Category Archives: Featured Attraction

Fairytale Lifestyle

Havencrest Castle wants to welcome you to their realm of romance & dreams during October by offering limited public tours weekends-only. The self-guided tour includes an optional audio program that you can dial up on your personal cell phone (iPhone and Android!) Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM (Last group please arrive by at least 4:30 PM.)
No appointment is necessary. The parking lot is at the bottom of the hill. Walk up or catch a fun ride on their “CastleMobile!” Admission is $15. Veterans and children under 18 years-old $10.00 and admission includes FREE crowns for all children!
Be aware, the castle is NOT handicapped accessible. Stairs are involved, but the majority of the tour will be limited to one floor-only. Go enjoy a little escape & time away from your cares! #visitCarrollCountyIllinois #SavannaIL #castle #roadtrip

Weekends in October 6-7; 13-14; 20-21; 27-28

Upcoming Timber Lake Playhouse Special Events 2016

map-buttonTimber Lake Playhouse
8215 Black Oak Road
Mount Carroll, Illinois 61053
815-244-2035

http://www.timberlakeplayhouse.org
https://www.facebook.com/TimberLakePlayhouse
info@timberlakeplayhouse.org

 

TLP presents, Almost Heaven – The Songs of John Denver
May 6-7-8 & 13-14-15

Twenty-nine of Denver’s songs are rediscovered and reinvented, performed against a backdrop of stunning visual images of America in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. This show will feature all your favorites including “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Calypso” and more.
Show times are Friday & Sat @ 7:30pm and Sat & Sun matinee @ 2pm.
Go to the website for ticket information.

TLP concert series – Farewell Angelina
May 21 – 7pm

Farewell Angelina is an all-female country quartet featuring four women who are each award-winning songwriters, dynamic singers and multi-instrumentalists. The Nashville-based group has sold out rooms across the Southeast and Midwest, and has opened shows for Loretta Lynn (and received standing ovations for those opening sets).  Their sound may remind you of the Dixie Chicks and Little Big Town, with a hefty dose of The Eagles’ vocal chemistry.

School of Rock the Musical – Youth Production
July 5,7,8,9 – 2pm

School of Rock
 is a brand new musical based on the film starring Jack Black. The TLP version will be performed by area middle & high school students and will feature all of the original songs from the movie plus 14 new songs created for the Broadway production by Andrew Lloyd Webber.   The musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Completely disinterested in academic work, Dewey decides to create his own curriculum, turning his class into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. SCHOOL OF ROCK, with its sensational live kids’ rock band, is a loving testimony to the transforming power of music.

TLP presents Always…Patsy Cline
Sept 9-10-11 & Sept 16-17-18

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically in a plane crash in 1963.  The show is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a lonely fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a close personal correspondence with Cline until her death.  The musical play, complete with down home country humor and honest emotion, includes 27 of her beloved songs – including many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight.  The show’s title was inspired by Cline’s letters to Seger, which she signed “Love ALWAYS… Patsy Cline.”
Show times are Friday & Sat @ 7:30pm and Sat & Sun matinee @ 2pm
Go to the website for ticket information.

TLP presents, Felix & Fingers Dueling Piano’s
Sept 24 – 7pm

TLP will present a one night only performance of the nationally renowned Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos Show on Saturday, September 24th starting at 7:00 p.m., with cash bar opening at 6:30.  Felix and Fingers began in 2010 when Dave Radford and Mike Potts came together to create their own unique take on dueling pianos. Dave has recently been a top ten male finalist on American Idol, and Mike had spent several years touring the world as a musician on cruise ships. Since 2010, they have grown from playing the Chicagoland area to playing venues throughout the entire country.

 

 

Explore Nature & Culture in Carroll County

Stone Arch Bridge

Text by Alice Horner
Color Photos by Gene Stubbe

stone-arch-brigde-carroll-county-illinois-historical-marker

map-buttonStone Arch Bridge on the Galena Road Where Abraham Lincoln Camped
34070-34128 Chambers Road
Lanark, Illinois 61046

Almost everyone who has traveled Highway 52/64 in Carroll County between the Ogle County line and Lanark has noticed the rest stop. And they probably wondered why there would be a rest stop on a 2-lane road in Carroll County that wasn’t particularly scenic. At this rest stop is a historical marker, which also seems unusual for this part of Carroll County. But indeed it’s important, because it describes the stone arch bridge just across the road and slightly south, and claims it was very near this bridge in 1832 where Abraham Lincoln camped as a private during the Black Hawk War.

