Burma-Shave was an American brand of brushless shaving cream, famous for its advertising gimmick of posting humorous rhyming poems on small sequential highway roadside signs. Burma-Shave was introduced in 1925 by the Burma-Vita company owned by Clinton Odell. The company’s original product was a liniment made of ingredients described as having come “from the Malay Peninsula and Burma”. Demand was sparse, and the company sought to expand sales by introducing a product with wider appeal.
Franklin Creek Grist Mill is the only true water-powered operating grist mill in Illinois and was built by volunteers. Upper floors feature wood paneling from 43 different species of trees and exhibits from other natural areas. The Mill is available for rent for meetings and special events.
This Illinois Central Railroad Depot, built in 1876, has been completely renovated and is now a 19-room museum reflecting the history of the Amboy area. Other attractions adjoining the museum include: a steam locomotive on display, a one-room schoolhouse, the Illinois Central Freight House, and a 1920′s era Norfolk & Western caboose all open for tours.
The Dixon riverfront is an open air plaza that sits upon the historic site of a 1830′s ferry crossing and features a bronze statue of Ronald Reagan. Located between Galena Ave. and Peoria Ave., the riverfront area includes period lighting, trees, benches, outdoor tables with seats, and restrooms. The Pavilion offers a comfortable covered seating area, while the amphitheater seating is excellent for performance or speaking. Other areas of the riverfront include the West and East Promenades, the Fountain Rotunda and the River Canopy.
The 3600-acre Nachusa Grasslands preserve is being restored as one of the largest and most biologically diverse grasslands in Illinois. As part of the habitat restoration, bison were introduced in 2014 to improve the ecological balance of the natural prairie. The bison roam across 1,500 acres of rolling land and are often not visible from the road. Bison can be viewed from outside the bison fenced units only. Binoculars are helpful.
The Northwest Territory Historic Center, now a Smithsonian affiliate museum, was built in 1908 as Dixon’s South Central School. Visit the Native American-Black Hawk War exhibit, early American farming exhibit, Ronald Reagan museum exhibit and learn more about local history. The Center includes a museum store and art gallery on the first floor, a restored classroom where Ronald Reagan attended 6th grade, an auditorium with surround-sound theater and Veterans History Project regional center.
The company John Deere founded has a presence around the world, but it all started right here in Grand Detour, Illinois. When you step foot on these grounds, it will feel like taking a step back in time. Hear the floorboards creak as you walk inside John Deere’s home. Take in the beauty of the picturesque landscape. And feel the heat of fired steel inside a working blacksmith shop. Whether you’re a school group, a John Deere fan or a history buff, it’s an experience you just can’t miss.
The Dixon Park District is host to some great historic places such as Lowell Park where Ronald Reagan worked as a lifeguard during his summers in Dixon. See more on their site.
Lowell Park Trail-way runs from Washington Avenue to Historic Lowell Park in Dixon, Illinois. It is a 3.5 mile paved multipurpose trail enjoyed year round by many.
The Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is a 302 –acre wetland complex interspersed with black oak sand Savannah’s, sedge meadows and dry sand prairie.