Page 1




Shops for a Black Friday Alternative



Came to Starved Rock

A Place to Play Bring Your Kids to an Indoor Playground

Going Vinyl A Must-Stop Shop for Music Lovers

Additional copies at 801 E. U.S. Highway 6, Utica 61373

SRCwinter19.indd 1

10/28/19 1:27 PM

T s

D Lockport’s Lincoln Landing


Joliet’s Final Cut Steakhouse Oglesby’s Starved Rock State Park


g Get ready for winter fun along the Heritage Corridor. At Starved Rock State Park, hike to spectacular icefalls and watch bald eagles soar. Explore the historic I&M Canal and scenic canal towns. And find adventure at every turn on famed Route 66.



Start planning today at

SRCwinter19.indd 2

10/28/19 1:27 PM

The Lone Buffalo stands alone. Delicious chef-inspired cuisine, sourced daily from local farms. A range of award-winning craft beers brewed from barley and hops we grow ourselves. All served in the stunning settingof Illinois' most remarkable brewpub.  There's nothing quite like it. Come see for yourself.

SRCwinter19.indd 3

Fall 10/28/19 2019 1 1:27 PM

Family reunions, single family vacations or romantic couples getaways

Check website for current specials

“Super. Super. Super Nice!! Perfect Getaway. Cabins are clean and comfortable. Staff is spot on. So Relaxing. Can’t wait until our next visit.” -Brian

Open All Year with furnace heated cabins.

Wood stoves or gas fireplaces make them cozy. Enjoy off season rates from Dec. 1st - Mar. 30th. Our gorgeous cabin rental property sits just a 10 minute drive from Starved Rock &

out Our Ask Ab NDLY E DOG FCRabIins

Matthiessen State Parks. We have 17 cabins in varying sizes spread throughout 65 acres of wooded property. Each cabin offers central air and heat, full kitchens, personal outdoor bonfire pits, picnic tables, and grills. Kishauwau Cabins was built by and is still operated in the same family for over 30 years. Come enjoy the quiet getaway that Kishauwau Cabins offers and plan your next trip today. LET’S CONNECT

Kishauwau’s Starved Rock Area Cabins • 901 N. 2129th Rd. • Tonica, IL • 815-442-8453


SRCwinter19.indd 4

10/28/19 1:27 PM


Winter l Vol. 7 No. 4 November 2019 110 West Jefferson Street, Ottawa, Illinois 61350

k te ent ls







Find Your Way to Blue Jay Way Treasures: For music lovers and vinyl collectors, this record shop is a required destination in Starved Rock Country



MAPPED OUT: Find your way in Starved Rock Country





ON THE COVER Anyone who says winter is a season to stay indoors hasn’t seen the splendor of snowy days in Starved Rock Country. When the trails and trees are covered in snow at the area’s premier state parks — Starved Rock and Matthiessen — the already beautiful landscapes are transformed into a true winter wonderland. Taking a walk through the region in the winter will leave you saying, “Wow.”  Photo by Tom Sistak Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 5

26 34

10 Must-Stop Shops for Holiday Gifts These boutiques are perfect for holiday shopping needs — and any time of year, really

You Know Dasher & Dancer & Prancer... ... But did you know the beloved Christmas movie ‘Prancer’ was filmed at Starved Rock State Park?

40 If the Weather Outside is Frightful ... Starved Rock Entertainment’s indoor playground is immune to the weather outside Winter 2019 3

10/28/19 1:27 PM

8 It’s a Buyer’s Market It’s also an outdoor market, and a holiday market — check out two special open-air holiday markets

12 A Presidential Dining Experience Good Taste: Honest Abe’s honors the region’s Lincoln heritage while serving up great food and drinks


A Mansion Fit for Charles Dickens Must See: The Reddick Mansion in Ottawa opens for holiday tours with a Victorian Christmas theme

20 A Literal Home Away from Home Lodgings: Rent the Baldwin House one or more nights and enjoy the comforts of a furnished home

52 Horror Flicks on TV, Classic Tunes on the Turntable, and Beers on Tap

Barrel Society is a bar with a unique vibe

See us for all your Carhartt needs. Jackets • Denim Work Jeans • Hoodies Bibs • T-Shirts • Socks • Gloves

We’ll Get You Ready For The Season.


58 Chill Out While You Warm Up These five coffee shops are the perfect place to hang out while enjoying a warm beverage

Rt. 6, Downtown Peru Open Friday until 8pm


Spectacular mixed containers, ready-made or custom (we do make home visits) Fresh Farm-made wreaths & roping Hand-tied Bows Fresh greens, sticks, berries & birch logs Seasonal fairy garden accessories

The Natural Choice for Winter Decorating & Holiday Gifts

“Where Inspiration is Always in Bloom” Sheridan 2930 N. 4351st Rd. • 815-496-9400 4 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 6

Unique & locally-made nature & garden-themed gifts

Sign up for our Email Newsletter Email us at


10/28/19 1:27 PM


Starved Rock Country magazine is published quarterly or seasonally four times per year. Shaw Media 110 W. Jefferson St. Ottawa, IL 61350 815-431-4019 Email photo or article submission queries to Copyright 2019. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner, without permission, is prohibited. Winter 2019 Edition

PUBLISHER Dan Goetz EDITOR Tammie Sloup ASSOCIATE EDITOR Derek Barichello PHOTO EDITOR Tracey MacLeod GRAPHICS AND DESIGN Julie Barichello PRODUCTION Rhonda Dillon CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brent Bader Dan Churney Stephanie Jaquins Mike Murphy Ryan Searl Charles Stanley Steve Stout Michael Urbanec CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Tracey MacLeod Ryan Searl Tom Sistak CONTRIBUTING ARTIST Charlie Ellerbrock

SRCwinter19.indd 7

Lights, camera ... reindeer! “Y

ou’ll shoot your eye out!” “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!” For many, these quotes are ingrained in our brains from the classic Christmas movies “A Christmas Story” and “Home Alone.” And what do they have in common? Both are set, and filmed, in the Midwest. In fact, Ralphie’s house from “A Christmas Story” has been restored to its former self and fans can tour the home, as well as a museum across the street, year-round in Cleveland, Ohio (the movie was actually set in Indiana). And Kevin McCallister’s house from “Home Alone” is located in Winnetka, a suburb of Chicago. The house isn’t open for tours, but movie-lovers can drive by the home for a peek. Hollywood also has visited Starved Rock Country for perhaps a lesser-known, yet still delightful Christmas movie, “Prancer.” In the climactic final scene, Prancer the reindeer is taken to Antler Ridge to be picked up by Santa. Well, Antler Ridge is actually Devil’s Nose at Starved Rock State Park. Filming of the movie, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, was something some Utica residents won’t forget. Actor Sam Elliott was a fan favorite during his short time filming in Utica, signing autographs and mixing with the locals. Molly Spears Williamson was 14 at the time and still has vivid memories of the production and meeting Elliott. “My mother took a photo of me and him together,” she told Starved Rock Country magazine. “He was very nice, very kind and very personable. He spent a lot of time talking with everybody like he was one of us (from Utica).” Our writer also was able to connect with the actress who played the movie’s star,

8-year-old Jessica Riggs, who shared her fond memories of the park and the filming experience. And while we’re in the Christmas spirit, inside this edition you’ll find our guide to some of the best boutiques to find the perfect presents for loved ones. Explore the many options for clothing, crafts, home decor and more throughout Starved Rock Country. You’ll also be treated to an inside look of the holiday decorations on display at the historic Reddick Mansion in Ottawa. Volunteers have been busy readying the 161-year-old Victorian mansion for the candlelight tours. But when the holidays are over, what’s there to do during the cold and dreary months? In Starved Rock Country, plenty. In January, bird-lovers can head out to Starved Rock for Bald Eagle Watch Weekend. Or check out the children’s play area and escape rooms at Starved Rock Entertainment in Utica. If you like puzzles and problem-solving, test your skill at one of several escape rooms at the facility, including the difficult asylum room (only two parties have made it out in the time allotted). To the southeast of Utica, Baldwin House in Streator offers a cozy and quiet getaway for those looking for overnight lodging in Starved Rock Country. Curling up with a good book in the sun room is sometimes the best therapy around. So if you find yourself with cabin fever this winter, consider a trip to Starved Rock Country. And when you do visit, please tell us what you discover!


AMMIE SLOUP Editor Starved Rock Country Winter 2019 5

10/28/19 1:27 PM

es 45 o h S n n y Nicil - 815-872-34

ain 535 S.niM hoe cilynns

nd kid’s Women’saaccessories. shoes andon Facebook Like us n Instragram o Follow us

The Studio

809 N. Main

St. - 815-872 -5252 www.thestu

Trendy Clothin g, Salon, Sp & Tanning a, Boutique

e h c a t s u o M The Milk 5-875-6455 in - 81 a M . N 944 moust a .themilk www

h ’s shop witrel, toys, id k e u iq n a U p ge vibe. Ap retro vintas, baby gear & gifts book

Anne’s Anti


938 N. Main -8 www.annesa 15-875-2272 Filled with a rie n ty of antiques, vintage quilts,vaad k and walnu ve

Like us on Face rtising items, and primitive cut fupbrnoaiturdres., book - Follow u s on instagram

e a m & r e p juni 455 815-875-6

in 942 N. Ma www.junipping, small town love! Urban shop’s fashions, candles, Women accessories gifts &


501 S. M

Custom floralsa, in - 815-872-2811 Vin \Unique Giftstafoge, Seasonal Décor, Open 7 Days a r Every Taste Week till Jan. 1st

t Stree n i a M ry on s Walk o t S s istma istma 2019 A Chr nual Chr 23-24, r 22 e An r 22- – Novemb e b nd em nt Nov Cane Hu th Santa a ber 7 y i Cand akfast w e- Decem d e Br Para s a tm Chris


SRCwinter19.indd 8

10/28/19 1:27 PM



e 22 522 S. Mai n St. - 815 -872-3522 shopfive22 @ Women’s & Men’s Cloth ing “I t’s not abou t

an brand, it’s ab d Accessories out style”

e Rachel Renutique y Bo Bath & Bod -915-2001

St.- 815 om 620 S. Main Bath.c RachelReneody products, pajamas, ath and b re Handmadeubnge wear, gifts and mo lo


