Made in Hillsboro-Alien table by Chris Swed and Aaron Ruppert

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Here’s a little peek into the underground creative scene in Hillsboro… Nearing completion, The “Alien” table, a project local Chris Swed designed and collaborated on with metalworker extraordinaire Aaron Ruppert.

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Any of you guys seen dune? This just reminds me of that scene so hard…

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Neato… Keep it up dudes.

50 year before and after! -the Tattered Threads renovation in Hillsboro

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This is the 1966 Hillsboro, IL Old Settlers, almost exactly 50 years ago! (take a look at the far right storefront of the old Bremer building) -photo from the Hillsboro Historical society

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Here it is about fifty years (minus a month) later. We’re starting the big job of tearing off all the nasty old tin face, and giving some fresh life to this old gal. Thanks to a facade grant from the Historic Society, and Tattered Threads, my father in law Stan Huber and I were able take this project up a few notches.

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I noticed some unusual metal framing inside the awnings and decide to expose them, opening up the space above the door way. (notice the flowers in the structural beam that were covered)

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We were also able to expose a window that was covered up leading to the apartments above. Soooo Exciting! I love finding original stuff.

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Cutting the arched beams for the awning at my shop.

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come on plywood… Beeeeend, but don’t break.

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Very, nearly done.  in six months or so this beauty should be looking a little less shiny and a little more sure of herself.

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I do love a good before and after… Copper is the new pink?

Photos by Brian Lee and the effervescent JRANDLEPHOTO (you know, reading Fancy Nancy to your kids can make you seem kinda smart and stuff.)

 

 

 

 

“Sweet” Renovation- A modern makeover of a cramped kitchen-B.Lee Carpentry

Meeting Hillsboro, IL residents Doug and Teri Sweet for the first time, we were fast friends. A retired train engineer and a daycare owner, they are a cool and calm mannered couple who love coffee and good conversation, food, and family. In short, totally awesome.

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The Sweet’s brief was simply “open up the cramped kitchen, add a dishwasher and more countertop space”.  The result is a clean, modern update with a bespoke walnut bank of cabinets, light fixtures from Portland Oregon School House Electric, and small pallet of finishes.

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Somebody found the secret mushroom spot!

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Before and after!

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Oak hardwood, subway tile, walnut cabinetry, white walls with white trim, butcher block counter tops.. All my favorite.

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Another before shot.  It’s amazing what a change of a floor plan can do!

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I love how the vintage table becomes so modern in a white on white setting.

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Now we just need to get cooking! So thankful for this wonderful project and for people excited to support local artisans and craftspeople. See you soon friends! -Small Town CoolIMG_0568.jpgIMG_0561.jpg

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Back with a splash! The many faces of the Pickers Market. by -B.lee and J.Randle

The Pickers market is back for the season! In searching through all the cool, collectible, odd, and industrial, the theme of the day for us was the characters and faces of pop, and American culture. So.. Here’s a little fun from the rainy first day of the Litchfield Pickers market. -photo’s by B. Lee and Jrandlephoto-

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Of course there was also mountains of cool, useable, and collectible stuff.  While shooting we bought a cast iron light fixture, a cream record, a cool vintage photo of the interior of a train, and a couple big meat sandwiches… Also, very tempted by a radical oscilloscope and box of amtrack mugs.

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Definitely saw someone carrying this off later on..

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I love this couch, cushion combo!

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Double horse heads in brass.

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Also, I wish that van was for sale.

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So for all you people within driving range definitely worth the trip out to gawk, shop, eat and collect… Come on down next month and follow the market on facebook here.

Thanks for following us and please come back for more small town coolness from Montgomery County and beyond…

Small town Psyche-filming The Young Eyes in the Old Mormino building

In a past life I was a professional guitar player touring across the states with a few different bands.  Now in my second life as a small town party animal I’m back in the business of enjoying doing music… Here’s a little taste of our soon to be released album- Visit the bands facebook here…

A Historic before and after- restoring a piece of furniture from Hillsboro’s past

Not many times do you get to see pictures of a particular piece of furniture photographed over a span of a hundred years. I don’t normally do furniture restoration, but this particular piece was so cool and interesting I had to take it on.

photo via-The Historical Society of Montgomery County Illinois.

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About a month ago local history buff and neon sign maker Jeff Dunn donated the cabinet in the background to the “Brian Lee and his Crazy Hobbies Foundation” (BL&CH). You might notice that it is now a row shorter due to water damage.

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Here it is rather sadly sitting in my shop waiting in line for help.

