Monday, September 19, 2016

Little House(s) on the Prairie

Just outside Franklin Grove is a recreated pioneer settlement called Chaplin Creek. When we stopped at the Lincoln Highway headquarters the staff there kindly reccomended it to us as a place we'd want to visit.  It was very easy to find and has several buildings, all authentic mid nineteenth century structures that had been saved from various locations and moved to this site.  An interesting side note is the name 'Chaplin' was a small settlement located just north of this village.

There are several historically significant buildings here including:

A replica log cabin that was built on site with local timber and constructed using early 19th century tools and methods. it's an authentic recreation of what a typical prairie cabin would have looked like.

Hedgerow Forge is an early 20th century blacksmith shop that was built originally in Ashton IL. by brothers Charles and Frank Howard. When it was donated to the project it was carefully disassembled and reconstructed by volunteers making it the first building to be placed here. During the Summer Harvest festival, it is open and working.

The Scott barn was built in 1855 in rural Kane county and is a 3 bay structure used for milking cows, stalls for horses and room for hay and other supplies. In 1999 a historically correct stone foundation was laid, the barn taken apart and reassembled on site.

The Sullivan-Lindsay house is a saltbox design and one of the few saltbox houses remaining in the entire state. It was moved from it's original location in Rochelle in 1989 in three sections and reassembled on site.

The Chaplin Creek village jail is a recreation of what a typical mid 1800's jail would have looked like. While this is not the original jail, the original jail Cells from the Franklin Grove jailhouse are inside, a double cage affair of Iron.

The Yorty schoolhouse was relocated to the village in October of 1990 and has the distinction of being the last remaining country school in Ogle county. Originally built in 1893 it also has the distinction of not having been moved once but Twice. When the Lincoln Highway was built in 1919-1920 the school was too close to the road in it's original location and was moved across the road.

If you ever needed a reason to visit Franklin Grove now you have not one but Two destinations to see. The buildings are only open during festival season and special events thruout the year but the  village is open year round to drive thru and take pictures. I highly recommend a visit soon!

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