529 S. M

ain St. -



15-872M-S 10:00 4569 -5 Unique ble:30; Sunday 12- 4 home decnd of antiques, or and gifts

le Pots t t i L s e i n n A ellar C y r e t t o P e & Th -875-2372

- 815 906 N. Mainry featuring beautiful

Shop, Dine, Enjoy Historic Princeton

Unique galle r your home and garden fo hand-made arotur own pottery for all ages. y t n ai plus p

Hoffman’s Pat of the Pastterns 513 S. Main - 815

-875-1944 www.pattern softhepast.c om Hrs. Tue One of the largest gis. - Sat. 9 to 4 PM ft sto China, crystal, flatwar res in the Il. Valley Area. e pattern finding serv ice

Lodeston5-e875-2793 in - 81

528 S. Ma

er hen, Christop.hLeather itc K & t se u re of LeC pottery Great selectiocon r - frames, pillows, throws,Kid s, Gifts, etc. e s, Radko, Home Dcled Purses, Jewelry, Candle and Upcy

SRCwinter19.indd 9

10/28/19 1:27 PM

Michael Coutts, of Ottawa, enjoys a baked cinnamon stick sold at the Chris Kringle Market on Jackson Street in downtown Ottawa. The annual market sells baked goods, beverages, home decor, holiday gifts and more.

l l o r t S liday o H arkets M

ea k a T

gh u o Thr These

s Photo

8 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 10

ins, le ie Jaqu Country fi n a h p k e t c S o y R b d rve Story nd Sta uted a b i r t n co


ast year, Barb Nelson made her first appearance at Ottawa’s Chris Kringle Market. She’ll be back again this year with her nativity scenes made of gourds, which were a hit at last year’s market. She’s coming back because, yes, sales were good, but also because she enjoyed the market. “I thought it was fabulous. The venue was beautiful. I’ve done a lot of craft shows and I rank Chris Kringle at the top of the list,” said Nelson, of Marseilles. “The warming tents for people, the carolers, Santa Claus, lighted park — it just enveloped Christmas. You get the feeling this is the place to be, to really appreciate the season of Christmas.” Nelson’s hut is called Inspired by God, because her crafts — which also include ornaments, crosses and Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:27 PM

Ottawa Chris Kringle Market WHEN: 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8; and the following weekend from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 WHERE: Jackson Street side of Washington Square in downtown Ottawa

La Salle Christkindlmarket WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday Dec. 8. A block of Jackson Street in downtown Ottawa is closed for two weekends in December for the annual Chris Kringle Market.

WHERE: Second Street parking lot, Second and Marquette streets, La Salle

Chris Kringle Market

Ottawa Visitors Center 2019 holiday collectibles signs — remind people of the reason for the season. “We need to keep Christ at Christmas so it warms my heart when a grandmother buys them for her grandchildren, because then you know they’re going to know the meaning of Christmas.” Nelson said it was God who led her to this hobby. She and her husband, Paul, were planning a move to Florida for a business opportunity, but she felt God had other plans for her. “One day as I was headed to work, God spoke to me and said, ‘No, you need to spread my word.’ So I started working with gourds and it started to evolve. The gourds was a life changing thing, because He knew I was going to need this.” She and her husband moved to Marseilles from Ohio and 45 days later he passed away. “This has been my sanity, what keeps me going,” she said. “I have no formal training, but I enjoy what I do and people seem to enjoy what I make. It’s a labor of love.” Inspired by God is one of 22 huts at Starved Rock Country 

SRCwinter19.indd 11

this year’s market, said Donna Reynolds, of the Ottawa Visitors Center. She said about half the vendors are returning, while the other half are new to the third annual market. The market features artisan gift On Friday, Dec. 13, vendors, the theme of the day holiday for the Ottawa Chris treats, Kringle Market will traditional be “The Nightmare German-style Before Christmas.” A beer and viewing of the 1993 familyfilm will be at 7 p.m. friendly in the warming activities. center of the market. This year’s activities include complimentary carriage rides, festive carolers, ornament crafting and an ice carving demonstration. Vendors selling food and beverages include August Hill Winery, Tangled Roots Brewing Company, Red Dog Grill and Roxie’s Sweet Shop.

A viewing of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Winter 2019 9

10/28/19 1:27 PM

Frank Kobilesk is a woodworker who creates wooden ornaments (shown above), jewelry, decor and more.

La Salle Christkindlmarket On New Year’s Eve 1999, Frank Kobilsek injured his knee in a skiing accident. He needed a cane for about six months and quickly learned an aluminum stick reflects no personality. Kobilsek, of Mendota, had a background in woodworking as it was a hobby he shared with his father. He carved himself a cane. And then another for a retiring football coach and then another for a retiring golf coach. It just took off from there with a special interest in wood turning and at the La Salle Christkindlmarket you’ll see where his woodworking skills have led him today. Kobilsek has done the La Salle market since it started. He’ll be back for its third year in December. He makes pendants out of colorful wood, beer bottle openers, wine bottle stoppers, ring boxers and wall hangings — imagine an abstract painting except carved into wood. At Christmas time, his ornaments and wooden Christmas pickles are big sellers. “What’s fun about my wooden 10 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 12

Frank Kobilsek is among the vendors at the annual Christkindlmarket in La Salle.

(pickles), is historically Christmas pickles were a crystal or blown glass ornaments, so mine are pet friendly,” he said. He starts in the fall getting ready for the market, making 150 pickles and 200 ornaments, which he calls his Christmas dangles. “I do 10 or 12 weekends a year selling and it’s my favorite event of my calendar year,” he said. Leah Inman, vice president of the La Salle Business Association and chairperson of the Christkindlemarket, said it’s a popular event for the city of La Salle. “People will do a lap around the vendors and then hang out in the tent,

grab a bite to eat or drink and then head out,” she said. “They love the idea of the roasted chestnuts. They like the atmosphere. It’s really cute. We’ve got the red and white striped canopies on top of the hut and they’re painted green. And you don’t have the crowds you’d have in Chicago.” This year the market offers live reindeer, authentic German food, festive beverages such as mulled cider and wine and hot cocoa, a warming tent, live music from local youth choir groups and Die Musikmeisters from Chicago. “(The market) offers unique shopping and dining experiences and some great gift opportunities to start your S R Christmas shopping,” Inman said. C Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:27 PM

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 13

Winter 2019 11

10/28/19 1:27 PM

p Honest Abe’s offers a bi-monthly limited seating dining experience featuring five rounds of craft beers from a spotlighted brewery and special chef-curated courses to pair with the drinks.

Honest Abe’s

is a Hidden Gem in Morris Story and Photos by Ryan Searl


| Good Tas te |

12 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 14

ust outside of historic downtown Morris, you’ll find a presidential-themed restaurant that’s serving up some delicious burgers and quality craft beer. It’s no secret that Starved Rock Country loves its Lincoln legacy. From his historic debate with Stephen Douglas in Ottawa’s Washington Square, to his instrumental role in laying the groundwork for the Illinois & Michigan Canal, President Abraham Lincoln left an enormous impact on the region. Since 2011, Honest Abe’s Tap House and Grill, in Morris, has been paying loving tribute to the great emancipator, through their name, decor and legendary menu items. Owner Aren Hansen said naming his restaurant after the famed president was a natural fit. 

Honest Abe’s Tap and Grill ADDRESS: 3585 Route 47, Morris, IL 60450 WEB: honestabes HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:28 PM

“The area has some important connections to Lincoln, and I’ve always been a student of his work. I even wrote my senior paper about him, back in high school. When I opened up my own place, it just made perfect sense for it to be Lincoln-themed,” said Hansen. Much like its namesake, Honest Abe’s has been evading easy categorization since the first day it opened shop. It’s been dubbed a destination burger bar, a must-see mac and cheese restaurant, a tap house, the northern home of the Springfield Horseshoe and, once every few months, it even transforms into a fine dining experience. This neighborhood spot is constantly transforming and innovating, while staying true to the roots of its menu and craft drinks. That’s exactly what die hard fans like Jane and Mike Knopfler, of Channahon, love about it. “We’ve been coming here regularly for a few years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever ordered the same thing twice. To me, that’s a testament to how good this place is,” Jane said. “They always have some crazy new burger on the menu, and every time it’s delicious,” Mike added. “This is our first time coming to one of their beer dinners, and so far we’ve liked every course. The schnitzel was our favorite so far.” These special beer dinners have become a hallmark of Honest Abe’s. Held bi-monthly, they close the bar-half of the restaurant off to the public for a ticketed, limited-seating dining experience. This event features five rounds of craft beer tastes, from one spotlighted brewery, and special chef-curated courses to pair with the drinks.

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 15

Honest Abe’s is known for its gourmet mac and cheese as well as its burgers. “This all started as a way to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday back in 2011,” Hansen said. “But the beer dinners quickly became our most popular event. Our regulars love it, because they’re getting a really upscale meal in a comfortable atmosphere, and my chef loves it, because he’s getting to experiment and create a special menu from the ground up.” While the beer dinner selections are undoubtedly mouthwatering, a meal in the family friendly restaurant portion of Honest Abe’s can’t be missed. Their standard lunch and dinner menu is packed with unique takes on classic American fare. These innovative items have earned them spots on numerous destination restaurant articles and top burger lists.   Take for example, the Springfield Shoe, one of their best-selling items. This interpretation of Springfield’s classic open-faced sandwich features your choice of meat, a generous helping of crinkle cut fries, a coating of house-made cheese sauce and fresh green onions, all on top of a thick slice of toasted bread. If you’re not up for a full

Honest Abe’s craft drafts are constantly revolving. Word of mouth often spreads quickly about new beers on tap. Horse Shoe, try ordering the smaller Pony Shoe. The Lincoln-theme carries over to their award-winning burger menu as well, with options like The Gettysburger (American cheese, bacon, over-easy eggs and a side of mayo) and The Rail-Splitter (Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, grilled ham, pickles and honey mustard). The Lincoln Poor Boy, another popular pick, includes homemade garlic pork poor boy and provolone cheese, served on a grilled garlic butter hoagie roll. “We’ve got more than 25 burgers, loaded mac and cheese bowls, and signature sandwiches on the menu. We also have some great appetizers, like battered green beans, fried portabella, and a filet mignon quesadilla. It’s your classic bar and grill items, but with a twist. We’re Winter 2019 13

