After a whole bunch of urban exploration posts, I thought it was time for a break with a look at rural America, specifically, Lacon, Illinois, which I visited shortly before Christmas.
Illinois Route 17 passes over the Illinois River on the Lacon Bridge. Turn left at Illinois Route 29 and you'll be in Peoria in about a half hour.
5th Street in Lacon includes a Fudge Shop and River Rats Saloon.
Athletico and the Coffee Hub occupy the bottom floor of Pythian Hall. One-hundred years ago the Order of the Knights of Pythias was a big deal--they still exist, but like most masonic groups they're a shell of the former selves.
Hunting and fishing is a valuable sector of the Illinois Valley economy.
While Barack Obama again won his home state in 2012, Marshall County, where Lacon is, went for Mitt Romney by fourteen percentage points.
About 2,000 people live in Lacon, which is named for Laconia, a region in Greece.
An old rooming house? What happened to the stairs to the second floor?
The former Grieves Woolen Mill, which closed in 1968, brought a small amount of fame to Lacon with its Prairie State Shawl.
In 2000, Governor George Ryan--obviously before he went to prison--lauded Lacon for the brownfield cleanup efforts by Lacon on the old factory site.
Clearly the old building is still vacant, however.
On the other side of the bridge is Sparland, where I found this dazzling collection of road signs, including one for the Ronald Reagan Trail.