The Most Haunted City in Illinois….Meet Alton

Over the years, I have watched shows, read the books, and saw the pictures about the scary little town of Alton, Illinois. What makes it so scary? Well it hosts so many haunted areas and buildings, that it is a plethora of delights for the historian and ghost hunter in me.  As they say here, “Where all your Witches come true,” this place isn’t for the faint of heart. Lined with limestone rock, the town sits upon the Mississippi River, which is a recipe for paranormal activity.rsz_img_0139

18 miles outside of St. Louis, MO, it made for a perfect “two-fer” road trip! Easy to get to Alton, and also to get to St. Louis from there. Downtown Alton was a sleepy little town, full of the Main Street feel, buried in hills that surround it opposite the Mississippi. Free parking downtown, plenty of it, and stores and restaurants were open, but the visitors center was closed due to Covid.  rsz_img_0105rsz_img_0018rsz_img_0015rsz_img_0010rsz_img_0014

First, I had written one long blog post about everything I saw and visited and it was far too long and way to boring. So, in this age of 2020, our attention spans are only so long and hence, the many parts of my Alton trip were born. So much easier for everyone to find, and short and sweet just works better sometimes.  Check out my posts about the HAUNTED McPike Mansion, First Unitarian Church, Alton Prison, Confederate Cemetary, Mineral Springs Hotel, and the Alton Cemetery.  rsz_img_0061

As for the town itself, it hosts some pretty cool people people that used to walk this Earth. Miles Davis, a very famous Jazz performer was born here, along with the Tallest Man in the World, Robert Wadlow.  Also a famous argument, hence a DEBATE, happened here between a beloved President and one who wished he could be. The very spot the building rest for the infamous “Lincoln-Douglas” Debate can be found right in town, across from the large water towers “Alton” sign. Check out more of this spot HERE. rsz_img_0133rsz_img_0134rsz_img_0055Alton1

Enjoy the Town’s pictures and check out all of the highlighted subjects to read more about my amazing haunted road trip to Alton- enjoy!rsz_img_0019rsz_img_9999rsz_img_9990

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Haunted Lafayette Square in St. Louis

RoadTripLogoHaving been to Savannah and other beautiful cities, it never gets old to see the impressive architecture used back in the day. Buildings then had such personalities, each one different and unique.  I don’t mind the cookie cutter homes, but there’s nothing like a home from the early 1900’s. Of course, I am sure they would love our technology today than their pretty buildings, but hey, I’ll guess I’ll have to ask them some day!rsz_img_0472

 

Every neighborhood has that ONE home that everyone avoids, talks about, walks quickly past because it just gives them a bad vibe. Well what if it was the ENTIRE neighborhood? In May of 1896, the “Great Cyclone” as they would deem it, destroyed this area, eating everything in it’s path. One of the deadliest tornadoes in history, it would take 255 precious souls that day. rsz_img_0473

With all of that death, it would be no surprise that the neighborhood, and the Park it surrounds, are said to be haunted with those who perished in the storm. This suburb just outside the city of St. Louis is so beautiful and quaint, it’s almost hard to wrap your head around the devestation that occured there.  I drove and took pics, not really feeling anything but sadness for so many people who left this Earth so quickly.  If you’d like to check out more spooky sites that I have road tripped to, check them out HERE. Enjoy!rsz_img_0474

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio… Chicago, IL

 

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Some of my travels have taken me to the most beautiful of places, one being Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal home found in Oak Park, IL (a suburb of Chicago). Located at 951 Chicago Avenue, it was built in 1889 in a shingle style architecture, and the man had an eye for using space as necessary but making it also a work of art to behold. One cannot enter any of his properties without a gasp of “How did he do that” or “WHY did he do that?” Maybe most of us have become immue to the imagination it takes to make these homes of wonder, or that it’s just to much time and energy to do so in the first place. This was his passion, his passion project to be more precise. Here is where he raised his children, family moments made, kisses with his beloved, and also where he would work in the Studio that was inside his home until 1909. A masterpiece, a work of art, a home.

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Tickets will cost you $20 per person for the “Home and Studio Guided Interior” Tour which is what I signed up for on Thursday, August 6th, 2020. I highly recommend for any travels during Covid times that you do your research, call ahead, and pay online- some DO NOT update their websites and you don’t need to pay for something, invest the energy into going, only to find out that it has been closed during Covid and never bothered to update their site. (Yes, it has happened to me). For now, their hours are 10 am- 3 pm, THURSDAY through SUNDAY ONLY, so plan accordingly. Children under the age of 8 are not permitted, and I am just going to assume because it’s a Museum of sorts now and little ones want to touch everything. Nothing here is behind velvet ropes or glass, you are truly walking as a guest into his home. The tour takes about 45 minutes, plus or minus a chatty person who has lots of questions OR someone who takes a ton of photos like myself.