10/28/19 1:28 PM

working with a lot of ingredients you wouldn’t expect,” said Andrew Hartley, Honest Abe’s head chef. Honest Abe’s bar was one of the first establishments in Starved Rock Country dedicated to tapping craft beers. Over the years, they’ve introduced their customers to thousands of great beers from hundreds of craft breweries. “I like to order from as many Illinois breweries as I can, just to keep it local. But we started out back when the craft market was much smaller, and we didn’t have that many in the state. Honest Abe’s was the first place in the area to have New Belgium, now every bar has Flat Tire on tap. It’s great to see the craft market growing like this; we’ve converted a lot of people over from domestics. Five years ago, some of the people in this room would only drink Miller or Coors, now they’ve got accounts on beer review websites and they’re home brewing on the weekends,” said Hansen with a laugh. Hansen is also the founder and organizer of the Illinois Beer Festival (, which brings more than 40 of the state’s best brewer-

The neighborhood tap and grill is a popular spot for visitors and regulars. ies and hundreds of craft beers to Morris’ Grundy County Fairgrounds every summer. Through the fest Hansen has been able to forge connections with some great Illinois breweries. “We’ve built up a close relationship with a lot of really good breweries, that’s

how we’re able to get kegs of limited run and seasonal beers,” Hansen said. “I can call up the reps and say ‘Hey, we’re having a beer dinner. Could you send us three of your best sellers, one seasonal beer and something really rare or special?’ We get S R some really unique craft beer that way.” C

• 4-Season Building • Seats up to 350 • Covered Patio • Bride’s & Groom’s Rooms • Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Site Princeton, Illinois • 815-659-3282 •


14 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 16

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:28 PM

UTICAinois Ill


NOV 3, 2019 Utica Veterans Parade/Air Show NOV 30 & DEC 1, 2019 Old Fashioned Christmas in the Village


FEB 8 Winter Wine Walk FEB 22 Mardi Gras Parade MAR 14 St. Pat’s Parade MAY 2 Kentucky Derby Day in Utica MAY 23 & 24 Wild Bill Days JUNE 13 & 14 Utica Garden Faire

WEL COME to North Utica Filled with a rich history and built on tradition. Our town is full of great places, wonderful people and amazing things to see. With a slow pace but plenty to do, Utica makes for a great place to visit for the day or long weekend. So come on, stop on by when you’re passing through, you’ll find out you’ll want to stick around. Visit a town where it feels like home.

– ATTRACTIONS – Starved Rock State Park & Lodge Illinois & Michigan Canal & State Trail Buffalo Rock State Park

Heritage Corridor Visitor’s Bureau Illinois Waterway Visitor Center LaSalle County Historical Museum Matthiessen State Park Starved Rock Country 

Photos by Paula Guttilla: Hatchet Canyon Photography

SRCwinter19.indd 17

Winter 2019 15

The Village of North Utica • PO BOX 188 • Utica, IL 61373 • 815-667-4111

10/28/19 1:28 PM

ILLINOIS VALLEY ORTHOPEDICS at Illinois Valley Community Hospital

Dr. Connor Kasik grew up playing in the heart of Peru’s sports scene. Today, he’s a leading sports medicine doctor and orthopedic surgeon, and he’s bringing what he’s learned in his work with various pro- and Olympic-level athletes back to our community. He also specializes in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgeries, all types of shoulder surgeries, and Mako armassisted knee and hip replacements. So whether you’re a high school athlete who wants to play effectively this season or a grandparent dealing with a knee or hip issues, Dr. Kasik will work with you and your individual goals to get you back to the life you love.

“It’s time to bring my training with the pros – home.” Welcoming Dr. Connor Kasik to our team.

Now accepting new patients!

Now You Can. live life without pain.

Call: 815.223.2143 |

SRCwinter19.indd 18

10/28/19 1:28 PM

Father Christmas and Steve Meyer lead a tour through a Victorian Christmas-themed Reddick Mansion.

| Must See |

‘We Love Showing It Off’ Holiday decorations on display at Reddick Mansion Story by Mike Murphy, Photos by Tom Sistak


eddick Mansion in Ottawa is covered with scaffolding while outside renovation is underway. Yet inside the 161-year-old landmark, volunteers are busy showcasing the Italianate mansion’s inner beauty. Victorian-era holiday decorations will brighten the interior for the public to see shortly before Thanksgiving. “The effect is stunning. The mansion takes on a glow at Christmas that never, ever fails to move me. I consider her a beautiful lady, but at Christmas time she really shines,” said Lorraine McCallister, Reddick Mansion Association president. Activities will begin Friday, Nov. 22, with a holiday preview party, followed Tuesday, Dec. 3, with a Christmas tea, and holiday candlelight tours Fridays, Dec. 6 and 13.

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 19

“It’s a good time to catch your breath and meet up with your friends before Christmas,” said Donna Nordstrom, board member and marketing committee chairwoman for the mansion, located at 100 W. Lafayette St. Reddick Mansion volunteers are on the clock; they have until Nov. 21 to complete decorations in the 10 rooms to be on display. Until that date, volunteers will be working during the day to put up the decorations. Steve Meyer, who designs the decorations every year, does most of his work at night. An Ottawa resident and Morris business owner, he purchases decorations he feels would fit in well for the holiday season. “We use different trees in different areas each year,” he said. Winter 2019 17

10/28/19 1:28 PM

Father Christmas adjusts the time of a grandfather clock at the Reddick Mansion in Ottawa.

18 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 20

Lorraine McCallister and Darlene Halm don period clothing to lead holiday tours at Reddick Mansion.

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:28 PM

Donna Nordstrom and Diane Sanders prepare a holiday table setting at the Reddick Mansion in downtown Ottawa. The public can step into a traditional Victorian Christmas at the mansion.

Spotlights on Ottawa landmark

“We drape our chandeliers in beads, ropes, greenery. We’re always looking for ideas.” Some decorations are repurposed and used in other formats, Meyer said. Lavish decorations will be included on mantles and tables, with greenery on doors and end tables, and garland on top of paintings. “We have some very talented volunteers. Some are professional decorators who bring their own ideas,” said Meyer, who added volunteers are welcome to help dress up the mansion. The mansion was built for Ottawa businessman and politician William Reddick, who lived there with his family from 1858 until his 1885 death. Reddick’s adopted daughter, Elizabeth Funk Reddick, died two years later, and the mansion served as Ottawa’s public library from 1888 until 1975. McCallister said holiday preparation and programs are a labor of love for association board members and volunteers, none of whom are paid. Mansion renovations should not affect holiday programs at all, McCallister said, adding she can’t be sure whether scaffolding still will be up when holiday activities start. Regardless of scaffolding, mansion volunteers will be ready S R for visitors Nov. 22. C Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 21

It’s tradition to have the holidays celebrated at Ottawa’s Reddick Mansion, 100 W. Lafayette St. “We want people to come in and see this jewel that sits in the middle of downtown Ottawa,” said Lorraine McCallister, Reddick Mansion Association president. T Friday, Nov. 22: “Sparkling Night at the Mansion,” the annual RMA holiday preview, will run 6 to 8 p.m., with a donation of $10 suggested. Geared more to adults than families, the event will feature champagne and chocolate along with music by Judy Dagraedt and visits by docents in Victorian dress. “As people enter the rooms the docents keep up the conversation of what the rooms were used for when the Reddicks lived here and what the rooms were used for when the library was in here,” McCallister said. T Tuesday, Dec. 3: “Christmas Tea at the Mansion,” (sold out), 1 to 3 p.m. Unfortunately, all tickets for this event were sold out the day they were placed on sale. T Fridays, Dec. 6 and 13: “Holiday Candlelight Tours,” 6 to 8 p.m., with $10 admission. Both tours will coincide with Chris Kringle Market activities in downtown Ottawa. “Period rooms” will be lit by candles and Christmas tree lights. Trees, garlands, candles, ornaments, centerpieces and lights will be in place, and visitors will be able to chat with the costumed docents. Refreshments will be served. T To receive additional information call the mansion at 815-433-6100, or visit

Winter 2019 19

10/28/19 1:28 PM

| Lod gings |

Comfort & Nostalgia in Historic Baldwin House Story by Michael Urbanec, Photos by Tracey MacLeod

20 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 22


alking into the Baldwin House in Streator is like a trip to grandma’s house. Guests enter into a living room with a gas-burning fireplace and move into the sun room with a picturesque view of the tall oaks in the four-square-block City Park across 204 E. Kent St., the street. Streator Proprietor Toni 815-510-0658 Pettit takes pride in providing the Streator’s Baldwin accommodation. House on “It’s homey; it’s Facebook nostalgic,” said the former Chicagoan. Streator’s history made quite the impression on Pettit, inspiring her to add to the charm by opening the Baldwin House in 2014. The home, built in 1880, holds the appeal of its original construction but features amenities of a modern hotel — and more.

Baldwin House

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:28 PM

Proprietor Toni Pettit sits on the front porch of the Baldwin House, a fully equipped house where guests can lodge overnight or multiple days.

The living room of the Baldwin House in Streator.

Its location across from City Park and a block from downtown shops and murals puts visitors right in the heart of Streator. An outdoor overhanging porch provides a pleasant place to read a book, take an afternoon nap or people watch. Pettit describes the home as midcentury traditional. Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 23

“It’s Aunt Bea and Andy Griffith,” she said. “It’s like the 1940s and ‘50s. It’s a simple house and it’s a simple design. Life was simpler and easier back then and I think people gravitate here for that.” The home sleeps six people in its three bedrooms and it has an open living room with plenty of seating and a sun room to

The historic home features decor that honors its hometown, such as this map of Streator.

Winter 2019 21

10/28/19 1:28 PM

Stepping out to the front porch will give visitors a view of Streator City Park, which covers four city blocks.

the south, which is the only place in the house where natural sunlight enters directly. “The porch overhang prevents the direct sun in every room except the sun room,” Pettit said. “The house is very well built and the architecture keeps it cool. The wraparound porch is wonderful.” Pettit joked Baldwin House is just the “bed” part of “bed and breakfast” but she keeps food items in the house for residents who want a continental breakfast in the morning before they get on with their day. “The longer my guests are staying here the more food I’ll keep in the house,” Pettit said. “If they’re staying just a night, I’ll keep a dozen eggs, milk, orange juice and bread in the house but if they’re staying a few days I’ll buy more. The house is fully equipped.” Baldwin House was built by Oakley Griggs and his wife Jillian, pioneers in Streator’s early growth before they sold the home to Emmanuel and Roberta Davis in 1910. The Davis family added what is now the kitchen and the bathroom onto the home as well as adding an extra story. They sold to Charles and Mildred Baldwin, the brother of Albert Baldwin, who owned Baldwin’s Market. 22 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 24

The dining room gives guests a place to share a meal during their stay.

