September 2012

Radar Family Farm's, jus a pumpkin away

Radar Family Farm's, jus a pumpkin away

Last year Linda Radar said over 5,000 students visited their farm on school field trips. With field trips scheduled every day but Monday’s this is a very busy place. I visited the farm this morning that is located just outside Normal, Illinois. The Radar family just four years ago went from having a small, but productive pumpkin patch that they sold using the honor system to this beautiful barn, and lots of kids actvities and Linda said, “Accepting Visa.”

Radar Farms offers a Christian atmosphere with a chance for families to enjoy a bit of the wonderful things that fall has to offer. Whether picking pumpkins, enjoying the animals, or traveling through the maze, it is an amazing place.

I wish I would have taken my picture outside the cool Chevy truck surrounded by floweres and pumpkins, but that is a picture that should include the hubby. Maybe next time!

Log onto http://www.raderfamilyfarms.com/ for details.

Saputo's, fine dining since 1948

Saputo's, fine dining since 1948

I love Italian food and it doesn’t take long to figure out where to go when we get the urge for baked lasagna or rigatoni. ” Where do you want to go?” I will ask my spouse and he will say, “Saputos I suppose.”

The restaruant was opened by Frank and Florine Saputo in 1948. Saputos features Southern Italian cooking with recipes that have been in their family for four generations.

We have spent many a New Year’s Eve, birthday and other celebrations at this one of a kind restaurant. Saputos is a favorite place for Capital City politicians and those that perform at the nearby Convention Center.

Located at 801 East Monroe in Springfield, call 217-544-25423 for reservations or details when visiting the Land of Lincoln.

The Historic Marbold Farmstead, photo by Rose Hammitt

The Historic Marbold Farmstead, photo by Rose Hammitt

Yesterday my friend Rose and I visited this historic homestead built in 1850 by German immigrant John Marbold. Arriving from Germany, John Marbold bought 200 acres and eventually expanded his land holding to 4,000. With an extensive array of livestock, the fates smiled on the Marbold fortune. If only the walls could talk and tell of the sadness of losing three children, the joy of John’s son falling in love and marrying the housekeepers daughter, and his stories of the German immigrants that the Marbold family helped come to America for a better life, what stories they could share.

Although the house is but a shell of its former glory, on the second floor, in pencil someone etched a phrase that tells why it is so important to save this house and the remaining ten acres and out buildings. “.This house was loved in its time,” says it all.

The Historic Marbold Farmstead Association has formed to restore and preserve this space for future generations as a Living History Farm. For those of us that have a passion for agricultural preservation, this is a cause near and dear to our hearts. If you are looking for a way to help and also enjoy a great meal and entertainment as the Holiday season arrives, consider the Landmark Evening with dinner at The Oaks in Petersburg. Log onto http://historic-marbold-farmsteas.org/ for details and information about visiting the homestead. June 22, 2012 there will be an antique show on the grounds. Rose and I will be there, will you?

Iron Spring at Springfield's Washington Park

Iron Spring at Springfield's Washington Park

When I was a kid I remember traveling to Springfield, Illinois for vacation. My sister Debbie and I stayed with my grandfather one summer and went to a family reunion where we fed the ducks and geese in this historic park. Today I took a walk with my daughter and she too fed the ducks with left over bread crumbs. One beautiful, but greedy Mallard gobbled up most of the leavings.

We stopped at this site that was only constructed in 2010. The pergola and Iron Spring was restored in honor of Otto Wenneborg by his daughter. The rock out front of the site shared that he thought the spring offered restorative and healthy benefits from the iron and mineral mix. At one time, the water had been kept on tap at the once famous, but now gone, Leland Hotel because of belief that it was beneficial for its cure of rheumatism, gout, and indigestion.

