Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hidden Things around Utica,Ill

Sailors have to sail around Cape Hope which has some of the most treacherous waters in any of the seven seas, well today we have to face our Cape Hope, we call it Cape Chicago. We left La Porte and before we knew it we were navigating into the jaws of Cape Chicago, in a flash we were surrounded by eighteen wheelers each trying to muscle their way into our tiny space. With white knuckles gripping the wheel I managed to keep it under control. Then once we reached the far side of Cape Chicago and thought that we were in the clear the orange barrels started to appear forcing us all into one lane of stop and go traffic for about 20 miles. The good news is that we beat the Cape again this year and made it safely to camp in Utica, Ill.

After setting up and lunch it was time to do a little exploring, I had read about a few thing in this area so we decided to try and find them.

First the city of Cherry, Cherry was a company town that was started in 1905 for the coal mine that was started there the same year, the mine was owned by a railroad which used all the coal itself. In 1909 a fire broke out in the mine and caused the death of 259 of the miners.

Click on a picture to read about the disaster.

The Centennial Monument in the center of town

Monument to the miners at the local cemetery.

Most of the stones in the cemetery are marked "Died in Mining Disaster"

After that the GPS took us on a lot of one lane gravel farming roads over to Troy Grove, if you ever played Cowboys and Indians then you should know about Troy Grove, birth town of James Butler Hickok, “Wild Bill”. His home is gone but on the lot they have a monument and bust of Wild Bill and some history about him.

One more stop to make, the crash site of Lucky Lindy. This is the best picture I could get, the white streaks that you see are hail, I tried to get Cathy to get out and hold and umbrella over the monument so I could get a good picture but she wasn't having any of it.

The story goes that he was flying the mail between St Louis and Chicago, the airport at Chicago was fogged in, so he was returning to St Louis when he ran out of fuel and crashed in the farmers corn field. He later found out that his mechanic had put a smaller gas tank in the plane so he could carry more mail.

After the hail storm pasted and we were heading home I snapped this picture out the side window, it looks like a cell trying to form into something bad so we hightailed it home to sit it out.

1 comment:

Margie and Roger said...

That sure is a scary looking sky. It's great that you are getting to visit such interesting places again.