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:28 PM

p The Baldwin House features three bedrooms that can accommodate up to six guests. t A sunroom provides a scenic place for guests to relax and view Streator city life and seasons from the comfort of a heated room.


Rt. 71 Ottawa Reservations: 815-433-2540

SRCwinter19.indd 25



Starved Rock Country








SUNDAY BRUNCH 10:30 - 2:00


Come Early to Shop.... Curious Goods SM-CL1714611

Winter 2019 23

10/28/19 1:28 PM

The Baldwin brothers both worked for the West Side Leader, a grocery store in town before they were sent off to fight in World War II; they came back and Albert opened his own market using what he learned at the West Side Leader. Charles and Mildred didn’t have any children and after they passed in 1992, Kathy Gotch purchased the home. “Kathy eventually decided that she wanted to downsize and the house had been for sale numerous times and I had decided to look for a home to use as an alternative to hotel accommodations,” Pettit said. “I walked through and looked at it and everything just happened at the right time; it suited the needs of traveling guests.” Pettit has drawn people in from Interstate 80 who are traveling across the country. She’s also had guests come to Baldwin House to use it as a place of healing; a woman fighting cancer and in the midst of treatment stayed there for comfort. “I’ve had families come here and

Guests have full use of the kitchen, which includes a partially stocked refrigerator.

have memorial services for people who have passed away,” Pettit said. “People come here after someone passes and just gather here as a family. It’s

comfortable for them.” “It’s more than just a guest house or vacation home. People find comfort S R here.” C


VISITOR CENTER Exhibits, 35th anniversary programs & visitor info CAFE Fresh healthy breakfast & lunch - soups, salads, sandwiches. Sweets, locally roasted coffee, specialty teas. Beer & wine. GIFT SHOP PA S S P O R T Souvenirs, cards, gourmet food, JUNIO R AC T I V R A N G E R wine, seasonal decor IT Y BO OK JUNIOR




Start your adventure at the I&M Canal Visitors Center Celebrating 35 Yea Located in historic downtown LaSalle rs as Am

erica’s “First” National Heritage Area

754 First St. • 815.220.1848 • August 23, 2019 –

August 23, 2020


24 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 26

Starved Roc Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:28 PM


WHY WAIT — for the —


Escape to Starved Rock Lodge The ONE and ONLY Hotel & Conference Center in Starved Rock State Park – Located at One Lodge Lane Book a midweek getaway and you’ll enjoy a greater sense of peace and quiet than you would on the weekends. Kick back and unwind in the indoor pool or explore the area on a trolley tour. Outdoor adventure awaits with a hike to the top of the Rock. It’s the best view in LaSalle County. Explore beautiful canyons and catch a glimpse of frozen waterfalls or eagles in flight. After your hike, relax by the fireplace in the Great Hall and warm up with a cocktail or hot cocoa from the Back Door Lounge. From Nashville to Broadway, talented vocalists will take you on a walk down memory lane when you attend a Tribute to the Stars performance in the Great Hall. These lively matinees are paired with a delicious lunch buffet. You can check out the 2020 schedule and purchase tickets online at Starved Rock Country



SRLWinter 2020_NT-8.325x10.875-REV.indd 1 SRCwinter19.indd 27



Celebrate a special occasion and toast it with Starved Rock Bubbly. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or an amazing Sunday Brunch at our restaurant. Relax and experience creative daily specials, locally made craft beer, Starved Rock Wine, ice cream and decadent desserts (made at the Lodge’s pastry kitchen). Call our friendly staff toll-free at (800) 868-7625 or visit

Where the past is always present!



(800) 868-7625


Winter 2019 25

10/16/19 7:30 PM 10/28/19 1:28 PM

10 Boutique Alternatives to Black Friday

Shop small in Starved Rock Country this holiday season Compiled by Ryan Searl

Old Glory

4425 Progress Boulevard, Peru, IL 61354

For more than 20 years, Old Glory has been supplying the Starved Rock Country region with beautiful home decor and seasonal goods. The store’s cozy and welcoming atmosphere transforms into a winter wonderland every November, offering a new bounty of festive gift items. You’ll find everything from Santa statuettes to winter wall art, as well as more eclectic and unexpected items. Instead of waiting in lines for Black Friday deals, carve out some time to come and admire these beautiful seasonal displays. For more information, visit: Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday

T’s Midwest 124 Mill Street North Utica, IL 61373 815-691-8032 Specializing in contemporary women’s clothing, size small to 3XL, T’s Midwest offers their customers a beautifully curated collection of sophisticated and stylish clothing. In addition to on-trend ensembles, T’s also stocks a variety of products that help benefit important causes, like beanie hats from Love Your Melon, which donates 50% of their proceeds to pediatric cancer research, and Cecelia Designs Jewelry, which plants a tree for each piece of sustainable jewelry purchased. Stop in and visit Utica’s newest boutique this holiday season. For more information, visit: Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Rock Paper Scissors 712 La Salle Street Ottawa, IL 61350 If you’re looking to purchase some toys ahead of the holidays, look no further than Ottawa’s Rock Paper Scissors! The boutique specializes in toys, early reader books, games and puzzles, from some of the best designer brands in the industry. Housed in a former one-screen movie theater, this shop features aisles of items that prove learning and fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Catering to kids from birth to 14, you’ll be sure to find some hit gifts that “further education, encourage imagination and provide inspiration.” For more information, visit: Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday 26 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 28

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM


Bromley & Brown 308 East Main Street Streator, IL 61364 Located in Streator’s historic downtown, Bromley & Brown is a clothing and accessory store that specializes in casual and trendy apparel. Stocking everything from shoes to shawls, this boutique can help you update your whole wardrobe this winter. Be sure to check out their candle line and handbag selection — they both make for excellent holiday gifts. Best of all, Bromley & Brown is connected to Reveal Salon, so you can make a whole afternoon out of your trip to this boutique. For more information, visit: Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday

728 Columbus Street Ottawa, IL 61350 815-617-9595 Thymeless, located in one of downtown Ottawa’s historic row houses, brings you festive decor and more, just in time for the holiday season. Every product featured in the store is hand selected by the owners, Sharron Kassman and Pat Almy, from vendors, craftspeople and artisans they’ve been working with for more than 26 years! You’ll find handmade wooden decorations, beautiful custom wreaths and a wide selection of crowd-pleasing candles (made just north of Starved Rock Country). Just one or two pieces can completely transform a room for the holidays! For more information, visit: Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday

Peaces of Fashion 141 Gooding Street La Salle, IL 61301 815-343-6454 Start the holidays off on the right foot with a trip to Peaces of Fashion. This boutique specializes in clothes and footwear, keeping you comfortable from head to toe. Located in downtown La Salle, Peaces of Fashion stocks stylish speciality shoes, insoles and other items that will help to take a load off your feet. Their knowledgeable staff will find you a great pair of flats, sneakers, hiking boots, heels or slippers. You will also find full seasonal outfits and fun accessories, like hats, jewelry, purses and fun snarky socks (that all make for excellent gifts). For more information, visit: Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 29

Bold and Curvy 559 First Street La Salle, IL 61301 815-410-5109 At Bold and Curvy in downtown La Salle, you won’t have to sacrifice style for fit. This fashion forward boutique specializes in plus-sized woman’s appeal, available in sizes 7-13. You’ll find fun and festive prints, trendy accessories and beautiful jewelry all curated to promote body positivity and confidence. Be sure to check out their website to browse their expansive inventory, or drop by the store to experience these flattering and fashionable ensembles for yourself! For more information, visit: Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday Winter 2019 27

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Marien Mae Bridal Boutique

Wild Hearts 214 East Main Street Streator, IL 61364 815-674-7558 Wild Hearts Boutique offers “cowgirl spirit and gypsy soul” in the heart of downtown Streator. This curated selection of apparel and fragrances is sure to appeal to the free spirit in everyone! They’ve recently relocated to a brand new building on Main Street, complete with a beautiful tin ceiling, chandeliers and shiplap walls that perfectly match with this eclectic fusion of style. Come in and try on a new earthy-toned hat, a pair of stylish boots or a seasonable wrap! For more information, visit: Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday and Monday

749 First Street La Salle, IL 61301 815-220-0844 This gorgeous chandelier-lit boutique has been making big waves in the bridal community. Offering designer wedding dresses, suits, jewelry and shoes, this trendy shop has transformed thousands of special occasions since they first opened their doors in 2011. Marien Mae’s is more than just a gown and tux store, they’re your full service wedding headquarters offering fine linens, chair coverings, vintage decor and event planning services. Knowledgable consultants ensure that brides get a unique and personal experience, tailored to their tastes and preferences. Come see why people are calling Marien Mae Central Illinois’ best bridal boutique! For more information, visit: Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

Girlfriends the Bra Specialists 4419 Progress Boulevard Peru, IL 61354 Since 2008, Girlfriends has been dedicated to dispelling the myth that bras stop at size DD. Providing more knowledge, quality and variety than your average big box retailer, Girlfriends will pair you with the perfect European-sized bra in bridal, nursing, swimwear, mastectomy, shapewear and fashion varieties. They regularly stock 30” to 52” bands, ranging from AA to a European “K” cup. With customers coming from over 46 states, and seven countries, it’s time to drop in and see what you’ve been missing. For more information, visit: Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday 28 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 30

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 31

Winter 2019 29

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Map out your trip around Starved Rock Country

Route 34

Illustrations by Charlie Ellerbrock


North 39th Road

Route 52

Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway Spring Valley

Depue Lake

Turner Lake



Starved Rock State Park Matthiessen State Park


Route 251

Interstate 39



ve r

Streator East 15th Road

Henry d Roa nty Cou 0 East 170

SRCwinter19.indd 32


Route 18

Go crosscountry skiing at Matthiessen State Park

30 Winter 2019

Grand Ridge

Ve r


County Road 750 East County Road 1300 North

Lake Senachwine

Route 23


Hulse Lake

Illinois River

County Highway 89

Route 29

H County

County Road 500 North

ock ad uffalo Rark B eP t a t S Dee Bennett ig Ro


La Salle Peru

Route 71

Goose Lake


Route 6 Koen

Route 23

Spring Lake


North 33rd Road

Route 178

Interstate 180


East 8th Road

Interstate 39

Route 251

Interstate 80

Route 17

See live sled dog demonstrations at Starved Rock State Park (More info on page 63)

View the frozen ice falls at Starved Rock State Park

Watch bald eagles at Starved Rock State Park (More information on page 63)

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM



dro We



North 42nd Road


ay hw H ig

County Highway 26

ty un Co

ad t y Ro Coun East 1950

4 e3 ut

East 12th Road


Route 92

Route 23

Route 34


ive r


Fox R





r ive xR Fo Road



North 42nd Road

R 1st

7 te ou

Hegeler Carus Mansion

Newark Road

North 41st Road Newark

Sheridan Route 52

County Highway 25

County Highway 15


Interstate 80 Route 6


i Sta te P a




a Can


hi Mic

er s Riv



Interstate 47



Marseilles Seneca


La Salle County Nuclear Station Cooling Lake

Experience 140 years of living history… don’t view it through glass. Walk in the footsteps of philosophers, inventors, designers, architects, Open to the public. artists and writers through the same halls Wednesday - Sunday 12, 1, 2, & 3 pm and on the same floors; Groups of 10 or more should reserve untouched since our in advance to ensure availability Mansion was finished in 1876. What stories will be 1307 Seventh St., written next? Come help us write our next LaSalle, IL 61301 chapter and let your 815-224-6543 footsteps be among the greats of the past.

