top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureLucian@going2paris.net

Wadsworth, Illinois To Bloomington, Illinois By Way Of Harvard


Fairfield Inn

Bloomington, Illinois

June 5, 2022





Hebron is a village in McHenry County, Illinois, United States. It is a commuter village within the Chicago metropolitan area. Per the 2020 census, the population was 1,368. It is also the headquarters of Vaughan Manufacturing, one of the largest manufacturers of striking tools in the world.








History


Statue of Harmilda the cow, commemorating Milk Days


Harvard is a city located in McHenry County, Illinois. The population was 9,469 at the 2020 census. The city is 63 miles from the Chicago Loop and it is the last stop on the Union Pacific/Northwest Line.


The original owners of the land which came to be Harvard, Illinois, were Abram Carmack and Jacob Davis, who obtained it from the government in 1845 and sold it to Gilbert Brainard shortly afterward. Upon Gilbert Brainard's death, the land was purchased by Amos Page, Otis Eastman, and Elbridge Gerry Ayer. These three men planned the layout of the town and named it "Harvard" in honor of Harvard, Massachusetts. The plat was signed by Judge J. M. Strode in Woodstock, Illinois, on November 25, 1856. Shortly afterward Amos Page and Otis Eastman sold their shares of the property to Elbridge Gerry Ayer. Mr.Ayer's involvement came out of his business interest in the extension of the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company railroad west from Cary, toward Janesville, Wisconsin. The newly platted town of Harvard was located directly on the route of the extension, and in April 1856 the railroad accepted Ayer's offer of land to build a station in the town.


In 1856 Mr. Wesley Diggins built a hotel for Mr. H. C. Blackman, who sold it to Mr. Elbridge Gerry Ayer in 1859. Mr. Ayer built additional floors to raise it to a height of three stories and added a wing and a veranda. During the Civil War, sick and wounded soldiers passing through Harvard were lodged at the hotel with no charge for their meals. In 1925 the Ayer Hotel was purchased by Mr. S. J. Noble and renamed the Noble Hotel. When he could not maintain mortgage payments it was purchased in 1937 by Mr. P. G. Allen and renamed the Hub Hotel. The building was destroyed in a fire on December 22, 1960.

As railroad employment expanded, Harvard's population grew. On April 18, 1869, voters incorporated the community and elected Elbridge Gerry Ayer as the first village president.[5] The first ordinance adopted required every able-bodied citizen between the ages of 18 and 60 to perform one day of labor for the town.

Harvard was turned from a town into a city when citizens voted to do so (with a vote of 550 to 5) on April 6, 1891. With this change, Harvard was no longer a town administered by a village president. It became a city administered by a mayor.


Motorola opened a 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2) mobile telephone manufacturing and distribution facility on Harvard's north side in 1997. The plant employed more than 5,000 at its peak. However, a combination of factors, including a significant decline in Motorola's business in the early 2000s, compelled the company to shutter the facility in 2003.[6][7] On August 13, 2008, the 1.5 million square foot facility was sold to Optima International's[a] Optima Ventures, LLC[b] a Miami-based real estate investment firm led by Chaim Schochet and 2/3rd owned by the Ihor Kolomoyskyi associated Privat Group, one of Ukraine's largest business and banking groups holding 33% of the individual deposits and accounting for 25% of Ukraine's banking sector from 2003 to 2016.[12][c][d] In 2016, Xiao Hua "Edward" Gong, who was born in China but resides in Toronto, purchased the former Motorola plant but, in December 2017, prosecutors in Canada and New Zealand alleged that the plant was part of a money laundering scheme and fraud involving Chinese citizens purchasing securities valued at hundreds of millions of dollars and supported by firms in New Zealand.[17][21]

In 2006, Harvard held a year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration.[22] The Greater Harvard Area Historical Society is located on Hart Street. The society identifies and marks historical sites in the area. It also works to obtain histories of Harvard families, businesses, and farms that have been in operation for more than 100 years.


Harvard is the self-proclaimed Milk Capital of the World and hosts one of the longest-running festivals in Illinois, Harvard Milk Days, the first weekend of June to commemorate their contributions to milk production during WWII.


A symbol of the Milk Days Festival, the statue of a cow, Harmilda, "stands 5 feet tall, 8 feet long, and weighs about 125 pounds."






























Yes, indeed. Illinois is farm country.



I did not think I would see my first Rivian in the boonies of Illinois.



Bloomington is a city and the county seat of McLean County, Illinois, United States. It is adjacent to the town of Normal, and is the more populous of the two principal municipalities of the Bloomington–Normalmetropolitan area. Bloomington is 135 miles (217 km) southwest of Chicago, and 162 miles (261 km) northeast of St. Louis. The 2020 Census showed the city had a population of 78,680, making it the 13th most populated city in Illinois, and the fifth-most populous city in the state outside the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Combined with Normal, the twin cities have a population of roughly 130,000. The Bloomington area is home to Illinois Wesleyan University and Illinois State University. It also serves as the headquarters for State Farm Insurance and Country Financial.


Climate and weather


In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Bloomington have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −23 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 114 °F (46 °C) was recorded on July 15, 1936 during the 1936 North American heat wave. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.71 inches (43 mm) in February to 4.52 inches (115 mm) in May.


History


The Bloomington area was at the edge of a large grove occupied by the Kickapoo people before the first Euro-American settlers arrived in the early 1820s. Springing from the settlement of Keg Grove, later called Blooming Grove, Bloomington was named as county seat on December 25, 1830, when McLean County was created.


When the County of McLean was incorporated, a county seat was established. However, the legislation stated the site of Bloomington "would be located later." James Allin, one of the new county's promoters, offered to donate 60 acres (240,000 m2) of his land for the new town. His offer was accepted, and Bloomington was laid out. Its lots were sold at a well-attended and noisy auction on the 4th of July 1831. At this time there were few roads, but rich soils brought new farmers who began commerce by conducting their business in the newly formed county. People came from all over to trade and do business at the town's center, known today as Downtown Bloomington, including Abraham Lincoln who was working as a lawyer in nearby Springfield, Illinois. Prominent Bloomington resident Jesse W. Fell, who founded the Bloomington Pantagraph and who was most prominent in local real estate, had suggested the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1854 and played a prominent role in pushing Lincoln to run for President.


In 1900 an officer on patrol discovered a fire in a laundry across the street from the old city hall and police station. He sounded the alarm but the fire destroyed the majority of the downtown, especially the areas north and east of the courthouse. However, the burnt area was quickly rebuilt from the designs of local architects George Miller and Paul O. Moratz.

During the first two decades of the 20th century, Bloomington continued to grow.


Agriculture, the construction of highways and railroads, and the growth of the insurance business (mainly State Farm Insurance) all influenced the growth of Bloomington and its downtown area. The downtown area became a regional shopping center attracting trade from adjoining counties. Labor unions grew in strength.


In 1997, Judy Markowitz was elected as the city's first female and Jewish Mayor.[11] During Markowitz's two terms as Mayor, an arena was built in downtown Bloomington and the city's performing arts center began restoration. Bloomington would also approve a gay rights ordinance in 2002. In 2021, Mboka Mwilambwe was elected as the city's first black mayor.


6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars

Charles Hollis “Chuck” Taylor was born in Brown County, Indiana in 1901 and went on to become a professional basketball player (never full-time, just a few semi-pro gigs) long before the NBA was forme

Bloomberg Radio

I have recently been listening to Bloomberg Radio for a change. Mostly coverage of financial markets with a bit of politics mixed in — but only to the extent it affects the economy. Lots if intervie

Comentarios


bottom of page