Oddball Illinois by Jerome Pohlen
A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places (Oddball series)

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In this updated edition, it’s plain to see that the state of Illinois has only gotten weirder. Where there was once just a single Popeye statue in downstate Chester, today the town has monuments to Olive Oyl, Swee’ Pea, Bluto, the Sea Hag, and more. The creepy Piasa Bird petroglyph on the bluff in Alton now has a roadside pullout with picnic tables, and the two-story outhouse in Gays has a new contemplative garden. With almost twice as many destinations as its predecessor, this edition boasts detailed information on each site—address, phone number, website, hours, entry fees, and driving directions—as well as maps, photos, and a wealth of regional history in the descriptions. Some new sites include Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, the World’s First Jungle Gym, Ahlgrim Acres (a miniature golf course at a funeral home), the Leather Archives and Museum, General Santa Ana’s two wooden legs, the World’s Largest Sock Monkey, the Friendship Shoe Fence, a truck stop with a marionette show, and a coin-operated fire-breathing dragon. There is more between Chicago and St. Louis than cornfields and plenty of fascinating places in the Windy City that aren’t on Michigan Avenue, and here is a chance to see these underappreciated sites throughout the state.

About Jerome Pohlen

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Jerome Pohlen is an editor and educational writer who has written 10 travel guides, including Oddball Wisconsin, Oddball Iowa, Oddball Indiana, and Progressive Nation. His travel writing has appeared in the Chicago Reader, Reader's Digest, and Time Out Chicago. He has been a regular contributor on travel and culture for Eight Forty-Eight, which airs on WBEZ, Chicago's NPR affliate.
Published May 1, 2012 by Chicago Review Press. 338 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction

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