The Chicago, Ottawa and Peoria railway was constructed starting in early 1904 and ran from Ladd through Peru to LaSalle and Ottawa. By the end of that same year the line had been extended through to Marseilles. Two years later the line was extended west from Marquette to Princeton and east from Marseilles to Seneca. A branch to Streator was constructed in 1908. In 1924 the CO & P was absorbed by the Illinois Traction System and things ran smoothly with hourly service.
In 1924 the line from Spring Valley to Ladd was abandoned. In 1929 the line was stopped west of Depue and the Streator line was abandoned also. By the time the Great Depression hit the country the line was finished.
Fast forward Eighty Six years. On the edge of Depue in a quiet patch of woods is a surviving relic of this old transportation line. The facade is crumbling and the entrance is overgrown with weeds and scrub brush but the bones are still there. The proud date of 1907 is chiseled on either end of the tunnel and despite the obvious wear the years have inflicted on the old girl you can still clearly see where the lines would have run and the fixtures up on the roof where electric lights once pierced the night.
So walk through the tunnel and you can almost see the ghostly images of the trolley car rattling towards you. I hope you have the fare to get a ride.
*It should be noted that this was hard to get to and sits off the road. I would not advise anyone attempting to visit this site without being prepared. Kudos to my Lil' Sidekick Nick for doing all the hard work on this one and snapping the photo's.