Monday marked the anniversary of the opening of the Lincoln Highway, the nation's first transcontinental highway, back in 1913, that's 94 years ago.

If Route 66 is the "Mother Road", the Lincoln Highway is definitely the "Father Road."

I know the Lincoln Highway Association is planning all sorts of things to honor the 100th anniversary in six years.

Plus, the 200th anniversary of the road's namesake comes up in just two years. Well, for that matter, the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the war that namesake was involved in is just four years away. All sorts of important anniversaries coming up.

Happy Birthday to the Lincoln!!! --RoadDog

Talking About Creston's 51st Annual Booster Days

I came across a column by Fred Cederholm in Axcess News where he talked about his hometown of Creston, it's upcoming festival, and other community parties along the stretch of the Lincoln Highway between Dekalb and Rochelle in Illinois.

He said that Booster Days marks the end of the community celebrations along his stretch of the Lincoln, now Illinois Highway 38. Malta, home of Illinois' first seedling mile kicks it off first, then Rochelle has its Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival (this year the 10th annual) to honor the Hub City's role in the nation's transportation. At the same time, DeKalb has its Corn Fest (this year the 30th annual) to welcome the NIU students back and salute its agricultural heritage. If you see those DeKalb signs along the roadside, that is from DeKalb Agri Research Corp., now a part of Monsanto. (I proudly have a DeKalb corn sign in my garage, but, I BOUGHT it and didn't purloin it as do many NIU students.)

We went to both of these celebrations the weekend of August 24-26th. I just wish DeKalb and Rochelle would work out an agreement not to continue having both celebrations on the same weekend. They're only about 15 miles apart.

Cederholm says that Creston's claim to fame is being the highest point along the Union Pacific Railroad, formerly the Chicago & Northwestern. I would imagine that refers to Illinois only.

Creston always has its celebration the third weekend in September.

This year's kicks off with a steak cookout Friday. Then there is a pancake breakfast on Saturday, entertainment, carnival, and auction.

Already Busy, but Sounds like a Great Time if You're Out That Way. --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Journal Entry 9-11-01 Part 2

All we did at team meeting was watch the internet site that Terri Zumbrook had on in her room. We saw the second tower plane crash over and over then the almost unbelievable collapse of both towers in a cloud of debris. They almost looked like they'd been imploded, coming nearly straight down almost in slow motion.

Went to Freddie's, but did not feel like playing NTN. Just watched TV. A guy across the bar from me agreed that perhaps the terrorists were on the ground and placed bombs during the chaos. That is the only way we could explain the implosion effect. However, as we continued to see the second plane crash and the towers coming down, I noticed that the debris was starting from the top and plummeting down almost in slow motion so it wasn't an implosion.

We got very excited when we got reports of explosions in Kabul, Afghanistan. Everyone was hoping it was a US retaliatory attack, as almost since we first heard of the attack, we were sure it was bin Laden's work.

We never did hear anymore of it [the explosions in Kabul], too bad. The major networks had nothing on but the news and NO commercials. Somehow, seeing a beer commercial or Must-See TV promo would be hugely inappropriate.

Liz and I just watched TV until 11. The plane that crashed in Pennsylvania apparently did not reach its target (it had been taken by the hijackers) because the passengers rose up against them when they heard.

Liz said she first heard about it at home and listened on the way to school. They did not discuss it with her 3rd graders, but one of her kids went home.

End of Journal for this day.

A Follow-Up

I lived through the Kennedy assassination, but was born ten years after Pearl Harbor. I never in my wildest dreams could have even imagined this happening. The idea that terrorists would use our own planes to do the killing and destruction is still pretty much unfathomable.

It still gets to me when I see those buildings spewing the smoke into that blue sky. Plus, it is strange to see movies or TV shows that have the Towers in the background.

I checked out other cable channels to see what they had on. Many had accounts of the days events, even MTV. Some were continuing with regular programming. Actually, I felt regular programming wasn't that bad of an idea. Some people just needed to do something different.

