Geneva’s Pure Oil Building

Time is running out to sign the online petition to save the historic Pure Oil Building in Geneva that houses the PURE Gardner gardening shop which is here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/to-the-mayor-and-the-city-council-of-geneva-illinois-save-the-historic-pure-oil-building

The Geneva City Council will discuss it on Monday night’s agenda. The Kane County Chronicle has an article here:

http://www.kcchronicle.com/2012/03/23/demolition-of-pure-oil-building-topic-of-geneva-meeting/axcf9kt/

River Pirates in Illinois

My experience with history courses in school was mostly about struggling to cram a bunch of dry facts into an already busy brain and readying them for regurgitation onto the next test. There was very little joy in it. How I learned to love history was by picking up the hobby of genealogy in my teens when my grandmother handed me the newspaper obituary of my g-g-g grandfather. He was a Hamilton from out East so of course I was keen to trace us back to Alexander. The link has eluded me so far. To date, then, my most famous cousin was the founder of Frederick’s of Hollywood.

I’m ambivalent about my DAR status but not about the adventure. Genealogy has led to all sorts of learning. I’ve developed in particular a fascination with pirates of all sorts, though as far as I know I’m not related to any; and I think I first ran into Illinois river pirates (as opposed to Illinois River pirates) when I was looking a ways south for the Melungeons — though as far as I know the two groups were pretty much mutually exclusive. I guess what I’m saying is, you never know where your historical/genealogical pursuits will take you.

Last summer while visiting the Stone Corner Farm near Oregon, I learned about the local prairie pirates. Stay tuned. Continue reading River Pirates in Illinois

Stone Corner Farm

farmhouse w/sculptures

John and Cindy Barnhart bought an abandoned 7-acre farm southeast of Oregon and began growing vegetables on it. Open for business four years now and certified organic, Barnhart’s Stone Corner Farm Market is certainly about the land and the food, but it’s also about stewardship of a singular piece of local history.

Photography by Janet Fawcett. main wall Continue reading Stone Corner Farm