The Stone Arch Bridge, that stands to the east of the present highway, was on the Galena Road, once the most important trail in northern Illinois. Along this route innumerable people streamed northward to the lead mines near Galena every spring and many returned southward in the fall. The movement was likened to that of the fish called Sucker, from which the State received its nickname.

This portion of the road from Dixon was surveyed in 1830 as the road from Woodbine Springs to Ogee’s Ferry (later Dixon’s Ferry, now Dixon), replacing the longer 1825 Kellogg’s Trail and the 1826 Boles’ Trail. Roads from Peoria and Chicago joined at Dixon and continued as one to Galena. Mail and stagecoach lines traveled the Peoria – Galena route as early as 1830 and the Chicago – Galena route by 1834. Here the road intersected the earlier Gratiot’s Trail, which also ran from Dixon to Galena but extended farther north to avoid the rough terrain.

During the Black Hawk War in 1832, militia and regular army troops marched on both trails. Abraham Lincoln, as a private in the company of Captain Elijah Iles, camped overnight near here, June 8 and 12. As a private in the independent spy company of Jacob M. Early, Lincoln made a forced march to Kellogg’s Grove (near Kent), arriving there June 26, the day after the last battle fought in Illinois during that War.

Isaac Chambers, who was not only the first settler of Ogle County at Buffalo Grove near Polo but also of Lima Township here in Carroll County, operated a stage coach inn nearby and a sawmill on Elkhorn Creek two miles to the southeast. (From the Goodly Heritage Pg. 107)

The stone arch bridge is in Section 21 of Lima Township, and on private property. It’s not easily accessible through dense undergrowth, muddy soil and numerous brier patches. But these pictures show the bridge as it is today. Only the west arch of the bridge remains. Most of the east arch and the probably barrel vault at the roadway are gone (or perhaps covered with dirt and debris). Only the stones at the top of the east arch are visible.

It was not possible to get down into the stream bed or onto the east side of the arch. There are many more stones visible on the top of the west side of the arch.

The stones are rough hewn, and probably came from rock close at hand. There is a rock quarry just north of the site, but obviously from a more recent era and possibly still in business. How much rock outcropping was visible and accessible to stone masons of the 1830s era I don’t know. And I have found no record of who those stones masons were.

stone-arch-brigde-carroll-county-illinois-circa-1967

I don’t know much of the history of this bridge after Lincoln decamped. Judging from two photographs perhaps taken in the 1960’s the area surrounding this bridge has changed a lot in just fifty years. The Carroll County Historical Societies Historic Sites & Trails Map of 1967 features this black and white photo of the bridge which shows most of the bridge.

The photographer was apparently standing in the dry stream bed, facing the west side of the bridge and you can easily see through to the other side. The photo must have been taken in late autumn, because there are no leaves on the trees and there is also little vegetation near the base of the arch. Is it possible the east side of bridge could so completely fill up with soil and debris in the last fifty years?stone-arch-brigde-carroll-county-illinois-from-carroll

The other photograph is on Page 107 of “Carroll County, A Goodly Heritage,” which was published in 1968.

Presumably this photograph was also taken around 1967, but it features lots more vegetation than what shows on the 1967 map photo, although much less than there is now. This photo was taken in spring or summer but they look so different it’s hard to believe both photographs were taken within a few years or maybe even a few months of one another.

It doesn’t appear that the area immediately surrounding this bridge has ever been plowed, and perhaps not often grazed either. The test in Carroll County, A Goodly Heritage accompanying the photograph indicates the bridge can be viewed from the highway but that isn’t true now either, unless it’s visible in winter, when all the leaves are off the trees.

But seeing this site probably gives us a good idea of how the area might have looked when Lincoln camped there. Samuel Preston’s “History of Carroll County” reminds us that much of the area in 1836, which became Carroll County, was heavily forested. Lincoln and his fellow soldiers were a spy company, there to examine the countryside and look for Indians. They wouldn’t have camped out in the middle of the prairie where they would have been more easily seen, and they camped in the summer, when there was plenty of vegetation. Presumably there were few travelers along the road, owing not just to the early time but to the fact that the Black Hawk War was being fought just thirty miles to the North.