County Highway 6

East 27th Road

County Highway 5

Route 18 East 24th Road


Route 17 ate 5


dro We


ut e7



Int ers t

ute 17

Tour a Victorian Christmas at the Reddick Mansion in Ottawa (Read more on page 17)

gles ck


Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 33

Go snowmobiling on the I&M Canal towpath between Morris and La Salle

Winter 2019 31

10/28/19 1:29 PM


32 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 34

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 35

Winter 2019 33

10/28/19 1:29 PM

q The 1989 holiday movie “Prancer” was filmed in Utica and at Starved Rock State Park.

Hollywood Starved Rock Brings Santa and His Reindeer to

Utica remembers ‘Prancer’ filming 30 years ago Story by Steve Stout, Photos contributed


determination to protect hirty years ago, and nurse the animal back Hollywood set up to health for a return to cameras in Utica and the North Pole before Starved Rock State Park to Christmas Eve is revealed film the soaring finale of the onscreen with humor, now classic holiday movie conflict and empathy. about restoring one’s faith in In the film’s finale, Christmas magic. Jessica’s father (played by “The movie ‘Prancer’ veteran actor Sam Elliott) remains the only major suggests they take Prancer motion picture that has ever to Antler Ridge (in reality, been filmed here ...,” said Devil’s Nose at Starved Utica native Scott Anderson, Rock) which, he says, now of Princeton. would be the perfect place Anderson, who was an Instant potato flakes were used to create snow on the pavement and trees up for Prancer to return to infant during the filming, Clark’s Hill during the1989 filming of “Prancer” in Utica. Santa. The father and said because he and his daughter haul Prancer to family lived on Clark’s Hill, Antler Ridge via truck have even made contact with the movie’s which is seen in the film’s where he disappears into the night. main actress – Rebecca Harrell Tickell – finale, he started archiving local stories Following his tracks, Jessica and her who played the young girl Jessica.” and photographs from Utica’s Hollywood “Prancer” tells the tale of an 8-year-old father are not so surprised to see the moment a few years ago. tracks vanish at the edge of a cliff. The girl who is grieving with her father and “I have heard several recounts about soft sound of sleigh bells can be heard brother over the death of her mother. the production, crews and actors while drifting down from the night’s sky before The movie follows the despondent growing up in Utica and, now that I have a streak of light (Prancer) is seen rising Jessica as she finds an injured reindeer children of my own, I have grown very to meet St. Nick’s sleigh. Prancer and his she comes to believe belongs to Santa fond of the movie,” said Anderson. “I fellow flying reindeer fly across the full Claus’ legendary team. Her have collected much trivia about it and 34 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 36

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM

“Prancer” film crews shot scenes of the Christmas movie in Utica 30 years ago.

moon as Jessica says her farewells to Prancer with the hopes he will always remember her. Anderson said, in the film’s final moments, “you can see Starved Rock’s Lover’s Leap in the background.” Most of the film’s other scenes were shot in Three Oaks, Mich. Upon the film’s release, movie critic Roger Ebert praised the movie and Harrell’s performance: “And what really redeems the movie, taking it out of the category of kiddie pictures and giving it a heart and gumption, is the performance by a young actress named Rebecca Harrell, as Jessica. She’s something. She has a troublemaker’s look in her eye, and a round, pixie face that’s filled with mischief. And she’s smart – a plucky schemer who figures out things for herself and isn’t afraid to act on her convictions.” In a recent phone interview from her home in Ojai, California, Rebecca Harrell Tickell, who played Jessica Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 37

Molly Spears Williamson was 14 years old and still has vivid memories of meeting actor Sam Elliott on the streets of Utica while crews prepared for filming the Christmas classic “Prancer” in 1989. Her mother, Colette Spears, took this photo and remembered Elliott as “cordial and very approachable.” Winter 2019 35

10/28/19 1:29 PM

when she was 9 years old, said she has fond memories of her short time spent filming scenes in Utica and nearby Starved Rock. “I did think at the time that the film was going to be a big deal,” Harrell said. “It was a lot of work and long days, but I had so much fun (making that movie). Your town (Utica) made me famous.” On a technical note, she said the Utica and Starved Rock scenes were shot in the daylight and later, transformed into night shots in post-production for the final cut. She said, “I remember how peaceful – how quiet – the park was while we were shooting there. It was so beautiful. However, I also remember how nervous I was running around near those cliffs, jumping over rocks with Sam (Elliott).” Now a filmmaker herself, Harrell, 39, said, “I feel deeply connected to Illinois (because of this film) and it will always have a piece of my heart. It was a special time in my life and I am always surprised how many people recognize me (from “Prancer”). Working on this movie taught me that anything is possible, even Christmas magic.” “ ‘Prancer’ changed my life and put me on the right path to make films as an adult that touch people’s hearts,” said Harrell. “I carry with me the many lessons I learned when I was a child from the cast and crew working on this movie. Films can change the world.”

Local memories of “Prancer” Retired Starved Rock Site Assistant Superintendent Don Petre remembers how excited everyone at the park and in Utica were to have the filmmakers in the community. He remembers how the production looked around the village for small props like ear muffs and gloves.

Actress Rebecca Harrell Tickell has remained accessible to Utica residents who have shown an interest in “Prancer” and its film history in the decades since it was created. 36 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 38

Actress Rebecca Harrell Tickell, who played the lead role of Jessica in “Prancer” when she was 9 years old, has fond memories of shooting scenes in Utica and at the nearby state park. “It was a big buzz around town and the park when they were here,” Petre recalls. “It meant a lot to the locals to be a small part of such a big production. Watching the cast, crew and cameras create movie magic was mostly a neat and positive experience that people here still talk about to this day. My family and I love watching the movie whenever it is on television.” Actor Sam Elliott was a fan favorite during his short time filming in Utica, signing autographs and mixing with the locals. Molly Spears Williamson was 14 at the time and still has vivid memories of the production and meeting Elliott. “My mother took a photo of me and him together,” she said. “He was very nice, very kind and very personable. He spent a lot of time talking with everybody like he was one of us (from Utica).” “Honestly, I didn’t understand the enormity at the time (of meeting such a famous actor), I was more interested in seeing the animal playing Prancer,” recalled Williamson. “I got up close and got to pet the animal. I also remember it was kind of neat to see the crews spraying fake snow on the street and up along Clark’s Hill.” Williamson said she was amazed how long it took the crews to film the few scenes for the finale, which lasted only a few seconds in the film. “Looking back, I still feel excited and proud our little town was part of making that movie,” she said. “It’s a great family film that I now watch with my family each year.” Williamson’s mother, Colette Spears, of Utica, said she knew nothing of the

film’s production coming to the village until she saw crews setting up near her home on Clark’s Hill 30 years ago. “I was surprised to see all these people and these fans blowing fake snow on the hill,” recalled Spears. “I took a photo of Molly and Sam Elliott together and I remember him as being cordial and very approachable. It was pretty cool. It is a memory we won’t forget.” Laughing, Spears said, “And now, after all this time, I can’t tell you how many (video) copies of ‘Prancer’ I have in my house. It is kind of shocking to know about how popular the movie has become. It has such a cute ending.” Longtime Village Trustee Mary Pawlak called Utica’s brush with Hollywood so many years ago was “phenomenal and such an exciting time for us here.” Recalling the days, Pawlak said, “I remember walking up Clark’s Hill watching the crews throw these huge sacks of instant potato flakes into huge fans to create the snow on the road and trees for the movie. It was blowing everywhere and was so beautiful. Those flakes lasted longer – maybe a day or so – than one would have thought.” Pawlak said, “The actor Sam Elliott was very congenial and very easy to talk to while everyone waited for the filming to start. I remember how the mayor, (the late) Joe Carey rode with Sam (in a vehicle) up the hill. I don’t think Joe even knew who Sam Elliott was at all. At the time, of course, no one had any idea that the movie would become this (Christmas) classic that S R it has become.” C Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM

737 First Street • Downtown LaSalle, 61301 • (815) 342-2555

HOURS: Wednesday - Friday 12 – 6 Sat. 10 – 6 | Sun. 12 – 4 6,500 square foot wonderland of vintage, white, rusty, shabby, industrial and mid-century finds Wine & Beer Tasting Room. Live Music. Now Serving You at 2 Locations

• Salvaged doors, windows, trim, beams, barn wood • Stockist for four lines of milk, clay, lime, & chalk-based paint including Pure & Original and Iron Orchid Designs SM-CL1716199

Clarks Run Antiques 215 N. Division St., Utica 815-667-7190

Clarks Run Creek Wine & Gifts 143 Mill St., Utica 815-691-8047 Gifts & Wine, Bourbon and Specialty Drinks. Rent our upstairs room for special events. Hrs: Sun., Wed., & Thurs. 12-7 Fri. & Sat. 12-9 Closed Mon. & Tues.

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 39

Quality unique crafts, antiques and gifts. TASTING ROOM Enjoy our wonderful wine and beer selection. Hrs: Mon. - Sat. 10-5 Sunday 10-4

Like both locations on Facebook for upcoming events & live entertainment

Winter 2019 37

10/28/19 1:29 PM


Illinois’ longest operating lumberyard continues to thrive along Peru’s historic riverfront. Maze Lumber has been providing top quality building materials to Illinois Valley contractors and homeowners for 171 years, still owned by the founding fathers (Maze). Located in a 15,000-square foot showroom and office, we offer building materials for the modern home as well as a full line of the traditional lumber items used in home building, commercial construction, and industrial applications. Our experienced sales staff takes pride in their ability to provide knowledgeable assistance along with prompt delivery at reasonable prices.




