BCR_Bureau County Tourism Guide_2024

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BUREAU COUNTY Experience Illinois

You’re invited to visit beautiful Bureau County. Come see what we have to offer!

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BUREAU County, Illinois

Simple pleaSureS, Hidden TreaSureS

Agorgeous spot to live and visit, Bureau County is full of friendly people who love the simple pleasures and hidden treasures the county has to offer. This guide barely skims the surface of the many events, small and large, that take place throughout the county each year.

Located in North Central Illinois, Bureau County sits 100 miles west of Chicago, one hour east of the Quad Cities, and one hour north of Peoria. Princeton, the county seat of Bureau County, is an Amtrak community with a depot that services thousands of people each year. Eastbound trains go to Chicago’s Union Station daily, or you can hop on the California Zephyr to head west.

Interstate 80 runs right through the middle of the county, making it easily accessible to visitors. As you travel down Interstate 80, watch for the four majestic Flags of Freedom that honor our veterans and are located at Exit 56 in Princeton.

With 869 square miles of fertile farmland, beautiful rural countryside, and unique villages and towns, Bureau County is full of history and growth. We hope you’ll visit the

many communities in our county. Each one has something special to offer, including historical sites, antique shops, recreational areas, festivals, museums, and great shopping experiences.

Watch our Facebook page for information about community festivals, Festival 56 theater performances, 5K races, and much more. This guide also features many of our area museums, parks, and golf courses and information about the 101 colorful barn quilts at 88 locations within the county.

If you’re a fan of nature or quieter activities, spend an idyllic day fishing or walking along the Hennepin Canal. Along its historic and tranquil banks, you’ll find areas for camping, fishing, bicycling, and more. When you visit the county, make sure to stop by the tantalizing restaurants that specialize in delicious fried chicken and other homestyle specialties.

As you plan your visit, we hope you’ll plan an overnight stay to fully experience all the charm of Bureau County. With something for everyone in the family to enjoy, you’ll want to come back again and again to experience all of the simple pleasures and hidden treasures awaiting you.

4 w SIMPLE PLEASURES, HIDDEN TREASURES Content has been provided by the Bureau County Tourism committee. Every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this publication. For all events and programs, check websites or social media pages for the most up-to-date information, or call ahead. Bureau County Tourism is not responsible for incorrect, outdated or omitted information. The Bureau County Tourism committee would like to thank our advertisers in the 2024 Tourism Guide. We couldn’t present this guide without them. If you see their advertisement in this guide, please let them know you saw it. This tourism guide was produced by Shaw Media on behalf of the Bureau County Tourism Committee. BUREAU COUNTY TOURISM COMMITTEE 205 S. 5th St. | Princeton, IL 61356 www.bureaucounty-il.gov/tourism (815) 866-3606 | kathybctourism@yahoo.com Follow the QR code to visit our website or follow us on Facebook at Bureau County Tourism.
BUREAU COUNTY, ILLINOIS Experience 2024 VISITORS INFORMATION GUIDE Where is Bureau County ������������������������������������������������� 6 Map of Bureau County ���������������������������������������������������� 8 Family Fun ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 10 Events around Bureau County 14 Places to Stay 22 Bureau County Museums 24 Flags of Freedom 31 Join the Fun in Spring Valley 32 Parks in Bureau County 34 Discover the Hennepin Canal 38 Bridges of Bureau County 43 Scenic Highways 46 Hungry World Farm 48 Barn Quilts of Bureau County 50 The Lovejoy Homestead 53 Home for the Holidays 54 2024-05/5,000


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Simple Pleasures Hidden Treasures


Where exactly is Bureau County?

We are located in North Central Illinois, just about halfway between Chicago and the Quad Cities and 50 miles north of Peoria.

If you have traveled across Illinois on Interstate 80, you probably passed right through Bureau County and might not have even known it. In the summer months, you may have noticed the four Flags of Freedom located right next to the interstate at Exit 56. The huge American flags were placed in the four locations next to the interstate in September 2005. They each weigh 100 pounds and measure 30 by 60 feet. The Flags of Freedom is an excellent place for you to start when you come to Bureau County to enjoy the many unique activities and locations we have to offer.

Bureau County is the home of two covered bridges. If you go one mile north of the flags on Route 26, you will come to a sign for the Red Covered Bridge. Just down the hill is one of the few covered bridges in Illinois, and it was built 160 years ago. Park nearby and you will have a lovely view of the bridge, and you can hear the Big Bureau Creek as it meanders across the county. Bridges were built with covers to help preserve the wood frames in the old days. It also helped teams of horses cross the water because the wooden sides kept them from looking down onto the water far below and being spooked. In the winter, snow was actually shoveled onto the bridge so the horse-pulled sleighs had a place for their runners.

The Captain Swift Covered Bridge was constructed in 2006, replacing an old bridge that wasn’t wide enough for farm equipment. What may appear as an old-fashioned timber bridge is truly a modern engineering marvel. To get to the bridge, take West Railroad Avenue to Epperson Road and turn left.

Just a little further up Route 26 from the Red Covered Bridge is the City-County Park. There you will find a log cabin where you can have a picnic, complete with a fire in the huge stone fireplace. The park has many picnic areas, swings, and slides for the kids, and a lot of open spaces. The annual “Shadows of the Blue and Gray” Civil War reenactment is held here in the fall. As the cannons fire and the soldiers come out of the trees to join the battle, you can imagine how it looked 160 years ago.

The soldiers have their encampments in the shady park. Peek into their tents, and you will see the items necessary for life in the 1860s. You can probably find President Abraham Lincoln there talking to the people enjoying the event. This year’s Shadows of the Blue and Gray will be held on October 12 and 13, 2024. Come to the park and enjoy watching the living history unfold in front of you.

You may have entered Bureau County on Amtrak. The train depot in Princeton was built in the early 1900s and has seen millions of travelers cross its doorways over the years. Many people from central Illinois use the Princeton Depot to travel to Chicago or as far as the west coast.


Many Princeton residents use Amtrak to travel to the city to work each day. Many of them came to Princeton as visitors and returned to buy a home and stay as a part of the community. A trip to Princeton from Chicago on the train is a bargain. Riding the train through the countryside allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery without having to battle the traffic and the weather.

We hope that when you come to visit Bureau County, you will stay in one of our hotels or beds and breakfasts and spend a weekend here. We have so many unique places to see and fun things to do that one day just won’t be enough time.

Amtrak marked the 75th anniversary of the launch of the California Zephyr Tuesday, March 19 with ceremonies in Chicago, Princeton, and Galesburg, IL, as well as onboard the westbound departure from Chicago. The Princeton depot was built in 1911.

Bureau County Fair

Aug. 22nd Concert- Mitchell Tenpenny with special guest Lauren Alaina Veteran’s Program • Demolition Derby • Tractor & Truck Pull Livestock & Horse Shows Free Entertainment Daily ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS HELD ALL YEAR LONG www.bureaucountyfair.com “Nightmare Haunted Attraction” Friday & Sat Nights in October August 21-25, 2024 169th

There’s so much to do and see in Bureau County. You’ll need more than a day; there’s plenty of hospitality to go around.

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Family Fun

There are so many fun things to do in Bureau County that we can’t begin to mention them all here. Here’s a sample of some of our great events.

One of the best-kept secrets in the area near Walnut and 4 miles south of Normandy is Sunset Ridge, which is a family-oriented Motocross and ATV track. The track is approximately 1.6 miles long, with natural and man-made obstacles that have been attracting riders of all abilities for over 20 years. Motorcycle and Quad racers come from all over the nation to race on the twisting dirt track. You can get right next to the action and watch the riders fly over the jumps. The track is located at 24558 1100 East St., Walnut.

One of the favorite locations for gardeners and art lovers is Hornbaker’s Gardens near Princeton. They are a garden center, an arboretum, and a botanical garden. This business offers all types of garden plants, trees, and flowers, plus artwork pieces for your home and yard. They also have The Barn, a beautiful wedding or meeting venue right next to the gardens.

On September 14, they will host their 11th annual Artisan Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be over 30 fine artists, craft beer and wine tasting, home-baked items, live music, lunch, and ice cream. Admission is free. They also have many special events throughout the season, including Garden Walks, Evenings in the Gardens, succulent, herb and hosta classes, and even kids’ gardening classes. Their address is 22937 1140 North Avenue, or you can visit their website at hornbakergardens.com.

Another event that brings participants from across the nation is the Village of DePue USTS/APBA Pro-National Championship Boat Races. On the last weekend of July, beautiful Lake DePue will be buzzing with hundreds of speeding boats with rooster tails of water spraying behind them. The DePue Men’s Club puts on this weekend-long event with daily beer gardens, live music, and many food trailers. There are many great spots along the shore to position your lawn chairs and watch the action.

The Village of Bureau Junction is going to celebrate its Sesquicentennial (150th


anniversary) on September 28, 2024. Events being planned are a train ride from Bureau to Tiskilwa and back in vintage train cars, a parade, a beer garden, live music, kids’ games, a cake walk, food stands, and historical displays. Be sure to celebrate with them. Train ride tickets will be available early this summer.

If you like fried chicken and you are in any of the towns in Bureau County, you are in luck. This area is known for the best fried chicken around. People drive many miles to go to Rip’s in Ladd or Verucchi’s in Spring Valley. But they aren’t the only places for great chicken. The taverns and restaurants in the villages all serve great homemade food, ranging from yummy tavern hamburgers to fried chicken and fish and even excellent steaks. You don’t have to go to the usual fast food restaurant when you have places not to be missed in almost every community. This includes the Feed Store in Malden; Didley’s and The Shed Tap N’Grill in Walnut; The Indian Valley Inn and La Cocina De

Irene in Tiskilwa; Reds Bar and the Parlor Ice Cream in Sheffield; Angelos, the Gold Mine, the Take Out, several Mexican restaurants and Verucchi’s in Spring Valley; the Wagon Wheel in Mineral; and Tony’s Butt Shack in Hollowayville.

Princeton has everything from steaks at Prime Quarter to the newest restaurant with farm-to-table meals at Wild Ginger Bistro and Wine Bar. Also, Park Tavern, Paisano’s, Big Apple, Pizza Cellar, Los Ranchitos, Coffee Cup, Underground Inn, Neil & Shorty’s, Skoonerz, Grandma Rosies and more. This gives you an idea of the many places you can visit for great food and fun.


Nestled in the heart of Bureau County, Princeton offers a friendly environment, rich history, diverse architectural heritage, and a strong sense of community

The vibrant downtown area features specialty shops, dining and entertainment, all framed by well-maintained streets and lush green spaces Princeton is also known for its excellent schools, museums, parks, and historic landmarks providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and educational advancement. With its blend of cultural events, local festivals, and a strong emphasis on arts and history, Princeton stands out as a serene and culturally enriched place to call home

• 103 Overnight sites

• Rental Cabins

• Dog Park

• Nightly, Weekend and Seasonal Camping

• 80 miles of Bike Trails- walk or ride access (Part of the National Bike Trail)

• Fishing

• Kayak Launch

• “Big Rig” Friendly

• All sites have Sewer, Water, & Electric - 20/30/50 amp

55 new sites opening up 2024-25 Pool opening summer of 2024

Most of our villages and towns have an annual celebration. Watch for the Bureau County Tourism Facebook updates about the Neponset Picnic Day, LaMoille’s Buffalo Days, Manlius Day, Tiskilwa’s Pow Wow Days, Wyanet Festival, Buda Fun Day, Mineral July Fireworks, Bureau Train Day and Sesquicentennial, and the many events in Princeton, including the Homestead Festival, Beef & Ag Day, Oktoberfest, Z Tour Bike Ride, Main Street Concerts, and Festival 56.

