Tourism and travel

Here you will find articles about popular tourist destinations in Illinois, guide books about Chicago, and transportation in Illinois, as published mainly in Illinois Times, Chicago's Reader, and the American Automobile Association's Adventure Road and Americana magazines.

Every journalist is a travel writer in a way, insofar as she introduces readers to unfamiliar realms and exotic people. That was especially true in my case. Having spent enough time in each to pose as an expert, I spent much of my career trying to explain Downstate to Chicago and vice versa.

 

Most of what I wrote on the broader topic was about the economic and  cultural aspects of tourism, but now and then I did actually visit Illinois places people like to  go to. Some of the results appear below. 

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Downstate

Bronze Trousers 

Public statuary on the Illinois statehouse grounds

"Prejudices" Illinois Times  ca 1991  

Springfield, IL

A jaundiced view of the capital city

Reader  June 30, 1989

A New City of Joseph

Mormon Nauvoo, reborn

Americana  April 1980

The Friendly Town of Rushville

An archetypal Downstate small town

Illinois Times  July 1, 1977

Lincoln’s Springfield House

The Lincoln home for the automobile tourist

Adventure Road September/October 1985

Ghost Houses 

A plan for the Lincoln home neighborhood

"Prejudices" Illinois Times November 11, 1990

Patrimony

Poor ­counties into bucolic Disneylands?

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  May 26, 1983

Going to Mr. Lincoln's House

Authenticity and the tourist’s Lincoln

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  February 10, 1983

The State of the Fair

The Illinois State Fair is an exposition of life

Reader  June 30, 1989

Fair to Middling

Springfield Day at the state fair

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  August 22, 1980

The Alchemy of Galena

A town that turned lead into tourist gold.

Nature of Illinois  Fall 1988

The Old Capitol: The Higher Vaudeville

They built it; they didn’t come

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  February 6, 1981

Susan's House

The state is a poor host at the Dana-Thomas House

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  Undated

Nauvoo, City of Wine and Mormons

Whose town? Whose story?

Illinois Times  May 25, 1979

General

Tour-a-lura-lura

Spring, when the crocus and the tourist bloom

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  April 8, 1977

Gimcrackery

Illinois tries to run its landmarks on the cheap

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  April 2, 1992

George Washington’s Ax

When does restoring become destroying?

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  December 14, 1979

Chicago

Welcome to Chicago?

A Downstater's view of tourists and tourism

Reader   July 3, 1992

Utopia in Pullman

Paternal capitalism on the South Side

Americana  July-August 1981

How to Run Out of Town on a Rail
Weekending from Chicago on board Amtrak

Reader  May 31, 1991

A Global Welcome Mat

Chicago merges tourism with economic development

Chicago Enterprise  May 1990

What Chicago Would Look Like

Union Station dresses up for company

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  September 23, 1993

Feeling Like a Foreigner

Taking the anthropological view in Chicago

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  May 3, 1990

Making Lincoln Come Alive

The seed that grew into a Lincoln Presidential library

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  ca 1990

Preface

Looking for Illinois

Unpublished

ca 2005

Historic Bishop Hill Looks to the Future

Restoring a Swedish town without embalming it

Illinois Times  October 13, 1978

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New Life in the Lincoln Depot

Will tourists arrive where Lincoln departed?

Illinois Times  August 4, 1978

SITES

OF INTEREST

John Hallwas

Essential for anyone interested in Illinois history and literature. Hallwas deservedly won the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society.

Lee Sandlin Author

One of Illinois’s best, and least-known, writers of his generation. Take note in particular of The Distancers and Road to Nowhere.

Chicago Architecture Center

See Home Page/Learn/

Resources for a marvelous building database, architecture dictionary, even a city planning graphic novel. Handsome, useful—every Illinois culture website should be so good.

The Encyclopedia of Chicago

 

The online version of The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Crammed with thousands of topic entries, biographical sketches, maps and images, it is a reference work unmatched in Illinois.

Illinois Great Places

The Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2018 selected 200 Great Places in Illinois that illustrate our  shared architectural culture across the entire period of human settlement in Illinois.

McLean County Museum

of History

A nationally accredited, award-winning project of the McLean County Historical Society whose holdings include more than 20,000 objects, more than 15,000 books on local history and genealogy, and boxes and boxes of historical papers and images.

Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, and Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois

 

Every Illinois town ought to have a chronicler like D. Leigh Henson, Ph.D. Not only Lincoln and the Mother road—the author’s curiosity ranges from cattle baron John Dean Gillett to novelist William Maxwell. An Illinois State Historical Society "Best Web Site of the Year."

Southern Illinois University Press

SIU Press is one of the four major university publishing houses in Illinois. Its catalog offers much of local interest, including biographies of Illinois political figures, the history (human and natural) and folklore of southern Illinois, the Civil War and Lincoln, and quality reprints in the Shawnee Classics series.

Chronicling Illinois

“Chronicling Illinois” showcases some of the collections—mostly some 6,000 photographs—from the Illinois history holdings of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

Illinois Digital Archives

 

Created in 2000, the IDA is a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library and other Illinois libraries and cultural institutions. The holdings include photographs, slides, and glass negatives, oral histories, newspapers, maps, and documents from manuscripts and letters to postcards,  posters, and videos.

[STILL A-BUILDING]

BOOKS

 OF INTEREST

Southern Illinois University Press 2017

A work of

solid history, entertainingly told.

Michael Burlingame,

author of Abraham 

Lincoln: A Life 

One of the ten best books on Illinois history I have read in a decade.

Superior Achievement Award citation, ISHS Awards, 2018

A lively and engaging study

. . . an enthralling narrative.

James Edstrom

The Annals of Iowa

A book that merits the attention of all Illinois historians

as well as local historians generally.

John Hoffman

Journal of Illinois HIstory

A model for the kind of detailed and honest history other states and regions could use.

Harold Henderson 

Midwestern Microhistory

A fine example of a resurgence of Midwest historical scholarship.

Greg Hall

Journal of the Illinois

State Historical Society

Click  here 

to read about

the book 

Click  here 

to buy

the book

Contact James Krohe Jr. at CornLatitudes@outlook.com

All material Copyright © by James Krohe Jr. unless otherwise indicated