Day 4: June 24, 2010
Windmill, Riverboat, & Root Beer Floats
Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

Today we were on the western tour which initially headed for Fulton. These are drive-by shots of a couple of very short old Lincoln Highway fragments, a 1928 marker, and a longer drivable fragment.

Today I was able to explore the recently opened Cultural Center across from windmill in Fulton. Among other things, the Center holds a collection of twenty-one model windmills created by Henk & June Hielema. One display tells the very interesting Hielama story.

I took a picture of the windmill from the front of the Cultural Center then returned the favor. The third picture shows the windmill's relationship with the Mississippi River. Since I had been here on Monday, I didn't take a lot of pictures of the mill's inside but have included a picture from the mill's inside; An "office" with a view.

After returning to Dixon, we headed north to Oregon for lunch. We boarded the Pride of Oregon and dined while the boat cruised up the Rock River. On our return, the boat dropped a little below the dock before turning around and that gave us a great view of Blackhawk Statue high above the river. The statue's 100th birthday will be celebrated in 2011.

On board the Pride of Oregon, Wayne and Esther Silvius dance on the eve of their 60th wedding anniversary. Jeff, the fellow providing the music, was once Esther's kindergarten student. As the boat docks, Esther & Bernie Queneau chat with Jay Banta. The fellows in the last picture are Glenn & Grant from California. Don and I sat next to them at lunch yesterday and learned they had come to the conference from Sacramento via Amtrak. Now that's a pretty cool road trip.

This is where John Deere made his first steel plow -- and many more -- before moving the operation to Moline. The third picture is of the actual excavation of his blacksmith shop. The signs read "FORGE", "IRON MELTING FURNACE", and "ANVIL". The last picture is of the house where the Deere family lived.

A highlight of the stop is a blacksmithing demonstration. Smithy Rick is, as is only right, a loyal John Deere fan. Things like International Harvester logos get taped over at his shop. The shop is a reproduction of the original John Deere shop. Rick educates and entertains while producing an intricate decorative leaf. He tells about the wide range of work done by blacksmiths and holds up an eagle feather -- copied from the scanned image of an actual feather -- he made sometime in the past. The leaf took about ten minutes; the feather, about ten hours.

A car show and 1950s themed dinner end the day.

ADDENDUM: Jul 1, 2010 - Hudson aficionado Alex Burr sent a note correctly identifying the yellow car as a 1954 Hudson. I already knew that from seeing the car up close but I confessed that, from a distance, I'd first IDed it as a Mercury. I don't feel so bad now since Alex told me that even he has slammed on the brakes to check out what he thought was a Hudson "only to find out it's a damn Mercury!!!!". Some folks claim that Hudson copied from Mercury but that's baloney says Alex. The Hudson design appeared in 1947; The Merc in 1949.

Inside there is a display of Illinois license plates starting from 1911 when they were first required. Front plates from 1912 through 1915 were perforated or cut out to allow air to reach radiators. A quick moving line served up a classic 'burger, fries, & float meal in a basket no less! And it was clearly a Happy Day for the boys from Ohio.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]