Robinson Things to Do

  • Old Machinery from Oil Field
    Old Machinery from Oil Field
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  • Enjoying Butterscotch Sundae with Heath Candy
    Enjoying Butterscotch Sundae with Heath...
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  • Serving Ice Cream in Newly opened Soda Fountain
    Serving Ice Cream in Newly opened Soda...
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Best Rated Things to Do in Robinson

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    Heath Museum & Confectionery

    by deecat Updated Jul 13, 2008

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    Enjoying Butterscotch Sundae with Heath Candy
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    NOTE: THE SODA FOUNTAIN IS NOW OPEN! Allan and I visited in July, 2008, and had sundaes. Not only are they delicious, but I cannot remember when prices were this low!

    The Crawford County Heritage Foundation is responsible for the restoration of the Heath Brothers Confectionery and the development of a new candy museum. Although this project is not yet complete, the museum is already open for business. They are in the process of making the confectionery building resemble its 1914 look, including the re-creation of the old soda fountain.

    The purpose of this renovation and museum is "to save the candy history of our area" and to let others know how Heath English Toffee began.

    It was so exciting to see what has happened so far in this endeavor.

    Barb Legg is the museum manager, and her enthusiasm is contagious!

    Already they sell candy straight from the factory, so it is as fresh as it can be. I purchased two pounds of unwrapped Heath Candy Bars...one pound for my sister, and one pound for me. [I'm already eager to have my sister, who lives in Robinson, obtain more]. I also purchased a booklet about the history of Heath in Robinson.

    Even though Hershey Candy Company acquired the Heath's Robinson plant and its product line, the famous Heath Candy Bar is still made ONLY in Robinson. Sadly, the Heath Bar label no longer lists Robinson as the place of production. [Even though Robinson is the only place that it has ever been made.] This new candy museum will make it perfectly clear to everyone that the Heath Toffee Bar belongs to Robinson.

    Photographs:

    Photo #1: A vintage poster of the famed Heath Ice Cream Sandwich and the Heath Ice Cream Bar.

    Photo #2: A photo of the "not-quite completed" interior of the new Heath Museum & Confectionery.

    Photo #3: The "in-progress" reproduction of the 1914 Soda Fountain.

    Photo #4: The Plaque on the outside of the building which reads:

    Original Heath Toffee

    Site of the original
    Heath Brothers Confectionary(sic)
    Est. January 7, 1914

    Bayard and Everett "Skiv" Heath,
    proprietors of the Heath Brothers
    Confectionary (sic), served Fountain
    drinks, ice cream and homemade
    candies.

    A basic recipe of butter, sugar and
    almonds was perfected at this
    location on the Robinson Courthouse
    Square.

    In 1928, Heath English Toffee was born.
    Heath English Toffee: America's Finest

    Photo #5: Employee Uniforms worn at the Heath Factory.

    This Renovation of the building and opening of the Heath Candy Museum is an outstanding addition to Robinson, Illinois.

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    Robinson & the James Jones Connection

    by deecat Updated May 26, 2008

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    Signs Honoring James Jones, native son
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    When I came into Robinson on Route 33 from the east/going west, I was taken aback by a new sign that I had not seen before. It is pictured in Photograph #1. It says:

    "Robinson
    6700
    Hometown of author
    JAMES JONES"

    I thought to myself that it was about time that Robinson recognized its famous "literary son".

    More than 40 years ago, [late 1950's] James Jones left Robinson, but he never returned. Some say that he did not return because of the anger that he provoked when he wrote the novel, Some Came Running (1957), which was supposedly about Robinson. It was not flattering to some prominent citizens.

    But, he did return on May 17, 2000, when permanent signs at the city limits told the rest of the state and the nation that James Jones was Robinson's native son. The signs are 6-feet-by-3-feet. The one in my photograph was the one at the "Trimble Spur (State Route 1A).

    Daughter ofJames Jones, Kaylie Jones, wrote, "Now, 23 years after his death, he is being welcomed home in honor. I thank you all for being here today and making this possible."

    Jones was born here in Robinson and lived with his family at 400 East Walnut as seen in Photograph #2.

    Jones was, indeed, a major novelist of his generation. He wrote "From Here to Eternity" right here in Robinson at a friend's home at 202 Mulberry Street [Photo #3].