The 169th Bureau County Fair will be August 21-25, 2024. The annual Bureau County Fair is the best place to reunite with friends you might not have seen since last year. Bring the whole family and enjoy the huge carnival, the commercial and fine arts exhibits, livestock and horse shows, and the tasty fair food. Double your fun watching not one, but two entertainers for the annual country concert on Thursday, August 22nd. Mitchell Tenpenny will be the featured artist performing his songs “Bucket List” and “Truth about You.” Lauren Alaina, season 10 runner-up on American Idol, will open, singing her hits “Georgia Peaches” and “Road Less Traveled.”

Fair week entertainment includes the Salute to Veterans with the touching Quilts of Valor presentation, the Tractor and Truck pulls, and the exciting Demolition Derby. Traditional fair activities fill up the week, too. The Kramer Hospitality building will have live music daily, plus senior citizen activities on Thursday. There will be many blue-ribbon entries in the Fine Arts building for you to enjoy. You can enter in sewing, photography, floriculture, vegetables, art, hobbies and collections, baking and canning.

Bureau County Fairgrounds is a busy place all year long. Bargain hunters love the flea markets and

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garage sales with the big two-day sale Father’s Day weekend for “More in Bureau County.” Gun shows are held four times a year. Nightmare Haunted Attraction fills the barns with screams and zombies throughout the month of October. The Home for the Holidays Christmas Light show begins Thanksgiving weekend and continues through December. A Monster Truck show will be in front of the grandstand on July 20. The Model Train and Farm Toy Show is held twice a year, in November and February. For more information, go to www.bureaucountyfair.com.

HomeSTead FeSTival

The annual Homestead Festival is four days full of activities from morning to night. While the schedule is still being developed, you can be sure to find the following events – a huge parade, pork chop barbeque, Arts and Crafts show, pancake breakfast, concerts on Main St., a flea market, class reunions, 5K race, a huge car show, 50/50 drawing, a medallion hunt, a baby contest, music, and shopping. This year’s dates are September 5-8.

Farmer’S markeTS

Try picking up your fresh veggies from the local Farmer’s Markets this summer. It’s good for your health, and it’s great for our local economy. Check the schedule for starting dates. Farmer’s Markets are held in Spring Valley, Walnut, Ladd, Tiskilwa, and Princeton on various days. Along with vegetables, some have baked goods, flowers, and even live music.

n Spring Valley - Friday night market, 5-8 p.m. June 21, July 19, Aug. 16

n Princeton – Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

n Walnut – Wednesday, 5-7 p.m.

n Ladd – Monday, 4-6 p.m.

Small Town, Big Drama in Princeton, IL since 2004

Summer Season Plays, musicals, and free Shakespeare in the park every June–August

Special Events/ Concerts Throughout the year


KITCHEN: Sunday-Thursday 11am-8pm

Friday-Saturday 11am-9pm

BAR: Sunday-Thursday 11am-8pm

Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm

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n Taps is played over the Main Avenue speakers at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial in Ladd on the 11th day of each month as a reminder of the sacrifices made by service men and women.

n Princeton Community Band Concerts at Soldiers & Sailors Park on S. Main St. Bring your lawn chair. Refreshments available. June 2, 16 and 30; July 7, 21 and 28.

n Bureau County History Center Museums are open noon until 5 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. The 1912 exhibit, about the sinking of the Titanic, will be open through December 2024 at the Newell Bryant Museum and is sponsored by Yepsen Insurance.

n The new America 250 Daughters of the American Revolution exhibit will be on display at the Bureau County History Center. This exhibit will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. in the historic Clark Norris Museum.


May 11: Thrive on Main event in Sheffield. Etsyinspired market with over 60 vendors with handmade items, home décor, boutique clothing, food and beverages.

May 13: At 7 p.m., the Tiskilwa Historical Society hosts author Owen Muelder for a program called “The Path to Freedom.” The program is about the Underground Railroad in the Tiskilwa and Bradford areas. All programs at Museum on Main are free of charge and open to the public.

May 16: Music on Main by Working On Walnut - Bureau Valley Elementary - School of Rock at 5-8 p.m.

May 24-27: The Hairbangers Ball Concert at 8 to 10 p.m.

May 25 at Psycho Silo Saloon, located at the intersection of Rt. 6 and Rt. 40, Langley. Memorial Day programs on Sunday and Monday, live music all weekend.

May 25: Princeton Farmer’s Market opening day and continuing every Saturday to October, at 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Soldiers & Sailors Park, S. Main Street.

May 27: Tiskilwa Memorial Day program beginning at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day in the East Park. Local U.S. Navy veteran Jennifer Fisher will host the annual ceremony. An honor guard, a noteworthy speaker, and other patriotic events will be part of the program.

May 27: Spring Valley Memorial Day Service from 2 to 3 p.m. at Valley Memorial Park.

May 27: Sheffield’s Memorial Day Program in Veteran’s/ School Park starting at 10 a.m.

May 31: Ladd Music in the Park –Wise Guys playing from 6-9 p.m. at War Memorial Park.



June 1: Shrimp and Brew Hullabaloo from 5-9 p.m. at Rotary Park in Princeton with Brass from the Past band. Entertainment also includes Al & Jeanne (Al Brown Jazz Group) at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Infinity at 1 to 4 p.m.

June 5: Music on Main by Working On Walnut – Chris Blum, plus market opening day from 6 to 9 p.m.

June 6-8: Spring Valley City Wide Garage Sales.

June 7: Concert on Main Street, Princeton. Barracuda: A Tribute to Heart. Bring your own lawn chair. Food & drinks available.

June 7-9: Hornbaker’s Open House Weekend. This annual three-day event offers many items with special pricing, including a long list of hostas. There will also be refreshments and door prizes. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

June 7-9: La Moille Buffalo Days featuring Buffalo Burgers, Craft and Vendor Show and parade on Saturday. Also Prairie Princess contest, kids games, beer gardens, bed races and Cody Calkins at 9 p.m. Saturday.

June 7: Neponset Car Show and Neponset Fire Department supper from 5-8 p.m. downtown.

June 8: Neponset Picnic Day, with pancake breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. at the Neponset Community Building, followed by a 5K race and Kids Fun Run, parade, vendor show and other activities during the day. Neponset Historical Society pie auction at the Neponset Community Building at 6 p.m.

June 8: Bureau County Farm Bureau Foundation Tractor Trek.

June 8: Spring Valley Summerfest. All-day event at Kirby Park, with John Elvis Lyons & the Jailhouse Hound Dogs.

June 9: Spring Valley Car, Truck, Motorcycle Show on W. St. Paul Street, noon3 p.m. Call 815-481-2755

June 9: Sheffield Train Day. Take a ride in vintage railroad cars, with a 30-minute round trip. Tickets will be on sale at the Sheffield Historical Society.

June 10: Tiskilwa Historical Society will host a program on the Cherry Mine Disaster of 1909 at 7 p.m. All

programs at Museum on Main are free of charge and open to the public. Presentations are followed by refreshments and social time in the museum galleries.

June 14: Psycho Silo’s “Rock’n with the Seniors” Johnny & June Special. 12:30 p.m. Three hours of great music from Johnny & June Cash, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Janis Joplin and more.

June 14-15: “More in Bureau County” garage sales. Twoday garage sale at Bureau County Fairgrounds.

June 14-15: Seventh annual Psycho Silo Car and Motorcycle Swap Meet. Free spaces for vendors, car, and motorcycle items only, car corral, live music, and more. Rt. 40 and Rt. 6 in Langley.

June 15: 45th annual Beef & Ag Festival presented by Bureau County Cattlemen. Soldiers & Sailors Park in Princeton. Food and live music.

June 15: Old Wheels Car Show, First Lutheran Church, Farnham and Pleasant Street, Princeton, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Antique, classic, hot rods, tractors and more.

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June 15: Bureau Valley 19th annual Benefit Run for Kate Aukes. Starting at Beer Here in Manlius.

June 16: Annual Lake DePue Father’s Day Car Show, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in DePue.

June 19: Music on Main by Working On Walnut, Jay Von Americana music and storytelling, 6 – 9 p.m.

June 21: Grandma Rosie’s Cruise Nite, from 5-8 p.m., 920 West Peru St., Princeton.

June 21: Grow Spring Valley Friday Night Market, 5-9 p.m. at the Mini Park. Market, food and drink, and live music.

June 21: Ladd Music in the Park, Greenfield Station playing at 6-9 p.m. at War Memorial Park.

June 21: Psycho Silo presents Creed Fisher Concert with special guests, The Holdouts and Craig Gerdes at the intersection of Rt. 6 and Rt. 40, Langley. Doors open at 4 p.m., music starts at 6 p.m.

June 21: Z Tour Pre-Party on Main Street. Register for the ride, music, cocktails and more. 5 p.m.

June 22: Z Tour Bike Ride to help the Zearing Child

Enrichment Center, at Zearing Park, Princeton.

June 22-July 24: Festival 56 presents Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Soldiers & Sailors Park, Princeton.

June 27-29: Sheffield Summer Festival, food, carnival, kids’ parade, music by American English, King Jeremy, and more.

June 29: Motor Mob Car Show at the Princeton Moose Lodge, 1339 N. Euclid Ave., at 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

June 29-July 6: Festival 56’s Sea Monsters of the Deep, new works reading.


July 3: Music on Main by Working On Walnut, Walnut Celebration Eve, Route 38, music at 6-10 p.m.

July 4: Arukah Institute of Healing Color Run.

July 4: Princeton’s 4th of July celebration at Zearing Park. Food, music, and fireworks.

TBA: Spring Valley’s fireworks.

July 5: Festival 56 Cabaret.

July 5-7: Walnut Days, Hometown Heroes. Huge parade on Saturday. Fireworks sisplay on Sunday. Walnut Days Celebration beer garden Friday 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Wild Card 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Come early for the poker tournament. Walnut Days Celebration Beer Garden 11 a.m-1 a.m. Saturday. Camp Jubilee will be serving food from 11 a.m1:30 p.m.; Abbynormal plays at 8 p.m.-12 a.m.

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July 6: Running Through

ALS Walnut 5k. Bureau Valley Walnut Elementary School, 323 S. Main Street Walnut. Starts at 8 a.m., entry fee of $20. Sign up at https:// runsignup.com/Race/IL/ Walnut/walnut5kforals.

July 6: Psycho Silo Saloon, fireworks at 10 p.m.

July 6: Mineral Fireworks & Fun Day at noon. Parade, bags tournament, bounce houses, camel kissing booth, food/concessions and fireworks at dusk.

July 7: Cruisin’ Princeton Car Cruise, Rotary Park on North Main St. Noon to 4 p.m. Free pop and ice cream. Cruise at 2:30 p.m.

July 11-13: Wyanet Festival. Parade with Funny Little People, beer gardens, food, music and kids games.

July 11-13: 4H Fair at Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

July 12: Concert on Main Street, Princeton. Featuring Mike & Joe. Bring your own lawn chair. Food and drinks available.

July 12 -21: Festival 56 presents Urinetown, 316 S. Main St., Princeton,

July 13: Eighth annual Sheffield Tractor Pull.

July 14: Sunday Market Day in Tiskilwa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the west lawn of Museum on Main will feature local produce, baked goods, craft specialties, and more. Also an open house for visitors to check out special displays throughout the galleries as well as outdoor games and crafts for kids.

July 17: Music on Main by Working On Walnut. Angelina Chavez music and Danielle Wallace Memorial Concert, ALS TDI fundraiser at 6-9 p.m.

July 19: Grow Spring Valley Friday Night Market, 5-9 p.m. at the Mini Park.

July 20: Psycho Silo Saloon 5th Annual Car Show at 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Music, drinks, trophies and more.

