Part III: Return to Chicago

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On our way back to Chicago we decided to spend the night in another motel, and we were glad that we did – Basil was not happy about leaving Kansas.  There were fewer choices of towns based upon when we wanted to stop on the journey.  There was a Girard, IL, but they had no motels.  There was also a town with a bunch of Sears Catalog homes, but it also did not have motels.  We settled on a town called Litchfield, IL, which happened to have the longest running restaurant along Old Route 66, though we chose against going, even if it happened to be open (maybe it finally closed after 80 years).

Since we stopped with only four hours left to Chicago, and since we found out that the Sears homes were closer than we thought, we took a side journey to Carlinville, IL.  According to their tourist info (a town of 5000 has printed tourist info!), Standard Oil opened a couple of mines in the area and needed a quick housing supply.  Where would you turn?  Why, of course – the Sears catalog!  I guess they ordered 156 (apparently 1/3 the size of the town) and 152 remain today, though modified heavily.  When we drove through we were taking guesses as to which houses were actually part of the collection.  People would buy these houses and the Sears company would ship all the parts for a person to build their own home – including the nails.  Wow.

We didn’t take any pictures, but several can be found here.

Eventually we made it safely home, where my back immediately put me out of commission for carrying Basil.  Thus, it didn’t exactly feel like time off for Elizabeth, though I was still helpful as a cook!

Now we’re back to work.

Merry Christmas to our Old Calendar friends!

~Eric

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2 Responses to “Part III: Return to Chicago”

  1. Stella Bella, Katina, and Jeff Says:

    This picture of Lizard and Basil is too precious. Love it.

  2. lilagreer Says:

    hooray!
    i’ve been checking constantly for the full story, plus photos, and am glad to have them. hope we’ll talk soon, but i’m glad it was a successful (and very cute) journey

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