Original Source

Civil War Soldiers And Sailors Monument

visit-carroll-county-illinois-courthouse-mount-carroll-soldiers-annex
Location: Court House Square, Mount Carroll, Illinoismap-button
Dedication: October 6, 1891
Medium: Barre Granite
GPS Coordinates: N 42° 06.079 W 089° 58.724

Located in Northwest Illinois, Mount Carroll became the county seat of Carroll County in 1843. Carroll County was originally a part of Jo Daviess County until 1839. It was named for Charles Carroll, a United States Senator from Maryland and the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. On October 24, 1884, a number of Carroll County Civil War veterans organized the Soldiers and Sailors Reunion Society of Carroll County. At a subsequent meeting, D. W. Dame recommended that the society build a monument to honor the 1,284 Civil War veterans of Carroll County. Most of the men fought under Generals Grant, Sherman, McPherson, or Logan. They fought in Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, or Tennessee. The society members suggested that the monument be placed on the courthouse square in Mount Carroll. The county board voted to contribute $6,000.00 for the project, and the city of Mount Carroll provided $400.00 to construct the cement steps and background.

Lorado Taft was a member of a team of artists who was commissioned to create the Carroll County Civil War Soldiers And Sailors Monument. George H. Mitchell designed the monument, and Josiah Schamel constructed the foundation. John C. Hall designed the annex that was added later when county officials determined that there were many names missing from the original honor roll list. The monument consists of a fifty-foot vertical shaft with a Lorado Taft sculpted soldier holding a flag at the top. Lewis H. Sprecher of Lanark posed for the statue and made several trips to Taft’s Chicago studio to model for it. Two additional statues are attached to the base of the monument, one an infantryman and the other a cavalryman.

Just below Taft’s statue at the top of the monument are eight engraved symbols representing the various army groups that the men of Carroll County fought in during the Civil War. The monument also includes the names of the twelve battles that the men of Carroll County fought in: Atlanta, Chickamauga, Corinth, Fort Donelson, Gettysburg, Hatchie’s Bridge, Nashville, Resaca, Shiloh, Stones River, Vicksburg, and the Wilderness. The following words appear on one face of the monument: “Carroll County: To The Memory Of The Men Who Saved The Union That Their Example May Speak To Coming Generations.” The short phrases “Slavery Abolished” “Peace Restored” and “Courage – Endurance” flank the monument on the other three sides. Two large cannons are positioned on either side of the monument, and a pyramid of cannon balls rests on the ground near the rear of the monument.

The Carroll County Civil War Soldiers And Sailors Monument was unveiled and dedicated in Mount Carroll on October 6, 1891, before a crowd of more than 5,000 people. County Superintendent of Schools John Grossman declared a school holiday on that day, and hundreds of students and teachers attended the dedication ceremony. Carriages full of attendees came from Savannah, Thomson, Lanark, and Shannon. The city was decorated with bunting and flags, and meals were served to the guests by hotels and churchwomen. A band from Savanna led a parade of marchers that included members of various Grand Army of the Republic posts, the Knights of Pythias, the Select Knights of America, and school children. Mount Carroll Mayor N. H. Melendy gave the welcome speech, and J. M. Hunter addressed the assembled soldiers and civilians.

The Carroll County Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument was rededicated exactly a hundred years later on October 6, 1991. Two Civil War reenactment groups participated in the celebration. The 121st Illinois Regiment conducted a daylong Civil War encampment, and Battery G of the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery fired the cannons near the monument. Lt. Col. Warren Sweitzer addressed the assembled crowd and thanked the Carroll County Board for constructing the monument a century earlier.

civil-war-soldiers- sailors-monument-carroll-county-illinois
Original Source

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

Common Merganser by Michael Fitzgerald
map-buttonUpper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center – Savanna District

Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center
7071 Riverview Road
Thomson, Illinois 61285
815-273-2732

http://www.fws.gov/refuge/upper_mississippi_river/
https://www.facebook.com/UpperMissNWFR

Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge
http://stewardsumrr.org
https://www.facebook.com/stewardsoftheuppermississippiriverrefuge
stewardsumrr@gmail.com

Within the boundaries of Carroll County lies one of America’s greatest treasures, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The Refuge encompasses four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Carroll County is very fortunate to have the Illinois District Office within our boundaries. Just five minutes south of Savanna on Riverview Road west of Highway 84, the Illinois District Office is located within Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center.

ingersoll-wetlands-learning-center-carroll-county-illinois

Our Story

In 2000, Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center opened its doors to promote environmental education and conservation of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Visitors travel from all over the world to view the Mississippi River and its wildlife. This provides us with many great opportunities to share our story and to encourage support for the Refuge System.

Conveniently located within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, the facility is packed with interesting hands-on exhibits and provides a dramatic view of the world’s most majestic and celebrated river.

