Road Trip! From Bloomington to Lincoln, IL
Everywhere you go is an adventure, if you keep you mind wide open and look. This day trip to Central Illinois will reveal character, history and ingenuity in the flat lands. We will travel by caravan to see:
-Early arrivals may visit Bloomington's farmers markets.
-A curator led tour of how Central Illinois residents ate from 1830 to 2008.
-Lunch at a tavern with a large mahogany bar that served the first pizza in Central Illinois.
-An 1872 mansion with a period state of the art kitchen
-A restored 1864 farm built by a founder of the Chicago Stock Yards. In the early 1900's a young family member built an electric power plant to electrify their household and community. While Chicago didn't have electricity available to everyone, this farm house had one of America's first electrified kitchens.
-Visit the only commercial maple sugar grove in Illinois.
-Visit a candy maker situated on a farm since 1942. We will learn their history, taste and make some candy.
-Dine on Schnitzel sandwiches made from The Mill's recipe, a now shuttered classic Route 66 diner in Lincoln, IL.
Wear comfy shoes, dress for the weather and bring a cooler, in case you find something to bring home.
Reservation made by email at GreaterMidwestFoodways@gmail.com or phone at 847-432-8255, include name, address, phone number and number of reservations. Phone or email registration constitutes paid reservation. Note: Prompt payment will confirm reservation. Mail check to: Greater Midwest Foodways, 280 Laurel Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035
By credit card: Go to https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/180438 or 1-800-838-3006 (nominal convenience charge).
Transportation is not provided, though we will help pair people to share rides.
For more details:
Early arrivals may check out Bloomington's farmers market on the Square in Historic Downtown Bloomington (Main & Jefferson). The market occupies the streets surrounding the Old Courthouse, home of the McLean County Museum of History. More information at: www.downtownbloomington.org/farmersmarket. Park free for up to four hours in nearby city garages.
At 10 am, we begin at the McLean Country History Museum with a tour of Come & Get It! The Way We Ate 1830 -2008, curator led tour by Robert Dirks, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Illinois State University.
Explore the eating habits, cooking equipment, methods and diverse food traditions of McLean residents since the early 1800s. Discover how dramatically our habits have changed over time. Investigate four kitchens, each representing a different era and illuminating how the kitchen has changed in the last 180 years. Use hands-on interactives to better understand where food has come from and how dramatically food sources have changed. Delve into the interpretive panels between kitchens to see social and economic changes that have shaped the way we ate from 1830 to 2008.
At noon there is lunch at Lucca Grill cited by reviewers for the New York Times and Washington Post as one the best old-time bar rooms in America. The Lucca Grill was established in 1936, named by the Baldini's for their hometown of Lucca, Italy. Lucca's served the first pizza in Central Illinois.
Lunch will feature a variety of pizzas and your choice of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Mr. Pibb, iced tea, lemonade or coffee.
116 East Market Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
1:00 pm David Davis Mansion with special attention to Sarah Davis's Kitchen and Dining Room (Pre tour film is 17 minutes, regular tour is 45 minutes, 1:30 pm)
The David Davis Mansion, completed in 1872, combines Italianate and Second Empire architectural features and is a model of mid-Victorian style and taste. Known as Clover Lawn, it was the home of David Davis, the friend, mentor and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln. As President, Lincoln appointed Davis as United States Supreme Court Justice in 1862.
The story of the transformation of the Davis property from working farm to suburban estate is the story of the intertwined social, political and legal networks, which developed on the western frontier and which then catapulted Lincoln and Davis into national prominence.
The three-story, yellow-brick, genteel home, which Sarah Davis helped to design at the eastern edge of downtown Bloomington, comprises 36 rooms and was very advanced for its day. It not only had elegant furnishings and architectural features, it also had the most modern technological conveniences of the era: indoor plumbing, hot and cold running water, a central furnace, the most up-to-date gas lighting, and two modern communication systems. These were, indeed, the precursors to the modern, comfortable and convenient systems that Americans take for granted today
David Davis Mansion State Historic Site
1000 Monroe Dr
Bloomington, IL 61701-3333
Our visit coincides with the Glorious Garden Festival-Garden Walk. This year's garden walk offers self-guided tours through eight incredibly diverse, high-quality private gardens in the Bloomington-Normal community, along with guided tours of Sarah Davis's heirloom garden. These gardens provide solitude and sanctuary, where one can soothe the spirit while enjoying the quiet pleasures of an outdoor retreat. Hosted each year on the third weekend in June, the Festival is a fundraising event benefiting the David Davis Mansion Foundation, which provides private support for the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site.