    He was in the U.S. Army, and was the only individual (who became a major writer) to witness the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. He was wounded at Guadalcanal and returned to Robinson where he wrote about his experiences in WWII.

    Some of his other books were:
    The Pistol [1959], The Thin Red Line [1962], Go to the Widow-Maker [1967], A touch of Danger [1973], a short-story collection, The Ice-Cream Headache & Other Stories [1968], and a NONFICTIONAL HISTORY OF WORLD WAR II (from the point of view of a soldier) in 1975. Also in 1975, he wrote a book of essays called Viet Journal.

    These last two were done just two years before his death.

    The Crawford County Historical Museum has more information and memorabilia about James Jones.

    I'm so thrilled that a favorite author of mine has roots in my hometown and that he has finally been honored.

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    More Special Architecture

    by deecat Updated May 26, 2008

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    Methodist Episcopal Church and it's Stained-Glass
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    It's refreshing to see that some of my favorite churches, library, and Newspaper Building are still standing and being used.

    Photos #1 and #2: The Methodist Church [1899] was the church where I was married so it has a special meaning for me. I always thought that it had the most beautiful stained-glass Windows.

    Ethelbert Callahan was a famous member of this church on the corner of Franklin & Walnut Streets.

    Photo # 3: Robinson Argus Newspaper Building [1893]. I have an spot in my heart for this place and it's a weird reason, indeed. As an English teacher for 32 years, I always loved teaching the Greek and Roman Myths. I like for the students to see associations in our modern language to the myths. Thus, when I told the story of Zeus's wife Hera having a peacock with eyes in its tail feathers so that it could see everything that Zeus did behind Hera's back. The peacock would then tell Hera what it had seen. I would then ask my students why in my home town of Robinson, Illinois, was the Argus Newspaper such a good name for a paper. Of course, the very bright students would say, "Because Argus could see everything and report back. A good newspaper is aware of everything and reports back to the people." I told you it was a weird connection!

    Photo # 4: The First Christian Church [1908]. This is the church that I attended while living in Robinson. I went to Summer Bible School here and was Baptized here. It was located on East Main Street, close to both the Presbyterian and Catholic churches. Additions were built over the years. Today, it is the Crawford County Christian Center.

    Photo # 5: The Robinson Carnegie Library. [Main Street] Robinson Carnegie Library was opened in 1906. An interesting note in history [In 1920, this library was fumigated because of small pox, and circulation was discontinued for one month!]

    This library applied for a Grant from Andrew Carnegie, and received $10,000. It is one of 3, 5000 libraries in the United States to receive some kind of Grant.

    Interestingly, Carnegie libraries always had an entrance accessed by a staircase. The "entry staircase symbolized a person's elevation through learning." Also, there was usually a lamppost or lantern outside to symbolize "enlightenment".

    All during my school years, I used this library, even when I'd come home from college. It's importance to me is monumental. The Robinson Carnegie Library closed in 1976, and when the present-day library opened.

    Note: Author James Jones spent much of his time here; his home was just one street behind the library.

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    Illinois Oil Field Museum, Oblong, Illinois

    by deecat Updated May 25, 2008

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    The Oil Field Museum began in October of 1961 with thoughts of preserving the tools used in the Oil Boom times in Crawford County Illinois. It was inspired by Enos Bloom of Oblong, Illinois who was a mechanic

    This is perhaps a one-of-a-kind museum. It has both equipment outside the museum building as well as inside it. I think that the value of such a museum is to preserve the history of the oil industry and to save the old machinery, preserve the heritage and history of oil in the region and state wide. This way, newer generations can learn from the past.

    There are seven similar facilities in the United States, but the Illinois Oil Field Museum in Oblong is one of the finest It is now in its new home, and they are in the process of completing the Memorial Wall and the Memorial Walkway. [see travelogue]

    These buildings exist on the site:

    The North MuseumBuilding [Photo #5]

    The Bradford Supply Company Store

    In photograph #2, the derrick was dismantled in Salem, Illinois and reassembled here in front of the Museum building. It is 104 feet tall and 12 feet wide at the top.

