Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WHERE IN THE WORLD?

Here is my little corner of the world. Royal, Illinois.
the original town was founded in 1882 by immigrants from Germany. The ground was flat for miles and miles. There was one small problem. It was under water. But being industrious and familiar with drainage problems, they brought in steam shovels on barges and dug drainage ditches. Soon the water drained and they had wonderful fertile black dirt to raise crops in. They built a Lutheran Church and had a few houses. No name yet. And then in 1887 the railroad came through the area. But not thru the settlement. Again, being industrious , they moved the church and the few houses a mile and a half and situated them next to the tracks. Being by the railroad and hoping to get a station, they had to have a name. Some of the founding fathers were trying to decide what to call the town as a train was going by. One of the rail cars carried an advertisement for "Royal" baking powder and the name was born!




This our church as it stands today. We have built on to it a couple of times as they congregation has grown. But the original building is still in there!




Our main industry is agriculture. We grow lots and lots of corn and soybeans. To get all those crops to the market, we have a huge elevator (located next to the tracks!) During harvest season in the fall, truck after truck lines up waiting their turn to dump and head back out for the next load. The elevator ships out the crops in 100 car trains. For months we can hear the banging of train cars as they move in the next one to fill. The downside to this is that we have red snow. Not actually, but that is what we call it. The chaff from the corn cobs settles on to everything in town during harvest.


We have a lovely small town of about 350 people. Of course our community is much bigger as families from all the farms consider Royal their town too. I guess that is one of small town life's most rewarding characteristics. Everyone is family!




This is the original site. During our centennial celebration, we erected this marker. You can see the flat fields behind it.






We have lived in this town for 37 years and I truly love it. We raised our kids here and as the saying goes " it takes a village.." so it did. Small town life can gives you such a solid feeling of belonging. It teaches you sharing and caring, and ultimately, that is what it is all about.







If you are ever in our area, look for us. We will be here.








12 comments:

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie
Lovely post and so interesting to know about other peoples lives and where they live.
Our nearest village is small, and we live around a mile away. There are only three properties where we are situated, but we help each other, and that is what it is all about.
Have fun.

Cheryl said...

Forgot to say Beckie my husband and I have driven thru Illinois on one of our many fly drive holidays. I may have passed your village!

beckie said...

Cheryl, wouldn't that have been interesting! Where did you go in Il? Thanks for stopping by.

Beth said...

What a wonderful post--I love towns like that. I lived in Iowa before moving to Maine and I also have roots in western Kentucky--both areas like you describe. I haven't been anywhere for 37 years, though, and probably won't. You are very fortunate to have been able to give that to your children.

beckie said...

Beth, Thank you. If you lie small town living, Royal is the place. Don't be so sure about not going anywhere. That is the fun in life..you never know what could happen.

Mary said...

Beckie,

I enjoyed learning about a small town in Illinois of 350 people! It's a far cry from what I'm used to - coming from busy Maryland to Charlotte, North Carolina where the population is booming.

It must be a very comforting life for you, full of history and charm.

Mary

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Beckie, I think you have won the prize for smallest town mentioned on Jodi's where in the world. I am surprised that there are that many people there. ha...

It is amazing that a church and houses were moved so many years ago to improve living conditons.

I hope you left a comment with Jodi so lots of people can see your little town. It is quite charming.

Can't wait to see yoooz gize this weekend.

beckie said...

Mary, it is charming here most of the time, and we do feel blessed with lots of friends.

Lisa, I don't know about the smallest...but a contender anyway! I did leave a post with Jodi. We are looking forward to the weekend,too. Darts,anyone!

Cheryl said...

To be honest Beckie I can't remember. It was eleven years ago and we did around 2000 miles. We did all those little places of the beaten track. We like to go places that the tourists don't go to. We love America and spent lots of holidays there especially when our children were young.

guild-rez said...

One more place to visit..
Love your story and your pictures.
Where do I live??
PLaese take a look,
Gisela
http://guildwood.blogspot.com

guild-rez said...

One more place to visit..
Love your story and your pictures.
Where do I live??
PLaese take a look,
Gisela
http://guildwood.blogspot.com

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

So you're one of those soybean towns that I used to see driving down 57 to get to U of I, what we in Chicagoland call a "Downstater." I love the story of how your town got its name. Every place I've lived in Illinois has been on a railroad. I sometimes wonder if there had been no railroad, would some of the small towns in Illinois still exist?