38 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 40

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM










S Water Stree t , Peru | 815 -223 -1742

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 41

Winter 2019 39

10/28/19 1:29 PM

There’s no escaping the

Nova Helpingstine takes a trip down the slide at Starved Rock Entertainment. The indoor play area offers children a park-like setting where the weather outside doesn’t matter.

40 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 42

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM




| Fa mily M atters |

at Starved Rock Entertainment

A play area for the young and escape rooms for the young-at-heart Story by Brent Bader, Photos by Tom Sistak


ierra Benckendorf, her husband Ty and others attempted to solve every puzzle and check every crevice but unfortunately fell victim to Starved Rock Entertainment’s blood-spattered asylum room. Although it wasn’t a real insane asylum – though you’d be forgiven for the mistake given the attention to detail in the room – the stakes were still high as the group went in confident. Hannah Schilling and Caylee Russell joined the duo and Russell brought experience gained from 13 other escape rooms. “It’s the hardest one I’ve LOCATION: 201 Donaldson done,” Russell said. “Just St., Utica with all the puzzles, I was so confused.” PHONE: 815-349-6000 Jerrell Rogers and Tyler ONLINE: starvedrock Hougas watched the group from security cameras as they HOURS: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. attempted to get out of the Friday through Monday room in under 60 minutes. or by appointment for the “They’re probably in there playground. Escape room laughing at us,” one of the hours available throughout guests said in the escape the week by appointment. room.

Starved Rock Entertainment

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 43

Adults can monitor their child’s activity while relaxing in another room.

The indoor playground is at 201 Donaldson St., Utica.

Winter 2019 41

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Rosielle Ridgway gets a boost from Brandi McGinnis on the climbing wall at Starved Rock Entertainment.

And they were right, but only in the enjoyment of their own creation. Owners Brad and Melissa Hougas are diehard escape room fans, but they’ve found a new love for building them and sharing the experience with others. “This is like the best hour of our lives,” Melissa said in the control room. “It’s fun for them and for us.” The asylum room is Brad’s particular favorite and only two parties have managed to solve the puzzles and escape in time. One team did so with only seconds remaining. “I was bummed,” Brad said with a laugh and a sigh. “They got out with 45 seconds left but when they came out they were excited, they were happy, they were stoked. But yeah, I was heartbroken.” “That’s my baby. That’s the hard one. On a scale of one to five, that’s an 11,” he added. The Treasure Room is a more manageable, but still challenging experience and he said the game hosts are a little more helpful with some of the tasks. “We tend to help people a little more because we want them to have room and that room is so cool that we want them to see it,” Brad said. “We haven’t had anyone come out of that room yet that says it wasn’t a riot. We’ve had a lot of people come in and say that’s probably one of the best escape rooms they’ve done,” he added. Brad said it’s always fun to watch 42 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 44

O S W 1

Stella McGinnis leaps into the foam pit at Starved Rock Entertainment. groups of people assemble different clues and work together to solve the problem. They’ve recently introduced a third escape room, The Maze, which was originally designed for adults but was reworked to cater more toward kids after hearing requests for a kids-centric escape room. And it goes well with the other half of their business that consists of a multistory indoor play area. The playroom offers fun for all ages including a slide and small rock-climbing wall but the second floor also consists of a game room with an oversized Connect Four board and other games. A glow-in-the-dark art room is also planned. Brad said Melissa planned out what she wanted in the room and Brad ended up building it but continues to make

changes as the room gets used. It’s their hope to also offer Nerf gun wars and laser tag in the future on the premises. Parents often sit in the birthday room when kids are on the playground and can watch all the action from the many security cameras placed in the play area. “I tell parents the only problem we’ve seen so far is when the parents tell the kids it’s time to go. It usually doesn’t go well,” Brad said with a smile. The kids not wanting to leave is a good sign for Starved Rock Entertainment as well as the older kids and adults who may find themselves wanting a few more minutes in the escape rooms. “I’ve put a lot of time and effort into these things so I’m glad,” Brad said. “And the biggest thing that I’m glad about is that people are having fun. I S R just want people to have fun.” C Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM


Pr ho so an

Ho Fri Sa



Main Street Market • Embroidery  • Screen  Printing  • Bling  • Full  Color  Laser

 Printing  Open Tues,Thurs, Sat 11am-3pm Wed & Fri 11am-5pm SM-CL1712693

A market of makers, gifts and gatherings for you and your home.

Suite 4 10- Tues-Fri 10-5 Sat 10-3

Style for Any Woman!

317 E. Main St. Streator, IL Hours: 10-5 Tues-Fri 10-3 Saturday

317 E. Main St. Streator, IL • 815.822.1466 Hours: Wed-Fri 10am-5pm • Sat 10am-3pm

More than a cafe Proudly serving good vibes, homemade paninis, soups, salads, sweets and beverage adventures! Hours: Tues-Thurs 7-8 Friday 7-5 Saturday 8-3


Dine in - Carry out

317 E. Main Street • Streator IL

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 45

Winter 2019 43

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Stella Maris Shoppe Trendy clothing for today’s woman

306 E. Main Street in downtown Streator

44 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 46

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Urban Soak Shoppe Gift Shop Handmade Items & Soaps


306 E. Main St. Streator, IL 816-673-3332

Sun/Mon: Closed Tues-Fri: 10am-5pm Sat: 10am-3pm

The Paınted Daısy 126 S. Vermillion St, Streator, IL

• Primitive & Country Decor • Handcrafted & Personalized Items • Black Crow Candles • Refurished Furniture

fiNE fiELD POTTERY 215 E Main Streator, IL

Refurbished Treasures ucts

CBD Prod

Furniture • Artistry • Custom Dixie Belle Paint Company $ Redesign with Prima Retailer Located at Urban Soak Shoppe

• Body wash • Bath Bombs • Pain creams • Anti-inflam serum • And more


More Than Just Your Average Sports Bar! Daily Food & Drink Specials. Now Serving Dinners Friday & Saturday Nights!

402 E. MAIN ST. • STREATOR 815.672.4618

Starved Rock Country SM-CL1713298 SM-CL1713298

SRCwinter19.indd 47

Bromley & Brown B








Winter 2019 45

308 E. Main St. • Streator

10/28/19 1:29 PM



20% off Your Total Order!

617 E. Main St. Streator, IL 61364

815-672-2204 anchrisnursery com



Must Present This Coupon! Expires 12-31-2019


Wild Hearts Boutique

46 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 48


2000 EASTWOOD AVENUE, STREATOR, IL. 61364 GOLF: 815.673.5553 // DINE: 815.673.5551

Gypsy Soul With a Cowgirl Spirit 214 E Main St | Streator IL | 815-674-7558

Starved Rock Country

Tues-Fri 10-5 Sat 10-3

10/28/19 1:29 PM



| T r easur es |

at Blue Jay Way Records Story by Charles Stanley, Photos by Tom Sistak


inyl records have been enjoying a resurgence during the past decade. But they’re nothing new to Jim Lovejoy of Blue Jay Way Records in Princeton. Now in its fifth year, the shop featuring thousands of vintage records had been a dream for Lovejoy, 65, since he was a boy. He dates his rock and roll awakening to Feb. 9, 1964, when he viewed the premiere performance by the British band The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. That night the popular television variety show set a record for the most number of viewers. “It changed everybody’s life, mine too,” Lovejoy said. “I started collecting records.” Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 49

Winter 2019 47

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Jim Lovejoy, owner of Blue Jay Way Records, helps a customer looking for an 8-track cassette at the Princeton shop.

Blue Jay Way Records ADDRESS: 524 S. Main St., Princeton HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday PHONE: 815-872-1935 WEB: 48 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 50

He amassed thousands of vinyl records. They became easier to acquire when music fans switched to compact discs in the 1980s. “Back in the day, people just threw away their records,” Lovejoy said. “They wholesale dumped them in the garbage. But until this store opened I probably never threw a record away.”

Now it’s the CDs suffering a similar fate, with listeners more likely to favor the internet-based distribution of music. “It’s also the same now with DVDs,” Lovejoy said. “If I took all the DVDs people offered me I could turn this into a DVD store.” Lovejoy still buys old records. But, he said, a lot of people are misinformed Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:29 PM

t Frank Crowley, a regular customer at Blue Jay Way, adds to his pile of finds during a trip to the shop. q A vintage record stand at Blue Jay Way in Princeton.

Photo by Charles Stanley

Drew Lovejoy, the son of Blue Jay Way owner Jim Lovejoy, now helps run the record shop. about their value. There are Beatles records worth hundreds of dollars, and Lovejoy said he has sold some for more than $200. But currently the highest-priced Beatles album he carries has a price tag of closer to $100. Customers hoping to cash in on their CD collections also often are disappointed. “People bring in 300 CDs and they want five bucks apiece,” said Lovejoy Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 51

shaking his head. “But the market had been flooded.” Lovejoy opened his original shop on April 4, 2015, and then later moved to his current location. Also on duty is Lovejoy’s son, Drew. “I’ve been a music guy my whole life,” Drew said. “I’m pretty versatile in what I listen to. I grew up with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. But I could sit and listen to just about anything all day long.”

The shop gets its name from the song “Blue Jay Way” released on The Beatles’s 1967 Magical Mystery Tour album. It was written by Beatle George Harrison while the legendary rockers stayed in a house on Blue Jay Way in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. The available music is mostly rock and roll, although blues, bluegrass and country artists also are represented. While vinyl rules at Blue Jay Way Records, there also is music in other formats including cassette and 8-track tapes and music videos on DVD and VHS. There also are T-shirts, record cases and a variety of music memorabilia for sale. Customers come in a broad spectrum, including millennials. But predominantly the customers are older. “I hate to use the word geezer, but the customers tend to be old geezers who are my age or older who are looking for something,” Lovejoy said. “That’s probably the biggest percentage.” Passersby are another source of customers. “There are people who are surprised to see a record store and come in,” Lovejoy said. ”People come in have a couple of memories and then walk out. S R And that’s all right.” C Winter 2019 49

10/28/19 1:29 PM

Education. Imagination. Inspiration. award winning games, toys and books

rock paper scissors

Like us on to get updates on all of our events!



