March 27, 2016

Flashback from 2012: Roxe Anne Peacock’s Life of Writing in Illinois

Illinois is the home of three presidents, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Hussein Obama. It is also the boyhood home of President Reagan.
Chicago is the largest Illinois city and home to the tallest building in the North American continent, the Sears Tower. And for our sports fans, Illinois has several well-known sports teams.
I live in the small community of Caledonia, ten minutes from Rockford. I grew up in cities along Illinois Route 2 and the beautiful Rock River. In fact, the Rock River was my backyard for several years. I fished day and night.
I would recommend taking a trip October 1-2 to take advantage of all the beautiful fall colors and festivities.
First, travel Illinois Route 2 south for a side-trip to Stillman Valley. The Battle of Stillman’s Run, the beginning of the Black Hawk War, was fought there, May 14, 1832 between a detachment of 275 Illinois soldiers and a band of Sauk Indians led by Chief Black Hawk. Visit Battle Ground Park to view a monument where the battle was fought and some soldiers killed are buried in a common grave. The remaining few are buried in another area. The marble monument soberly notes, “The presence of soldier, statesman, martyr, Abraham Lincoln assisting in the burial of these honored dead has made this spot more sacred”.
Journey south to Stronghold Castle in Oregon to experience an Olde English Faire and tour the castle, which is a replica of another in England.
 After you enjoy the Olde English festivities, drive a few miles further south to view the statue of Black Hawk at Lowden’s State Park.
If you prefer, travel a bit further to White Pines State Park in Mt. Morris, Illinois. If roughing it isn’t in your nature, I recommend staying at White Pines Inn at one of the beautiful cabins. Don’t forget to take your fishing gear; the creek has wonderful tasting catfish and bass.
One of my favorite places to eat is at the Lodge Restaurant. You might want to take advantage of the dinner theater with live stage shows while you enjoy a mostly homemade meal.
Your next stop and my favorite is Castle Rock State Park in Oregon, Illinois. Climb the 129 steps to the top of the bluff and enjoy the beautiful view overlooking the river. My family camped at Castle Rock in the 1960’s when it wasn’t yet a state park. It used to have a restaurant, bar, gas station on the south side of the bluff.
In the 1960’s, I lived in Grand Detour for a few years, and spent many summers fishing and playing at Castle Rock. Most of these memories are my fondest and inspired me to write Fatal Catch.       
If you have time, stop at the John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Illinois and if you
are a fan of President Reagan, venture a few more miles south to Dixon.
Here are a few extra tidbits about Illinois you might not know. McDonalds started in Illinois and Metropolis, Illinois is the home of Superman.  
It’s 1963, Mama sends thirteen-year-old Missy to take her little brother, Billie, fishing so she can have some alone time with Uncle Frank. Billie casts his line into the murky river water hooking the big one; granddaddy of all fish. He quickly hands the reel to Missy hoping not to lose his catch. Missy reels in slowly—bubbles begin emerging—releasing an undercurrent of secrets, deadly lies, and terror on the Canfield family.
Check out my first mystery, Leave No Trace at
I also have a fun and informative Civil War cooking blog:
For more information on my work or to contact me visit my website or find me on Facebook using my website link 
(photos provided by author-No Prize this week: The scheduled Illinois Author was no-show.  Message to Illinois, contact me if you'd like some decent promo for your work.)

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, grew up in Illinois, been to Chicago and points in between, but not your neck of the woods. But I've done a fair amount of study on the Black Hawk War, Keokuk, Iowa just across the Mississippi. As I'm sure you know Keokuk was Black Hawk's antogonist in the end. Thanks for the additional information. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author


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