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Oddball Illinois

A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places

Oddball Illinois
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In this updated edition, it’s plain to see that the state of Illinois has only gotten weirder. Where there was once just a single Popeye statue in downstate Chester, today the town has monuments to Olive Oyl, Swee’ Pea, Bluto, the Sea Hag, and more. The creepy Piasa Bird petroglyph on the bluff in Alton now has a roadside pullout with picnic tables, and the two-story outhouse in Gays has a new contemplative garden. With almost twice as many destinations as its predecessor, this edition boasts detailed information on each site—address, phone number, website, hours, entry fees, and driving directions—as well as maps, photos, and a wealth of regional history in the descriptions. Some new sites include Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, the World’s First Jungle Gym, Ahlgrim Acres (a miniature golf course at a funeral home), the Leather Archives and Museum, General Santa Ana’s two wooden legs, the World’s Largest Sock Monkey, the Friendship Shoe Fence, a truck stop with a marionette show, and a coin-operated fire-breathing dragon. There is more between Chicago and St. Louis than cornfields and plenty of fascinating places in the Windy City that aren’t on Michigan Avenue, and here is a chance to see these underappreciated sites throughout the state.
Chicago Review Press; May 2012
400 pages; ISBN 9781613740354
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