719 LaSalle St. Ottawa

Searching for the perfect toy? our TOY EXPERTS will help! Have a question?

Ask us!

Need some Ideas?

We’ve got them!

Need some advice on a toy?

We’re here.

We have the perfect gift for any age! FREE Gift Wrapping FR EVERYDAY!

712 LaSalle St • Ottawa (815) 433.4223

Your od ho hbor e g i e N tor Toy S

Gift Cards Available

Just In Time For The Holidays

620 C Court SStreet ★ Ottawa

50 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 52

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:30 PM


Re Relaxation and Wellness in the Heart He of Starved Rock Country

Largest Selection of Gourmet & Imported ed Cheesess

1219 Fulton St., Ottawa


Mon-Sat 8:00am to 7:00pm • Serving Lunch & Supper

Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna

Dry Hydrotherapy

Ionic Foot Detox

Migun Massage Bed


Whether you live in Starved Rock Country or are here for a visit, remember to take time to hike, go eagle watching, find an adventure, or just RELAX! A visit to SaltTreeYoga will provide you with the relaxation and harmony you need to balance your life.

Try a YOGA CLASS and SHOP in our unique gift shop before or after you relax! 310 ½ W. Main St. Ottawa, IL • 815.343.2751 SM-CL1717002

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 53

Winter 2019 51

10/28/19 1:30 PM

Vibe & Variety Princeton bar is not your father’s saloon, but dad will recognize the drinks Story by Dan Churney, Photos by Tracey MacLeod


he Barrel Society stocks 100 whiskeys, 40 beers and 17 cocktails. The drink menus hit the bar with a thwack! They’re as thick as high school yearbooks. That’s the variety. The Barrel Society in Princeton also features a television set that shows classic horror and comedy movies, but with the sound off. The sounds you do hear come from constantly spinning vinyl records at moderate volume. Psychedelic-style rock posters adorn the bare brick walls and the establishment’s logo — a black hand superimposed over a black sunburst on a black triangle with the scripted letters BS (for Barrel Society) — is mounted above the bar. That’s some of the vibe. Here’s more. Electrical outlets and USB ports are spaced beneath the bar for patrons. Eclectic pieces of art spice up nooks and crannies. A shuffleboard table is in a corner, awaiting the next match. Barrel Society’s 34-year-old owner, Nick Gorogianis, said the decorations reflect the Barrel Society’s easygoing, yet edgy style. 52 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 54

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:30 PM

p Nick Gorogianis owns Barrel Society in Princeton. Even though the bar features televisions that show classic horror and comedy movies, the sounds come from his vinyl collection. t Need a drink? Barrel Society has more than 100 whiskeys, 40 beers and 17 cocktails to choose from.

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 55

Winter 2019 53

10/28/19 1:30 PM

Patrons can take a seat at the bar or choose a table at the Barrel Society.

“I want people to feel comfortable, but to know where they are. This isn’t a typical local bar. Between Chicago and Peoria and the Quad Cities, no bar has our collection of drinks. I respect smalltown culture, but I want to provide what the city offers,” Gorogianis said. Gorogianis is from the big city himself, or thereabouts — suburban Bloomingdale — but fell in love with 7,600-resident Princeton when he was in college in downstate Monmouth. Some of his best school friends were from Princeton, which led him to visit and come to adore the burg. After a short spell in a public relations firm and a decade in construction work, Gorogianis rolled out the Barrel Society in March 2019. His right-hand man and woman in running the establishment

54 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 56

are Jesse Deskeere and Gwendolen Baxter respectively. The Barrel Society is a perfect fit in Princeton’s North Business District, also known as the Art District, two blocks of wine shops, boutiques, a bakery, a spa and more. Events and live music are always on the calendar. The area boasts almost everything you would want in an arts district, including attitude. At the Barrel Society, Gorogianis is all about giving folks a good attitude. “The only thing I ever wanted to be was a bartender, ever since my parents let me taste beer. I love the social aspect of alcohol. I’m fascinated by people getting together over drinks,” Gorogianis noted. Gorogianis, who is a drummer on the

side, is well situated to preside over social settings, as he majored in public relations and communications in college. Julie Hessler, a regular visitor to the Barrel Society world, digs what Gorogianis is doing. “I really like Nick and I really love his dirty martini,” Hessler said. One reason she may adore the dirty martini is because Gorogianis and his crew create their libations without outside assistance. “Every drink is made in-house. We don’t use any store-bought mixes. The lemons and limes are squeezed here,” Gorogianis stressed. Several of the bottled pleasures on the shelf at Barrel Society come from Gorogianis’ home region of Chicago,

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:30 PM

such as Jeppson’s Malört, a bitter liqueur appropriate for seasoned imbibers, or those who want to become one. But what is master mixologist Gorogianis’ favorite drink? He can’t narrow it to one — a glass of Four Roses bourbon, paired with a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. “I can go for those every time,” Gorogianis observed. u The Barrel Society is at 930 N. Main St., Princeton, which is near Interstate 80 U.S. 6, Route 26 and U.S. 34 in Bureau County. An Amtrak station is easy walking distance to the bar stools. Hours are: 3 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 3 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Sat.; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. S R Sunday; closed Monday. C

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 57

p The drink menu is extensive at Barrel Society. t A shuffleboard table offers a nondigital mode of entertainment.

Winter 2019 55

10/28/19 1:30 PM

“Food Worth Traveling For” The Finest in Steaks, Seafood and Pasta

Modern, Casual Comfort Craft Beer & Wine Selection Full Service Lounge Book your Thanksgiving & Holiday Parties with us! Completely Remodeled Open 7 Days A Week | 4:30PM - Close Private Rooms Available for 10-100 For Any Occasion

Woody’s Gift Certificates A Gift in Great Taste!

56 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 58

815815-433-2400 | 1321 LaSalle Street | Ottawa tawa I-80 to Exit 90• Rt. 23 South 2 Miles s

Es Est. 1997 19

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:30 PM




Starved Rock Country




Tacos Burritos Enchiladas Quesadillas Sizzling Fajitas

Sizzling Fajitas Steak Chicken Seafood Vegetarian

Daily Lunch Specials Margaritas Specialty Drinks Starved Rock Country

Open Daily at 11:00 AM 4387 Venture Dr. Peru, IL. 61354


Winter 2019 57


SRCwinter19.indd 59

10/28/19 1:30 PM

Got the

Winter Chills?

Compiled by Ryan Searl

Grab a cup of Joe at these five coffeehouses Sally Sue’s

Flour House Bakery & Coffee 950 N. Main Street Princeton, IL 61356 Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Monday Many know Princeton’s Flour House as a must-stop spot for delicious scratch-made treats, but you may be surprised to hear that they also brew a terrific cup of coffee! Using only fair trade beans from legendary coffee manufacturer Equal Exchange, Flour House offers a variety of organic roasts available as cold brew, espressos, iced and regular drip coffee. This hidden gem, located inside a beautiful downtown building that once housed a pharmacy, is one of the coziest coffee shops in the area. Gorgeous white-washed shelves line the walls, along with the original hardwood floors and tin ceiling. Ample booths and natural lighting make Flour House an excellent spot to enjoy breakfast, brunch or a delicious dessert. This family owned and operated shop, run by mother and daughter duo Terri and Sallee Zearing, was born out a life-long passion, and talent, for baking. Staples like fresh baked bagels and Amish pumpkin cinnamon rolls are available every day, in addition to a revolving selection of scones, muffins, biscotti and breads. A fair few of their items are flourless as well, allowing for those with gluten sensitivities to enjoy these delicious creations as well. For more information, visit: 58 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 60

728 First Street La Salle, IL 61301 815-869-3205 Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily You may have spotted bags of Sally Sue’s organic coffee on the shelves of Hy-Vee, Schnuck’s, Fresh Thyme, or Woodman’s grocery stores, but did you know these fair-trade certified coffee blends are made right here in Starved Rock Country? Located in Magnolia, less than a half hour southwest of Starved Rock State Park, you’ll find Sally Sue’s Cafe and Roastery. In just three short years, coffee guru Tyler Reaska has turned a hobby of roasting into a fullfledged coffee company, selling his organic beans to some of the biggest grocery store chains across the Midwest. This year brought an exciting new expansion for Sally Sue’s, a standalone cafe located right in the heart of historic downtown La Salle. Taking what they learned for their Magnolia location, the La Salle store is serving up delicious nitro cold brew coffee and piping hot espressos, featuring their signature roasts and flavor shots. Stop in for a breakfast sandwich or cinnamon roll waffle, and soak in the cafe’s comfortable, modern, atmosphere. For more information, visit: www.sally-sues. com Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:30 PM

Jeremiah Joe Coffee 807 La Salle Street Ottawa, IL 61350 Hours: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Located in the heart of tree-lined downtown Ottawa, Jeremiah Joe Coffee has been providing delicious fresh brewed beverages since 2002. With a full menu of coffee and espresso-based drinks, made from five signature house blends of imported coffee beans, Jeremiah Joe Coffee is a favorite among locals. The shop features an ever-changing selection of new and unusual drinks. They also feature a smaller menu of seasonal beverages, and flavor shots, giving you the perfect wintertime pick-meup. This comfortable shop has ample indoor and outdoor seating, great natural lighting, a stage for music performances, a revolving display of locally produced art and plenty of outlets for charging all of your devices. A line of fresh biscotti and small treats occupy the front of their counter, but most of the attention on Jeremiah Joe’s menu is focused on making a delectable cup of coffee. Jeremiah Joe drinks are the definition of hand crafted – they roast all of the signature blends of beans that end up in their coffee and espresso on site. Big bay windows toward the back of the shop give you a glimpse at

the roasting process. For those particularly interested in the process, you can even book a tour of the Jeremiah Joe roasting facility. For more info on Jeremiah Joe Coffee, visit:

