Mount Morris, Illinois
We are going to take a short side trip to Mt. Morris, a small town 5 miles northwest of Oregon on US Route 64. For many years, Mt. Morris and Oregon were school rivals - basketball and football for the most part. When I was in high school, Mt. Morris had the better basketball team and Oregon had the better football team. However, with the consolidation of schools, students from Mt.Morris now go to school in Oregon. The highway between the two towns has some beautiful farm lands, with fields and hills. There is even a small airport for small planes there.
As we pull into town, there is a small motel on the left which has been there for as long as I can remember - and maybe even before that!! There are a few other businesses scattered along both sides of the road - landscaping, restaurant, tire store, storage company and a few others. We cross some railroad tracks and see on the left the University of Illinois Clinic, this is where we go and they have very nice staff there and some great doctors. The road curves to the right and we see a city memorial park with a cannon on the left and several streets filled with homes, many of which have been there for many decades. Mt. Morris is not quite as large as Oregon, and has a smaller business district. Mostly they are famous (in the area, at least) for Kable News Printing Company. If you check the editorial page of a lot of your magazines, you might see Mt. Morris listed. This company has been there for many years, and I know my one great-aunt and her first husband worked there for several years in the early 1920s. There are a few other companies there of some size, but this one is the most well known.
For the fourth of July, Mt. Morris always has a huge festival with a parade, concert, ringing of their Freedom Bell and many other activities, culminating with a huge and very glorious fireworks display. People come from miles around for these festivities - we had problems finding a parking space even around 7 pm last year! They also have band concerts in the band shell in the center of town - I remember going to those on Saturday evenings as a kid - usually to hear the lady who lived three houses away from us, sing. She had a beautiful voice and had travelled with a band as a young woman. My dad loved to hear her sing "When Irish Eyes are Smiling". He asked her to sing it at his funeral, but by 1980, my mom was thankful that she had laryngitis and could not sing at Dad's funeral as she knew it would tear all of us up too much. Whenever I hear or sing that song, I think of Bette and Dad!
These pictures were taken in center of town - standing on the block with the Band Shell.
Sorry this is so short, but we have many other places to see. Mt. Morris is a pretty and quiet small town, with several great restaurants.
White Pines State Park
Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock Boat Access Pictures
Castle Rock Picnic & Trail Area Pictures
Lowden State Park
Lowden-Miller State Forest
Mt. Morris, Illinois
Grand Detour, Illinois