Monthly Archives: February 2014

Curing Cabin Fever

map-buttonIngersoll Wetlands Learning Center
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
7071 Riverview Road
Thomson, Illinois 61285

Upper Mississippi River Savanna District

Geocaching Event – March22

Are you itching to get outside? Do you want to get your kids unglued from the TV and video games? The answer to these questions should be a resounding YES! It’s been a long winter and we need to get outside and so some exploring. Come to the Curing Cabin Fever V Geocaching Event (GC4XF3P) on March 22nd.

Some folks are versed in Geocaching while others don’t even know how to pronounce it. For those not familiar, it’s pronounced (JEE-oh-CASh-ing). It is a high-tech treasure hunt using a hand-held Global Positioning System receiver (GPSr) to find a treasure or cache. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little monetary value. The event begins with a Meet and Greet at the Heirloom Market/Café in Thomson, Illinois and moves to the Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center for the classroom section of the event.

You can make your reservation by submitting a “log your visit”, “will attend”, or call the Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center at: 815-273-2732 extension 116. Please include the TOTAL number of people that plan on attending. Heirloom will need to know in advance how many people to expect. This free event is geared towards beginners, however all levels are welcome. You don’t need to own a GPSr, you can borrow one of ours for the day. If you do bring your own, please be sure to have your cable to connect to the computer for downloading cache locations. Come and be prepared to cure your cabin fever.

We also need experienced geocachers to volunteer and help us with the field practice. If you would like to volunteer, either call or let us know when you log in.

Event Schedule:

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Meet and Greet will be held at Heirloom Market/Cafe 2200 Route 84, Thomson, Illinois. This will be a great time to get together and share your geocaching journeys and have a bite to eat.

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Introduction to Geocaching Class. This will be held at the Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center, 7071 Riverview Road, Thomson, Illinois.

1:45 PM – 3:30 PM
Let’s go Geocaching!

Amelia Earhart, A First Person Portrayal

map-buttonSavanna Museum and Cultural Center
406 Main Street
Savanna, Illinois 61074

Sunday, March 9th at 2pm the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center will present Amelia Earhart, A First Person Portrayal by well-known historian, Leslie Goddard. Admission is free but all donations go toward the ongoing renovation of the museum.

History comes alive in the talented hands of historian Leslie Goddard who tells fascinating stories and creates vivid portraits of some of history’s most memorable women.

American aviator Amelia Earhart’s courageous exploits and spirited personality made her an international celebrity. Her dazzling achievements include becoming the first woman to cross the Atlantic ocean by airplane (1928) and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (1932). She set numerous speed and altitude records before disappearing mysteriously in 1937 during an attempted around-the-world flight. This program reviews her upbringing, the records she broke, and her tireless work to promote opportunities for women.

Leslie Goddard has been presenting history lectures and performing first-person programs in the Chicago area for more than ten years. She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University specializing in American studies and U.S. history, as well as master’s degrees in theater and in museum studies. Her nationally-recognized programs have been presented for Illinois Humanities Council sites, Chicago’s Navy Pier, WBEZ-Chicago Amplified, Questers International, the Victorian Society in America, and scores of schools, universities, retirement centers, libraries, historical societies, businesses, conferences, and fund-raisers.

Model Railroad Club Open House

map-buttonNorthwestern Illinois Model Railroad Club
101 Main Street
Chadwick, Illinois 61014

An open house is planned at the Northwestern Illinois Model Train Club for Saturday March 15 and Sunday March 16, from 10 AM to 4PM at their facility located at 101 Main Street, Chadwick. They will have an “N” scale running on the main floor and “HO” scale running in the basement.

The Club was formed in January 2003 with an empty basement and 16 members. The club now has 27 members, and two different size working layouts. The “HO” scale layout has 3 levels covering the entire 30’ x 60’ basement. The 30’ x 14’ “N” scale running on DCC and DC has a yard and bridges that takes up half of the main floor. Make sure you bring your camera. We also have the busy BNSF right across the street.

The club would like to take this opportunity to show the model train layouts to the public. Enjoy your visit and make sure to sign our guest book. We are always welcoming new members to join and share their interest in trains. We are also looking for N-scale modelers to join our membership willing work on and run the N-scale layout that is already built. You can also join us on Facebook, just search for Northwestern Illinois Model Railroad Club.

