Luray Caverns in Virginia

Luray Caverns in Virginia
Luray Caverns in Virginia

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The A & P Carnival, Chicago World's Fair 1933

"The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company has created an area at the World's Fair for pleasure, without admission charge.  There is a big open air marine park, with an amphitheater seating several thousand, surrounding a revolving stage where daily programs are given.  Tony Starg's famous marionettes, Harry Horlick and his Gypsy orchestra and Gypsy dancing, are features.  With George Rector presiding as a master of ceremonies it is a real carnival."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mammoth Cave Entrance

"The only natural entrance to Mammoth Cave, discovered by a bear hunter in 1799.  Millions of visitors, entering at this point, have viewed the wonders of the world famous attraction."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Crenshaw House- Equality, Illinois

For now, I won't be saying too much about this site.

The Crenshaw House has been a museum and it was associated with the National Parks Service at one time.  Now, it is closed.

Do a little searching around for info on this historic AND horrifying house that was part of the REVERSE Underground Railroad.

You can stop by and get a glimpse of the house from the road, but there are some clear no trespassing signs posted.

I know there is debate about opening the property back up again (it is now owned by the state).  I do hope that such a historic site becomes accessible again sometime in the near future.

It is very close to Cave-In-Rock State Park and to Marion. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Virgin Mary- Great Onyx Cave, KY.

Another great postcard from Great Onyx Cave.  I really like this one because the tourists to me took like they are inside of the mouth of a fanged giant!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Eckert's- Belleville, Illinois



Belleville Illinois ended up being a real winner for us.  This is a great town and definitely worth a weekend visit or two.

I know a lot of people driving this far will spend most of their vacation time in St. Louis, but we actually avoided the crowded bigger city to visit this area and I am so glad that we did.

We spent a lot more time here than we planned because the place is so nice.  We thought we would stop by the restaurant for a light lunch and we ended up walking around, shopping in their country store, and having floats at the custard shop.

They have their own fruit orchard too, which was huge!

I love places like this, and it seems that they are getting more rare by the second.

Anyway, let me give you a few reasons why I REALLY love Eckert's.

First off, the kids working there were VERY friendly.  I don't know why more shops don't stress that it is good (and it helps sales) if you are friendly, but Eckert's has this down.

We asked an employee in their coffee section for some sort of label as the bag of coffee we were buying was a gift, and we wanted our friend to know that the coffee came from Eckert's.  Enthusiastically, the employee went to hunt one down for us!

Later, at the custard shop, we were trying to figure out what we wanted.  The bubbly custard expert told us that large floats were on sale for $2.50 today.  That solved my choice making dilemma.  As my wife asked if they had an oreo something or other, the employee excitedly said, "Oh yeah!  We can do that!"

I assume Eckert's treats their people well, because EVERYONE just seemed happy to be there.  AND THAT made me happy to be spending some of my vacation time there!

They have a very cozy picnic table area near the custard shop where they were playing great, mostly summer time type songs.  Oh, I didn't get to do this while I was there, but they have LIVE music on the weekends during the summer!


Go to Eckert's if you are ever near St. Louis.  The place has an authentic friendly, Mayberry feel to it.  Just being there is relaxing!

http://www.eckerts.com/belleville.htm


Friday, July 26, 2013

Great Onyx Cave

I am guessing this one was put out during the cave wars.  On the back it says-

Three miles Northeast of Mammoth Cave.  Drive your own car or take the Great Onyx Cave Taxi Cab line from Mammoth Cave Railroad Depot.  Reached via. Cave City by Automobiles on the way to Mammoth Cave.  Watch the signs and detour via. GREAT ONYX CAVE.  Modern Hotel.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

World's Largest Catsup Bottle- Collinsville, IL

Well, we were in Collinsville and had to swing by and see the World's Largest Catsup Bottle! 

Surprisingly, there is a lot of info online about this VERY popular roadside attraction!  It is pretty cool.

I really don't have a lot to say about it, but if you are in the area, you should see it!

http://www.catsupbottle.com/

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Bridal Altar, Great Onyx Cave KY.

I love this old postcard!  You have the cave, and the wooden floor and stairs for the benefit of the tourists.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lewis and Clark site- Hartford, IL

http://www.nps.gov/lecl/planyourvisit/leclvcillinois.htm



I think a lot of road trippers unfortunately pass by some of the National Park units on their way to other sites.

I always try to check and see if there are any National Parks on the roads I travel before I go.  Even the more obscure ones are worth a visit.

We spent a very enjoyable hour or two at this one.  In addition to a nice indoor museum section telling about Lewis and Clark's journey, there is a replica of Camp Dubois.


This facility has a great staff who talked to us about the park, and about other near by attractions with historical significance.

I am always fascinated by the bits of history that are lost to time.  One of the guides told me that the original Fort was probably 3 miles from this park's replica and there is a good chance that it is now underwater.  Being that the original was not made to last long, it is likely that historians will never truly know the exact location.

