´¯`•. June 01, 2017

Illinois:  On our way, and Ottawa

I’m going to do things differently, this time.  Because we see SO MANY things (and often more than one in a day), my posts get long if I don’t split them down, more.  So Illinois might be a thing here for a while… as I’m going to do them one *place* at a time, instead of day by day (like I did for my pen-pal.)  You’ll get more pictures that way, too.  😉

The first leg of our trip was just to get from Michigan to Illinois!

I’m lucky the kids travel so well.  We don’t have a DVD player in the car, but we allow hand-held games for a part of the way, and of course we have music.  In fact, I bought a cassette player that can be hooked to a PC and copy my cassettes to MP3… and it came just before our trip.  So we brought it, and cassettes the kids hadn’t ever heard.  They fell in LOVE with Neil Sadaka.  Just sayin’.

There is a Grundy County in Illinois.  But the Tractor Auction house isn’t called the ‘Grundy County Auction’, sadly.  I still sang me some John Micheal Montgomery as we went thru the county.  😀

Illinois bridges seem to be all metal and complicated-looking.

Our first stop in the state was a small city called Ottawa.  One would be tempted to skip this town, but it’s definitely worth a stop.  First, it was an important city in the time of the Civil War, because of the 1859 extrication of a runaway slave named Jim Gray from a courthouse by prominent civic leaders of the time.   It was also a vital city because of it’s waterway, railway, and roadways.  More than that, sand from Ottawa was on the Colombia space shuttle – did you know that?!  And in 1922, an old high school in town was turned into a radium factory – some parts of the town are still contaminated!!!  The town has a fascinating history.

Historic Washington Square.  It’s right in the center of downtown, and beautiful.
Within the park are the 1873 Civil War Memorial, cannons from the Civil War,
WWI and WWII,  and the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate.

The site is important, because this was where Abraham Lincoln first debated Stephen Douglas.  I love the description of the two men.  Did you imagine Lincoln to have a ‘high tenor voice’?  Could you imagine how he contrasted the deep bass of the short, stout Stephen Douglas?!

There’s a statue downtown of the two men debating.
There are actually several throughout the state, at different debate sites.
(It’s actually a fountain.  I got down on the grass, trying mask it.)

Across the street from Washington Square is a huge mural of the debate.

We loved the old peanut wagon… had to get it in the picture,
with a close-up of Lincoln and his opponent, Douglas.

La Salle Courthouse (Lincoln judged Supreme Court cases, here, in Ottawa!)

Downtown has several more murals, too!

Just loved the looks of this.  Since Metropolis (Superman’s town?) is in Illinois ,
this stoked us to see the Comic city’s newspaper.  We hoped it’d look like this!

And more crazy bridges, as we leave Ottawa for our next destination…!


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1 Comment

  1. Oh my!! My family (now) & Brian’s live in Grundy County! There’s quite a history there with the old time mob & their gangsters that you’d have enjoyed.


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