Four thousand, five hundred souls. Named after the town in Illinois. Town slogan: "Where the possibilities are endless." It has a newspaper. Pure Middle America here, and you know how I feel about that.

Does one have to add that I think that's a good thing? I suppose one does. Well, let's see how the downtown looks.

That’s nice. Really!

It’s not fancy, and it’s mostly cliches, and it looks new, not historic, but it’s nice.

Either you can get gauzy paintings, or they are telling you that the quality of nets they have exceeds those of other stores:

Where Mo-Nets will go if they open a second store:

You always wonder if the original owner would approve of the colors, or ask what the hell they thought they were doing.

It’s not supposed to be tarted up like some saloon doxy!

My original text for this image is “We had two books in the children’s section titled ‘Fox in Sox," but now there’s only one” and I have no idea what I meant by that.

I really should have been pointing out the sign for the Steak Laundry.

Kidding, but now I want to visit a Steak Laundry.

And loses

Always love to see the remnants of the old chain, and too bad the name wasn’t accompanied by my old friend SKOGMO, but man, that’s been gone a long time.

The door looks as if it should have two stout people trying to enter simultaneously:

Was once a grander entrance, I guarantee.

OUMB, suspenders / blue-shirt-white-collar / slicked-back Gekko-hair era:


“Try again, Bob. Line ‘er up.”

It looks as if the building is in mourning.

“According to town records, the original owner had a trampoline showroom on the ground floor.”


As modest and self-contained an old bank as you’ll find.

It's practically begging for a brick, though.


“We were close as kids, but then he went off to avant garde school, and I stayed home and became what they call a ‘traditional’ gal, I guess”

Nice preservation, but A) mirrored glass does not fit old buildings, and B) Those stick-on pediments are ridiculous.

The one next door was a bank, and that’s one serious case of Elephant Man’s Disease, romanesque-wise.

A long partnership:

Thomas Block on the right.


Why not Cass Block?



That would be Patton’s Sun-Proof Paint.

The mascot’s grandson went to work for the Teletubbies.


This one lost a fine cornice, alas.

The turret on the corner pulls it down a bit, but not in a bad way. You wonder if the other end lacked a turret because they expected someone would build something there.

Why is the second floor arch off center? Was it built in two stages?

Well, if you say so.

A nice place. That’s all I got, so I assume that’s all there was. More or less.

Hints of a much older building than the style would otherwise suggest.

Perhaps the bitter rivals of the Cass Brothers combine:

The ground floor is hideous, but also nostalgic.

Whoa: someone just kept adding on, but lost enthusiasm - or the means - by 1908.

Hope his name was Sam.


The rusticated stone sticks out, obscuring the sign. It all looks older than the Owl ad, but it can’t be.

The more I look at this one, the more my brain hurts.

It went down in 2008. Arson. I found a picture.

No, I like mine dull.

The town did a heartfelt video tribute to itself, and dang: nice job, Aurora.