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And here it is on it’s way out the door to be on loan for use and display in the soon-to open Herbalist shop here in Hillsboro, Sage on Sage. (Sage means expert, the second use of the word is for the herb, sage -i.e. Expert on sage)   Another small link from Hillsboro’s past to it’s bright future-   Small Town Cool

Digging for Historic Gold- The Historical Society Of Montgomery County

This month I’ve been digging a lot… For treasure… The good kind. Sense of place in a small town comes from knowing where you came from and the currency of memories is something that The H.S.O.M.C. deals heavily in.  My prospecting adventures have not yielded any gold doubloons or filthy lucre but it has given me a heavy sense of the colorful past of Montgomery County. If you haven’t guessed it yet, my really lame mining analogy is referring to the deep troves of the new website for The Historical Society of Montgomery County Illinois.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the site has about 5,000 of them. I thought I would share some of my favorites (yes, I looked at all of them!) I hope you enjoy…

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Caroline Latham -1942- 533 W. Summer Street.- Marjorie Grotts Collection.

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Delsarte Tableaux – At Old Hillsboro Opera House-Given by Hillsboro Methodist Episcopal Church in 1893.

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Rosalyn “Girlie” Douglas Helston Paton- Margie Grotts collection.

She gave tap, ballet and toe dancing lessons. Mothers and accomplished seamstresses spent months making costumes for her elaborate and well attended recitals. (Held at the Orpheum Theatre) At one time, Girlie performed on Broadway in chorus lines.

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ZONA WAFER-  I hope I’m this cool when I’m at this point of my life…

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JESS MUSGROVE’S DRUG STORE- Paul Musgrove- in the doorway.

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Howell – Dorsey Lumber Company- On West side of Main Street Hillsboro. Bank of America / Napa Auto Parts now occupies this location.

 

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Tap Dance Class- From Left to Right: Betty Dagon, Lena Marcolini, Patty Comstock and Esther Steinsick from Hillsboro Illinois.

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George W. Brown Hardware

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Jessie Ware- daughter of Frank and Nina Grassel Ware; Carthage College graduation photo 1934

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Hillsboro High School Band 1938- On the Presbyterian Church steps.

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Hillsboro Old Settlers

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Bus to Coffeen- from Hillsboro, every 2 hours

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Montgomery County train wreck- Fillmore

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Esther Challacombe- wearing a dress she wore to the veiled prophets ball in St. Louis.

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Lucius J. Ware

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Geraldine Strange- Hillsboro High School Carnival Queen 1936.

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Coal Prospecting In Montgomery County- 1908.

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Portraying a character from the 1920s movie “The Sheik” an actor advertises in front of Smith’s Drugstore in Hillsboro.

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Dunn Brown and Company– 1920.-George Dunn, Everett Brown and Glad Swingle.

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The Davis Tobacco Store- was located 1 door North of Sullivan’s Drug Store on Main Street Hillsboro.

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Collins & Lang- Taken about 1935 in Hillsboro.  Cousins: Don G Collins, Berton Carroll “Shorty” Lang and Paul Leon Collins

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Union Block, Main Street Hillsboro- Taken from the 1874 Montgomery County Atlas.

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Hillsboro Bottling Works- truck and wooden cases of soda

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Wagon Factory of August H. Mey- 1874 Atlas drawing showing Wagon Factory of August H. Mey on Main Street Hillsboro Illinois. This building still stands. It’s the large red brick apartment building across from the Shell station.

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Coffeen Goes Dry- “We believe in national liberty free from demons and drink.” April 4, 1911

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Rocky Ford-Forty thousand mellons.

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Miller House Explodes- From September 1939. This home sat across from the Red Rooster Inn where Lingles car dealership was.

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Schram Automatic Fruit Jar Co.

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Schram Automatic Fruit Jar Co.

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The Hillsboro Journal- This photo was taken around 1911. At this time the Hillsboro Journal was located in the Opera House Building on East Wood Street. (this building is now Jeff Dunns neon sign shop)

 

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The Wreck- Hillsboro Illinois, August 2nd, 1898.

And… Another wreck!-

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1910 Hillsboro Trolley Car Accident- From June 20th, 1910. Trolley car wreck on Main Street. This happened right in front of the Orpheum Theater.

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Helen Mobley Floyd on Main Street

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The Lane Residence Hillsboro IL- This was torn down to make way for the C.V.S. Pharmacy parking lot.

 

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City of Hillsboro Fire Trucks- First City of Hillsboro Fire Trucks!

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Night Scene on Main St. with Trolley

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Hillsboro Coal Company

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Mobley’s Drug Store 1930’s

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Hillsboro Hail Storm-  Hail as big as eggs on April 15, 1910!

 

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Hillsboro Illinois Hail Storm

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Main Street at Night- Polley Lawrence

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Main Street Hillsboro – Walker’s 5 and Dime Store.

-Lets keep building on this beautiful history that we have here… And of course check out the thousands of pictures and great info at http://history.montgomeryco.com/

or follow them face Facebook here.

Small Town Cool