30 July 2010

Haeger Pottery, Macomb, IL

Haeger Office Entrance
A few weeks ago, D and I were wandering around Macomb, IL and we decided to stop by one of the places that used to make Macomb more artsy than your typical drunken college town. The Haeger Pottery Plant has unfortunately been shut down since 2004. Although there have been a few plans to renovate the property (the most recent one was a proposed condo development) all of them have fallen through and today it sits empty.
Approaching Haeger via the Train Tracks
Established in Macomb in 1882 as Buckeye Pottery, the building was bought by Haeger in 1939. The first pieces of Haeger pottery came out of the Macomb plant on December 15, 1940.  Until it was shutdown, the Macomb plant was the only other producer of Haeger pottery other than the main East Dundee, IL plant that is still operational today.

20 July 2010

Spotted: OEN Foundry Stamp

In Macomb, IL on a building facade. It is really this shade of blue.

15 July 2010

A Matter of Perception

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I went to a friend's wedding reception last weekend and had a rather enlightening experience. The reception was held here in Illinois near my hometown and current base of operations, but the majority of the people who attended were from Ohio- mainly around the Cincinnati area. They had all driven to get here and after a 7 hour long drive, they were eager to compare the gory details of their trips. Over dinner, I listened to their disdainful comments which went more or less as follows (my thoughts in Italics):

Ohioan #1: Well the drive down here was long, and there sure are a lot of cornfields here in Illinois, I don't think I've ever seen so many cornfields in my whole life.
Ohioan #2: I know, and it's so flat here. You can see for miles around, but all you can see is cornfields! (I have a friend from CA, so I realize Illinois isn't exactly mountainous, but people from Ohio calling my state flat? We have hills!  And if you go south, there are a lot of them, big ones even!)
Ohioan #1: It's amazing isn't it. (Insert name of somewhat large Illinois town here- I'm leaving it out to protect all of us) must be the largest town for miles around. (It's not- there are quite a few comparably sized towns within a half and hour to an hour away.  My home is by no means the sticks.)
Ohioan #3: It must be. Every time I see the sign for the municipal airport here it makes me laugh. It must be the only airport for hundreds of miles. (I can think of at least five more within ten miles- ever heard of private landing strips?  Or do you not have those in Ohio?)
Ohioan #2: I cannot tell you how many dusty towns we drove through on the way here. What was that one? The one with the strange name?  (Dusty?  It's been raining and raining here for weeks, there is no way you went through a dusty town.  BTW, all major roads and most minor ones are paved here.)
Ohian #1: Oh it was (Insert mispronounced name of apparently hard to pronounce small "dusty" Illinois town here).  (You've got to be kidding me.  Seriously?)

This was the point at which I stepped in and probably rather condescendingly said, you mean (insert correctly pronounced name of apparently hard to pronounce small "dusty" Illinois town here). At that point they all started talking about how pretty rural Illinois is and how peaceful, in an attempt to appease the local yokel.

02 July 2010

Spotted: 1908 Manhole

Sounds dirty doesn't it? Well, technically it is- sewers after all are not the cleanest places in the world and who knows what this manhole is covering up.
1908 Manhole