Driving in the Indiana Countryside

Driving through the Indiana countryside just a bit south of Indianapolis, I caught this scene outside the passenger window.  Late fall offers a muted beauty as colors fade and Thanksgiving approaches and time stands between fall and winter offering a myriad of scenes to store away before the snow flies.  The crunch of leaves underfoot, […]

National Quilt Museum

National Quilt Museum On our way to Tennessee while driving through Paducah, my mom commented, “Let’s stop by the quilt museum”. The museum is located downtown and was easy to drive to late on a Sunday afternoon. Two hours later we were glad we did.  The quilts are amazingly beautiful and varied.  We enjoyed the […]

Come to the National Farm Toy Show

The first weekend in November, Dyersville, Iowa is flooded with toy collectors that come to visit the National Farm Toy Show. Thought of as the Granddaddy of all toy shows, collectors come from all over the US and even from around the world to attend this annual event that is hosted by Toy Farmer Magazine.  […]


Smithfield, Illinois is where the studio of artist and muralist Harold Kee Welch is located. The studio and museum is located in the old telephone building which was originally a bank. During the Spoon River Drive, Welch’s studio was open and his son Franklin “Chico” Welch played his violin entertaining guests as they looked at Welch’s artwork. Like a pied piper, his melody drew visitors into the studio to be wowed with the art that was created decades ago.

Born in Smithfield, Welch has created hundreds of paintings, carvings, murals and sculptures that are in private collections all over the country. His 16’ x 80’ mural depicting the life of Abraham Lincoln and Illinois that was originally commissioned by the first National Bank of Springfield is currently being considered for reinstallation at various places.

His wood-relief carving “The Good Samaritan” hangs in Peoria’s Memorial Hospital. The artist returned to Smithfield in 1963 with his wife and five children working in this studio he created many watercolors of the Spoon River drive where he lived and worked over the years

For information about those watercolors, call 309-783-3121.