Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Roggy cemetery and school

On a recent outing we drove to the location of the Roggy school and cemetery. It's located just a few miles outside of Princeton on a small country road. I was told that until recently it was filled with brush and debris and not visible. Indeed Lil Nick and I drove past it several times in our adventures without even realizing it was there!

 I haven't been able to find out much about this place as yet but what I Do know is that a school was in operation here from 1902 thru 1918. The first teacher there was Mabel Walter and the last was Verna Stone. Perhaps my readers can contribute what They might know. It's located up a short embankment with no way for a vehicle to enter the premises. I ended up parking a short distance away at a field entrance as it is too narrow to park on the road itself. 

That being said there several interesting markers there as well as the old school bell. If you get an itch to explore with good weather finally here go check it out!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Old Danish church

The first Danes arrived in Sheffield and settled the area in 1854, holding their first services in 1868. St. Peters Danish Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1869 and by 1873 they had 33 members.  Originally they had bought a small church which proved to be Too small  so a new church was built and dedicated on September 112th, 1880. The Sheffield congregation also has the distinction of being the oldest Danish Lutheran's in America.

When the new church opened they boasted 150 members and dues were: 7.00 a year for farmers with 80 acres or more, 6.00 a year for those with less than 80 acres, bachelors were asked to pay 4.00 a year and spinsters paid the least, 2.00 a year. Pastors were paid 500.00 a year.  Eight years after opening its doors membership had risen to 200 members and the congregation was Thriving.

Over the years alterations were done and undone. Some of the historical discoveries made include original stenciling along the top of the inner walls, a painted mural was discovered behind the altar during a renovation. Original frescoes were found on the ceiling and the original baptismal font was discovered up in the attic, in pieces, and buried under Six loads of dead pigeons!

In one corner is a replica of the "Danmark" a Danish naval cadet training ship used in WW 2.  There are two bells in the steeple both of which work and are rung for special occasions. In 1973 the church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. I Want to give a big Thank You to Lil Nick for going inside and taking the majority of these photo's. Also a thank you to the curator of the Sheffield historical society across the road for her help and the opportunity for a private tour.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Last one in Carroll county

A couple months ago we took a trip that led us thru Thomson, IL. where we found the old Thomson train depot. No longer used for rail traffic it's now been re-purposed as a train museum. 

Built in the late 1800's for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR. the station served the village for decades until changing traffic patterns and a drop off in passengers and freight resulted in the station shuttering it's doors.  It could have become like so many other stations around Illinois, sitting neglected and forlorn in a tall jumble of weeds or torn down in the name of 'Progress' but a committee was formed to save the historic little depot as it is the last one of its kind in Carroll county. 

And so in 1986 the depot was moved from it's original site to a spot a short distance away with an addition being built in 1989 that included more exhibition space and public bathrooms.  It's open Fridays thru Sundays from May thru October 1-4 pm.

If you ever have a chance to visit the village, stop and explore this unique little depot, one of only a handful left.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

It's that time of the year to say Thank You

I wanted to take a moment to give a hearty Thank You!! to the people seen and unseen who help me with Off the Beaten Path. I have a variety of helpers (Faithful Minion) who take time out of their busy days to slide in the car and travel along with me on my adventures.  Without their help and exuberant energy I couldn't get half the photo's I do as they go into the places I can't physically reach anymore.

We usually start the day quiet, just catching up on gossip but within an hour or so we are laughing, telling ribald jokes and stories and having a great time enjoying Life. While I started my adventures years ago by myself it is far more preferable to take along a friend or two to share the day with as well.

So my hat goes off to Tom Anderson, Nick Bouslog, Kimberly Watley, Scott Mecum, Stephen Beatty, Sean Flynn and anyone else associated with making my blog work.  I've had so many requests from others to join me that Tom jokingly suggested I rent a mini bus to take them all. (At least I Think he was joking).

So thank you again to these people who have become dear friends willing to share one old mans dreams and passions. And if YOU'D like to tag along sometime on one of my adventures just let me know. I'm sure we can squeeze you in.