2022 Road Trip-Part 10A

23 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 10 (5/25/2022)

This morning after breakfast, I headed east 15 miles on and I-55 to see what The Largest Catsup Bottle, located in Collinsville, IL was all about.  It turns out it is this huge 170-foot-high Collinsville water tower (100,000 gallons).  Built in 1949, in the shape of a catsup bottle, it has the name ‘Brooks’ painted on it, to honor the Brooks Catsup Company, that was in business there from 1907s to 1959, when the company merged with the P. J. Ritter Co.  The Suppiger Bottling Company moved its operations to Illinois in the early 1960s, and their name also appears on the water tower. Collinsville is also the self-proclaimed Horseradish Capital of the World, and hosts the annual Horseradish Festival held there in the city.

Note: Collinsville, IL was originally founded in 1837 as Unionville, IL. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was northeast 45 miles on I-55 to visit the Litchfield Museum located in downtown Litchfield, IL.  This small museum is the Official Route 66 museum in the area, as Old US-66 ran thru Litchfield, but was bypassed by I-55.  The museum has a large displays of early Route 66 artifacts, memorabilia, and curios.  The curator and I had a nice time remembering the Route 66 days of our youth.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

North 40 miles on I-55 I visited the Chatham Railroad Museum located just off Main Street in Chatham, IL.  This small museum is situated in the old restored 1902 C A & M station, that replaced the original 1852 C & M Railway Depot, and displays local railroad artifacts, memorabilia and photos associated with the railroad’s influence on the growth of the city of Chatham and the surrounding Sangamon County area from the mid-1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was only another 10 miles northeast on SR-3 to where I visited the Air Combat Museum located at the Lincoln Capital Airport outside Springfield, IL.  This museum consists of the private collection of Mick George and has 18 beautifully restored aircraft, most of which are in flying condition.  Their latest project is the restoration of a WWII P-40N Warhawk, which is being restored to flying condition.  The crew were very friendly, showing me around their restoration hanger, and I invited them to visit our Valiant Air Command Museum in Titusville the next time they were in our area.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next it was only a couple of miles over to visit the Lincoln Memorial Tomb Site located within the 180-acre Oak Ridge Cemetery there in Springfield.  Wikipedia tells me that the National Lincoln Monument Association was formed by citizens of Springfield on April 15, 1865 (the day Lincoln died) and has maintained Lincoln’s tomb ever since.  It is a magnificent mausoleum to our 16th President.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After touring the rest of the beautiful Oak Ridge Cemetery, I headed east another 30 miles on I-55 to visit the Postville Courthouse Historic Site located in Lincoln, IL.  This is the site of the 1839 Postville Courthouse that served Logan County until 1848.  As a member of the Traveling Bar of the 8th Illinois Judicial Circuit, young lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, attended court here twice each year until the county seat was moved to Mount Pulaski, IL in 1848.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “2022 Road Trip-Part 10A”

  1. divoran09 November 24, 2022 at 5:35 pm #

    You have looked at a lot of wondrous places in your travels. Thanks for sharing them with us.




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