Step back in time, to around 1850, and experience a ride on the Illinois and Michigan Canal Boat. Located in LaSalle, Illinois, a mule powers the boat. Yes, a mule, that walks along a towpath alongside the I&M canal.
From the moment you approach the Weber House and Garden arched gateway, surrounded by shrubbery and flowering plants, you know you’re in for a special treat. A button on a call box instructs you to “press to speak.” That’s to get the attention of Ted Weber, who most likely is toiling on the two-acre garden that surrounds the Streator, Illinois, Storybook house. Ted will lead you on a tour through the garden and house and entertain you with stories and conversation throughout the tour.
You’re probably familiar with John Deere. The name conjures up images of bright green tractors and farm implements. Or maybe the logo of a yellow leaping deer on a green background. The huge company all began with a single, simple plow crafted by John Deere, a blacksmith. The John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Illinois, tells the story of both John Deere the man and John Deere the company.
More often than not, we travel the back roads on our road trips. It beats dealing with heavy traffic on interstate highways, saves on gas mileage since we drive slower, and we see more of real America, passing through small towns.
Before this summer, I knew little about Wild Bill Hickok. Then, within just a few weeks, we visited three places within Kansas and Illinois that all shared Hickok stories—quite a coincidence. I learned several fascinating facts about him and included some in this slideshow:
The Return to Casey, Illinois
We promised our granddaughter, Carmela, we’d take her on a short trip as a birthday gift. Right away she said, “I want to go to Casey.” Casey, Illinois, is home to the world’s largest—well, a dozen different things.