Print: The wooden grain elevator in Mayview, replaced by the concrete one in Fulls. This print was made by a friend of mine who is the local prairie expert. Dad made the frame from wood from the old elevator.
Sign: New sign on the grain elevator office. This is what made me check to see if there was really a Fulls, Il.
To keep my mind alert I try to learn something new every day. Just yesterday I learned I’ve lived in Fulls, Illinois for the past 35+ years.
“Fulls is a populated place located in Champaign County at latitude 40.113 and longitude -88.09. The elevation is 679 feet. Fulls appears on the Saint Joseph U.S. Geological Survey Map. Champaign County is in the Central Time Zone (UTC -6 hours). It observes daylight savings time. Fulls is an unincorporated community in Champaign County, Illinois, United States. Fulls is located along U.S. Route 150 west of St. Joseph.” Wikipedia
I knew it only as Fulls Siding, a railroad siding that serviced the grain elevator. “A populated place” now means Georgia, me, Mia (the dog), Maggie Mae (the cat), and Shelly (the turtle). The only other building is the grain elevator and office. It does employ a few people and has a pop machine. Dad used to go over there and have a Coke and talk about the crops and weather. Once they let Dad and I take the one person (holding two) elevator to the top of the grain elevator. It was a great view.
The concrete elevator replaced the wooden one in Mayview, about a mile west of here. In the 30’s the railroad tracks were double tracks, one for freight and long haul traffic and one for a local commuter train that took people to the small towns in the area. It also went to “Homer Park, an amusement park on the Illinois Traction System interurban line. Homer Park, north of the village on the Salt Fork creek, offered swimming, food, baseball, movies, dancing, and even a small zoo. The park closed in 1937 after flooding and poor management.” The Illinois Traction System tracks were removed shortly after the park closed.
The wide area of the old track bed filled with prairie grasses and wild strawberries. Georgia and I used to like to walk along the path and pick the strawberries. Once we made strawberry jam and took a jar to the Governor.
The bed of the active tracks used rock from someplace way north and was full of fossils. Sarah, Suzanne and I would spend hours looking for them. We found crinoid columns (Indian beads), coral, trilobites, and brachiopods.
These tracks were removed several years ago. I have lived by railroad tracks most of my life and miss not living near them now. The exciting part is the plan to make a bike path from Champaign to Danville on the old track bed. Each small town along the way (about every 10 miles) is being encouraged to have mini-parks and point out attractions in the area. I’ve seen detailed plans and drawing and the organization now has the right-of-way, but it is still trying to raise funds for the path.