July 20: Buda Fun DayParade at 11:00 a.m. with a Disney theme. Activities at Stewart Park include food trucks, a kids’ pedal pull, petting zoo, inflatables for kids, DJ and bags tournament.

July 20: Monster Truck Shows at Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

FarmerS markeTS

Ladd Farmers Market: Mondays 4-6 p.m. War Memorial Park. Begins June 10-Sept. 16, weather permitting. No market on Sept. 2.

Princeton Farmers Market: Saturdays 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Soldiers & Sailors Park, S. Main St., Princeton.

The Market at Liberty Square: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays on Jackson Street in Walnut, beginning June 5-Aug. 7.

July 20: Convoy Against Cancer Big Truck Show at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Main Avenue. Truck display, food, music, raffles, and more to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

July 24-28: DePue USTS and APBA National Boat Races on Lake DePue. Food trucks, live music daily, beer gardens, and boat racers from across the nation.


JULY 26-28
Sponsored by the DePue Men’s Club

July 25-Aug. 4: Festival 56 presents Grease, 316 S. Main St., Princeton. More information at www. festival56.com.

July 28: Bureau County Fair Queen Pageant, Bureau Valley High School, Manlius.

July 31: Music on Main by Working On Walnut, Mr. Grimm and his Bad Luck at 6-9 p.m.


Aug. 1- 4: Tiskilwa’s annual Pow Wow Days celebration is hosted by Tiskilwa Community Association. Thursday is family night. On Friday, there will be kids’ games, live music, and a beer garden with Wild Card band. Saturday events include a parade at 10 a.m., water rides and blow-ups, lunch, bean bag tournament, live music, and a beer garden with Brushville. Tiskilwa Historical Society will host its annual Classic Rides display from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Community members are invited to show off their favorite “wheels,” just for fun with no entrance fees or awards. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, visit the Museum on Main and Gallery

on Galena to view exhibits. On Saturday evening, the THS Alumni Association will host its annual banquet. For updated details, check the TCA’s or the Tiskilwa Alumni Association’s Facebook page or the THS website at www. tiskilwahistoricalsociety.org.

TBA: Spring Valley Fire Department, Music on Main.

Aug. 3: Prescott Bros. Car Show supporting Freedom House from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1502 W. Peru St., Princeton.

Aug. 3: Manlius Days will feature a parade and other activities. The museum will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Aug. 6: Motor Mob Car Club cruise night “Nite out on Crime” at 5–8:30 p.m. at Zearing Park.

Aug. 6: Spring Valley Police Department National Night Out, 4-7 p.m. Kirby Park.

Aug. 6: Princeton Police Department National Night Out.

Aug. 9: Main Street Concert Series, Princeton. Featuring Dillon Carmichael. Bring a lawn chair. Food and drink available.

Aug. 10: Bureau County Historical Society presents “Bureau County’s Other Congressman” at Princeton Public Library.

Aug. 10: Psycho Silo Saloon, Jeepers Creepers.

Aug. 16: Grow Spring Valley Friday night Markets at 5-8 p.m. Food and Drink at 5-9 p.m.; live music at 6-9 p.m.; and market at 5-8 p.m.

Aug. 17: Psycho Silo Saloon, Bulls & Barrels at the Bar, Rodeo event.

Aug. 21-25: The 169th annual Bureau County Fair at W. Peru St., Princeton. Livestock and horse shows, huge carnival, fine arts competitions, fair food, Demo Derby, Truck and Tractor Pull, and Country Concert featuring Mitchell Tenpenny and Lauren Alaina on Aug. 22.

Aug. 24: Psycho Silo Saloon Photofest with models.

Aug. 31: Motor Mob Car Club Car Show at the Princeton Moose Lodge at 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at North Euclid Avenue.

Aug. 31: Psycho Silo Saloon, Poison & Motley Crue Tribute Band at 7-11:30 p.m.

18 w SIMPLE PLEASURES, HIDDEN TREASURES Great for outings, receptions, & events.


Sept. 5: Main Street Concert Series, Princeton. World Turning Band: Fleetwood Mac Tribute. Bring a lawn chair. Food and drink available.

Sept. 6: Ladd Music in the Park, Steve Sharp Band playing, 6-9 p.m. at War Memorial Park.

Sept. 6-8: Homestead Festival, Princeton. Huge parade, craft and vendor sale, pork BBQ, car show, concert on Main Street, flea market, BBQ rib contest, historic Lovejoy home tours, and more.

Sept. 8: Pancake and sausage breakfast, Princeton Moose Lodge, N. Euclid Ave.

Sept. 8: Homestead Festival Flea Market at 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Sept. 8: The Tiskilwa Historical Society will host its annual Sunday afternoon concert on the west lawn of Museum on Main. This year’s event features Illinois Humanities Road Scholar, Bucky Halker, who has performed in venues throughout the U.S., Canada,

and Europe for 30 years.

“This Land Is Your Land” is a program that combines music and commentary featuring the work of legendary folksinger and songwriter Woody Guthrie.

Sept. 13-14: Walnut Townwide Garage Sales.

Sept. 14: Hornbakers’ 11th Annual Artisan Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring 30-plus fine artists, craft beer, delicious home baked treats, live music, wine tasting, local produce, local lunch fare, ice cream, a community art experience, and more. Stay up to date by following the Artisan Market Facebook page.

Sept. 21: Manlius Historical Society Fish Fry and Draw Down at the Manlius Sportsman’s Club.

Sept. 21: Buda Craft & Vendor Market, a wide variety of hand-crafted items, baked items, and small business vendors.

Sept. 21: Psycho Silo Saloon - RATSTOCK (Rat Rod Build Off Reveal), Rat Rod Magazine plus Electric Shock AC/DC Show 8-10 p.m.

Sept. 28: Sesquicentennial Celebration in the Village of Bureau Junction featuring roundtrip train rides with vintage passenger cars from Bureau to Tiskilwa. Learn the history of the railroad in Bureau and the Hennepin Canal. Kids’ games, food trucks, cake walk, and more fun at Children’s Memorial Park. Beer garden with live music all day. Parade


downtown at 1 p.m. More events to be announced. Looking for parade entries, call Peg 878-4748 or Terry 878-3002.


Oct. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 26: Nightmare Haunted Attraction, 20th year. Haunted house at Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Oct. 4: Ladd Music in the Park, Joey Figgiani playing from 6-9 p.m. at War Memorial Park.

Oct. 5: Bureau County History Center presents Leslie Goddard as Eleanor Roosevelt at the Prairie Arts Center.

Oct. 5: Walnut’s Fall Fest on Main, kids’ games, food, music, craft, and vendor show.

Oct. 5: Walnut Fall Fest Car Show, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. downtown Walnut.

Oct. 5: Oktoberfest at Rotary Park, N. Main St, Princeton, with music by Mae Estes. Food trucks and German music.

Oct. 5: Fifth Annual Harvest Festival, Hungry World Farm, 19183 Plow Creek Road,

Tiskilwa. More details at ww.hungryworldfarm.com.

Oct. 12: Halloween Parade, Main Street, Princeton.

Oct. 13-20: Annual Illinois

Valley Toy Run at Soldiers & Sailors Park, Princeton from 9 a.m. -2:30 p.m. A 40-mile round trip cruise at 11:30 a.m. Starsky & Hutch car and other Hollywood cars scheduled to appear.

Oct. 12-13: Visit City-County Park in Princeton as the Shadows of the Blue and Gray presents its 29th year of family-friendly Civil War Living History. This event is open to the public for a fee of $5 per person, with those 3 years old and under, free. Walk through the camps and talk with reenactors about camp life. Children can complete a scavenger hunt and claim

a prize. The presentations this year in the main pavilion will be General Grant and President Lincoln. A narrated mock battle will be performed on both Saturday and Sunday. You will be able to watch Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery perform their duties. After the battle, there will be a surgery at the medical tent. A free school day will be on Friday. All local private, public, and home schools are encouraged to attend. School day is by appointment only.

TBA: Sausage-fest in Spring Valley.

Oct. 14: The Tiskilwa Historical Society invites families to visit the Museum on Main at 6 p.m. for a screening of the 2006 family comedy, “A Night at the Museum.” Kids are encouraged to show off their Halloween outfits.

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Oct. 20: 3rd Sunday Flea Market at 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Oct. 26-27: Sauk Trail Gun Collectors Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Oct. 27: Tiskilwa Halloween: Trunk or Treat.


Nov. 2: National Modena Pigeon Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Nov. 7: Spring Valley Elves Night Out, 5-9 p.m.

Nov. 9: Huge winter garage sale at 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Nov. 10: Walneck’s Motorcycle Swap meet at 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Nov. 11: Tiskilwa Historical Society will host its annual Salute to Veterans at the Museum on Main at 7 p.m., followed by a program “The Journey of Mollie’s War: The WACs and WWII.” Author, educator, and Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Cyndee Schaffer will present this engaging program using

excerpts from her mother’s letters written home during World War II. Her insights provide a romantic yet frightening glimpse into the life of a young woman in the Women’s Army Corps from 1943 to 1945.

TBA: Spring Valley’s Christmas in the Valley.

Nov. 16: Model Train Fair & Farm Toy Show at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6-8, 13-15, and 20-22: Home for the Holidays Xmas Light Drive Thru, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Nov. 30: Walnut’s Christmas Open House.

Nov. 30: Lighted Christmas Parade, Spring Valley.

Nov. 30-Dec. 1: Sauk Trail Gun Collectors Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

November 30: Shop Small Saturday, Spring Valley and Princeton.


Dec. 6: Lighted Xmas Parade, Main Street Princeton. Candy cane hunt and tree lighting ceremony.

Dec. 7: Breakfast with Santa, Lions Club Kids event, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Dec. 7: Christmas Walk by the Tiskilwa Historical Society from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Non-profit organizations, vendors, and various businesses along Main Street participate in Tiskilwa’s annual “Walk Tiskilwa” to usher in the holiday season. For updated details, check the society’s Facebook page or website, www.tiskilwahistoricalsociety. org.

Dec. 11: Winter Holiday Extravaganza at Princeton Public Library.

Dec. 14: Xmas Craft & Vendor Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton.

Dec. 14: Ladd Christmas Walk and Lighted Snowman Parade, from 2-5 p.m. with the Lighted Parade at 5 p.m. Free events for kids. Petting Zoo, train, trolley, horse and wagon, food, drinks, vendor show with 40-plus vendors, and music.

TBA: Live Nativity, Walnut Bible Church.



stay Places to T

here are several Air BNB locations in Bureau County, including Tiskilwa, Wyanet, Walnut, LaMoille, Ladd, DePue, and Mineral. The locations range from rustic cabins to fabulous apartments. We hope you enjoy your stay and come back to Bureau County often.

bed & breakFaST

Sugar Maple Inn – Tiskilwa

Spoil yourself in our upscale rustic accommodations with a fabulous gourmet chef’s kitchen, grill area, and spa area featuring a hot tub and outdoor rain shower. Visit our website sugarmaplelodging.com and check out our two locations in Princeton – The Cottage and The Yellowstone – fabulous custom kitchen, grill area, features a hot tub and fire table (both locations sleep 6+ guests).

The Tiskilwa Inn

We offer unique farm/stay options with our sister property, Tiskilwa Farms Alpacas. Enjoy a weekend stay at the inn, complete with a gourmet breakfast each morning, and spend your days on the farm. Located at 155 N. High St., Tiskilwa, the Tiskilwa Inn can be reached at 815-646-1300 or www.thetiskilwainn.com.

Check Airbnb.com for many homes and apartments that are available around the county.


Americinn Lodge & Suites of Princeton

Americinn is located at 2120 Claude Bailey Parkway, Princeton. It can be reached by calling 815-872-5000, and the webpage can be accessed at www.americinn.com.