Of course, with Kennedy's assassination, we only had about six channels to watch. This were in the pre-cable days.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Journal Entry 9-11-01

I have been keeping a journal since the summer of 1978. This is my entry for six years ago, today. I started off with a brief, several word overview of each day. This was that day's. The first part was recorded before I left for school.


Rerecording Rick Jackson and he said George Jones was celebrating his 70th birthday [Rick Jackson has a radio show called Country Music Hall of Fame. I would record the show on Sunday, then go through it later in the week to tape songs I didn't have] as he was playing "She Thinks I Still Care, Still Doing Time, and The Race is On." I just saw him a week and a half ago,

6:47- flock of gesse flying southeast--uh oh. 6:49 another flock.

The yard looks a lot better since I cut it yesterday.


The Daily Challenge question was about Sunday's suicide bombing attacks in Israel. I only did it with the honors class. At the end of the first hour, Linda Curran [another teacher] came by and very quietly told me that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. This would be a very horrible accident but PLANES would mean that this was no accident.

For the rest of the day, we listened to events as they unfolded. Evidently, one plane hit one of the two 110 floor towers, then around twenty minutes later, another plane slammed into the other tower. Less than an hour later, a plane flew into the Pentagon then we heard that a jet had crashed in Pennsylvania under very mysterious circumstances. Any thoughts that accidents were happening were dashed by the second tower's collapse.

We were all stunned. I tried to get the old black and white TV to come on, but could just get the sound. I guess the picture just finally went. The sound is perfect. A lot of teachers are trying to get in pictures on their TVs but Magee just is not conducive to TV reception. It was hard to get through to any of the internet sites and when you did, there wasn't much information. I did get one picture of the top of one of the towers bellowing smoke from the ABC news site.

We're having problems with the lunch tickets which have to be picked up from your mailbox which means you have to enter the building by our wing, walk to the office, and then back to your room. For 28 years, I've entered the main back door, checked my mailbox, and then gone to my room. I absolutely hate retracing my steps like this. Diane Korzsynski was supposed to get my tickets but was called in to internal sub for Terri Zumbrook [who was at the contract negotiations meeting with Kip] and didn't get them so I had to go down with my kids and get the tickets to hand out. [I walked my kids down to lunch] On my way back, I stopped in at Bob Dawson's room where he had a TV with poor reception but at least I got my first eyewitness shots of the day.

They kept showing scenes of the second plane striking the tower. You could see the nose of it come out the other side before the fireball exploded. Most of his kids and Kathy Warner's class which was in there were talking and not really watching it. I suggested [to Bob] that perhaps they should have them write a 200 word account of it like my kids have to do. Our kids have heard over and over about Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy assassination and how everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard about it. I told my kids this would be a shared experience as a generation.

To Be Continued...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Gilroy Trees Still in Danger

Even though they are now on the National Register of Historic Places, they are not out of danger yet.

Back on Arbor Day in 1930 and 1931, various organizations in Gilroy, California went out to the Hecker Pass Highway and planted cedars all along the roadway. Of these, 115 Deoder cedars and 20 oak cedars still remain, but these are in danger because of planned road enlargement because of the large numbers of people moving to Gilroy.

They are located along a 1.39 mile stretch between Santa Teresa Blvd. and Uvas Creek. They make for a very enjoyable drive. Let's hope they will be able to do something to save them. Perhaps build a new road and leaving this stretch as a linear park.

Save Those Trees. --RoadDog

Anniversary Trip Day 1--East Dubuque

We crossed back over to Illinois on the Julien Dubuque Bridge which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I believe I heard someone say it was the longest continuous steelwork truss bridge in the world. Beautiful bridge and you go way high above the Mississippi.

We crossed into East Dubuque, past the beautiful Timmerman's Steakhouse sitting high above US-20 with the magnificent neon huge signs facing both directions. You get quite a view when you eat here. They also have a motel, but we usually get a room at the Swiss Inn, a great little mom and pop motel about 500 yards east of Timmerman's.

Rooms are clean and come with coffeemakers, minifridge, and microwaves; all for about $55 including tax. We especially like the place because there is a bar right on grounds, actually, it also serves as the motel office as this is where you get your room.

