Lots is going on in Downtown Chatsworth these days! This weekend (April 10th and 11th) is the ALL TOWN GARAGE SALES. Plan to spend the day! Don’t miss the “Junk in the Trunk” event on Main Street – the second Saturday of the month (beginning April 11th).
Chat about Chatsworth:
Chatsworth – continuing east from Interstate 55, approximately 26 miles across Route 24, we come to the eastern frontier of Prairie Central – Chatsworth. Settled in 1832 and known then as Indian Grove, Chatsworth became Chatsworth in 1859 with the name believed to have been taken from an English story in which Lord Chatsworth was a primary figure. Chatsworth also has its roots in the influence of the railroad as the old Peoria and Oquawka rail lines continued their installation east from Peoria – the rail line is still active today as the Toledo Peoria and Western (TP&W) but in a diminished presence. The town has taken on a vast array of internal businesses that support its self sufficiency and, like the rest of central Illinois, it is surrounded by a vast farming arrangement that interacts very well with the infrastructure. With a population of approximately 1,200 this village (not a city) has all the amenities that come together to make it a volatile and productive community that continues to offer everything folks need to live comfortably with easy access to all that’s necessary as well as things that are just nice to have.
Chatsworth is also steeped in a rich history that has a lot of dynamics and noteworthy events that have dotted its progress through time. Things as notable as having the founder of Livingston County in their midst to the tragic, which involved the Niagara Falls excursion train that wrecked when a burning bridge collapsed killing over 80 people and injuring hundreds more in August of 1887. The town has 22 thriving businesses that cover Agriculture, Car Sales and Repair, Quick Stops, Dining, Insurance, Real Estate, Medical, Legal, Home Services and Repair, Merchandise and Hardware, Financial, as well as clubs and organizations, library and museums, four Churches and three parks with recreational facilities. They are a significant part of the Prairie Central School System (formerly the Chatsworth Bluebirds) and have a well rounded community support system that covers all of the essentials and assorted interests.
Some of the Villages Highlights are:
Baltz Library – newly commissioned with some very specia and importantl grant money and a very nice place of knowledge
Little School Museum – local and area history in a comfortable presentation with memorabilia and historical evidence
CAPS Recreational Center – a unique swimming pool with a park complete with pavilions and playground facilities
The McGreal Car Collection – classic models restored with a very interesting “mechanic” constantly at work
South Pork Farms – in rural Chatsworth, take a tour and see some very interesting “porky” critters as well as the farm operations
Farmers Markets – sometimes referred to as “Junk in the Trunk” – Saturdays will find you some very nice farming produce
Chatsworth Heritage Days – commemorating the village’s “heritage” its a summer celebration with a carnival, parade, exhibits, and competitions of all sorts – a traditional four day affair that gives everyone (locals and visitors) a chance to participate and have a lot of fun
Tour de Chatsworth – a special bicycle race (1.1 miles) for all ages that has caught on nicely
The Chatsworth Train Wreck Commemoration – a respectful commemorative plague marks the spot of this tragedy – visiting the site has a sobering effect when you stand at the scene of this tragedy that occurred over 125 years ago
Of course, there is much more that goes with this resume for “Small Town USA” and you’ll find that it, like its neighbors in the Prairie Central Route 24 Corridor, is a great place to live and a neat place to visit so come on over and see for yourself how and why this town has survived the times as successfully as it has. For more information and details you can visit any number of web sites on the internet or, for specific questions, you can call City Hall at 815-635-3095.
Other Highlights of the Prairie Central Network are the member towns of Wing, Strawn and Cropsey and, even though they are much smaller in populations they carry the same intricate histories of interest and community stabilities that our Route 24 Corridor towns do. Each one of these seven rural communities has agriculture facilities to service the farming concerns which gives testimony to the significance of that industries involvement with the infrastructure of the area. Also, as old Alumni will tell you, the pre-Prairie Central schools represented some of the best high school sports competitions that ever was so hats off to the Fairbury Cropsey Tartars, the Forrest Strawn Wing Eskimoes, and the Chatsworth Bluebirds for living up to their end of some of the best stories that local history maintains.