To have your name added to the club’s mailing list or for more information on this event send an email to:, or you can also call Duane Imel 815-684-5216 evenings.


Timber Lake Playhouse Schedule

map-buttonTimber Lake Playhouse
8215 Black Oak Road
Mount Carroll, Illinois 61053

June 5-15
 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable in a new production directed and choreographed by Executive Director James Beaudry. Joseph, his father’s favorite son, is a boy blessed with prophetic dreams. When he is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt, Joseph endures a series of adventures in which his spirit and humanity are continually challenged. Set to an engaging cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to 60s  pop and rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless.

inspector-callsAN INSPECTOR CALLS
June 19-28
 “That was the police. A girl has just died–on her way to the infirmary.”  J. B. Priestley’s legendary ghost story occurs in an English industrial city, where a respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with a young girl’s death. Interrupting a party in 1912, when everyone still believed the Titanic was unsinkable, an inspector calls to interrogate the family. During the course of his questioning, all members of the group are implicated lightly or deeply in the girl’s undoing. The inspector’s startling revelations turn the play from a “who done it” into a “who did what?” and a “who didn’t stop it?” “Spectacular, dazzling and clever–a potent play for today,” AN INSPECTOR CALLS had been described as,  “compulsory for anybody who loves the theatre… It should also be high on the list for those who visit theatres occasionally and want to be sure of a safe, enjoyable night out with some real surprises.” Directed by CHUCK SMITH

young-frankensteinYOUNG FRANKENSTEIN The New Mel Brooks Musical
July 3-13
 IT’S ALIVE! Based on Mel Brooks’ classic comedy masterpiece, the story follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein (that’s Fronkensteen) as he attempts to complete his grandfather’s masterwork and bring a corpse to life. Together with his oddly shaped and endearing helper Igor (that’s Eye-gor), his curvaceous lab assistant Inga, and in spite of his incredibly self-involved madcap fiancé Elizabeth, Frankenstein succeeds in creating a monster — but not without scary and quite often hilarious complications. With memorable tunes as “The Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend” and Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On The Ritz,”  The New MEL BROOKS Musical YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is scientifically-proven, monstrously good entertainment…and the only place you’ll witness a singing and dancing laboratory experiment in the largest tuxedo ever made. Directed by BRAD LYONS with choreography by CAMERON TURNER

rumorsNeil Simon’s RUMORS
July 17-26 
From the writer of The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park and the Pulitzer Prize winning Lost In Yonkers comes this Tony Winning comedy set firmly in the late 1980s. At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s Landing townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of Farce. Gathering for their tenth wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken and wife Chris must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and mis-communications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity. Directed by SCOTT WEINSTEIN

July 31-August 10
 This international smash-hit may be the most popular musical in the world. In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption. Epic, grand and uplifting, LES MISÉRABLES packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world. The show overflows with melodies that are already standards, but, it is its powerful affirmation of the human spirit that has made LES MISÉRABLES a popular masterpiece. Directed by MATTHEW TEAGUE MILLER

SHOUT! The Mod Musical
August 14-24
 SHOUT! features terrific new arrangements of such classic tunes as “Those Were The Days,” “Wishin’ & Hopin’,” “To Sir With Love,” “Downtown,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Goldfinger” and the title song. SHOUT! travels in time from 1960 to 1970 chronicling five women. Just as Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, and Cilla Black, were independent women with major careers, English and American women were redefining themselves in the face of changing times. SHOUT! reflects that through the unforgettable music of the time. With a shimmy and shake, the songs in this delightful musical resonate with a timeless quality that appeals to every generation. Directed by COURTNEY CROUSE with choreography by JAMES BEAUDRY




Casino Nightcasino-night

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Timber Lake Playhouse CASINO NIGHT at the SALOON at The Rafters in Lena, Illinois. Tickets for this exciting night are only $50 and include buffet dinner, entertainment, and $2000 worth of “play money” for use at gaming tables throughout the facilities. Tickets will go on sale this Friday! Look for more information soon.

Young Frankenstein Film


Experience one of the funniest films ever made on the big screen!