They have good food, but the kitchen was down. The bartender, the owner's son, suggested George and Dale's in downtown East Dubuque, so we checked it out. They are located on Sinsinawa Avenue along with a multitude of bars. East Dubuque is well-known for its large number of bars. They always get crowded on the weekends thanks to their 3:30 AM closing time and proximity to Dubuque, where the bars close much earlier. The downtown businesses say that they make most of their money after midnight.

This is even historical, dating back to when Iowa (and Dubuque) were dry. Folks just crossed the river to do their drinking.

The owner's son was right, the food, especially their famous hereabouts roast beef sandwich was one of the best I've ever had. Liz got a huge basket of chicken fingers which came with an enormous side of fries. I suggest it.

Went back to the Swiss Inn and watched the Cubs come from behind for an important win. Always a lot of friendly people in the bar and lots of interesting stories.

FINALLY Finished Day 1!!!!! --RoadDog

Dave Clark Discussing Early Illinois Roadbuilding

If you ever want to know anything about Illinois highways, Route 66 in particular, a great source of information is Dave Clark, the Windy City Road Warrior.

I came across this information in an e-mail group where a member was asking about the Route 66 bypasses around downstate towns. Route 66 replaced Illinois Highway 4 for the most part.

Dave said the primary goal of the Illinois state roadbuilders before the advent of the US highways in 1928 was to build and pave roads between towns. Roads would be built up to the city limits and then it was up to the city to build and maintain the portions within their borders. Signage would direct travelers to the business districts. In the 1920s, a new law allowed the state to build within towns of 2500 or fewer population.

By the time of the US highways, a lot of businesses had grown up on Illinois 4 and travelers were complaining about dangerous intersections, traffic, and low speed limits. So two-lane bypasse were built around around the towns. By the late 30s and 40s, a second two lane was built and there were now a four-lane divided bypass. These still exist in Springfield, Pontiac, Lincoln, and Bloomington.

However, these had no access restrictions. Gas stations, diners, and motels moved out to the bypass, and soon these had the same problems as going through towns. The final step was limiting access which came with the interstates starting in 1955.

Dave has a great web site and, if you're ever in Chicago, he'll be happy to give you a reasonably-priced guided tour of architecture and Route 66 through the city.

So, Route 66 Was Like an Interstate Itself, Sort Of. --RoadDog

"Final Cruise" for WWII Shipmates: USS Basilan (AG-68)

It's sad to read the stories about last reunions of the "Greatest Generation" as they succumb to the passage of time. This story is about 15 men who were on the USS Basilan, an auxiliary supply and repair ship during WWII. This will be the last reunion.

Sixteen years ago, six old friends got together in San Antonio and decided that they should organize a get together. But after all the years had passed since WWII, how to get in touch with shipmates was going to be a problem. They were able to get the addresses of 200 men out of the 1000 who had served on the ship from the Social Security Administration.

This week, they are holding a last hurrah in Chicago " a farewell to fellow members of the Greatest Generation, the brothers-in-arms who helped defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan more than sixty years ago."

Again, age has struck them down. Their organization and many others are having last reunions now. In their 80s, many are too feeble or poor to make the trips to the reunions any more, not to mention the rapidly dwindling numbers.

I believe I heard somewhere that over a thousand WWII veterans are dying every day.

From Sept. 7 Chicago Tribune, "15 shipmates are in final cruise" by Deborah Horan

Statistics and facts about the USS Basilan: 14,200 tons full load, 441 foot long, 57 foot beam Took part in the Pacific War after commissioning in 1944.

Picture of it at :

We'll Sure Miss Them. --RoadDog

Saturday, September 8, 2007

City of Chicago Doing It's Part on Carson Pirie Scott & Co. Ironwork

Good news for Louis Sullivan fans, and for that matter, anyone who likes special architecture. Chicago is ready to come up with almost $10 million in the form of a subsidy to restore the ironwork at 1 South State Street, the former Carson Pirie Scott department store. The ironwork covers the lower two floors

"The ironwork is widely considered a Louis Sullivan masterpiece...and is in extremely poor condition," said a Planning Department manager.