The Center sits on thirty-five acres of sand prairie that is home to the ornate box turtle, prickly pear cactus, and a diversity of other plants and animals. Visitors can walk or bike the Grand Illinois Trail, which traverses through the prairie and along Spring Lake. Photographers find many opportunities to get that special picture of a bald eagle, sandhill crane, trumpeter swan, or the prickly pear cactus. No matter what your interest, there’s something for you to see and do.

ingersoll-bros--carroll-county-illinois

The Center is dedicated to the memory of Gary and David Ingersoll, young residents of Savanna who were stricken with muscular dystrophy. Although confined to wheelchairs most of their young lives, the two overcame day-to-day challenges and attended college, where they demonstrated their mutual interest in natural resource conservation. Tragically, both young men died of the disease before the age of twenty-two. The center was named in their honor. Toaday, it continues to promote their ideals of environmental education and conservation of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Hours are 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. The Center is closed on all federal holidays. Starting in mid May through September, the Center is open on Saturdays from 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

The Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge “Friend’s Group” operates a bookstore within Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center. It’s filled with an excellent selection of children’s books, field guides, and unique gifts. If you know one of those “hard to buy for” nature enthusiasts, you’ll find that perfect gift here. All proceeds support various refuge programs.

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Story

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, established for fish, wildlife, plants, and as a breeding place for migratory birds, owes its existence to the avid fisherman, founder and leader of the Izaak Walton League, Will Dilg. By 1922, Dilg had spent nearly two decades fishing and enjoying the Upper Mississippi River. In the summer of 1923, he learned of a plan to drain a large portion of the river backwaters and came up with an ambitious solution to the drainage scheme: turn the entire stretch of river into a federal refuge.

will-dilg-carroll-county-illinois

Will Dilg

Remarkably, one year later, due to Dilg’s determination, Congress passed the Upper Mississippi River Wild Life and Fish Refuge Act on June 7, 1924. The act authorized the acquisition of land for a refuge between Rock Island, Illinois and Wabasha, Minnesota. The Refuge name was changed administratively to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in 1983. The 261 mile refuge is the longest contiguous river refuge in the continental U.S. This refuge begins at the confluence of the Chippewa River near Wabasha, Minnesota, and ends near Princeton, Iowa. The refuge lies within four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

The river was free-flowing until a series of locks and dams were constructed in the 1930’s by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Over half of the lands managed by the refuge are owned by the Corps. Today, nearly 240,000 acres of wooded islands, marshes, and backwaters comprise the Upper Mississippi Refuge. The refuge provides migratory habitat for a large percentage of the migratory birds in the Mississippi Flyway. Tundra swans and canvasback ducks use the refuge as a resting and feeding area in the spring and fall. From the beginning, the refuge has been a place for visitors to renew themselves. A quiet trip to the backwaters, camping on an island, fishing a favorite spot, and waterfowl hunting are traditional uses that have continued for over eighty years.

The National Wildlife Refuge System

paul-kroegel-carroll-county-illinois

Paul Kroegel was hired as the first national wildlife refuge manager. He was paid $1 a month by the Florida Audubon Society, as Congress had not set aside funds for this executively created refuge.

One hundred and eleven years ago, Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Florida’s Pelican Island, ensuring the island’s birds would survive plume hunters and other profiteers. He went on to establish more than fifty wildlife refuges in a network of protected lands and waters that has become a landmark international conservation model.

The National Wildlife Refuge System presently encompasses 562 refuge units, 38 wetland management districts, and more than 150 million protected acres. It stretches from Alaska to the Caribbean and west from Maine to islands in the remote Pacific Ocean.

This network is dedicated to the protection of vital wildlife habitat and efforts to restore at-risk species. Examples include the return of the bald eagle and the brown pelican, both of which are no longer on the Endangered Species List, as well as our work with other iconic wildlife such as caribou, bison, elk and puffins. Refuges offer the American public a chance to see all these animals, not behind bars in a zoo, but roaming free in their natural environment.

national-wildlife-refuge-system-mapRefuges help our communities by cleaning the air and the water we depend on for human health. By conserving and restoring these natural landscapes, they also help to prevent or minimize disasters such as flooding, drought and wildfires.

Forty-seven million people visit refuges each year. Some come to see and experience undeveloped landscapes or to learn about nature and conservation. Others come to take part in the many available outdoor recreational opportunities.

In the process, refuges stimulate local economies, supporting thousands of private sector jobs, and generate billions of dollars in commercial activity. Our recent Banking on Nature report reveals refuges pump $2.4 billion into the economy and support more than 35,000 jobs.

Our national wildlife refuges are home to more than 700 types of birds, 220 varieties of mammals, 250 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, 1,000 species of fish, countless invertebrates, and plants. They provide havens for 280 endangered species ranging from the Florida panther to the polar bear.