One Night Only! Friday, May 2 at 7:00 pm

Tickets are only $10 Click here to purchase reserved seats

History repeats first as tragedy, then as farce, and that’s where Mel Brooks comes in, with the most artful of all his spoofs, filmed in glorious black-and-white and recreating in exacting detail the look of James Whale’s Universal originals. After years of trying to live down his family’s reputation, Gene Wilder’s “Dr. Fronk-en-steen” returns to the family castle and embraces his destiny: to succeed where his grandfather failed and build a better monster (Peter Boyle). He’s abetted in this effort by hunchback “Eyegor” (Marty Feldman) and peasant girl/new love interest Inga (Teri Garr); Cloris Leachman is delightfully creepy as the castle keeper Frau Blücher (cue horse whinny), and Madeline Kahn sizzles as Wilder’s jilted fiancée Elizabeth.

DIR/SCR Mel Brooks; SCR Gene Wilder, based on characters from the novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; PROD Michael Gruskoff. US, 1974, b&w, 106 min. RATED PG


Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music



Saturday, May 3 at 6:30 pm & Sunday, May 4 at 2:00 pm

All tickets are $15 and include a “fun bag” with props and a program. The entire event is 3 hrs and 30 minutes with the pre show costume contest and intermission. Concessions, beer and wine will be available. All children must have their own seat. No children under 6 please.

Click for Tickets

Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start)…

For those of you not yet converted, Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music is a screening of the classic Julie Andrews film musical in glorious, full-screen technicolor, complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along!

The fun-filled show starts with a vocal warm-up led by the evening’s host, who also takes the audience through their complimentary ‘magic moments fun pack’, containing various props to be used at strategic points throughout the film.

Then of course there is the famous fancy-dress competition in which everyone who has come in costume is invited onto the stage to show off their fantastic tailoring skills. And the more venues we play, the more elaborate the costumes get. Previous entries have included:

  1. Nuns of both genders (including a pregnant nun!)
  2. Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
  3. A lonely Goatherd!
  4. A twenty strong hen party were joined together and completely covered in fake turf (the alps!)
  5. A man in a gold lycra catsuit (Ray a Drop of Golden Sun!)
  6. A man dressed in work overalls and a tool belt (Christopher Plumber)
  7. A gazebo!!
  8. A carburetor

So get those vocal chords warmed up, cut up those chintz curtains and hurry down for another dose of the international smash-hit sensation! It’s the perfect night out for families, friends, birthday celebrations, office outings family trips, or anyone who has ever shed a tear during ‘Edelweiss’! Book tickets early because this show sells out.


Magic Owl Children’s Theater

Summer 2014

Preseason Production


May 7-10, 2014 at 10 am & 1 pm

All tickets $5, Available Now through the Box Office

Groups may book now by calling 815-244-2035, open 10:30 am-3:30 pm Monday through Friday!


Summer Production


July 8, 10, 11 & 12 at 2 pm
August 5, 7, 8 & 9 at 11 am

All Tickets are $6, Available Now through the Box Office

Groups may book in advance by calling 815-244-2035, open 10:30 am-3:30 pm Monday through Friday!


Think Spring

This winter has been one to remember. Multiple snow storms, bitter cold weather, and treacherous road conditions are only a few examples of what Carroll County has endured. While we enjoy holidays and ski season, the beginning of spring is something we truly look forward to this year.

Blooming flowers, budding trees, and green grass are just around the corner. Warm spring days means that we can genuinely delight in planting gardens, landscaping, and the great outdoors. Have you been thinking about the various projects you wish to undertake this year? We certainly have! It distracts our minds from the blustering cold winter weather.

For your amusement, below is a countdown, just in case you’re wondering how many days remain until spring officially arrives!

Savanna Marketplace

map-buttonSavanna Marketplace
321 Main Street
Savanna, Illinois 61074

Proprietors: Chris Lain and Jube Manderico.

We are not originally from Carroll County. We most recently lived in Chicago, Illinois. We rented a Cabin at the Nest at Palisades for New Years Eve 2013. We found Carroll County because we wanted a getaway that was close enough for a long weekend, but far enough to be a getaway. We hiked the Palisades, walked a long Main Street in Savanna, and drove the beautiful country roads of Carroll County. We were here for four days and fell in love with the area.

