Monday, April 20, 2015

Class is now in session

On our way to Washburn we passed many objects of interest. One was the former site of Held, Illinois. Just down the road from where the marker was, we found the school that serviced it. On Tax School road, we came across, what else? The Tax School. Made of sturdy red brick and siting on an intersection of two roads, this building has stood since 1924. In fact the date is chiseled into the keystone above the doorway. It's no longer a school, alas, but I'm happy to say that it's been saved and is still in use today. If you close your eyes you can almost see a schoolmarm standing at the doorway ringing a hand bell.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Above and Beyond

As in my previous two posts, I've made mention of the fact that we were travelling to Washburn, IL. to find a military vehicle of some kind. I'm happy to say we discovered a Vietnam era Huey helicopter! Still wearing faded Army green and stenciled in bold black letters, this beauty looks like you could gas it up and fly away with it.  Though it's surrounded by bushes now, one can close their eyes and easily conjure up the sights and sounds of this wonderful survivor coming in for a landing in a rice paddy, machine gun fire bouncing off its fuselage and men scrambling into the back for a last minute, life or death rescue.  If you're ever up that way, stop and pay homage to a machine that likely saved countless lives.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Nothing Left but the Memories

In my last post I mentioned a gentleman who allowed us to photograph his caboose. In talking with the man he mentioned that there was a military vehicle in a small town not far from him. He couldn't remember if it was a Tank, Plane, or a Helicopter. So we decided it was worth the time to go take a look.

We missed the turn off and had to go via a different route. Thank goodness it did because if we hadn't we would never have found the memorial plaque marking the site of Held, Illinois.  In researching online I found just a scant bit of information about the village.

"Situated on the Chicago & Alton railroad there once stood the hamlet of Held. There was a small general store, a blacksmith, and a lumber yard. Conrad John Held built an elevator in 1902 for the Hopewell Grain and Coal co. John Fehring operated the elevator and Fred Folken managed the store.  The general store operated until 1929 when the Folken's gave it up and the building was torn down. The elevator ceased operation in 1944 and was taken down"

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Last Place you'd expect to see a Train

While on a recent hunting trip ( Hunting for things to photograph ) We chanced upon an unusual sight. Passing thru the small town of Spring Bay on Route 26 we saw a train caboose in a man's front yard.

According to the property owner, John Yankovich (sp) the caboose, wearing the colors of the Toledo, Peoria & Western railroad, was given to the previous owner of the property for free and he spent several thousand dollars having it moved to his home and placed in the yard.

The current owner uses it for storage right now but is open to selling it sometime in the future. Bring lots of money though, even one in a junkyard is Nine thousand dollars. Many thanks to John for coming out and telling us this little slice of forgotten history!

Welcome to "Off the Beaten Path in Illinois"!

It's going to be our mission to bring you the Rare, the Obscure & the Half-Forgotten sites in our state. Place that time and history have largely passed by.  In the coming months look forward to seeing pictures and hearing stories about what once was. 

If you know of a Forgotten spot in Illinois let us know so it won't stay Lost to History.