Super Stay Inn

Super Stay Inn is located at 2238 N. Main St., Princeton. It can be reached at 815-875-3371, and its webpage is www.wyndhamhotels.com.

Econo Lodge

Econo Lodge is located at 2200 N. Main St., Princeton. It can be reached at 815-872-3300, and the webpage is at www.choicehotels.com.

The Historic Knox Hotel

Located in the heart of Princeton’s historic Main Street, the newly-renovated Knox Hotel offers guests an elegant, vintage experience – accompanied by all of the modern conveniences. Knox Hotel’s address is 956 N. Main St., Princeton, and it can be reached at 815-780-2730 or stay@historicknoxhotel.com.

Super Sleep Inn

The Super Sleep Inn is located at 2929 N. Main St., Princeton. It can be reached at 815-8728888.

Spring Valley Inn

The Spring Valley Inn is located at 32871 US Hwy 6 in Spring Valley. It can be reached at 815-894-2226 Ext. 0 and info@ springvalleymotel.com.


Bureau County Fairgrounds Campground

This campground is located at 811 W. Peru St., Princeton, and can be reached at 815-303-2905.

Hennepin Canal Campgrounds

The Hennepin Canal Campgrounds is located at 16006 875 East. St., Sheffield, and can be reached at 815-454-2328.

Hickory Grove Campground

This campground is located at 7478 175 N. Ave., Sheffield. It can be reached at 815-3431214 or 815-454-2600, and you can visit its website at www.hickorygrovecamp.com.


Experience What Spring Valley Has to Offer

Spring Creek Golf Course

Spring Valley’s public 18-hole public course voted Illinois Valley’s First Choice in Golf Courses for 25 years and Bureau County’s Favorite Golf Course. Conveniently located south of I-80, Exit 70. Call 815.894.2137 to schedule a tee time.

www.springcreek-golfcourse.com www.facebook.com/SpringCreekGC

Echo Bluff Park and Recreational Area

The area’s finest family nature and recreation park located in beautiful and historic Hall Township, off Route 29 between Spring Valley and DePue, Illinois.

Over 7,000 yards of trails, disc golf, paintball courses, a picnic shelter & fire pits, premiere ice skating rink, high ropes and zip line challenge courses. Children’s winter and summer camps.

http://www.echobluff.org/ https://www.facebook.com/echo.bluff.3

Barto Boat Landing

Excellent boating, fishing and water sport opportunities. Its deep lagoon for launching from the ramps is the only calm-water public

access to the Illinois River for forty miles. Located on the northwest side of the Spring Valley Bridge, adjacent to Route 89 springvalleyil.us

Seven City Parks

The parks offer a variety of amenities for outdoor recreation and relaxation including picnic areas, playgrounds, sporting fields and courts for organized and individual play, an outdoor pool, a band stage for summer municipal band concerts and special musical events, a stocked fishing pond and more. springvalleyil.us

Annual Events

We know how to have fun.

Races, Fishing tournaments, car shows, music, garages sales, farmers markets, vendors shows, shop local events, youth camps, parades and more.

Visit Spring Valley’s Calendar of Events at to see what’s in store for this year! springvalleyil.us https://www.facebook.com/City-of-SpringValley-IL

springvalleyil.us facebook.com/City-of-Spring-Valley-IL

Spring Valley


musEums Bureau County

bureau counTy

genealogical SocieTy

629 South Main, Princeton 815-879-3133 or 815-303-7386 bureaucounty@gmail.com

The Bureau County Genealogical Society is devoted to the preservation of historical and genealogical records for Bureau County. Are you hunting for your family history? This is a free library specializing in local genealogical research records consisting of obituaries, burial locations, church histories, marriage records, historical plat maps, county and town historical records, county newspapers on microfilm, family history books, and national and international research sources including internet searches. Trained volunteers are there to assist as needed on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call to arrange for off-hour visits or to ask for more information.

bureau counTy HiSTorical SocieTy & muSeum

109 Park Ave. West, Princeton 815-875-2184

Tours will begin at the Newell/Bryant Museum, 634 S. Pleasant St., Princeton. Call ahead and book your reservation by calling 815-875-2184. Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday, noon until 5 p.m. and begin at the Newell/Bryant home. Final tour of any weekday begins at 4 p.m. and lasts approximately an hour. There are only two scheduled tours on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The suggested donation for tours is $5 for adults and $3 for children aged 15 and younger. Active duty military personnel are welcomed as our guests. Membership includes free admission.

Advanced reservations are encouraged so we can adjust volunteer docent staffing.

Permanent exhibits include Native American artifacts, Lincoln and Civil War room, Bureau County military history and veterans displays, Cherry Mine Disaster, and historic home furnishings. We operate two museum buildings and a research library. Available resources include: Birth, wedding, anniversary files, family histories, military histories of Bureau County residents, local history books, The H.W. Immke Photography Collection 1868-1923, Bill Lamb Collection 1937-2013.

cHerry muSeum and library

100 South Main St., Cherry 815-488-2171

See the history of the Cherry Mine Disaster from November 1909, when 259 men and boys died in the mine. Open 2 -6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

manliuS HiSTorical SocieTy

815-445-4102 or 815-454-2532 www.Manliushistoricalsociety.org

The Manlius Historical Society purchased the old First State Bank of Manlius in 2002 from a Manlius resident who bought it in about 1976 and used it only for storage. The building was built and opened in 1915 and closed in 1933 during the depression when Franklin D Roosevelt


ordered a moratorium on all banks to close. The First State Bank never reopened and sat empty for many years and was used mainly for storage. It remained unaltered all those years.

In 1976 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because of the architect, Parker Noble Berry, who was a native of Princeton, IL. He was a protégé of world-renowned Chicago architect Louis Sullivan and studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. It is the only unaltered building that Parker N. Berry designed and is still standing today.

Manlius Historical Society has made many renovations over the past 22 years. It is Prairie School Design architecture. The second floor was renovated into a museum with many things on display, including a display of military uniforms. A lot of binders are full of articles and pictures of Manlius and the surrounding area from the early days when Manlius was founded in 1902. We are open Saturdays, 102, May 1 through Oct 31 or by appointment by calling Lois Swanson at 815-445-4102, Deb Cushman at 815-716-0956, or Pat Glafka at 815-713-5318. We are a 501(c)(3) corporation.

Come see this beautiful building containing a lot of history located at 122 East Maple Ave in Manlius. We have thirty-four canvas prints that depict the early days of Manlius’ beginning.

mineral pride HiSTorical SocieTy muSeum

115 Main Street, Mineral

This museum is devoted to the preservation of the memories and history of those who were raised or spent a part of their lifetime in Mineral. It’s open from noon to 4 p.m. the first Saturday of every month, and you can learn more about it at www.illinoishsglorydays.com/ mineralhistoricalsociety.

neponSeT TownSHip HiSTorical SocieTy

113 W. Commercial St., Neponset, IL 61345 309-854-2332

The Neponset Historical Society is located on Commercial (Main Street) in the former Bertelsen’s Manufacturing Co. building in downtown Neponset just across from the post office. The hours are 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays from April through November.

Stop in to see genealogical information, WW II history, a farm room complete with a focus on the Neponset elevator, with an assortment of artifacts, documents, and photos.

owen loveJoy HomeSTead

Route 6 East and Route 26

815-875-2616 or 815-879-9151

A former station on the Underground Railroad, the Owen Lovejoy Homestead is located at the eastern edge of Princeton. It was the home of the Denham and Lovejoy families for nearly 100 years.

colTon ScHoolHouSe

The Colton Schoolhouse is located on the property of the Owen Lovejoy Homestead on the east side of Princeton. It was moved to that site in 1970 when the Lovejoy home was restored and opened to the public as a museum. Today, after careful restoration, the schoolhouse features the original wood floors and the teacher’s desk from the early 1900s, along with all the other items found in a oneroom school.

SHeFField HiSTorical SocieTy

325 Washington St., Sheffield


This historic Danish church was built in 1880, and the museum has 10 exhibit areas and a research and reference room for local history of 10 towns and genealogy. Admission is $1 per person. Research fees may apply. The hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Visit its Facebook page, Sheffield Illinois Historical Society Museum.


Spring valley HiSTorical aSSociaTion muSeum

201 West St. Paul 815-481-2755 or 815-830-4303

The historical society features items related to John Mitchell, coal mining, area businesses, organizations, churches, sports, events, people, and schools. It’s open Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays from March to December. Follow it at facebook.com/Museum61362.

TISkIlwa HISTorIcal SocIeTy

Museum on Main, 110 E. Main St. Gallery on Galena, 550 N. Galena St. Assisted access available in both buildings. Our collection includes more than 17,000 artifacts displayed to preserve and interpret local history. The Museum on Main, housed in an 1855 Illinois Historic Landmark building, is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Recently mounted displays include six stained-glass windows from St. Jude’s Church and 100-plus THS trophies, 1925 to1995. The Gallery on Galena, open every first Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,

features military memorabilia and the reproduction of a country school classroom. Admission is free and volunteers will show you around, if you’d like. For private or group tours, call Ed Waca at 815-646-4016.

wyaneT HiSTorical SocieTy

320 E. Second St., Wyanet 815-699-2559 or 815-699-2459

This historical society features the history of the town, including its schools, genealogy, obituaries, veterans, uniforms, Civil War diaries, Hennepin Canal, railroads, and various memorabilia. It’s open from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday from April through October. Donations are welcome.

815-875-6600 140 N. 6th St., Princeton, IL 815-224-2200 3230 Becker Dr., Peru, IL www.libertyvillageofprinceton.com One Of Your Favorite Senior Facilities! Please call for more information or to arrange a tour! SUPPORTIVE LIVING • 24 Hour Assistance • Elegant Dining • Health Monitoring • Laundry & Housekeeping Services • Medication Reminders • Spacious Living Area LIBERTY VILLAS • Spacious 2 Bedroom Floor Plans • Full-sized Kitchen • Attached Garage • Maintenance Free Exterior • Grounds Maintenance • Premier Post-Acute Provider • Medicare Certified • Caring & Dedicated Staff • State of the Art Therapy • Experienced Therapist • Personalized Recovery Plan Liberty Village RETIREMENT COMMUNITY NOT-FOR-PROFIT PROVIDER SM-PR2146277 • Stimulating Memory • Enhancing Socialization • Remain Active • Remain Engaged


Indulge in the sophisticated charm of our small town’s upscale boutique shopping, public art, vintage covered bridges, and historic landmarks.

Located just far enough outside of Chicago, Peoria and Quad Cities urban orbit to offer a real retreat.

Princeton provides the well-deserved timeout people seek Located conveniently along I-80 and the Amtrak line, making it a haven well within reach. Visit for a day, stay for a lifetime!

WWW.BUREAUCOUNTY-IL.COM w 27 Follow us! princetontourism visitprinceton_il · City of Princeton · (815) 875-2631
Soldiers and Sailors Park Lovejoy Way Mural
Visit our website and discover all shopping, dining, attractions, events, accommodations & more! a short drive that takes you far PRINCETONTOURISM.ORG
Down on Main Summer Street Concerts

june 1 shrimpfest - infinity & brass from the past june june 21 z tour pre-party - kev roy & the joy july 4 bluewater kings band august 22 bureau county

september 6 homestead festival - dylan schneider september


june 15 beef & ag festival - 7 miles south & jason pritchett

june 22-august 4 festival 56 summer season

county fair - mitchell tenpenny & special guest lauren alaina

september 7 wall of denial: stevie ray vaughn tribute


Flags of Freedom

“When these flags of Freedom are finally raised and a breeze unfurls their red, white, and blue, it will be a constant salute and recognition to the courage of those who have served and those who will serve.”

