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Dixon, Illinois

Dixon was one of Ronald Reagan's boyhood homes. We stopped here en route to Fulton for lunch. It was a perfect November day, sunny and bright and almost warm enough to go without a coat.
The main attraction is the Reagan home; the visitors' center is next door (2nd picture, left side).
 
The back yard and an adjacent park, with a statue of the President gazing (we are told) at a handful of corn kernels.
 

It turns out that Reagan, who was born a few miles away in Tampico, lived a lot of different places in Illinois. A website for Tampico (mainly for family history) notes
When Ronald was 4 months old, the family moved from the apartment [where he was born] to a house on Glassburn Street [in Tampico]. The house is located across the street from Reagan Park (originally known as Railroad or Depot Park). Ronald and Neil played on a cannon in the park as young children. He referred to the park and the cannon in several of his stories. When he was 4 years old, the Pitney Store, where his father, Jack Reagan worked, was sold and the Reagans moved to Chicago where Mr. Reagan worked for a short time at the Fair Department Store. The family then moved to Galesburg, where Mr. Reagan was employed as a store clerk. While there, Ronald learned to read at the age of 5, before starting to school. He attended Silas Willard School in Galesburg and skipped grade 2. The family then moved to Monmouth for a short time. They were called back to Tampico for Mr. Reagan to again work for Mr. Pitney, who had acquired his old store back. The family lived above the Pitney Store until moving to Dixon in December of 1920. (Quoted, with thanks, from Joan Johnson, curator and manager of Reagan Birthplace Museum.)

To call Dixon "the boyhood home" of the President is a bit of a stretch. By my count, Dixon was the 6th place he had lived by age 9.

A very handsome house and neighborhood.
 
Interior images from various websites (the house was closed for the season October 31).
      The period seems right, but it's doubtful that any of the furniture here was the family's.


Lunch in Fulton, a pretty town with a rich history.
 

Going back to 1856
 

Back to Clinton under the newly-painted bridge


One of the prettiest trees of the season
 

Fulton's history
A post office called Fulton has been in operation since 1838. The city was named for Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat.

Fultonís Mormon Connection

Wife of Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism. In Fulton, Illinois September 18, 1846 to Spring 1847 Age 42. Docked at End of Cherry Street (10th Avenue ó near windmill) Rented Apartment NE Corner of Base & Wall Street (12th Avenue & 4th Street)
Emma Hale Smith came to Fulton, Illinois, in the fall of 1846 because she feared for the safety of her family. Emma's husband, Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, had been killed in 1844 in the Carthage jail. Emma had six siblings living in Dixon, Amboy, and Sublette. She traveled upriver to Fulton from Nauvoo, IL, aboard the steamer the Uncle Toby. Her journey took six days with her children Julia 15, Joseph 13, Fredhist-emmahale-2.jpgerick 10, Alexander 8, and David 2.
In Fulton, Emma rented space in a large, white 2-story boarding house at the NE corner of 12th Avenue and 4th Street. She and the children found normalcy in Fulton's river setting and the winter refuge enabled them the opportunity to restore their physical and mental health.
At her death in 1879, a letter to the editor of the Fulton Journal wrote, "It seemed to me that the rocky hills of Pennsylvania had developed in her a character of uprightness and integrity that carried her bravely through trials that would have overwhelmed women of more common mould."
Emma was closely associated with three prominent men in Mormon history: 1) husband, Joseph Smith, 2) friend and antagonist, Brigham Young and 3) son, Joseph Smith III, first president of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints. Quoted from https://www.cityoffulton.us/tourism/historical-articles.html, official website of the town of Fulton. 9-10-2017

From Wiki: "Fulton is a city most known for its pride in its Dutch heritage. This is shown through the addition of a traditional Dutch windmill, De Immigrant, located near the city's dike, which borders the Mississippi. Other local attractions include: the Martin House Museum, Heritage Canyon, the Dutch Days festival held annually on the first weekend of May, and of course its great view of the river."

(from the city's website)

Fulton's Dutch Windmill was manufactured and pre-assembled in the Netherlands.

Following the delivery to Fulton, the Windmill was assembled and installed by Dutch craftsmen. Standing nearly 100 ft. tall, the massive timbers are assembled by wooden pegs. Dedication of the new Dutch Windmill took place during the Dutch Days Festival 2000.

This authentic Dutch windmill was constructed on the flood control dike in the heart of Fulton. The windmill was engineered and pre-fabricated in the Netherlands and shipped to the United States in containers by ship, rail, and truck transportation. Dutch millwrights and masons traveled to the United States on three separate occasions and rebuilt the windmill in Fulton.

The windmill is fully operational. The entire head (or cap) can turn and the sails move by wind power. The mill is also fully functional with a set of blue basalt millstones that can produce a variety of flours. Stone-ground buckwheat, corn, rye, and wheat flours are all manufactured at "De Immigrant" and are for sale in the gift shop at the Windmill Cultural Center. The stones take up three floors with various machineries, and millers can grind approximately 1 bushel of grain every 10 minutes, wind permitting.

Access to the windmill is at the front entrance on 10th Avenue and 1st Street. Stairways lead up into the windmill. Access to the windmill can also be reached by walkways on the top of the dike. The windmill is partially handicap accessible.

The Fulton Historical Society is located in a Civil War era home donated to the City by Leonard and Maxine Martin. The Society is responsible for the operation of the home as a repository of information and materials relevant to the history of the City of Fulton and its inhabitants. In addition, the Society wishes to preserve the heritage of the community and provide educational opportunities for the purpose of increasing and enriching public knowledge. For more information about the Historical Society and The Fulton (Martin House) Museum.

11-9-17