Bureau County, Illinois

Probably named for the coal nearby, Mineral was established in the early 1850s when the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad first came through (the first railroad to extend to the Mississippi River, completed on February 22, 1954). By the way, by 2001 retro (not original) GAR signs were found in every state on Route 6, most of them erected after 1990. (October 2001 photo)
This March 1997 photo shows the old towpath along the Hennepin Canal, which is now an Illinois State Parkway for most of its length. The canal, which connects the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, was originally conceived in the early nineteenth century. Construction having started in 1890, its 104-mile length was completed in 1907. However, it was outmoded by the time it was finished, as the Rock Island Railroad had been completed over the same route fifth-three years earlier. Nonetheless the canal carried some traffic until 1951.



The two principal builders of the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, Henry Farnam and Joseph Sheffield, are memoralized in Sheffield Illinois, just off Route 6 near the railroad tracks. They established the town soon before the railroad first reached here in October 1853.  Local lore has it that Farnam and Sheffield flipped a coin for the name of the town. In many towns across the route, plaques like these were put in place in 1922 on the 70th anniversary of the railroad, by that time called the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.  (2002 photos) For more information see:












Adjacent to the old Colony Motel on the west side of Princeton is this reminder of a lively motel business in the past along Route 6. (October 2001 photo)

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