Did you know northern Illinois was once home to “The World’s Shortest Railroad”?
Find out all about this bit of rail transportation trivia when the Oswegoland Heritage Association hosts author Jeff Kehoe and a presentation on his latest book for Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of Rail” series, Illinois Midland Railway at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Little White School Museum, 72 Polk St., Oswego.
Built in 1914, the Illinois Midland Railway connected two small towns, Newark and Millington, in southern Kendall County barely 2 miles apart. Originally planned to have been a 120-mile railroad stretching across northern Illinois, financial issues resulted in just 1.962 miles of rickety track being built. That didn’t stop the local townspeople from using the railroad, though, as it hauled grain produced by Newark farmers to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy’s Fox River Branch Line at Millington on the Fox River. Then cargoes of lumber, fencing and other were hauled back along the line to Newark.
Those attending will learn about the line’s construction, its colorful promoter and its eventual demise. Copies of Kehoe’s book will be available for sale the day of the program.
Admission for this program, which is suitable for rail fans of all ages, is $5. Register by calling 630-554-1010 or visiting the Oswegoland Park District’s web site at oswegolandparkdistrict.org. Walk-ins the day of the program are welcome.
Tour Oswego area farms Sept. 24
The Oswegoland Heritage Association has sponsored popular tours of Oswego’s collection of in-town urban barns for some years. Now they believe it’s time to head out into the countryside to visit some of the area’s classic rural farm buildings.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the heritage association will host, “Oswego History Tour – Legacy Farms,” bus tours of three area farms, the first at 11 a.m. the second at 1 p.m. The families who established the farms all had and continue to have deep community roots. Participants will learn how generations of farm families have cultivated the land and grown crops and livestock to create the basis for the Oswegoland community so many residents desire to live in today.
The tours will be conducted by heritage association board members Ted Clauser and Linda Heap Dean, assisted by museum assistant Shawna Sullivan.
Space is limited and advance registration, $7 a person, is required for these tours. To register, or for more information on the tours, call the Oswegoland Park District at 630-554-1010 or visit oswegolandparkdistrict.org.