    Inside there are tools, books, displays, and a complete library of petrology related literature. There are also working models and photographs about the oil production in this area.

    The outside display of early 1900 field equipment from the boom days in Crawford County is quite remarkable.

    The museum loves visitors to come for tours; however you have to call to make such an appointment. [618-562-4664 or 618-592-3431]

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    Visit Hutson Cabins

    by deecat Updated May 25, 2008

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    Historic Site Sign for Hutson Cabins
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    In an effort to depict a realistic vision of frontier life in Hutstonville, Illinois, the Hutson Cabins serve that purpose. The structures that arephotographed:

    Hutson Cabin: The town of Hutsonville was named after the Isaac Hutson family who in 1813 were massacred by Indians [all but the father]. The father went in search of that tribe for retribution, but was killed himself by another group of Indians at Fort Harrison, Indiana. This cabin is representative of their home. It has a stone fireplace, wash basin, rope bed, cradle, and pie safe, all representing life in the 1800's

    The Church: It has a preacher's pulpit, an old pump organ, and handmade pews. Today, public weddings are sometimes held here.

    The Outhouse serves a purpose today. Visitors can use it. It's always open, unlike the other cabins.

    The Museum has displays of local memorabilia such as clothing, tools, and photographs as well as everyday necessities.

    Structures not photographed:

    Country Store has a barber shop area with a shop chair, marble topped bar, medicines.

    The Weaver's Cabin, of course, has working looms.

    There is also a barn

    The Hutson Cabin is only open from June-October on Sundays from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

    We found out the hard way. We went there on May18 in the late morning and saw that the sign said open from 2-4; thus, we returned about 2:30 p.m., and it still was not open. We saw no mention of months open.

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    Enjoy Some of the Wonderful Architecture.....

    by deecat Updated Jul 2, 2008

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    Late 1800s Dr. Arthur Gray Meserve Home
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    There are so many architectural wonders in Robinson that I was thrilled just to walk the streets in order to spy another one. Here, I talk a little about some of my favorite homes in Robinson.

    [Photo # 1]: Oh, wow, what a beauty this home located on Locust Lane [one of the loveliest streets in Robinson]. It is known as the Dr. Arthur Gray Meserve Home. Meserve moved to Robinson at the age of three, and like his father, he became a doctor. This beautiful Victorian has received loving care and appears as wonderful today as when it was first built in the 1800s.

    [Photo #5 ]: This huge home is located on the east side of Pine and Cross Streets and is known as the John S. Abbot home. Abbot was the editor and owner of one of Robinson's first newspapers, the Robinson Constitution, in 1895. He also served as the president of the Crawford County State Bank. He died in 1934. The people who own this home now, keep it in pristine condition, inside and out. Bravo!

    [Photo #2]: This home is located on the south side of East Main. I know very little about it, but I have always loved it since it was located only a block and a half from where I lived in Junior High and High School. The family who lived there had a son who was a very good friend of mine. This home has been taken care of and remains a favorite of mine.

    [Photo #3]: Even though it is smaller than the rest, I am quite fond of this lovely home that is called the Ethelbert Callahan home. It is an elegant Bracketed Italianate brick home (1870). It is located on the southwest corner of Walnut and King streets. Locals say that it is in such good shape because of Mrs. McNutt and her son who bought it in the 1960s and completely restored it. It has had several owners since that time.

    [Photo #4]: This famous house is called the Harry E. Otey Home, and one of its distinguishing characteristics is that it was built almost entirely of oak that came from Otey's own mill. Harry Otey was in business with his father [Otey and Son]. Otey is remembered as a civic and social affairs leader. He was Mayor of Robinson as well as president of the First National Bank. Perhaps what he is best known for is that he was responsible for some of the first paved streets and for bringing electricity and water to the city.

    These are but a few of the architectural wonders in Robinson.

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    Crawford County Historical Museum

    by deecat Updated May 26, 2008

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    Entry Room & Its Beauty Wood
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    My sister and I were very lucky because we were at the right place at the right time on the morning of Saturday, May 17, 2008.

    We were walking around Robinson, taking photographs of places that I wanted to cover for my Virtual Tourist pages. The Crawford County Historical Society Museum, located in the former Schmidt Clinic, was one of those places. We were reading the signs and realized that it was not open.