The building will now be known as the Sullivan Center. This is epecially good news since three Sullivan-designed buildings were lost in the last year. The million square foot, block-long building was purchased by developer Joseph Freed in 2001 for $19 million. Carsons moved out this past March. A big chunk of it was provided by Chicago, $13.5 million, of which $5.5 was to offset repairing the terra cotta and rebuilding the cornices. Nothing was slated for the ironwork, however.

Chicago Tribune, September 2nd, "Restoring a Jewel" by Jeannette Almada.

Keep on Down That Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

Some Noteworthy Events from the Past- Self-Serve Grocery Stores and Salad Bars

September 6th, 1916, the FIRST SELF-SERVE GROCERY STORE , Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis by Clarence Saunders (any relation to Colonel Sanders?). The store was set up to enable shoppers to handpick groceries instead of having a clerk standing behind a counter do it for them.

So that is why Ike Godsey would get the stuff for the Waltons.

WHERE WAS THE FIRST SALAD BAR? If you're like me, you LOVE salad bars. I can sure pile 'em high, especially when you only get one trip. We'll probably never know for sure. However, the National Restaurant Association, in "The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink" says, "In 1971 Chicago restauranteurs Rich Melman and Jerry Orzoff opened a place called R.J. Grunts, which featured a 'salad bar,' a long counter of greens, seasoning, vegetables, and condiments at which the customer arranges his own salad on whim; this became a fixture of medium-priced and family restaurants throughout the United States."

Shoppin' and Eatin' at Salad Bars. These are a Few of My Favorite Things. --RoadDog

Thursday, September 6, 2007

First, Illinois Had the Lincoln Highway...Now the US Grant Memorial Highway

I forgot to mention that on our drive out to Galena and Dubuque on August 22nd, that I noticed that at every intersection along US-20, there were signs proclaiming this to be the "US Grant Memorial Highway" with a picture of him in Civil War uniform. I'd never seen these signs before.

I've since found out that IDOT has placed 125 of these signs along the 196 miles of US-20 in the state. Us-20 was officially designated the "Grant Memorial Highway" by the General Assembly in 1955, but it has taken them this long to put up signage.

According to the official statement, "Illinois is the Land of Lincoln and the Land of Ronald Reagan, but it's also the Land of Ulysses S. Grant." He was born in Ohio in 1822 and died in New York in 1885. But, in between, Illinois had a major impact on his life. He was living in Galena at the start of the Civil War, and a grateful citizenry gave him a house at 500 Bouthillier Street after the war.

He became the commander of all US forces in the war and later became the nation's 18th president.

The signage also commemorates the upcoming 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War in 2011.

Illinois already has a portion of the Lincoln Highway and I-88 is the Ronald Reagan Highway so we are set as far as our two claims to the presidency and highways.

Cruisin' on Down the US Grant Highway. --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Anniversary Trip-- Day 1 Galena to Dubuque

We arrived in Galena and took a drive down Main Street and then back out to US-20 to go to Dubuque. The storm clouds that had been about all day, then let loose on us. It was difficult to even see the road and, at one point, we had hail. This was a major storm. Driving across the Mississippi Bridge was a real joy.

Went out west of Dubuque to play NTN at the new Buffalo Wild Wings. The parking lot was running red with clay from the downpour.

When it let up, we drove back downtown to a favorite watering hole called Paul's Tavern, located near the bridge. This place dates back to the 1940s and has glass bricks out front and a sign welcoming people to come in and look at the stuffed animals. The original owner was an avid hunter, and even in his upper 80s today likes to get out on a hunt. These are all animals he's shot.

The bartender said that they have also been hit with big-time rain. Last night, she saw traffic sawhorses being swept down the street by the deluge.

I know of no other pace where you can get an old-fashioned schooner of beer, although they called it a scoop. Drink prices were very reasonable and they have a limited menu with most sandwiches in the $2-3 range. There is also an old Indian statue sitting by the jukebox with a sign on it asking patrons not to touch it. I've also seen two other Indian statues at the Canfield Hotel in Dubuque, plus four playing poker at the Turquois Tee Pee souvenir shop in Williams, Arizona, right on Route 66. I'm sure there's a story there.

