IN JUNE 1885, Capt. Bogardus and his company pitched their tents in Wilmington and gave a show. The captain and his sons entertained local crowds with their marksmanship, one example of what served as entertainment in the days before ratio, TV and cell phones.
It seems that most human beings require amusement, and in recent times we feel we need to be amused constantly. Television, smart phones, satellite, cable TV, subscription radio, etc, etc. are attacking our brains with constant sources of amusement. Now, shut everything off and set the way back machine for 1879. Wednesday, September 21, 2016
If you ask the average American if they know of Braidwood, IL, most probably the response would be "Where?" But go to the Yakima Valley in Washington state and ask the same question to the African American population and you would get a different response. Wednesday, September 21, 2016
The 1873 plat maps of Will County show us many things, the location of roads, rivers and streams, farm houses, railroad tracks, cemeteries and school houses. It is the schools that interest us today. The location was not arbitrary, the state laws required that a school be built within walking distance for every child. Of course the definition of walking distance has changed considerably since then. Let's go back to school, way back. Wednesday, September 14, 2016
School houses in the 19th century were more than just places of learning; they were community centers. In Braidwood it was the Grove School that became the town meeting place. Let's take a stroll to the Grove and see what's happening. Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Ask any law enforcement officer, and they will tell you that their job is not all skittles and beer. As many times as not, the arresting officer becomes the target of the person being arrested or the crowd that naturally surrounds the scene. But in the 19th century, this was even more of a problem. To me, it is a wonder that anyone would consent to becoming a constable. Let's look at a few examples from Braidwood's past. Wednesday, September 7, 2016
We have just celebrated another national holiday - Labor Day. But I believe it has lost its meaning. There are many who still had to work, such as clerks, waitresses, highway construction workers and more. Most did not get extra pay for this. Is this fair? What exactly is fair in the work place? These questions were being debated in the mid-19th century as well. Wednesday, September 7, 2016