Friday, November 29, 2013

Lincoln Circuit Markers, part 1

Driving around rural Illinois a few years ago, I wanted to go from Charleston to Paris, and I spotted on the map an old country road that appeared to do that. Driving along the road, I passed a plaque on a post, absolutely in the middle of nowhere. So of course I stopped and backed up to check it out. That plaque, pictured above, was my first encounter with the Lincoln Circuit Road Markers.

From 1847 to 1859, while Abraham Lincoln was an attorney in Springfield, he rode the Illinois 8th Circuit. About twice a year a group made up of a judge and several attorneys would leave Springfield and ride together to each of the county seats in the central part of state, spending a few days in each to hold trials and conduct judicial business. It was often several days' ride between each county seat.

Seventy years later the Daughters of the American Revolution decided to commemorate Lincoln's circuit riding by placing a plaque at each of the courthouses of the circuit, and also by placing a plaque on each county line on the actual road that Lincoln and his party would follow.

Below is a closeup of one of the plaques:

There were 18 such plaques originally (two have since been destroyed) and each one lists on its base the names of the two counties on whose line it stands. The first one I encountered by chance was on the Coles-Edgar county line. The one pictured below is from the Piatt-Champaign county line plaque.

Interestingly, none of the roads that were used to ride the circuit in the 1850s have evolved into major roads today. All of the plaques are well off the beaten track on two lane, sometimes barely paved, county roads.

I have prepared a map showing the locations of the markers, and of the country seats involved. It is available here. For those especially interested, there is also an excellent article by Guy Fraker about the history of the Lincoln circuit, with descriptions of each plaque's location. The article is available here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Illinois Farmscape

Here's a picture I took on Sunday while exploring rural Illinois. It shows the vast flatness of land in this part of the country. There is a beauty in it, but you have to look for it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

ECIL Sunset

As usual, encroaching winter makes me nostalgic for summer, so I found myself browsing browsing my files from some evening shooting sessions around East-Central Illinois from June of 2012. The shot above was taken west of Tolono, IL.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Misty Morning, Newport, Oregon

The Oregon coast is surprisingly clement, even in mid-summer. I was a little bit concerned when I found that my hotel in Newport, Oregon, whose beach is pictured above, had no air conditioning. I needn't have worried. Even in mid-July, when I was there, it gets down into the 40s at night. As a result, the mornings often have wonderful mists on the ocean, as seen in the photo above.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Manhattan, 1998

This is a photo of part of the skyline of Manhattan taken on the ferry to Liberty Island. It was shot on film in 1998, which was before...well, you know.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo of the Day

This is the Malheur  River, at its confluence with its north fork, just outside of Juntura, in far eastern Oregon. The road is U.S. 20, which runs coast to coast, from Boston to Newport, Oregon, on the Pacific.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Photo of the Day

A bit of East-Central Illinois countryside, at sunset in November.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Photo of the Day

Here is a moody black and white photo of old pilings near the mouth of the Columbia River in Chinook, Washington.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall in Kyoto

The beautiful fall colors that are on the trees right now remind me of a fall visit to Japan. This view is from the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fall Colors

This is a photo I took on Sunday at Homer Lake park, near Homer, Illinois. The fall colors are glorious right now. I made this image in Photoshop by combining a normal "straight" shot of the scene with another deliberately blurred shot.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Photo of the Day

This is a view I like of a rural road near the sea in Provence. I love the overhanging trees and the read disappearing around the bend leading to...what? Something good, I'm sure.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Photo of the Day

Welcome to November. Facing the encroaching winter I thought I'd reach back to spring for a photo of lush blue skies, wispy clouds, and sprouting fields in East Central Illinois. Enjoy.