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home : columnists : time was October 23, 2016

A case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time
THIS IS A typical body shape of a 1916 model automobile, probably resembling the one the young men were
THIS IS A typical body shape of a 1916 model automobile, probably resembling the one the young men were "test driving" when they came upon a standoff in Braceville.
The plot of the story seems familiar. It involves a car salesman, a test drive, a robbery, a wounded man, a get-away car, a chase by the mob, surrendering to the police, an inaccurate newspaper story and finally the truth of the matter for all to read. The movie could be a Gene Wilder comedy or a thriller with Johnny Depp. It is none of those, however. It is a true story from the Braidwood coal field. Set the way back machine for November 1916.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Home, a place to find comfort and love
In 1896 the Charity Commission of the state of Illinois purchased land and a building on the west side of the Kankakee River as a place for widows and female dependents of deceased veterans. The original home was expanded and became a large beautiful building with a veranda looking out over the river and a private room for each of its nearly 100 residents. During the years before WWI it became much more than an old ladies' home. Set the way back machine for 1915.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
You can't get there from here, 150 years of bad roads
I am sitting at my computer listening to yet another state road crew working on the road in front of my house. It was worked on last year and the year before. Why can't they make a road that lasts? I am sure the township road commissioners ask themselves the same question as they go out to repair potholes and regrade gravel roads. Today we look at the subject of roads and their importance to a thriving community.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Bits and pieces from the early 20th century
As my research of Braidwood history leads me into the early 20th century I find that news has gotten more scarce. I wish that a few of the Braidwood papers would have survived to be microfilmed as I am curious about this critical time in her history. Having said that, the few bits that survive in the Wilmington paper do give us a look at everyday life in this "dying" town. Here are a few vignettes that paint the picture.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
A century of voting, congrats ladies
To say this is a strange year in the presidential race is an understatement. It is possible that at the end of the day, we will have our first woman president. If so, it will be exactly 100 years after women in the state of Illinois were allowed to vote for that office, three years before the rest of the country.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
What happens when the work runs out
Braidwood was a boom town. It sprang up overnight, as did Coal City, Braceville and Diamond. The reason was coal and the way to get it out of the ground was to dig a shaft down to where it was. The conditions for shaft mining were not ideal, but it was the only method they knew.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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