Sunday, October 15, 2017

The war was cancelled due to rain

Every October my hometown has a Civil war reenactment that is a joy to visit. The sights, sounds, and revelry takes us back to a time when brother fought against brother and men stood and died for a cause they believed in.  Normally this is a well attended event and I look forward to shooting new and exciting photo's.

But Mother Nature dealt us a cruel blow this year. The first day of the reenactment we had storms all day long. And I mean ALL day. It stormed off and on past midnight. The second day the aftermath of the storms were still in the area. The skies were Dark and Ominous most of the day, the winds were gusting to 30 & 40 mph and the temperature never got above 60. Needless to say, the whole weekend was shot. 

So this week I am offering photo's from last years event re-edited and I'm including a few I don't believe I published the first time around.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Oldest one in the State

On a recent trip to Atlanta (Illinois) We came across a fantastic old survivor.  Just a block of old Route 66 (Where else!?) is the J.H. Hawes grain elevator museum. Built in 1904 by John Hardin Hawes, this has the distinction of being the oldest surviving wooden grain elevator in the entire state and was in operation for seventy two years before finally closing in 1976. It sat empty and derelict for many years and by the late 1980's it faced destruction by being used by the local fire department as a practice burn site.

However, this was not to be its fate as a group of history minded local citizens banded together to restore the building and turn it into an agricultural museum. Through their efforts the site was listed on the national Register of Historic Places in 1991 and over the next several years a reproduction engine house was built on the original foundations discovered during the restoration. In addition, a wooden scale house originally used by the Cracker Jack co. and period correct was donated to the museum by the Stanford Grain co. and in 1999 the elevator was opened to the public.

The elevator is staffed by volunteers and open for tours on every Sunday during the summer months, June through August. from 1-3 p.m.  Private tours are available as well by calling ahead of time. There is no admission charge to get in but  donations are gladly accepted to help maintain the museum.

We live in a rich and historically significant state and you should explore it as much as possible!  My Thanks to my helper Tom Anderson who made a separate trip to take some interior photo's of the museum.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Days of Iron

On a recent trip out Lil' Nick and I went up to Grand Detour for the John Deere Green Iron days.  It's a gathering of tractors and vintage farm equipment from all over the state and beyond. The weather was perfect, the crowds were substantial and the displays were enough to make any farm boy drool with envy. Big tractors, small tractors, combines, harvesters, riding tractors, you name they had it. In various shades of green and yellow, some in nothing But yellow, and we even spied one future farmer on one in Pink.  There was a lot of fantastic restored equipment that looked factory fresh and other showed their years in faded green and rusty iron. 

There wasn't just farm equipment though. Grand Detour is the site of John Deere's first forge in Illinois, the place where his company with its trademark steel plow got its start. On site is a living history museum with replica blacksmith shop in addition to the original Deere homestead. There's also a short film available in the theater which overlooks the first forge, discovered in an archaeological dig a few years ago as well as displays of artifacts discovered while excavating the ruins of the blacksmith shop. There's SO Much to see and do you better plan on an entire afternoon for your visit. If you missed Green Iron days this year be sure to watch for it Next year. You won't be disappointed. Oh, and by the way, admission is Free!