– Dan Hollinsaid, father of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid, who selflessly gave his life serving our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 07, 2003.

The Flags of Freedom Memorial has attracted a lot of attention to Bureau County and shows this county’s commitment to this country’s military members – both past and present. The Flags of Freedom display, which was completed on Sept. 10, 2005, features four flagpoles at the intersection of Exit 56 from Interstate 80 and Route 26 at the north edge of Princeton.

With the flagpoles positioned on each corner of the intersection, the Flags of Freedom stand in tribute to the men and women who have served, are currently serving, or will serve our country in the future. They are a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices made to keep our nation free and secure.

These flags dwarf the standard 3-by-5-foot size of a typical flag. Each flag weighs 100 pounds and measures 30 by 60 feet. The flag poles are a staggering 153 feet tall. Their sheer size is why these four magnificent lighted flags capture the attention of travelers on Interstate 80.

The Flags of Freedom committee, a nonprofit organization, was re-established in July

of 2016 to financially support the four large flags. The committee works to raise funds to ensure that these flags remain flying high and inspiring patriotism. While these flags are lowered or taken down completely when there is inclement weather in the hopes of preventing tears, the weather is harsh on the flags.

The flags are expensive, with each one costing $1,900. Each year, 12 to 16 flags are needed. The current committee consists of approximately 15 members who diligently work to get donations to keep the flags flying. They have purchased a sewing machine and do their own repairs when the flags get tattered. The flags are rotated approximately every six weeks to be repaired. Repaired flags that are too short to be used are sold as repurposed to anyone who wants to use them in parades or special events.

Any donations to the fund are greatly appreciated. To learn more or to donate to the cause, you can visit their Facebook page, which is called Flags of Freedom I-80, or visit their website at www.flagsoffreedomi80.org.


Join the Fun in

spring vall

Spring Valley’s calendar is filled with fun events and activities for the whole family to enjoy, including races, fishing tournaments, car shows, music, garage sales, farmers’ markets, shopping, vendor shows, youth camps, parades, and more. Visit Spring Valley’s Calendar of Events at https://spring-valley.il.us/ or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ City-of-Spring-Valley-IL to see what’s in store for this year and stay up to date on any schedule changes. Here are some of the places you may want to check out when you visit Spring Valley.

Spring creek golF courSe

Eighteen-hole public course located at 286 Spring Creek Drive in Spring Valley, south of I-80, Exit 70. Conveniently located one hour from Peoria, Bloomington, Joliet, Rockford, and the Quad Cities. Building a reputation based upon excellent conditioning with affordable fees has allowed Spring Creek to be an Illinois Valley staple for 59 years by keeping the turf healthy, bunkers groomed and large greens, smooth and true. Call 815-894-2137 to schedule a tee time. www.springcreek-golfcourse.com www.facebook.com/SpringCreekGC

ecHo bluFF park and recreaTional area

Echo Bluff is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, or by special appointment. It can be reached at 815-447-2115, and you can learn more about it at www.echobluff.org or www.facebook.com/ Echo.bluff.3. Echo Bluff Park and Recreational Area is a popular nature and recreation park in the Illinois Valley. It’s located in beautiful and historic Hall Township, off Route 29 between Spring Valley and DePue.

It provides many opportunities for the young and old alike. You can take a walk on over 7,000 yards of trails, practice your throwing skills on our newly-configured disc golf course, play a game of paintball in a wooded field, or picnic in our newly-restored shelter or our premier ice skating rink. Bring a group to participate in our high ropes or zipline challenge courses or roast marshmallows over one of our two fire pits.



barTo boaT landing

Barto Boat Landing lies on the northwest side of the Spring Valley Bridge, adjacent to Route 89. It offers a deep lagoon for launching from the ramps and is the only calm water public access to the Illinois River for 40 miles.

The Illinois River is also home to many recreational advantages and is enjoyed by area visitors and Spring Valley citizens alike. For more than 30 years, it has been the first stop on the Cabela’s MWC tournament schedule, the biggest walleye competition in the state, drawing fishermen from all over the United States. ESPN reporters covering the tournament dubbed our stretch of the river, the “Sauger Capital of the World.” In addition to the MWC, several other fishing tournaments are held here annually. The landing also offers excellent boating, fishing, and water sport opportunities.

recreaTional opporTuniTieS

Spring Valley is home to seven city parks. The parks offer a variety of amenities for outdoor recreation and relaxation, including picnic areas, playgrounds, sporting fields and courts for organized and individual play, an outdoor pool, a band stage for summer municipal band concerts and special musical events, a stocked fishing pond, and more. Visit Spring Valley’s website to learn more at https://spring-valley.il.us/eat-shop-play.

WWW.BUREAUCOUNTY-IL.COM w 33 130 N. Main St. Princeton, IL Open: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm • Sat 7:30am-1:30pm Serving 6th-12th Grade Tues 4pm-8pm • Fri 6:30pm-11pm secondstoryteencenter.org 1027 1/2 North Main St. Princeton • 815-303-4111 To learn more or support Second Story, check out our website:
HOME OF GINO’S PIZZA Visit us at www.avantifoods.com 800-243-3739 Cheese and Specialty Gift Shop 109 Depot Street, Walnut, IL


in Bureau County


Children’s Memorial Park

The upper-level playground area of Hormel Ponds offers a basketball court, shelter, and picnic facilities. It is cared for and developed by the Bureau United Men’s Society and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Hormel Ponds

The ponds are nestled in a secluded basin surrounded by wooded bluffs, marshland, the Hennepin Canal, and bottomland woods that beavers have flooded. The setting is relaxing and invites one to explore its diversity and offers a pleasant location for family outings. A state fish-stocking program supplements the ponds’ natural restocking that results whenever the Illinois River exceeds its banks.

Miller-Anderson Woods

Along Route 29, the Bureau-Putnam County border, wooded bluffs rise above the broad Illinois River valley to create Miller-Anderson Woods Nature Preserve. The preserve protects the old-growth upland forest, ravines, valley forest, and a floating bog.

A narrow, ribbon-marked, moderately difficult trail guides one through the woodland variety which displays endangered plants and Ohio buckeye in its most northern range. Once on top and near the bluff’s edge, one is treated to a panoramic view of some of the Illinois River valley’s richest wetlands. Very often seen riding the air currents are turkey vultures and, occasionally, bald eagles.


Donnelley/DePue State Fish and Wildlife Area

1001 W. 4th St. | 815-447-2353

The Donnelley/DePue State Fish and Wildlife Area’s complex is managed primarily for migratory waterfowl. Since the areas border the Illinois River, boating and fishing are also popular.

Lake Front Park

First Street

A scenic park stretching along Lake DePue with playground equipment, picnic areas, and restrooms.


Veteran’s Park

South Main and Cleveland Streets

Located at the south entrance to the village, Veteran’s Park has tennis courts, a playground, a large picnic shelter, smaller individual shelters, and restrooms. The park is also the site of the World War I Monument, the Veteran’s Memorial Monument, and a World War II Army tank.

Kennedy Park

East Locust Street

The park contains two ball diamonds, a large picnic shelter, a playground, and restrooms and is home to the Ladd Youth BaseballSoftball League.



McCune Sand Prairie

150 East St.

Rural Mineral offers two truly unique features, an Illinois desert with cacti, and a more than 200-year-old oak tree that was already rather large when Native Americans crossed the Illinois prairies on the Sauk Trail. North of Mineral about five miles on county 150 East Street is the McCune Sand Prairie where native Illinois cacti, the prickly pear, grow in abundance. This is not a good place to wear sandals, as some of the prickly pear are rather small and hidden in the grass.

The Witness Tree

County Road 10 and County Road 1300N

The 250-year-old giant burr oak was ravaged by weather and disease and was taken down in February of 2024. It was mostly hollow and recently had developed a fungus that had spread through the entire tree. The Bureau County Soil and Water District will dedicate a new Witness Tree later this year. Pieces of the old tree were salvaged for a memorial. The land with the tree was donated to the district in 1944. The tree was used as a reference point when the railroad was laid out and was also a meeting place for the Potawatomi people, led by Chief Shabbona and the Sauk and Fox tribes.

princeTon park diSTricT

Princeton Park District maintains over 192 acres of parks, and its mission is to maintain and develop a creative, effective, and responsive park, recreation, and nature resource system for residents and visitors to enjoy quality leisure opportunities. The Princeton Park District opened a nine-hole disc golf course located at the Bureau County Metro Center and the adjacent Alexander Park in the fall of 2006. The object of the sport is very similar to that of golf, except that flying discs (also known as Frisbees) are used in place of clubs and balls.

Alexander Park and Pool

Anderson St.

Twelve acre Alexander Park has pickleball courts and a nine-hole disc golf course, six tennis courts that are also used as a multi-

sport court, an outdoor pool, horseshoe pits, barbecue and picnic areas, shelter, restrooms, playground and sand volleyball, and fishing. The pool charges admission.

Bureau County Metro Center

837 Park Avenue West | 815-872-0840

The Metro Center is an impressive 52,000-square-foot complete recreational facility. Featured are a full-sized gymnasium for basketball and volleyball; a 25-yard indoor swimming pool with lap lanes, wading pool and observation balcony; racquetball courts; weight room; locker rooms; sauna; a cardiovascular room; and elevated walking track. For receptions, banquets or meetings, the center has a generous-sized multipurpose area. Call for admission fees. A daily admission includes the use of the pool, sauna/ jacuzzi, gym, cardio room, track, and weight room. Children 7 and under are free when they accompany a paying adult. Resident membership fees are available on their website at www.princetonparkdistrict.org.

City-County Park

Highway 26 North

City-County Park is a 65-acre shady setting with trails, barbecue areas, log cabin shelter, playground, ball field, and restrooms.

Joe Myer Woods

Located on 2200 N., north of Dover

This site encompasses 30 acres of preserved natural woods.

Joe Myer Park

16700 2625 E St., seven miles east of Princeton

This is a nice picnic area with timber.

Rotary Park

This park is adjacent to the Amtrak station in Princeton.



Try one of these golf courses in Bureau County.

Chapel Hill Golf Course


12927 Illinois Highway 26 Princeton

Hidden Lake Country Club


2985 645 East St., Sheffield

Spring Creek Golf Course


286 Spring Creek Drive Spring Valley

Wyaton Hills Golf Course


17879 1500 North Avenue Princeton

Westside Park

Randolph & Marion Streets

This site has three acres of ball fields with restrooms and a concession stand.

Zearing Park

South Euclid Avenue

A 72-acre park located in the southeast corner of Princeton offers the finest ball and soccer fields, shelters, and picnic and barbeque areas. Also available onsite are sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, a playground, and a concession stand. Check out the new walking trail and lake. Trails are great for cross-country skiing.


Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area 16006-875 E. St. | 815-454-2328

Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area was dedicated in 1991 and covers more than 900 acres. This park offers 15 lakes that have been stocked with a healthy population of fish. Park guests use the lakes for boating (electric boat troll motors only), fishing, and canoeing. Other park activities include hiking, hunting, picnicking (bring your own blanket), and wildlife observation. Access is limited.

Spring valley

Residents and visitors can enjoy outdoor sports and recreation at any one of the city’s seven parks that include ball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, playground equipment, an outdoor swimming pool, and a handicap-accessible obstacle course.

Coal Miner’s Park East St. Paul St.

This park is a sensory delight, offering spectacular views over the Illinois River with a variety of trees, fishing ponds, beauty, and serenity close to shopping.

Echo Bluff Park

This park is located in beautiful and historic Hall Township, off Route 29 between Spring Valley and DePue. Private parties are available, and high ropes/ ziplines are by appointment. Trails, paintball, ice skating rink, nine-hole disc golf, high ropes, and zip lines are some of the activities you find here. For more information, call 815-447-2115. Contact us at echobluffproject@comcast.net or learn more at www. echobluff.org.