Back in Chicago, we searched for real-estate online and returned to Savanna the next weekend to look at homes. We made an offer that Monday and closed the sale of our new weekend home on February 1st. We came to Savanna on the weekends for awhile and decided to move here full time in June of 2013.

We love Carroll County because it doesn’t look like another place in Illinois. The rolling hills and the bluffs are so beautiful. The historic downtown areas are so quaint and full of history. However, the people of Carroll County are what we love most. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help their neighbor here.

This is our first retail store. We’d always wanted to open our own business and had extensive retail experience. After moving to Savanna, we saw an opportunity to open a store on Main Street. We wanted to do something to foster creativity and help build the economy in Savanna and Carroll County. Our solution was to open a store that carried items made by local artist and artisans. Savanna Marketplace opened on October 5th of 2013 with 34 vendors. In just 3 months, we have grown to include over 80 vendors. Most of whom are local to Carroll County.

We carry a wide assortment of locally crafted items, such as art, photography, ceramics, knits, jewelry, wood working, home decor, pet items, clothing, and much much more. We have a large selection of all natural health and beauty products, including a full line of Savanna Marketplace branded products such as hemp soaps, bath salts, all natural lotions, soy candles, and a full line of aroma therapy candles. All of which are produced right here in Savanna.

We carry an array of “Savanna Illinois” t-shirts and hoodies. They are manufactured in the United States and all our printing is done in Mount Carroll, Illinois. We feature Old Savanna post cards and books chronicling the history of Carroll County. We also have a full coffee and espresso bar, serving Round House Coffee that is roasted in Galena (as local as we could get) and branded exclusively for Savanna Marketplace.

We host many classes and events. We offer gluten-free baked goods every other weekend. We stock lots of candy and other sweets that are all locally made. We also offer Design services as well.

Our store was built in 1906 and still features the original tin ceiling. The soda fountain was added in the 1920’s and remains here today. We have turned it into a coffee and espresso bar. Spring, summer, and fall, you can enjoy a cup of our gourmet coffee in our courtyard or on the deck overlooking the Mississippi River. We are definitely unique. We have something for everyone and try to appeal to a broad market of both local residents and tourists passing through Savanna.

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Land of Oz Dolls

map-buttonLand of Oz Dolls
1723 Portland Avenue
Savanna, Illinois 61074

Proprietor: Connie Zink.

World renowned artist, Connie Zink, produces museum quality antique reproduction and modern porcelain dolls for customers all over the world. The studio offers beautiful doll displays and a vast array of supplies for doll makers. In 1997, Connie was awarded the coveted “Millie” at an international competition in Oneonta, New York.

Land of Oz Dolls was founded January of 1979 in Savanna, Illinois by Connie Zink. After having signed up for a porcelain doll class that was advertised in a local newspaper, Connie had no idea she had embarked onto a life-long journey into the art of porcelain doll-making.

Now 35 years and several thousand dolls later, Connie is still producing porcelain dolls for her customers all over the world. She has exhibited her dolls at shows across the country. Her husband, Dennis, pours the greenware for the approximate 1,000 plus different antique reproduction and modern dolls that Land of Oz Dolls offers to its customers.

Their studio in Savanna, along with its beautiful doll displays, also offers a vast array of soft-fired greenware, porcelain slip, brushes, wigs, eyes, shoes, socks, and doll stands for the doll-maker. Land of Oz Dolls carries their own line of china paints for antique reproduction and modern dolls. A complete selection of supplies makes Land of Oz Dolls, a one-stop doll making shop. Connie also teaches online classes and seminars on porcelain doll making.

When Connie is not working in her studio, she is an active gardener and enjoys working in her many flower gardens at her home and studio in Savanna. Connie was awarded the State of Illinois “Outstanding Master Gardener” award by the University of Illinois Extension Service in 2007. Connie also enjoys bird-watching and nature photography and is the current president of Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge. Connie conducts eight passenger golf cart and van tours of Spring Lake and Lost Mound Unit (old Savanna Army Depot) through the Stewards “Friends” group for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

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