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Due to Covid, they only allow 8 guests per tour, and that worked out wonderfully for me. I checked in under a white tent where they checked my ticket on my phone, got the small group of us together, and that’s how simple it was. Everyone stood far apart, and when we walked around I would make sure to hang back and be the last one so I had my space. Masks are required at all times, and they do have rubber mats on the floors to show you where to stand in certain rooms. I had no problem finding the home, and was able to park on the side in the neighborhood that he also designed several homes for. That area is MUCH QUIETER to park in, the main road of Chicago Avenue was VERY busy and wasn’t worth trying to park on. Also this was a beautiful suburb of Chicago, the neighborhood alone was worth the trip! After the tour, I highly recommend a walk through the gift shop (who doesn’t like a gift shop?) and grab yourself a $3 map of the area where they show you each home that he also designed-it’s really cool and I will share those photos in tomorrow’s blog post! The tour was DEFINITELY worth the money, and only took under an hour to complete ours, so it’s worth the stop to or from Chicago. Check it out and thanks for stopping by!

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“The Music of Yesterday”… The Music Machines of House on the Rock.

I took so many wonderful pictures during my time at “House on the Rock,” that I wanted to make sure to not overwhelm my readers with a novel of pictures. So to break it up a bit, I thought I would just post a couple of pictoral posts about some of the rooms that were JUST AMAZING!! For more information about my visit, check out the FULL POST HERE. Today’s installment, and FINAL one of the HOTR Pictorial Series, is that of the Music Machines. I didn’t even really understand the point of these upon my first time at the house. You find them in the home section, then littered throughout the Museum sections. You can normally purchase tokens, but with Covid, they were limiting a few given with your ticket purchased. The machines ONLY run on tokens, along with several fun things like a fortune teller and displays you can play. Most take ONE, but the large ones, that literally FILL a room, take TWO. It’s fun to enjoy with or without the kids, but it’s so unusual to play them that it’s worth it. Several times I passed them up, and then I thought I better start using my tokens, can’t use them to pay for my fries on the way home so might as well! The video can be seen on Facebook on The Relocated Tourist page, but here are the pics posted below of these mammoth music makers- enjoy! Check out more about the HOUSE here!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Lincoln Visits Strevel…An Historical Moment

Over the summer, I have figured out that I have several categories of travel that I truly enjoy checking off.  One of them being History, but more specific, Lincoln and his travels.  Having spent some serious time in the Midwest lately, it has given me a really cool perspective of this President and his life and times.  So when I visit a city, I look up if there was anything Lincoln did or saw there to add to my digital scrapbook of travels. This was one of those places, a diamond in the rough, and unless you knew where it was, I doubt most would make it a stop. rsz_img_1070

Yes, it’s a red house on a corner, 401 Livingston Street.  But it’s the Gothic Style architecture that gives this house a very spooky vibe, on top of the fact that Lincoln himself spent time here visiting and celebrating. Built in 1854 and located in Pontiac, Illinois, sits this interesting home where Lincoln visited his good friend, Jason Strevell. Why is it so significant? Because it is here that Lincoln penned a letter to his son on the evening of January 27th, 1860, that he predicted he would be nominated for the vice-presidency of the Republican Party.  The Strevels would also host a celebration for Lincoln here after one of his speeches at the local church. It is the ONLY and LAST house standing in Livingston County in which Lincoln visited. rsz_img_1068 (2)1LincolnDwightHomersz_img_1069 (1)rsz_img_1067Anything with Lincoln gives me the goosebumps…to know the man walked the same steps I now took in 2020, the same pavement, the same view of this home.  The home wasn’t open, due to Covid, but I was able to get a shot of the inside through the front door. To see him walk down the stairs, to know he walked and thought about where his foothold in history would be. Maybe he had no idea how he would shape us, but it’s pretty incredible to see these places and feel that amazing, historical energy.  I encourage you or the family to road trip to these spots around Illinois, it’s a great learning experience and it’s important to keep the history alive. Want to see more of my Lincoln Road Trip? Check it out HERE. Enjoy!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Arzt House….Haunted St. Louis

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Many a home and location are haunted in the City of St. Louis, and one of the most haunted, yet not too known, is the “Arzt House.”  An immigrant from Hungaria, Dr. Franz Arzt came to America, finding many business opportunities to lead him up the ladder of success and fortune. Building the home in 1874, it hosts not only a carriage house, but tunnels that run underneath the home.

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Located at 2330 S. 12th Street, also known as “Soulard,” I had no problem finding the house. It stands out like a single candle on a birthday cake. Want to make a wish? This row of homes that surround it seem to sit in it’s shadows, while it reigns over them at the top of the hill. Had I known earlier, I wouldv’e booked a night hear on Air BnB for $90 a night- not sure I would get any sleep though! It is rumored that the good Doctor himself haunts the home and has been seen on more than one occasion.  I can tell you that just from walking around the property, as it takes up a good corner of the block, it is impressive and it is HUGE!  I may have to think on a second trip here, it sounds like a scary good time in a beautiful home. Want to see more of my haunted road trip? Check it out HERE. Enjoy!ArtzHouse5ArtzHouse6

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00