Nestled on the West bank of the Fox River approximately 75 miles from Chicago lies the Skydive Chicago Airport, designed from the ground up to efficiently function as a skydiving training and recreation center. This 230-acre complex contains a large hangar that provides 15,000 square feet of shade and shelter adjoining 22,500 square feet of classrooms, common areas with satellite feed, recreation centers with pool tables and video games, a pro shop, video department and deli that serves food and alcoholic beverages. At night, enjoy movies or a club-type party in our two level auditorium theatre, featuring a 30,000-watt sound and projection system. Just to the East is a full hook-up campground featuring a large pond that¹s surrounded by sprawling decks and highlighted by a serene island. On the North shore is a beautiful white sand beach that adjoins a large pavilion with showers, laundry facilities and volleyball court. This entire complex is surrounded by acres of pastures that gently roll to the banks of the Fox River. Canoeing, hiking/biking trails and horseback riding are also available on the property.
Starved Rock Hot Glass is a glassblowing studio and art gallery that specializes in original hand-blown art glass and jewelry. Group tours and glass blowing demonstrations may be arranged by appointment. Lessons are available. Hours: Tues-Fri 10am – 6pm & Sat 11am – 5pm.
Ottawans regularly marched in parades, cheered for them or stood transfixed along the route as the city hosted this most universal of celebrations. Parades brought people together, and brought them to a vibrant and bustling downtown.
Artist Joshua Winer envisioned a parade as a means of populating Ottawa’s unique architectural landscape. He wove prominent citizens and familiar faces in to the painting as marchers or bystanders. Mayor Phil Bailey doffs his top hat, and State’s Attorney Harland Warren raises his hand in a wave. Warren gained prominence during the area’s most
notorious murder case, the Starved Rock Murders.
Along the route are Ottawa residents who, then and now, have enriched our community and given Ottawa its distinctive character. The muralist captured a pivotal decade which was defined by a mixture of complacency and unrest. Ottawa, like America, emerged from the decade stronger, wiser and ready to sprint forward into the 21st century!
In artist Don Gray’s rendition, Lincoln and Douglas dramatically address the crowd gathered to hear them. News that the great Senator Douglas would appear in Ottawa caused a great sensation. Politics was more than a spectator sport for men of the day, and political rallies were festive events filled with medicine hawkers, hog roasts, parades and lively debate off the speakers’ platform as well as on it. Audience members heckled and cheered “their man” on the platform, and the orators gave back as good as they got in repartee! The unknown Lincoln would emerge from the seven debates a standard-bearer for the Republican Party, and the momentum would carry him to the White House (against his opponent Douglas) two years later. Also shown on the stand is Owen Lovejoy of Princeton, brother of Elijah Lovejoy, abolitionist, legislator and friend of Lincoln.
Most people associate Lincoln to Ottawa only with his historic debate with Douglas in 1858, however Lincoln had many friends and supporters in Ottawa that made him a frequent visitor. Travel back in time and see Ottawa as he did with this self guided tour!
A splendid example of Greek Revival architecture, the central portion of the then-State Supreme Court building was completed in 1860 at a cost of $29,630. The building was built to house the State Supreme Court, which initially met in Ottawa, Mount Vernon and Springfield. Today Ottawa is the seat of the Third Appellate Court District, which serves 21 northern Illinois counties.l
In the center of the park a memorial commemorates the location of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate on August 21, 1858, with heoric sized bronze statues complete with a reflecting pool. Discover all the treasures hidden in this beautifully maintained park. Come to the Visitors Center to receive a Heritage Tour Book.