And, I fear that future generations may not be able to comprehend just how bold and dangerous that two plus year journey was back two centuries ago.  The visitor center here does a good job of illustrating the needed items for the trip- and the many risks.






Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site- Collinsville, IL

The Collinsville area was jam packed with COOL things to do!  I think this is the main attraction in the area though- the Cahokia Mounds!

There is a great visitor center, where they show a very interesting film about the mounds.  There are also many displays about the people who lived near and built the mounds.

I did feel that very little was really known about the culture.  Obviously, a lot of research has been done, but there are still some mysteries about this group.


Monks Mound is the most impressive mound, and a path has been build to get to the top.  It is a workout getting up there!  In fact, we saw athletes using the staired path for running up and down for exercise.

http://www.cahokiamounds.org/



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gravestone of Thomas Lincoln Jr., Araham's only Brother

"Thomas Lincoln Jr., was born and died at Knob Creek, Ky.  His grave is in the Redmond Family Cemetery 3/4 mile from the Lincoln Cabin."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Random Thoughts on Friday

I kind of mentioned Illinois the other day, and I definitely wanted to bring it up again, as I have made a couple of fun road trips to the state lately.

We were originally thinking about taking a few days off and going to St. Louis.  We love St. Louis, and thought another trip was needed to that fun area.  Well, as I was doing my research, I starting finding things on the other side of the river that looked fascinating.

So, with a somewhat limited amount of vacation time, and with our desire to visit new places over places we have been to before, we made the choice to skip St. Louis all together, and to just hang out in the Collinsville/Belleville area of Illinois!

In the area we visited the Cahokia Mounds and the Lewis and Clark National Park visitor center nearby.  The replica fort at the Lewis and Clark center was great and so was the museum section!  The Cahokia Mounds are unbelievable!  BOTH sites were somewhat mysterious and strange.  Obviously, I will write more on both later.

We went to the Skyview Drive In.  WOW!  It has been forever since I went to one!

This was a lot of fun.  I do get a little nervous when cars are driving around, and a lot of people are walking around in the same area, but everything was OK.

This place gets a good crowd.  We parked about 2 hours before the movies started and the lot was pretty packed by then.  This was a fun treat, and I am going to have to do the drive in thing more. 

Skyview went in to business in 1949!  I love that kind of history!

http://www.skyview-drive-in.com/

We went to a Gateway Grizzlies baseball game too!  See my other blog (kentuckybaseball.blogspot.com) for more on that.  This is a friendly, gorgeous park.

The other thing that impressed us in the area was Eckert's Orchards and Country Store!  Yeah, this place was very comfortable on a nice day.

http://www.eckerts.com/

After briefly resting at home, I made my way towards the southern end of the state for some traveling around Marion!

Cave-In-Rock and the city of Herrin were big on my "places to see" list.  We also attended another Frontier League baseball game (again, see my baseball blog for more on that).

Look up Herrin and the Herrin Massacre of 1922 when you have a moment.  It is strange how certain events ripple through history- Check out this web site for more info on a current situation relating to the 1922 event.

http://www.herrinmassacre.com/

We stopped at the Annex coffee shop/deli.  Again, MUCH more on this place later.  This is an amazing little place to stop for a nice meal or coffee in an old theater!  This little shop is sleek for a little indy place.  They have obviously put a lot in to the decor and the product. 

PLUS, driving between the Calhoun area of Kentucky, and Marion Illinois is just a nice, relaxing drive.  I would love to hear from others who are familiar with that drive!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Boundary Oak- Abraham Lincoln National Birthplace

"This ancient White Oak is the sole survivor of all that was living here at the time of Abraham Lincoln's birth, February 12, 1809.  This tree was a landmark of the time the earliest settlers came to this region.  It is mentioned as a boundary marker in the original 1805 survey, of the tract that later became the Thomas Lincoln farm.
The tree is 6 feet in diameter, about 90 feet tall, has a spread of 115 feet, and is estimated to be 300 years old."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Random Thoughts on Friday

I am still trying to keep this blog balanced.  I am trying to keep about every other post Kentucky related, while still having a "State of the Month" theme going.  I just finished some New York state posts, and plan on getting some Illinois posts up soon!

Speaking of Illinois, I have spent some time there recently.  We hung out in Collinsville and Belleville near St. Louis and found a lot of cool things to do that I will be posting about soon.  This is an underrated area!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gabe's Tower- Owensboro KY


This postcard shows a great view of Gabe's Tower back in its glory days.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The World's Only Corn Palace- Mitchell, SD

This great postcard showing the Corn Palace (see my older entry from my visit there) was issued by the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce.

The back notes how great the Palace is, and how friendly the folks in town are.  I definitely found this to be the case during my visit.  DECADES after this card was issued.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gutzon Borglum- Mount Rushmore Memorial



This postcard showing Gutzon Borglum working on Mount Rushmore is probably from the early 50s.  It notes on the back that he could not finish the monument due to his death, but his son did complete it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Shoreham Hotel- Washington, DC

I found this cool postcard sent in 1955 recently.  I love the postmark and bright red Franklin stamps on the back!