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Taking refuge at Fort Dearborn, following the Ritcheys
Eva Thatcher Ritchey and her four children escaped to Fort Dearborn during the Black Hawk War.
Eva Thatcher Ritchey and her four children escaped to Fort Dearborn during the Black Hawk War.
For the last two weeks we have been following James Ritchey and his family as they hacked out a life for themselves on the prairies of Will County. When we left them they were fleeing to Fort Dearborn in Chicago, in fear for their lives from Black Hawk and his warriors.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trains, a dangerous necessity
Last time we talked about train smash-ups and the loss of life and money they produced. But direct smash-ups were not the only problems with this mode of transportation. Let's look at other problems with trains and train travel.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Early train disasters
Wilmington was looking to prosper and couldn't wait for a connection to the I&M Canal to be built. So town organizers spoke with a railroad company that was looking to expand. What Wilmington got was more than it had wished for.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Celebrating the 4th Braidwood style
The Wilmington Independent gives us a look at what that first Fourth of July celebration was like in Braidwood. There were horse races, picnics, entertainment and a boxing match that attracted thousands of visitors
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
What could it have been? Hunting the unusual
My father was full of weird sayings, or at least ones I couldn't figure out. One of them was, "Tell me what it is, and I'll tell you what to feed it." He used it whenever he saw something unusual. Today we look the unusual to try to figure out just what it was.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Viruses, vaccines in the 19th century
Over the weekend the talk on the news was anthrax, its use as a biological weapon, and vaccinating against it. Epidemics in this country have, for the most part, been controlled.

I started thinking about what it was like to live with bacterial and virus epidemics on an everyday basis, and I didn't have to look further than our own Will County for an answer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


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