Illinois River-Barto Landing


side of Route 89

Barto Landing offers a lagoon for launching from three ramps and is the only calm-water public access to the Illinois River for forty miles of boating, water skiing, fishing, and enjoyment. For more than 20 years, it has


been the first stop on the Cabela’s MWC Tournament Schedule, the biggest walleye competition in the state, drawing fishermen from all over the United States. ESPN reporters covering the tournament dubbed our stretch of the river the “Sauger Capital of the World.” In addition, the MWC, several other fishing tournaments are held here annually. The landing also offers excellent boating, fishing, and watersport opportunities.

Kirby Park

Devlin and Strong

This park has three shelters, a baseball diamond, playground, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, picnic areas, and the Coveny-Veterans’ Memorial swimming pool.

Spring Valley Mini Park

This park is the heart of the downtown shopping district and host to many events throughout the year. Every summer, the park comes alive with music during the Friday evening Municipal Band Concerts.


The Village of Tiskilwa is proud to offer its residents and visitors three beautiful parks to enjoy, Lions West Memorial Park, East Park and Numosh Park. These parks provide ample opportunities for recreation, relaxation and socializing, making them a popular destination for families, friends and individuals. With online reservation capabilities, residents and visitors alike can easily plan their next park visit, ensuring that they have access to their preferred park and its amenities. Whether you’re looking for a place to picnic, play, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, these parks are sure to impress.

Tiskilwa has two inviting parks that flank the Main Street business district. The downtown parks are equipped with picnic shelters, children’s play equipment, and restrooms. The West Park has a tennis court and the East Park has a gazebo and two war memorial monuments. A third park, Numosh (Potawatomi for “dog”) is located in the area of the former high school, providing a cheerful green space to walk and frolic with your dogs. The Village is doing a major renovation of the West Park this summer too.


Walnut Park District

403 Sunset Ave. | 815-379-2213

Walnut Park District has many events for all ages this year. Basketball, baseball, softball, disc golf, volleyball, pickleball, fishing, tennis and swimming. Check their Facebook page for a schedule of events.

Friday and Saturday of Father’s Day Weekend

June 14th & 15th, 2024

More In Bureau County Community Garage Sales

Stop and Shop in these Bureau County communities: LaMoille • Dover

Princeton • Wyanet

Sheffield • Neponset

Bureau County Fairgrounds

Check Out The “More on 34” Facebook Page for a List of Sales

WALNUT DAYS CELEBRATION Check out our schedule of events at walnutdays.com JULY 5 - 7, 2024

Discover the

HEnnEpin Canal

The Hennepin Canal State Trail is an ideal destination for a relaxing day of picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing, and old-fashioned family fun. There are plenty of picnic tables along the 104.5mile linear park spanning five Illinois counties (Rock Island, Bureau, Henry, Lee, and Whiteside).

Constructed from 1892 to 1907, the Hennepin Canal played an important role in U.S. history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the first American canal built of concrete without stone-cut facings. Although the Hennepin Canal enjoyed limited success as a commercial and industrial waterway, its construction involved a number of engineering innovations, and its waterway, locks, aqueducts, and adjoining towpath continue to provide a beautiful recreational resource.

The towpath provides 155 miles of hiking, biking, and E-biking fun from the Illinois River to the Rock River, with the feeder canal path to Rock Falls. Segments of the trails are open to horseback riding and snowmobiling in season. The canal is open to boating and canoeing (locks are no longer operational and must be portaged).

Campgrounds and day-use areas are located all along the canal, with the overnight camping rate set at $8 per family. An officer will come around to collect – no reservations

are needed or accepted. Vehicular (RV, popup) camping is allowed and is the same rate as tent camping. There are no dumping/ pump-out stations located at the park.

The Hennepin Canal Parkway will be the home of the annual Hennepin 100 Ultra Marathon on October 5, 2024. Runners can choose different length events, including the 100-mile run, 50-mile, 50k, or a 100-mile relay from Sterling/Rock Falls, Illinois to Colona, Illinois, on the Hennepin Canal State Trail. The 50-mile turn-around area is at the lock outside of Wyanet. Come and cheer on the runners. Running the Hennepin Hundred benefits Trails for Illinois, the tiny non-profit that works to improve the Hennepin Canal State Trail and other non-motorized trails statewide.

One of the popular special activities offered at the Hennepin Canal is the Hike the Canal with the Friends of the Hennepin Canal group. These monthly walks along the canal are every third Sunday, starting at 1:30 p.m. Watch their Facebook page for locations and times. You don’t need to be a member to join the walks, and there is no fee for walking. For more information, email hikes@friendshennepin-canal.org or glw217@gmail.com. This year, they have a special event on May 4th where you can hike, bike, or kayak the canal. You can rent a kayak if you don’t have one available.



To THe viSiTor cenTer

The Hennepin Canal Parkway basically parallels I-80 in Bureau and Henry counties in west central Illinois. The Parkway’s Visitor Center, which can be reached by calling 815454-2328, is one mile south of I-80, just west of Route 40.

East or westbound travelers on I-80 should take Exit 45 and turn right (south) on Route 40. They almost immediately cross the canal, and in about one mile, they’ll see a brown sign directing them to the Parkway Visitors Center. Turn right (west) and proceed to the center at 16006 875 E. Street, Sheffield. The center is located right along the towpath, so you can stop in along your hike to use the restroom facilities and view the museum displays. At the time the canal was built, workers often made their own tools by hand, some of which are on display. There is also a model of a lock system and of an aqueduct, as well as many preserved Illinois wildlife species.

Just outside the Visitor Center is a beautiful half-acre patch of wildflower prairie. Among the plantings are little bluestem and big bluestem – the official state prairie grass,

The Visitor Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park’s facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.

At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors. Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.

Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip. We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.


Picnic tables are sprinkled throughout the day-use areas and main complex for your relaxation and enjoyment. Three shelters in the park’s main complex near Sheffield provide areas for group gatherings, the

largest one can be reserved. Call the site office to make a reservation. The largest shelter is handicapped accessible. Playground equipment, located at the largest shelter, will keep the kids busy while the grownups have a chance to chat.

Drinking water is currently unavailable at Locks 21 and 22; however, there is a hydrant on the south side of the Visitor Center for use when the center is closed. Outdoor toilets are located at Locks 3, 6, 11, 17, 21, and 22 in Bureau County; Bridges 14, 15, and 23, as well as at the Visitor Center on the Main Canal.


An old tow path, originally intended but never used by animals for towing boats along the canal’s main line and feeder routes, provides 105 miles of one-foot-after-the-other fun. Because you’re right next to the canal, you’ll get a great view of its locks and aqueducts, not to mention the animal life. The walking is level and easy at the Hennepin — but be sure to make several stops along the way if you’re hiking the canal’s entire length.

Hiking the Hennepin is particularly satisfying in the fall when Mother Nature works her wonders on the leaves.


East to west, the trail is surfaced from Bureau Junction, near the Illinois River, to Colona on the Rock River. A feeder canal to Rock Falls, 29.2 miles long, also is surfaced. Bring your own refreshments since only the Visitor Center has drinking water available. Be sure to yield the right-of-way to horses.


It’s a well-kept secret, but fishing along the Hennepin is well worth the trip. Whether you’re angling for bluegill, crappie, walleye, or bass, 70 bridge or 32 lock locations are available, and the pools are regularly stocked.



Join the Yak Yak sisters, as well as a number of individuals and other organizations that use the Hennepin Canal for kayaking adventures.


If canoeing is your sport, come ready for a workout, as the waters are calm and back and arm power are required. The locks are no longer operational and must be portaged (from Lock 21 east is particularly tough). For a great one-or two-day trip, begin at Rock Falls and continue to the Visitor Center. Check out the Hennepin Canal Recreational Guide on the park’s main page for additional details about portaging.


Class “C” and Youth Group camping are allowed along the Hennepin Canal Parkway at many locations that you can find on their website. Equestrian camping is restricted to the south side of the Lock 21 area. Clean up after your horses. Vehicular (RV, pop-up) camping is allowed and is the same rate as tent camping, $8 per family unit. There are no dumping/pump-out stations located at the park.

HorSeback riding

The canal’s horse trails are open from April 15 to October 31. Bring your own horse and prepare to enjoy 48 miles along the main canal and more than 25 miles along the feeder.

Gallop to your heart’s delight along the corridor. The equestrian trail on the mainline begins at Lock 2 and ends at Lock 24. Stay out of the picnic areas and off the towpath unless going around an aqueduct where you will be sharing surfaces with bicyclists and pedestrians. An equestrian campground is located at Lock 21.

winTer SporTS

Winter Sports are popular along the canal with snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even cross country skiing. The Hennepin Canal boasts the longest snowmobile trail in the state — 91 miles on the towpath. To declare the trail open requires four inches of snow on the ground and six inches of frost in the ground.

american diScovery Trail

The Hennepin Canal is part of the American Discovery Trail (ADT). The trail stretches across more than 6,800 miles and 15 states. It is the only coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreational trail. Linking communities, cities, parks, and wilderness, the ADT allows people to hike, bike, or ride horses for an afternoon or a cross-country adventure.

The multi-use ADT trail stretches from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California. The ADT provides trail users the opportunity to journey into the heart of all that is uniquely American – its culture, heritage, landscape, and spirit. In Northern Illinois, the trail follows the I&M Canal Trail from Park Forest to the Hennepin Canal Parkway near DePue and Tiskilwa in Bureau County and continues on to Rock Island on the Great River Trail.


The Illinois River is a necklace strung with sparkling jewels — canals, parks, recreational opportunities, and sheer spots of natural beauty — along this section of the ADT in northern Illinois. Just south of Joliet, you escape to the 60-mile-long Illinois & Michigan Canal Trail, which actually is the footpath once used by mules pulling boats through the canal. The last section, from LaSalle/Peru to Bureau, presently is along little-used roads, some gravel, but a linking trail, the Alliance Trail, is in the works. What a way to travel — about 75 miles, from one major river to another (the Illinois and the Mississippi), all on one newly built trail.

The Hennepin Parkway State Trail offers relief from the flat, treeless Illinois prairie with a lock-strewn straight course of water and a green tunnel over the old towpath of a canal that was obsolete before it was completed. Quaint towns lie nearby, camping spaces (usually primitive) abound, and history is there for the dipping of your fingers in the water.

At Sheffield, a comprehensive Hennepin Canal Visitors center/ museum more than fills the gaps in your experience of a very unique way to travel through the heart of America.


The trail ends in Rock Island, just a bike/pedestrian bridge over the Mississippi River to Iowa.


The American Discovery Trail (ADT) Challenge is a great journey together. The 6,800 miles of the American Discovery Trail represent a connected system of local and state trails. National Trails Day (NTD) is an annual event that has been sponsored by the American Hiking Society (AHS) for the past 31 years. Your experience will be added to this year’s overall NTD national participation. In 2022, over 125,000 people participated in National Trails Day. To register, see Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail at https://bikehennepin.com.


The Hennepin Canal Parkway is part of the Great American Rail-Trail (GART), a 3700-mile bike route across the United States, from Washington DC to Seattle. This coast-to-coast route uses rail-trails and greenways for a mostly car-free path across the country.

Although this ambitious project will take years to complete, over half of the Great American RailTrail already exists. The Hennepin Canal and I&M Canal Trail comprise Illinois’ portion of the GART.

