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Oilfield Illinois

About 4 miles north of I-70’s Exit 129 (Casey) in the middle of, well, an oilfield, is Oilfield.  Built in 1866, the building served as a one room school house, known as ‘Butternut School’ until around 1963, when it was converted into a general store. The location operated as a general store for many years, serving as both supply depot and gathering spot for the locals, by various owners until closing in 1986. It was reopened in 2001 after sitting dormant for some 15 years to be exclusively a restaurant. The current owners have had it since 2009.

1866 era building still stands

The building is a delightful old structure full of friendly folks and good smells. Oilfield and vintage memorabilia line the walls and the signage is at once, historical and whimsical. Seating is family style with a set of large tables along one wall along with several smaller tables scattered about. The best spot in the house however, is not in the house. Outside under a canopy are a row of picnic tables for those wishing to get some fresh air with their meal. The menu is of cheeseburgers, fries and onion rings with home-made pie readily available, all of which is very good!
It’s wonderful that small businesses like these survive in the heartland, and a testament to the determination and love that the owners put into them day in and day out. One can see and hear from the guests that they’re at home there…..and at home you’ll feel too.

Small town charm

When you’re traveling down I-70, make it a point to take a 4 mile detour north and enjoy Oilfield!

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-Ed Baumgarten

33 national fudge day

Got a sweet tooth?    For all you chocolate lovers out there, June 16th is National Fudge Day!  Who knew!!    Celebrate National Fudge Day by indulging in this delicious treat!!     Did you know that fudge used to be chocolate-less? That’s right: the concept of fudge originated in the late 17th century with a candy called Scottish Tablet, a harder candy made from sugar, butter and condensed milk.

Today, a variety of fudge flavors are available, including marshmallow, nuts, caramel, and peanut butter. But there’s always one key ingredient: chocolate!

Celebrate National Fudge Day by enjoying your favorite types of fudge with your friends and family, but don’t be surprised if they don’t want to share, so, be sure and get plenty!     There are over 200 flavors available at the Sweets & Treats Fudge Factory at the Trail of Tears Junction in Anna, IL.

shopping for fudge

The Chocolate Factory on Hwy. 146, Golconda, across from Dixon Springs State Park, features more than 50 varieties of specialty and traditional gourmet chocolates and candies, fudge and  even old fashion Peanut Brittle. All made in the onsite kitchen with the finest ingredients. All hand made.  They offer tours and demonstrations Mon-Fri. The shop also has unique gifts and cake and candy making supplies.

Enjoy Southern Illinois!


Wolf Covered Bridge

Wolf Covered Bridge in Knox County

Nestled in a little river valley in Knox county is a modern treasure with historical flare. The Wolf Covered Bridge, sits in an almost hidden in a river crossing in a deep in a valley, just 10 miles south east of Knoxville, IL. Crossing the Spoon river, the original was built in the 1840’s as an open deck bridge until a cover was built for it in 1874. The structure saw it’s share of foot, horse, wagon and eventually motorized traffic for some 150 years before succumbing to arson in 1994.

The fire 1994 c.The Register-Mail

The timbers inside the bridge.

Luckily, the state saw the historical significance in the bridge, and instead of replacing it with iron and concrete, constructed the wonderful reproduction, as true to the original as possible, seen today. The new bridge was dedicated in 1999. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places as a significant structure relating to transportation.

There are several ways to get to the bridge, I took exit 54 off of I-74 to Hwy150 East, south on Knox County Rd 12 to Knox County Rd 17 which crosses the bridge. Drive slow and enjoy the countryside around the bridge, it’s very pretty country.