    Just then, a woman drove up and parked. A lovely woman asked if we needed help. We told her our situation, and she offered to let us in since she was a valued volunteer with a key. It turns out that we knew her from high school [Mary Jo Billingsly]. That is how we were lucky enough to have a private tour!

    The Museum is open:
    2-4 p.m. Saturday
    2-4 p.m. Sunday
    or by appointment

    Mailing address:
    Crawford County Historical Society
    P.O. Box 554
    Robinson, IL 62454-0554

    This is a remarkable museum in a structure that is perfect for presentation. The impressive first room [see photo #1] shows off the beautiful wood walls and ceiling. The long hall with rooms on each side [see photo #2] makes for easy division of the many topics covered. Along the right side of this hallway, I was mesmerized by the old photos and items concerning the old Ohio Oil/Marathon Refinery.

    I was especially fond of the room with information about literary son, James Jones, the room with information about the Campfire Girls/Blue birds, which I joined as a child growing up in Robinson. Also impressive was the military room with all kinds of valued information about persons in Robinson who served their country. The room with equipment from the old fire department was also quite interesting. [Photo #3] The information is abundant and well presented.

    All the people who work here are volunteer who are well versed in the history of Crawford County Illinois. In addition, they are excited about what theydo, enthusiastic with their presentations, and determined to preserve this valuable history in a most appropriate manner.

    The day that we were there, volunteers were setting up the Museum for the next day's Celebration of the clean-up and preservation of Old Robinson Cemetery. Thank goodness there are such dedicated people here at the Crawford County Historical Museum

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    VFW Military Museum & Memorial Wall

    by deecat Updated May 26, 2008

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    Beautiful Introduction to Veterans Memorial
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    Just a block away from where I lived on Main Street, there is a relatively new museum in Robinson. Photo #1 shows the beautiful craftsmanship of this memorial. The Crawford County VFW Post #4549 Military Museum & Memorial Wall fills the location of the old ICRR depot which has been totally renovated. [see photo #2]

    It features an etched granite memorial to over 3000 living and deceased local veterans.[See Photo #4] This outdoor part of the memorial also includes Monuments for foreign wars we have participated in. {see Photo #5]

    Inside, there is a huge collection of military memorabilia. "The structure's lobby and ticket area retain the look of a turn-of-the-century railroad depot" [Crawford County Tourism Council Brochure]

    The people who work at this museum are members of the VFW Post #4549 and its auxiliary. Thus, it is open only on Saturdays & Sundays from 1 am until 3 pm April through September. However, you can see it by appointment anytime. Just call: (618) 544-5140.

    I just love the whole concept: saving the landmark ICRR depot, honoring our veterans, and displaying a beautiful memorial.

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    Crawford County Tourism/Chamber of Commerce

    by deecat Updated May 25, 2008

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    Crawford County Tourism Council Visitor's Center
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    In my opinion, the first place to visit in Robinson would be the combined offices of Crawford County Visitor's Center and the Robinson Area Chamber of Commerce Their offices on Court Street on the east side of the square is a place to gain a wealth of knowledge about Crawford County.

    The photographs I used for the County festivals and activities came from inside their office. There are free brochures and maps and old postcards to be purchased. Here, you are able to ask questions and receive friendly, valuable information.

    Robinson Area Chamber of Commerse
    113 South Court, P.O. Box 737
    Robinson, IL 62454
    (618) 546-1557
    www.robinsonchamber.org

    Crawford County Visitor's Center
    113 South Court
    Robinson, IL 62454
    (618) 546-1558
    or
    (800) 445-7006

    The office is open Monday through Saturday
    Be sure you pick up the Crawford County Tourism Council's brochure called "Crawford County, Illinois". It is excellent.

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  • Southern illinois connects with louisana cajuns

    by Daniel39 Written Mar 29, 2014

    I recommend visiting Comeaux's daquiri depot and Cajun cafe
    It's down the road in lawerenceville next to Walmart
    They have New Orleans daquiri s and a Cajun resturant prepared by real duck dynasty Cajuns
    They have alligator crawfish jambalaya fricassee
    Those daquiri s are so good
    They even have a wonderful cozy video game room
    I think it's a must place to visit

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