WWW.BUREAUCOUNTY-IL.COM w 41 SM-PR2154988 Save the Date October 12th & 13th, 2024 CITY-COUNTY PARK Princeton, IL - For details visit www.shadowsbluegray.com Living history reenactment in Princeton Illinois!
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42 w SIMPLE PLEASURES, HIDDEN TREASURES Rt6 Rt6 B6A L6 Mineral Sheffiel d Annawan Visitor Center Manlius DePu e Wyan et Princeton Rt 29 Tiskilwa Rt 29 B1 L3 A q3 L17 L16 L14 L12 L11 Br15 Wyanet Walnut Road Rt 40 Rt 40 L21 L20 L19 B18A L22 Aq4 Rt26 Rt 34 B11 I 1 8 0 Tiskilwa Sl ab Br17A Bureau Junction L2 Interstate 80 Bottom Rd N W E S Buda A map of the Hennepin Canal through Bureau County A DePu e Rt 29 Rt 29 B1 L3 Rt26 8 0 Bureau Junction L2 Interstate 80 N W E S EXpLORE THE HENNEpIN CANAL 815-894-2125 309 Oakland, SeatOnville, il www.seatonvillegreenhouses.com rOOted in cOmmunity Shop online for curbside pick up illinOiS valley’S deStinatiOn GreenhOuSe Open April thru June come see us again in Fall TOO! Offering a wide array of unique annuals, perennials, veggies, shrubs, and so much more

BridgEs of Bureau County

Bureau County is fortunate to be home to two historic and highly photographed bridges – Captain Swift Bridge and the Red Covered Bridge. This unique wooden structure was built in 1863 and features a plaque that says, “For three quarters of a century this bridge, defying storms and floods, has carried the traveler across Bureau Creek. It well represents the unyielding character of those who erected it.”

Sadly, in November of 2023, the Red Covered Bridge was partially destroyed by a semi-tractor driver trying to drive through the bridge. Following is a report from the Illinois Department of Transportation with information about the process to repair the historic structure.


IDOT Blog – Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Princeton’s Red Covered Bridge has endured horse-drawn wagons, automobiles, trucks and tourists as well as serving as a picturesque backdrop for countless proms and weddings during its 160 years of existence. While the iconic bridge has survived large trucks hitting it in the past, the damage from another one in November caused by a driver trying to squeeze through the structure’s tight confines was different and much more severe.

In the November 2023 incident, a semi driver attempted to drive through the north side of the 11-foot and 10-inch-tall bridge, damaging sections of the facade and roof. The impact was so strong that it ripped off the trailer roof of the semi and created a large gash through the bridge’s roof.

The initial inspection immediately after the incident required closing the bridge to both vehicles and pedestrians. While the bridge continues to be assessed for repairs, workers from Day Labor, IDOT’s in-house construction unit, installed temporary shoring to maintain the integrity of the roof until a

permanent fix can be made.

As with any restoration project involving an antique, careful and meticulous planning done with respect to historic attributes will be paramount – and time consuming. Analyzing and determining the scope of the damage, developing a plan for repairs, programming costs and seeing through to construction likely will take years.

“Compared to any other incidents, the recent incident involved significant damage to the roof and many parts of the wooden trusses,” said Bridge Maintenance Engineer Luis Calderon with IDOT’s District 3 in Ottawa.


Completed in 1864 for $3,148.47, the Red Covered Bridge is a one-lane timber truss structure spanning Bureau Creek a halfmile west of Illinois 26 and a mile north of Princeton in Bureau County. The bridge replaced a pontoon bridge that would flood during high water and force travelers to traverse the river.



Captain Swift Bridge:

The Captain Swift Bridge is located west of Princeton. To get there from North Main St. in Princeton, turn west on Backbone Road to Epperson Road and turn left. Go for one mile until you come to the fork in the road. Go right at the fork, and the bridge will be around the curve. Alternatively, you can take W. Railroad Ave. in Princeton to Epperson Road and turn left.

Red Covered Bridge:

To find the Red Covered Bridge, travel one mile north on Main Street (Route 26) from Princeton. Cross over I-80 and turn left on 1990 East St. The bridge is one mile from the intersection.


Photographers enjoy these photogenic bridges during all seasons of the year, but please watch for no trespassing signs and respect them. You can easily access Bureau Creek from the Captain Swift Bridge to fish or launch your kayak.

Oak and other lumber was shipped from Chicago to construct the bridge, one of about 200 bridges built in Illinois in the 19th century. When opened, the bridge was an important part of the Galena Trail carrying horse-drawn wagons and cattle between Peoria to Galena. The bridge posted a warning at each entrance for travelers which reads: “Five dollar fine for driving more than 12 horses or mule or cattle at one time or for leading any beast faster than a walk on or across this bridge.”

The state later assumed control of the bridge, currently one of five state-owned covered bridges in Illinois. A 1963 state law requires the department to repair, maintain, operate, control and preserve every covered bridge in the state.

The Red Covered Bridge has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since April 23, 1975. The bridge has one distinction over the other covered bridges in Illinois: It is the only one open to traffic. According to the most recent statistics, the bridge accommodated an average of 275 vehicles a day.


The bridge survived a number of incidents prior to the November crash. An arsonist in 1971 attempted to burn it down. Erosion along Bureau Creek in the 1990s threatened the bridge after it damaged the Illinois 26 bridge upstream. High winds in 2003 felled a 90-foot-tall cottonwood tree across the north side of the deck leading to the bridge but missed the main structure.

The bridge has received several upgrades in recent decades, such as a fire suppression system, lighting, and a

surveillance system. While these improvements have helped protect the bridge, it has not been spared from crashes involving large trucks.

Prior to the most recent crash, the last notable one was in 2021, when a semitrailer struck one of the bridge entrances. The bridge was repaired that same year. The bridge also underwent maintenance and repair work in 2022 as workers replaced the steel beams supporting the south approach to the bridge as well as cleaned and painted the steel beams for the north approach. New timber planking was added at both ends.

Unlike those prior repairs, the damage incurred in November will require more than a quick fix.


The Red Covered Bridge’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places requires additional coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure the historic aspects of the bridge are not significantly changed during the repairs, said District 3 Program Development Engineer Michael Short. Compared to a conventional bridge construction project, covered bridges are unique as they contain many wooden components.

In the case of the Red Covered Bridge, the extent of the current damage requires IDOT to alter its approach due to the historical significance.

The path to repairing the project will require several steps:

Development of a Bridge Condition Report, in which a team of structural engineers will closely inspect and examine the structure and determine the extent of the necessary


repairs that are the result of the crash. The inspection also will review the entire structure for typical aging of the structure over time and will include initial concepts of repair techniques.

A Phase One report to define the scope of work and a preliminary cost estimate typically requires 18 months to complete. Additionally, this phase will include coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office, with the goal of achieving their concurrence on the proposed repairs.

Preparation of detailed construction plans and

specifications, as well as a detailed cost estimate is expected to take 12-18 months to complete and will result in advertising a repair contract to bidders.

Short said a cost estimate is unknown until the Phase One report is completed. Construction is not expected to begin for a few years.

“Since we do not know the scope of the repairs that need to be performed, we cannot predict how long it will take to make the repairs,” he added.

“We coordinate with the State Historic Preservation Office on many projects, so


When the 90-year-old steel bridge over Big Bureau Creek in Princeton Township needed replacement, the township envisioned a timber-covered bridge that would complement the picturesque rural landscape of the area. An innovative design from Willett, Hofmann & Associates, Inc. made the bridge economical by requiring the minimum amount of wood possible.

Built entirely out of wood using 1800s concepts, Captain Swift Bridge offers two traffic lanes, a 16’-3” vertical clearance, a 28-foot minimum roadway width, and bragging rights as the only two-lane, all-timber covered bridge in Illinois. The bridge was completed in 2006. Though it has the look and feel of a 19th century covered bridge, the Captain Swift Bridge was designed to 21st century safety and traffic standards through a unique meld of modern materials, historical accuracy, and innovative design. What may appear as an old-fashioned timber bridge is a modern engineering marvel.

The bridge uses a burr arch in combination with an inverted kingpost truss. The burr arch was patented in 1804, and the kingpost truss was the most common truss used in the 19th century for timber-covered bridges.

we are used to working with them,” he said. “We are aware of the time they need to do their review, and plan on that when we develop our project schedule.”

Both Calderon and Short ask the public to be patient with the repair process for the Red Covered Bridge.

“This is a historic structure, and it will take time for the department to develop a plan for repairs that addresses both the structural aspects and the historic aspects of the structure,” Short said.

Reprinted by permission from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Rather than using timber solids, glulam (glue-laminated wood, which is stronger than solid timber and able to be fabricated in any length) was used for the main load-carrying components. An all-wood structure raised concerns about fire protection, so spray-on fire retardants were used, and heat detectors were installed and linked to the sheriff’s department and fire station.

While the initial cost of the timber-covered bridge surpassed what would have been spent on an equitable steel structure, the wood will not deteriorate from winter salt, and the roof will protect the structure and extend its life. The Captain Swift Bridge may last 150 years or more.


HigHways Scenic

The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway unites more than 100 naturebased destinations throughout the Illinois River Valley, beginning in Ottawa and ending 140 miles south in Havana. The byway showcases great places where visitors and residents alike can go to discover and experience the nature of the region. From hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing, wetlands, gardens, birding, and watching wildlife, the possibilities for adventure are endless. To learn more, visit www.illinoisriverroad.org.

Princeton is the place to start your trip through Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway. Experience the many natural and historical waypoints throughout the Princeton Gateway. Visit the Lovejoy Homestead, an important site on the Underground Railroad network to freedom and a National Historic Landmark. You can also cross one of two of Illinois’ unique covered bridges, explore the Bureau County Historical Museum, venture in any direction to enjoy nature, or visit the unique shops and stately homes that line Princeton’s brick streets.


Princeton has numerous festivals, including the month-long Festival 56 Summer Theater. Visitors can explore one of Illinois’ first wind farms or the state’s first wind-powered high school in nearby Manlius. About ten miles southeast of Princeton, the Illinois River dives southward, slipping into the wide northsouth valley originally carved by an ancient Pleistocene version of the Mississippi River. The associated natural habitats are mostly open grassland types, dotted with closedcanopy woodlands such as those at Warnecke Woods, Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, Miller-Anderson Woods Nature Preserve, and Condit’s Ranch Campgrounds. Prairies dominate the remainder of this loop.

The McCune Sand Prairie sits on superporous glacial moraine soils, resulting in a unique assemblage of dry-country grasses, wildflowers, and small trees, including a number of species more common to regions much further west. Visit the Hennepin & Hopper Lakes Restoration Project to view how the Illinois River floodplain is being reclaimed and restored.

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Hungry world Farm Where Nature Beckons and Souls Reconnect

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Central Illinois lies a sanctuary for people seeking rejuvenation and a reconnection to nature. Hungry World Farm, a nonprofit spanning 175 acres, stands as a testament to the transformative power of regenerative agriculture. Located outside of Tiskilwa, the address for the farmstead is 9295 1925 East St., Tiskilwa, and the Farm Learning Center is at 19183 Plow Creek Road.

As travelers veer off the beaten path, leaving behind the frenetic pace of city life, they appreciate the tranquil haven that is Hungry World Farm. With a mere two-hour drive from the bustling streets of Chicago, guests embark on a journey of discovery.

“At Hungry World Farm, we offer more than just a retreat — we provide an opportunity to reconnect with the land, with each other, and with oneself,” said Sam Ingersoll, the farm’s passionate Executive Director. “It’s a place where the rhythms of nature dictate the pace and where the simple pleasures of life are cherished.”

Visitors are greeted by rolling pastures, streams, and forests. Time slows to a leisurely

pace, inviting exploration and contemplation.