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– Ed Baumgarten

35 memert lake fish

Mermet Lake Fish and Wildlife Area, just outside of Metropolis, Illinois on U.S. 45, is a popular hunting and fishing destination, but once a year, it draws a different type of sportsman for one of the area’s largest tourism events in the region.  But these sportsmen aren’t interested in the wildlife or fish – they are focused on a different kind of animal – a foam one.  That’s because they are archers and will be shooting life-size high-density foam animal targets during two archery tournaments June 21-26, 2011.
The Superman Classic Archery Shoot will start off the week with competitions on June 21-23.  Then the Archery Shooter’s Association (ASA) begins its Illinois Pro-Am Tournament on June 24. 
ASA hosts seven tournaments throughout the year, and the Metropolis shoot is one of the largest archery competitions in the country.  For several years, thousands of people have entered the Mermet Refuge during the event, and more than 1000 men and women have aimed their arrows for championship titles in several categories.  The targets are designed to simulate a variety of hunting situations for archery enthusiasts.
Prize money is awarded for the top professional and amateur finishers each day in the warm-up event, the Superman Classic. This competition is sponsored by the City of Metropolis and Illinois Department of Natural Resources and features a $14,000 purse.  Archers will be categorized based on his or her ASA class and will only be shooting against that class.  There is a one-time $20 shooters fee that will cover up to three days of shooting.  Participants will shoot from 9am-3pm daily with all scorecards submitted by 6 p.m. 
On Friday, June 24, the ASA events begin with distance competitions, team shoots and other activities.  The official competition begins on Saturday, June 25 and wraps up on Sunday afternoon.  Other activities such as National Archery in Schools Program competitions, the ASA Coaching Clinic and Future Championship ASA Pro Sessions will take place.
The ASA Illinois Pro/Am Championship is a true archery festival with archery and outdoor manufacturers showing their newest and latest products, special seminars and presentations, youth programs and bow hunting activities for young and old.  It also features a practice range and a chance to watch and meet some of the sport’s top professionals.  These events will provide bow hunters the opportunity to talk and share experience with fellow archers, learn about the newest equipment and improve shooting skills.
Spectators are a big part of the archery tournament.    Some spectators even bring their binoculars for better viewing of the competition.  Drinks and food are also available to all who attend the tournaments.  As with all outdoor summer events, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent are recommended.
The Archery Tournament is easily found by traveling just 11 miles north of Metropolis on U.S. 45.     Or, check out: www.metropolistourism.com or call 800-248-4373.

 Enjoy Southern Illinois!


36 flood waters will not stop superman

Despite the situation that near-record flood waters have caused in Metropolis, the 33rd Annual Superman Celebration will take place June 9-12 as planned. Metropolis Tourism Director Angie Shelton explains that at this time, the only event to be cancelled is the  Superman Road Race. Much of the course for this race is inside Fort Massac and along streets where flooding has occurred.
But as one event is cancelled, Superman fans will learn of a new additions to the Celebration & special celebrity guests on www.supermancelebration.net and on Metropolis Tourism’s facebook page.

As the flood waters are starting to slowly go down, the determination of the Metropolis community to work together and overcome this tragic event is rising.  Residents of the city and county, young and old, have come together to help their neighbors through this challenging time.

During the 2010 Superman Celebration, the official home of Superman welcomed visitors from all 50 states and 23 foreign countries.    Metropolis is looking forward to hosting thousands of visitors again in June. Currently, two hotels are closed due to the flooding,  Baymont Inn and Suites and Harrah’s.  Harrah’s ground floor level was spared from the flood, but Baymont was not as fortunate.     Hotel reopening information will be posted as soon as it is available on www.metropolistourism.com.

“We have heard from Superman fans across the country asking what they can do to help,” says Shelton.  Anyone who would like to assist with flood clean-up efforts may contribute to the Metropolis Rotary Club Clean-Up Drive.   The Rotary Club is collecting clean-up supplies for flood victims at two Metropolis locations: Banterra Bank parking lot at 101 West Eighth St. and Shawnee Community College/Metro Center at 5385 Industrial Park Blvd. Individuals and groups are invited to bring supplies to either location on Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Banterra Bank and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Metro Center. 
Suggested items are: bleach, Lysol and other cleaners/disinfectants, liquid laundry detergent, mops, brooms, buckets, rags, sponges,  industrial paper towels, scrub brushes and scouring pads. Also: disposable gloves, yellow latex gloves, rakes, trash bags, work gloves, goggles, masks, paint brushes and rollers, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, band aids, hand sanitizer and first aid cream. Donations are also welcome to assist with this effort. Checks may be made to Metropolis Rotary Club and mailed to: Metropolis Rotary Club, P.O. Box 472, Metropolis, IL 62960.

Enjoy Southern Illinois!