Still on Day 1, but Reckon I'll Finish it Up the Next Posting. --RoadDog

Lincoln Highway News from Rochelle, Illinois

1. The August 21st Rochelle News-Leader reported that the Rochelle Gardeners of America recently presented a $300 check to the city for landscaping improvements on three of the four entrance signs welcoming visitors to the city.

If you have seen these signs, they are impressive. Now, they will be landscaped as well.

2. In their Flashback section, there was a 1930 photo of a bunch of unemployed Rochelle people leveling off a dump south of the city. The caption said that these workers received small weekly paychecks from the federal government. They also participated in many other projects around Rochelle including the excavating and constructing of a basement under the 1884 City and Town (Township?) Hall and remodeling of the building. From a historical research article by Franklin Kruger.

This took place during the Great Depression so, more than likely, these men were employed by either the WPA, Works Progress Administration, or the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps. Most likely they were WPA.
I believe the old City Hall to be the present museum located downtown.

3. There was also an article about the Second Annual Chaplin Creek "Autumn in the Grove" celebration in Franklin Grove, Illinois,  on September 15th. There will be several displays of mid-1800s life. People will get the opportunity to do "laundry 1800s style, participate in period games...and tour Chaplin Creek Village."

Many old area structures have been moved to this site. This past April, a joint meeting of the Illinois and Iowa chapters of the Lincoln Highway Association was held here.

Cruising on Down the Lincoln. --RoadDog

Great Lakes Ship Still Working after Over 100 Years

The St. Mary's Challenger was launched six years before the RMS Titanic sank...AND, it is still afloat and still hauling cargo on the Great Lakes. It's job today is to transport cement from the St. Mary's plant in Charlevoix, Michigan, to Chicago, Milwaukee, Manitowac, Wi., and Ferrysburg, Michigan.

This ship was launched in 1906, two years before Henry Ford introduced the Model T.

It's small-size-551 feet (by Great Lakes ships) --allows it to get into smaller ports that the huge ones can't.

From Chicago Tribune March 18, 2007 "Century of service on Lakes" by AP.

Hard to believe a ship this old is still afloat, much less still doing the job it was intended to do. That is SOME longevity. I'd sure like to get a chance to see it.

Way to Go, St. Mary's Challenger!!!! --RoadDog

Monday, September 3, 2007

Du Quoin, Illinois, Earns "Main Street" Designation

The State of Illinois has an excellent program aimed at the revitalization of aging downtowns around the state.

Once a town qualifies by its own efforts and organizing, they are eligible for grants. Du Quoin has been awarded said designation. This is a great use of public-private funds. If you're ever traveling in Illinois and see that the town you're entering is a "Main Street Community" you should check out the business district for all sorts of unexpected pleasures and experiences.

There is a group in place and so far restoration has been accomplished on the Grand Theater, Aaron Atkins Building, Du Quoin State Bank, and the Heritage Days Festival has been started again.

Main Street Community Means a Stop is in Order. --RoadDog

Fort Dixon to be Reconstructed?

An effort is afoot in Dixon, Illinois, to reconstruct Fort Dixon which was located along the Rock River and used during the Blackhawk War.

No pictures of it exist, but an artist has drawn what it might have looked like according to period descriptions. The site, where the statue of the young soldier Abraham Lincoln is located, was the site of a Blackhawk War Encampment August 11th and 12th.

Dixon's Ferry was a quiet settlement until the outbreak of the Blackhawk War in 1832. It then became a major training and gathering point for federal troops and state militia.

A group will make another attempt to reconstruct the fort. You can find out about them at:

Just One More Thing to See Along the Old Lincoln Highway. --RoadDog

Civil War in the News: "Where Urban Sprawl Creeps Like Kudzu Over Historic Places

I came across two Civil War articles in the last several days. Being a major supporter of the historic preservation, these articles were of interest.

The first was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Relic hunters race to save Cobb County Civil War History" by Bill Hendrick.