Many others over the years have enjoyed Washington Park. Located on the west side of Springfield, this 150-acre site was added to the Springfield Park District in 1901. The park website shares, “This is one of the historic parks, developed as termini of the urban trolley line in use at the time. Designed by Ossian Simonds, noted for his naturalistic style of landscape design, the park is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its design and many features date back to its original development.”

I wish I could have ridden on that trolley and heard the words of visitors to the park so many years ago. A poem that Otto Wenneborg wrote is engraved on the rock in front of the Iron Spring and his first stanza invites visitors to reflect on the beauty of this public place:
“When the leaves are ripe and golden
And their edges trimmed with red,
And the hybrids of the forest are looking for their winter bed
Then I marvel at the beauty
And the One that put it there…

How beautifully stated and how apt for this beautiful fall day where I too marveled at the beauty through the eyes of an adult and the memories of a child!

Beautiful Menard County Hisorical Society Museum

Beautiful Menard County Hisorical Society Museum

Petersburg, Illinois is a beautiful place. Located close to Abraham Lincoln’s New Salem, the Petersburg square while not what it once was still has dyanamic architecture like in this photo of the Menard County Historical Society Museum located in the former Frackelton Bank. Built in 1889 on the corner of Seventh & Jackson in Petersburg, Illinois, this lovely Victorian-styled building is on the west side of the Menard County Courthouse Square.

While attending the 2012 Harvest Fest, the museum was open and I decided to take a gander inside. There is a lot of neat circus history of all things in from the past. The safe vault was very cool and the displays were interesting.

For details about this cool stop in the midst of major Lincoln histor and hours, call 217.632.7363.

Love yard art? Come to Salem, Illinois!

Love yard art? Come to Salem, Illinois!

Yard art is a funny thing. Like all art, either people take to it or not so much. I adore it! Richard Pollard started decorating his yard with his yard art about 25 years ago. Richard’s art tends to run in the auto category which makes sense because that has been his line of business for the past 40 years. His car dealership is right next to the house where he and his wife decorate their yard for their and the public’s enjoyement.

This 1957 Chevy has the names of many visitors that have stopped by and admired Richard’s efforts. His favorite yard art is his bumper yard. There are too many things to mention to see and look at. After interviewing Richard for an upcoming article in Farm World I found there were several things I missed like the shoe tree and credit card tree that were in the front yard. The crashed airplane can’t be missed or the police car that is run up a tree.

Richard’s art work is located on North Broadway next to Pollards Motor Sales in Salem, Illinois. Just park and Richard said walk around and admire!

The Berkshire Museum

The Berkshire Museum

Royal Center, Indiana has a good thing going. This is where Clyde Berkshire’s IH museum is located. For all the diehard Farmall Folk, this museum is a must.

Clyde opened his International Harvester Dealership in 1952 and closed the doors in 1989 and opened his museum. Whether you are talking tractors, signs, literature, toys or just about any International Harvester collectible item it can be found here.

The cool thing is Clyde has a story about almost everything in the store. “I started putting stuff on the wall above me,” Clyde explained. “I started collecting in 1952 and I never threw anything away. I got deep into it in 1979.”

The museum is located at 7510 U.S. 35 Royal Center, IN 46978. Call (574) 643-3115 for details. Clyde gets to the museum arounmd 7 on weekdays and stays he said until it is too hot or too cold!

A fun man, a fun trip, an IH dream!

Lakeshore Golf Course

Lakeshore Golf Course

I don’t often win things so when I do it is something to celebrate. Listening to my favorite radio station WMKR I won a round of golf and headed off to the course with my sister.

We chose an early morning tee-time and Lake Taylorville reflected the sun and the air was filled with the noise of waterfowl dipping in and out of the shoreline. Like my sister said about our game, “It wasn’t pretty, but it was fun”.

While most of my shots were hit or miss, I do have to brag about a shot from the edge of the green where I flipped the ball on and sunk the put. Never mind that it was with a one wood!

The chance to take a morning and spend time with a loved one a gas tank ride away is as the Visa commerical’s say, “Priceless”.