3:00 pm: Funks Prairie Home with special attention to one of America's first electric kitchens. This is the restored 1864 residence of Illinois State Senator, co-founder and director of Chicago's Union Stockyards, and cattle-king of Illinois, Lafayette Funk, includes historic memorabilia and antiques of the Funk Family.
"DeLoss Funk did not take well to agriculture. He could not grow a house plant to save his life. However, he had a gift of a different kind. While at school he took an electricity class that sparked his interest. He became the resident mechanical man. He built his own power plant on the farm. It was used to power not only the house but all of the buildings throughout the Funk's Grove area. When DeLoss built this power plant and wired up the farm community, it was reported that they had more electric lights than most cities. DeLoss never patented his inventions though. He thought that everyone could figure out how to do what he was doing. Much to the dismay of his children, people rarely understood what he was talking about when it came to technology. DeLoss invented an electric washing machine, and butter churn for his mother. He also invented many kitchen appliances for her. True to the Funk family's humble personality, DeLoss helped build power plants for other farmers, and even convinced the city of Bloomington to start an auxiliary power plant for the surrounding rural communities."
FUNKS PRAIRIE HOME
10875 Prairie Home Lane
Shirley, IL 61772
Please note, GPS or internet maps may misdirect you. Please follow these instructions:
I-55 South to Shirley exit 154
At top of ramp, turn left (east) over expressway
1155 East, turn right
(Look in the field for a red G with a corn through it, wood arrows pointing to the right)
After 1.5 miles, first mailbox and driveway on the left. There is nothing before this except corn or soybeans.
4:15 Funks Grove established in 1824, Illinois only commercial sugar maple camp with remarks by Glaida Funk.
Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup, located on Route 66 just south of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, prefers the original Websters' spelling of maple sirup instead of maple syrup.
Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
5257 Old Route 66
Shirley, IL 61772
5:00 RGW CANDY COMPANY. ATLANTA, IL
R.G.W. Candy Company was founded by Mr. Wertheim in 1942, which today is a wholly family owned, operated and staffed.
R.G.W. Candy Company operates a candy kitchen on their family farm. They make their caramels from cream procured from a neighboring dairy farm.
Their only bow to technology is a water cooled table to replicate marble slabs. Otherwise the kitchen is equipped with copper kettles to cook caramel or melt chocolate and racks to allow chocolates to set, because almost everything else is made by hand.
R.G.W. Candy Company
1865 2200th Street
217/648-2069 or 309/824-2492
Exit I-55 at the Atlanta exit;
Turn toward town;
Turn left on Old Route 66 BEFORE gas station;
Turn left at first left (not at the motel driveway) away from town,
go under overpass, past cemetery to 4-way stop;
Turn right, then look for candy canes (they will point you left, then right, proceed a bit further to a candy cane pointing to a house on the left);
Turn left into driveway and go to the end where the candy kitchen and shop at end of drive. "Dogs bark and then lick you to death."
6:30 HALLIES, LINCOLN, IL (check or cash only).
Lincoln makes a nice stop for dinner. Stretch your legs, take a gander at the watermelon statue, admire the pretty town square and have a schnitzel at Hallie's. A descendant of The Mill's, a Route 66 iconic roadhouse, longtime owners has opened Hallie's in downtown Lincoln, on the well-preserved town square directly across from the Logan County Courthouse. They feature a schnitzle sandwich, a local favorite in areas of the cornbelt
Hallie's "Home of the Schnitzel"
111 S Kickapoo St
8:00 Amtrak Station, Lincoln, IL (for those heading north by train to Chicago)
McLean County Museum of History
200 North Main Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
|Dog Friendly: No|