All areas around Atlanta are experiencing rapid growth. Already, too many of the sites from the Atlanta Campaign have been built over. Now, the growth is out in the surrounding counties.

A determined group of Civil War buffs are increasing efforts at finding and saving as much as they can before they are bulldozed over by the developers.

I loved the quote "where urban sprawl creeps like kudzu over historic places..."

Let's hope they find as much as possible.


The second story was from the Cullman Times in Alabama.

Fred Wise, 65, has spent the last 25 years turning 40 acres of "worthless land into a Civil War legacy." This has involved the removal of quite a large bit of undergrowth. It is now a Civil War park marking where the Confederate troops under General Nathan Bedford Forrest battled Union forces under Col. Abel Streight for several hours preceding the Battles of Hog Mountain and Day's Gap in April, 1863.

He has also opened a Civil War museum at the old Vinemont Stage Coach Inn.

A man that does all of this under is own initiative and with little help deserves our great debt of gratitude.

Saving History Whenever and Wherever. --RoadDog

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Lincoln Hotel in Lowden, Iowa

I came across a blog for Iowa B&Bs and there was a recent entry for the Lincoln Hotel in Lowden.

It is located at the junction of the Herbert Hoover and Lincoln highways. It has served Lincoln Highway travelers since 1915 and was completely restored in 1996, receiving Iowa's "Best Restoration Award" and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the blog entry, it has five suites and features a gourmet breakfast as an option. I checked out the whole blog and found a total of eight entries for the Lincoln Hotel. I didn't look for others along the LH, though.

You can check the blog out at

This appears to be a great place to spend a night.

Michael Wallis' new book mentions it, but says it also has apartments. Brian Butko's "Greetings from the Lincoln Highway" from a few years ago says it has two hotel rooms and five apartments. They must have turned the apartments into hotel rooms.

Butko also went on to tell about the Herbert Hoover Highway, which was designated in 1923 because of his food relief relief program which fed an estimated 318 million people of war and drought in Europe and the Soviet Union.

Cruising the Old Lincoln. --RoadDog

Anniversary Trip-- Day One Part 3 Stockton to Galena

I did a little research on the claim that Kraft Foods began in Stockton. It is actually the site of their first factory to make cheese. The advent of WWI in 1914 cut the Kraft brothers off from their supply of imported cheese so they decided to make their own.

They chose Stockton because it was located along a railroad and there were lots of dairy farms in the area. Of course, milk is a major ingredient of cheese. They bought their factory from Hal Sheetz in 1914.

These guys weren't going to let anything like a war stop them!!

From Stockton, we drove to Elizabeth with possible plans of spending the night there. A small mom-pop motel is located east of the town on US-20 called Marcotte's Family Motel with 16 rooms starting at $50. It looks to be nicely kept up and has a website There is also another small one west of town called The View Motel with 11 rooms starting at $50 as well I just found that if you type in .com, you get The View Motel in Sedona, Az.

Elizabeth has a reconstructed fort from the Blackhawk War called Apple River Fort State Historic Site and the Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum. We drove through town, but it didn't look like too much was going on so continued.

I still miss the great old automobile showroom which I found out burned down a few years back, It had two old classic neon car signs, a Pontiac and a Buick. A new place occupies the site and still sells autos. If they were able to save the signs, I hope they put them back up.

As I said before, US-20 becomes one of the US' premier drives at Stockton, but then it even gets better here. You drop down out of town then start climbing. At the top of the hill is a scenic overlook tower that has a great view. Unfortunately, we were told at the Freeport visitors center that it is now closed because of the local high school antics at the site after hours. That is really too bad. You can see a picture of the Long Hollow Tower at the View Motel site.

Then, you drive through Tapley Woods for several miles. This is a canopy drive for much of it, with the trees forming a tunnel. Always a great respite on a hot day.

Then, it's up and down the rest of the way. It was nice to have two lanes on the upward climbs because of trucks. At one point, you round a bend, and catch a full look at Galena. That is always one of the highlights of this part of the drive.

To STILL be Continued. I Might Just Get Through Day One the Next Time. --RoadDog