Our delightful and fascinating trip through the Historic Heritage Corridor of Illinois kicked-off with a visit to the Weber House and Garden in Streator, IL. This charming cottage sits on two acres of English gardens, paths, roses, hollyhocks, and old oaks. The home is filled with stories of the rich and famous, and our fascinating docent Ted Weber, shared many of these fascinating stories. Ted Weber, a long-time Chicago radio and television personality, created the Weber House and Garden, which was a haven from the city for many celebrities.
Along the bus-ride North, we viewed Radium Girls, a documentary about the Radium Dial Company and the many women that fell victim to radium poisoning in Ottawa, IL. Before starting our tour of the historic Reddick Mansion, we were able to stop by the Radium Girl Memorial which honored the women who lost their lives. At the Reddick Mansion, we were welcomed by a wonderful docent dressed as Mr. Reddick's wife herself. After touring what was once the home of the philanthropist, and man who contributed so much to the Ottawa community, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch catered by the Cheese Shop.
Our next stop was to the Ottawa Scouting Museum. Did you know that the Boy Scouts of America was founded in Ottawa, IL? This museum holds the uniforms, artifacts, and stories of the Boy Scouts from the years past. The museum is also home to several exhibits that highlight the history of Ottawa, and the many influential people that have called this town home.
Our last stop before departing back to campus was to the Hegeler-Carus Mansion of LaSalle, IL. What a perfect way to end our trip through the Historic Heritage Corridor of Illinois! This stunning mansion boasts the oldest at-home gymnasium, over 50 rooms, and the birthplace of the Open Court Publishing Company. Barb and Ken, our wonderful docents, shared with us the many stories contained within each room of the mansion. One would need well over a day to view the entire house!
We hope you enjoyed your trip through the Historic Heritage Corridor of Illinois as much as we did!
As always, please feel free to share your thoughts!
OLLI at Bradley