Bean Box Espresso

Lock 16 Café and Visitors Center

750 Joliet Street La Salle, IL 61301 Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday If speed is of the essence when you’re looking for a morning cup, go no further than the Bean Box Espresso! Owners Holly Iverson and Kevin Kirchner have founded one of the most convenient, and delicious, coffee stops in Starved Rock Country. This drive-thruonly establishment is located on La Salle’s Joliet Street, and boasts two ordering windows on either side of a small white building. The entire Bean Box operation is designed to get you your order in no time flat. Bean Box’s expert baristas aim to get your latte, cappuccino or espresso in less than 90 seconds after you order. This quick turnaround time covers their entire menu, which includes all sorts of speciality drinks like a Frozen Avalanche (a premium frozen vanilla slush), Italian Cream Soda (a sparkling fizzy iced drink) and a Java Mudslide (a premium frappe slush, with espresso frozen into the mix). Bean Box Espresso offers incredible customizability for such a small shop. They have more than 20 gourmet flavors in stock to personalize your drinks, many available in sugar-free varieties. This means your seasonal favorites like pumpkin spice and peppermint are available all year round! Be sure to also check out their Spring Valley location, located at 101 W. St Paul Street, open 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday; closed on Sunday. For more information, visit:

754 First Street La Salle, IL 61301 Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday Enjoy a locally roasted cuppa joe at the beautiful I&M Canal Cafe and Visitors Center! Located inside a former carriage shop, originally built in the early 1910s, you’d be hard pressed to find a more architecturally interesting place to enjoy a latte in Starved Rock Country. The Lock 16 Café stocks a wide variety of beverages, everything from artisan sodas to a signature house-brewed iced tea, but perhaps most importantly is their full espresso bar. You can order an Americano, flavored latte, or even a caramel macchiato (all available piping hot or iced). If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, but with some flavor, consider mix and matching flavor shots in Lock 16’s standard and iced coffee orders. The Café offers a full menu of breakfast options. The “Get Up and Go Oatmeal” (served with brown sugar, cinnamon and cranberries) and Wild Bill’s Breakfast Sandwich (featuring your choice of egg, cheese, and bacon or sausage, served on a buttermilk biscuit, English muffin, or toast) make excellent additions to any early morning java. Quiche and Frittata specials are also featured daily, so keep an eye on the Lock 16 Café and Visitors Center Facebook page! For more information, visit:

Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 61

Winter 2019 59

10/28/19 1:30 PM

Each week we’ll be using this newsletter to highlight some of these hidden gems, bringing you a list of the best events and concerts happening in the area, and sharing some must-read feature articles from The SRC newsletter is much more than that, we’ll also be offering giveaways, showcasing some of the best deals in the area and giving you pre-planned trip itineraries that are bound to make your next visit to Starved Rock Country even more memorable.

SRCwinter19.indd 62

10/28/19 1:30 PM

May Your Holidays

Be Filled With Cardinals Nov. 15th & 16th 3 French Hens Holiday Market Nov. 29th - Dec. 1st Home For The Holidays Dec. 1st Montage Kris Kringle Dec. 6th Midnight in Morris Dec. 14th & 15th Party with Elf on the Shelf

Welcome to Downtown Morris

Come See Us!

701 N LIBERTY STREET MORRIS, IL 60450 P. 815.710.5006


RESERVATIONS@CHOPSHOPGRILLE.COM CHOPSHOPGRILLE.COM OPEN DAILY @ 11:30AM / CLOSED MONDAYS Fresh Locally Raised Beef, Produce & Organic, Antibiotic Free Pork & Poultry

November 29, 30, & December 1,, 2019

APPLE BUTTER AND SHUGIE’S 309 N. Liberty St. Morris, IL 60450

(815) 942-5093 FB Jane Kerr

Saturday, November 30th SHOP LOCAL on Small Business Saturday! Breakfast with Santa Santa & His Reindeer

FESTIVAL OF TREES Children’s Winter Carnival Christmas Cash Cab

Morris, IL


Friday, November 29th FESTIVAL OF TREES

SHOP LOCAL on Black Friday! Lantern Making Enchanting Horse Drawn Carriage Rides (Free!) Hot Apple Cider Coal City High School Madrigals Children’s Lantern Parade LIGHTED HOLIDAY PARADE Lighting of Chapin Park Visit Santa in Chapin Park For Starved Rock Country

Sunday, December 1st Noon-4:00 P.M. - SHOP LOCAL in Downtown Morris! 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. - FESTIVAL OF TREES

Complete Schedule visit or call Morris Downtown Develpoment Partnership 815-941-0245

Winter 2019 61

“Midnight in Morris” - December 6 – 6:00pm-midnight. Great Shopping and specials / “An Evening with Santa” – December 21 – 4:00pm – 8:00pm. Visits with Santa & more.

SRCwinter19.indd 63

10/28/19 1:30 PM

Things To See & Do Plan your trip in Starved Rock Country

NOVEMBER 8-9 3 FRENCH HENS HOLIDAY MARKET, Artisans, antiques, baked goods, Jennifer’s Garden, 555 W. Gore St., Morris, http://3frenchhensmarket.

10 BIRDS OF PREY, Saving Our American Raptors leads a presentation with live birds of prey including owls, hawks, falcons and an eagle, Starved Rock Visitors Center,

17 NATIONAL TAKE A HIKE DAY, Ottawa Visitors Center, three free guided hikes, each hike focuses on a theme that makes Ottawa’s parks unique, RSVPs required, 815-434-2737.

22 A SPARKLING EVENING AT THE MANSION, Reddick Mansion, downtown Ottawa, preview the lovely Christmas decorations, learn about the history of the mansion, and sip champagne and enjoy chocolate treats while shopping the unique and beautiful ornaments for sale from the trees of the Mansion,

22-24 PRINCETON’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS WALK, Main Street turns into a magical holiday treasure with music, carriage rides, shopping and more, downtown Princeton,

29 FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, lighting of historic Washington Square, visit from Santa, holiday parade, downtown Ottawa, 62 Winter 2019

SRCwinter19.indd 64

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:30 PM

29, 30 & Dec. 1 HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, parade, family activities, lighting of the park, festival of trees, music, sleigh rides and more, Christmas house walk all weekend, downtown Morris,

30 KEEPING CHRISTMAS CLOSE TO HOME, Light Up Streator, lighted parade, shopping, Christmas toy drive, vendors, food and a visit from Santa, Streator City Park, downtown Streator,

DECEMBER 6 MIDNIGHT IN MORRIS, downtown Morris, retailers open until midnight, Christmas carols,

6 & 13 CANDLELIGHT TOURS, Reddick Mansion, Ottawa,

6-8, 13-15 CHRIS KRINGLE MARKET, Washington Square, downtown Ottawa, holiday market with activities, visits from Santa, carolers and vendors,

7-8 CHRISTKINDLMARKET, downtown La Salle, holiday market, music, food, visit Christkindlmarket La Salle on Facebook.

11-13 CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON TEA, Lock 16 Café & Visitor Center, La Salle, Christmasthemed tea in the Lock 16’s Vintage Room, includes tea, sandwiches, scones and more,

13-23 CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TROLLEY TOUR, originating from Starved Rock Lodge, Utica, Starved Rock Country

SRCwinter19.indd 65

JANUARY 5 STARVED ROCK WEDDING EXPO, Starved Rock Lodge, Utica, sample cake and Starved Rock cuisine, listen to DJs, chat with photographers, meet with florists and more,

12, Feb. 16 SLED DOG DEMOS, Starved Rock Visitor Center parking lot, Free Spirit Siberian Rescue,

25-26 EAGLE WATCH WEEKEND, eagle viewing, live raptor demonstrations, Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Visitor Center and Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, Utica,

27-29, Feb. 10-12 SEWING RETREAT 2019, classes, shopping, tours, Starved Rock Lodge, starvedrocklodge. com.

MARCH 20-21

615 LaSalle St. Ottawa 815-433-5653

310 E. Main St. Streator 815-672-2614


The Illinois River Area Chamber of Commerce Invites You to the Communities of Marseilles and Seneca

MASTERS WALLEYE CIRCUIT TOURNAMENT, fishing competition on Illinois River, Spring Valley,

ONGOING WINE THROUGH THE TIME TOUR, Awesome Ottawa Tours, Wednesdays and Thursdays in November and December, tour visits four local “watering holes,” learn about Starved Rock Country and Ottawa from the prohibition years, ROCK STAR 2019, every Thursday evening from Feb. 20 to March 12 for annual Rock Star competition at Starved Rock Lodge, BALD EAGLE TROLLEY TOURS, January and February, Starved Rock Lodge, starvedrocklodge. com. GUIDED WINTER HIKES, Starved Rock Lodge,

Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall, Marseilles The Seneca Area History Museum, Seneca Illini State Park, Marseilles The LST Memorial, Seneca The I&M Canal Hiking and Biking Path, Marseilles & Seneca See more at, call us at (815) 795-2323, or, stop by the Caboose at 135 Wasington St., Marseilles, IL 61341 SM-CL1714482

Winter 2019 63

10/28/19 1:30 PM

SRCwinter19.indd 66

O tt a


wa, Illi Nov. 2019


64 Winter 2019

Starved Rock Country


Aubrie Goodchild can’t bear to look as she and her father, Chris, head down the toboggan hill at Allen Park in Ottawa, taking advantage of a newly fallen snow.  Photo by Tom Sistak

Starved Rock Country

10/28/19 1:31 PM



‘N ROCK ‘N New, Vintage & Antique Fine Art, Pottery & Glass

Offering Fine Art from Pop to Photogra-

phy, African Art and Antiques, signed Pottery and Glass from European and American artists and a selection of home accessories from Jonathan Adler and

(815) 386-5533 Hours: Wed - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm Sun: 11 am - 4 pm FB: City Folk Urban Decor

others. We also offer Custom Picture Framing. All items come with a full history of the designer/artist and includes free installation in your home of framed pieces.


City Folk Urban Decor, 722 La Salle St., Ottawa

Fine Art, African Art, Vintage Pottery & Glass s Fine Art, African Art, Vintage Pottery & Glass

SRCwinter19.indd 67

10/28/19 1:31 PM

Area’s Leader in Mako. Illinois Valley’s First Provider for Mako Knee & Hip Replacements Using Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology. • More predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy • Provides a patient-specific 3-D model for pre-planning surgery • Faster recovery and more mobility after surgery To learn more or to request an appointment online, visit:

OR call

“I am back to functioning at a level I was able to 10 years ago —and no pain!” - Patient, Carol Haas

More than 200 procedures performed.

(815) 663-8009







S t. M a r g a r

Paul Perona, MD

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Fellowship Trained in Adult Joint Reconstruction

600 East First Street | Spring Valley

SRCwinter19.indd 68

10/28/19 1:31 PM

Profile for Shaw Media

Starved Rock Country Magazine_Winter 2019  

Starved Rock Country Magazine_Winter 2019  

Profile for shawmedia