From the vibrant hues of the market gardens to the rustic charm of the barns, Hungry World Farm offers experiences for guests of all ages. Wood-fired pizza nights under the starlit sky beckon families and friends to gather and indulge in farm-fresh delights, while guided tours unveil the secrets of regenerative farming practices and conservation efforts.

But it’s not just about what guests can do — it’s about what they can feel.

“So many of our guests just need an escape, from traffic, from electronics, from the things that keep their families from being together,” Ingersoll said. “We provide a uniquely peaceful and unforgettable experience, where they can walk through the woods, pet the animals, dig their hands in the soil, and gaze at the stars.”

Hungry World Farm offers a range of accommodations, from cozy cabins to rustic glamping sites, ensuring a restful stay. Whether it’s a tranquil morning breakfast sourced from local ingredients or an afternoon spent volunteering in the gardens, each moment is imbued with a sense of


purpose and connection. In the evenings, guests gather around crackling bonfires, sharing stories and forging bonds that will last a lifetime.

“In a world filled with noise and chaos, Hungry World Farm stands as a beacon of tranquility and hope,” Ingersoll said. “It’s a place where nature beckons and souls reconnect — a place where the beauty of simplicity reminds us of what truly matters.”

So, whether you’re seeking an escape from the everyday or a journey of self-discovery, Hungry World Farm invites you to embark on an unforgettable adventure — one that promises to restore, inspire, and leave you forever changed.


Here are just a few of the events offered at Hungry World Farm. Stay up-to-date on any schedule changes or learn about upcoming events at www. hungryworldfarm.com.

• Wood-fired pizza nights: Friday nights from 5-8 p.m.

• Locally sourced breakfasts on the farm.

• Overnight stays for up to 35 guests in a variety of lodging options.

• Tours of the farm garden, homestead animals, farmstead livestock, with special focus on regenerative farming and forest and prairie conservation.

• Volunteer opportunities to garden, build, raise animals, conserve pastures and forests, and build trails.

• Workshops on gardening, homesteading, and regenerative agriculture.

Mon-Sat 10am-4pm

WWW.BUREAUCOUNTY-IL.COM w 49 NOW! NEW VINYLS! 615 S. Main St. Princeton, IL 61356 Follow our Facebook Page for Weekly Updates! NOW SELLING INCENSE! Check us out on (815) 872-1935 bluejaywayrecs@yahoo.com Thousands of 45’s

Barn Quilts of Bureau County

part of the fun of visiting Bureau County is slowing down to explore the backroads. When you’re meandering along these country roads, you’ll notice flashes of color as you drive past various barns. You should pay close attention to the farms you’re passing because you don’t want to miss one of the over 101 barn quilts that have been placed on farm buildings in 88 locations all over the county.

For those who have never seen these unique works of art, a barn quilt is a quilt block design painted on a special type of plywood called MDO board. The blocks usually measure 4x4 feet or 8x8 feet. No fabric is used in the design – the color all comes from exterior paint. Each displays a colorful quilt block chosen from a traditional quilt design or something personal to that farm owner.

Johnsons Carpet Shoppe 815-875-3444 www.johnsonscarpetshoppe.com dana@johnsonscarpet.comcastbiz.net 1033 N. Main Street Princeton, IL 61356 Custom Showers • Vinyl • Backsplashes Hardwood • Waterproof Flooring Carpet • Ceramic Tile • Furniture Showroom “New View East Gallery”

This nationwide phenomenon was born in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio, when Donna Sue Groves promised her mother to paint her a quilt block. Her mother was an accomplished quilter, and she thought this would brighten up their colorless, gray barn. The barn quilt that was painted for her mother sparked the barn quilt movement throughout the United States and Canada. The book “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement” by Suzi Parron with Donna Sue Groves tells the story of one of the fastestgrowing grassroots public art movements.

To help bring this movement to Bureau County, a small group of women who love quilts came together to start the group, The Barn Quilts of Bureau County. The group began in 2014 with just five quilts. The committee’s goal is to have barn quilts in all 25 townships in the county. Several of the townships have multiple quilts hanging already.

The Quilt Trail was designed to celebrate our rich agricultural heritage, showcase our

rural areas and promote agri-tourism, the arts, and a sense of community pride in Bureau County. A barn quilt lends a homey feeling to a farm and is another way our community honors its ag roots.

The barn quilts in the county have wildly varied designs and colors. Some designs are chosen by the name of the quilt design


or by a favorite hobby or tradition. For example, The Ohio Star hangs on a barn outside of Ohio, Illinois. One farm has a pinwheel design painted in green and yellow. It shows the colors of the family’s favorite football team and tractor style, along with the windmill design too.

Family heritage shows on some of the quilts that have a Swedish-styled flag or Swedish Dala horse designs. Livestock on the farms show up on some of the quilts with horses, cattle, and sheep designs. Some of the quilt names are really unique, such as Farmer’s Daughter; Corn & Beans; Mariner’s Compass; Loyal Daughter; Gentleman’s Fancy; Honey Bee; Carpenter’s Wheel; and Flying Geese. Designs are found in quilt books, on quilts handed down through the family, and also on Pinterest.

There are maps available at the Prouty Building in Princeton for the Quilt Trail around Bureau County. You can do a selfguided tour of the barn quilts at any time during any season. The map in the guide is for informational purposes. Please use the addresses for the best help in locating the farms. The quilts will be visible from the road, and if there is no safe place to pull off the road to view them, you may pull into driveways. Please remember to check for traffic as you slow down to view a quilt. We are indebted to our barn hosts for their hospitality.

Barn quilts on the Bureau County trail must be on an agricultural building. You may see other quilts in your travels in towns or on homes and garages. Painting the designs just takes a ruler, special paint masking tape, multiple colors of exterior paint, and a good imagination. The barn quilt committee can make arrangements to paint one for your farm building if you don’t feel artistic.

For more information, call Valerie Jensen at 815-303-4608 or Sandy Carpenter at 779-239-9239 or email them at barnquiltofbureaucounty@gmail.com or see their Facebook page, Barn Quilts of Bureau County. Information about the barn quilts can also be found on the Bureau County Tourism web page at bureaucounty.il.gov/ tourism.

We hope you’ll slow down, take a few backroads, enjoy the ride, take in the lovely landscapes, farms, and villages that make up Bureau County, and check out the Barn Quilt Trail.

Owned & Operated by Paul and Mary Breznay

lovEjoy Homestead

The Owen Lovejoy Home, built in 1838, served as a station on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. Lovejoy was a friend of Abraham Lincoln, a clergyman, abolitionist, and politician. The home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

The Red Brick School (Colton School House) located behind the Lovejoy home was built in 1850, moved to that location in 1971, and was restored the following year. It was heated by a potbellied stove. It has 12” thick brick walls and cedar shake shingles.

In 2022, the City of Princeton Public Arts Commission planned a public site in honor of Owen Lovejoy. The site, called Lovejoy Way, was previously Columbus Street, perpendicular to South Main Street.

In addition to a large mural of Illinois wildflowers, Lovejoy Way includes metal arches, outdoor furniture, community poster displays, and flowers.

Visitors who are interested in the Underground Railroad and the life of its owner, Owen Lovejoy, can tour the Homestead. The Lovejoy Homestead, located at 905 E. Peru St. in Princeton, is open May through September from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For tour details, call 815-879-9151, 815- 875-2631, or 815-875-2616 or visit princetontourism.org.

SM-PR2154017 SUMMER IS HERE! GET TO SOFTAILS! Get on your Softail and SERVING FULL MENU LUNCH AND DINNER We can host your next Private Party in our enclosed patio! (Up to 40 people) 246 N. MAIN, LADD 815-894-2221 DINNER SERVED MONDAY-SATURDAY STARTING AT 4:30 PM

Home for the Holidays

The entire family will enjoy the beautiful Home for the Holidays Christmas Light Drive Thru at the Bureau County Fairgrounds. This wonderful event is sure to put you in the holiday spirit this Christmas season. The Home for the Holidays lighted Christmas display will open on Friday, November 29th at Bureau County Fairgrounds, 811 W. Peru St. in Princeton. It features many stunning lighted Christmas displays sponsored by area businesses and local families.

The spectacular Christmas light drive-thru will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 5 to 8 p.m. Sundays. The display will also be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day night from 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is by donation.

The Bureau County Fairgrounds and Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce teamed up in 2021 to create the first Home for the Holidays drive-thru event. Great things happen when people work together, and Home for the Holidays is proof of that.

If you would like to sponsor a display, contact Jenica Cole at the Princeton Chamber office

at 815-875-2616. She has a book of available designs and custom designs are an option too. Watch the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce website and Facebook page, or the Home for the Holidays Facebook page to learn about special activities during the event. You never know when Santa or the Grinch may pop out to see you.

Home for the Holidays is just one of many festive events planned for December in Princeton. With the Christmas parade, a Christmas tree lighting, breakfast with Santa, excellent shopping at all of the stores, and a vendor and craft show at the fairgrounds, you’ll find many reasons to feel and show your holiday spirit.

Events for the holiday season are celebrated in most of the communities throughout Bureau County. Evenings are more special with lighted Christmas parades which are held in Ladd, Spring Valley and Princeton. A live nativity with real camels happens in Walnut every December. Special musical programs are held in local churches, schools, and at Festival 56. There are many special ways to celebrate the holiday season all over Bureau County.







Farmer’s Market 4:00pm - 6:00pm in War Memorial Park. No Market on 9-2-2024 – Labor Day


@ 11 am at Veteran’s Monument in War Memorial Park Taps is played over the Main Avenue speakers as a reminder to all citizens of the sacrifices made by our service men and women.

MAY 3RD & 4TH, 2024: Ladd’s Village Wide Garage Sales In conjunction with the Village of Cherry we will have Village-wide Garage Sales.

E-RECYCLING: for Ladd Residents Friday, May 3rd 4:306:30 pm and Saturday, May 4th 8-11 am. Event is over when container is full.

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2024: CONVOY AGAINST CANCER BIG TRUCK SHOW • 10 am – 3 pm on Main Avenue Truck display, Food, Music, Raffles, Etc. to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Phil @ 815-488-8245.

MUSIC IN THE PARK: Friday, May 31st Wise Guys; Friday, June 21st Greenfield Station; Friday, September 6th Steve Sharp Band; Friday, October 4th Joey Figgiani. From 6-9 pm in War Memorial Park, Food and drinks will be available at The Players Club.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14TH, 2024: Ladd Christmas Walk and Lighted Snowman Parade from 2-5 pm with the Lighted Parade at 5 pm. Free events for kids. Petting Zoo, Train, Trolley, Horse & Wagon, Food, Drinks, Vendor Show 40+ vendors, Music. Questions call 815-894-2440.

Village of Ladd 121 N. Main Ave. Ladd IL 61329 (815) 894-2440 www.villageofladd.com

Great Steak. Great Fun.

Welcome to Princeton.

The Prime Quarter Steak House is the Princeton Area’s Favorite Place for a Steak!

The Prime Quarter Steak House is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Any time of the year is the right time to “Grill Your Own” USDA Choice Steak on one of our inviting hickory charcoal grills. Gather ‘round the grill with family and friends after selecting one of eight generous cuts of steak to prepare it to perfection. Our Unlimited Salad Bar, Baked Potato and hearty Texas Toast are all included. You can contemplate the Seafood Choice of the Day, but you won’t want to miss one of our decadent Desserts!



Call Restaurant for Hours

Dining Hours: T - F 5-10 PM Sat. 4-10 PM Sun. 4-9 PM Reservations accepted: (815) 872-3500 250 Backbone Rd., Princeton, IL (Minutes from 1-80) Major Credit Cards welcome. www.primequarter.com Find us on Facebook
Lounge Hours: M - F Opens at 4 PM Sat. &
at 3:30 PM

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