St. John The Baptist Chapel, Old Gillett Farm, Elkhart, Illinois

This beautiful Gothic Revival style Episcopalian Chapel is located in Elkhart Cemetery on Elkhart Hill, one of the highest spots in Central Illinois. The Chapel was constructed in 1890 by the Culver Stone and Marble Company of Springfield as a memorial to John Dean Gillett (1819-1888), a prominent rancher in Logan County who was once dubbed "The Cattle King Of The World" by the London Gazette. The Chapel is owned and operated by the proprietors of the Old Gillett Farm, and is the only privately owned and operated church in Illinois.

The Battle for Napoleon Hollow


A series of unfortunate events — Ken Lazar


Friday June 18th, 2021

Dinner Lecture 5:30P

       The Elkhart Historical Society is pleased to announce the June 18 dinner lecture,”The Battle for Napoleon Hollow or a Series of Unfortunate Events,” presented by retired IDOT District 6 civil engineer Ken Lazar. Although the original idea of Interstate 72 was proposed in the late 1960s, and segments were built in the 1970s the completion was still a long way off and included some contentious events.  The beautiful Valley City Eagle Bridges and  the economic up-turn for the area were part of the benefits of the contest.          Ken Lazar was involved in the lengthy siege, and brings many insights on how the bridges connected the high bluffs over the Illinois floodplain, while crossing a conservation area, and the Wade farm, all without disturbing the eagles. 

       The event will be held at Horsefeather’s Wild Hare Café, and the entrees offered are Pork Medallions in a mushroom/ wine sauce or Chicken Cordon Bleu, at a cost of $40 per person which includes $10 for the Elkhart Historical Society.  Due to the continuing cautions from the CDC, seating will be limited, and guide lines will be followed.



But the story of this highway's construction will
not soon be forgotten by those involved.

This saga encompasses a long battle between two elderly
farm owners and their archfoes, "the IDOTS."
 It features a mystical place called Napoleon Hollow,
a Hopewellian dwarf, a prehistoric
Mormon warrior named Zelph and an act of the U.S. Congress.

"This was certainly one of our more interesting highway projects. . . .
This was a real potpourri of crazy stuff bouncing around,"
said Dennis Pescitelli, a planning engineer with the 
Illinois Department of Transportation.


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Spring, 2021, Elkhart, IL.

Wild Flowers & Bird Walks

Slide Show  <-- click here



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