Fairbury’s History – ever wonder what some of those old buildings on Fairbury’s Main Street could tell you about themselves if they could talk? There is an awful lot of history contained in the business section of town, some of which is still identified on the upper sections of the brick building fronts. For instance, the original business section included two saddle and harness stores, a gun and sporting goods store, a poultry house, a drug store, the Fairbury Marble Works that made headstones for the cemetery, and a bed spring factory. Since the town got its start back in 1857 it was a different world for how those businesses looked and functioned then as compared to now. The railroad was the primary life line for most of the towns in this area and, what is now the TP&W, became the focal point of Fairbury. The stories, all true, go on and on about the two men who got all this started – there were feuds, civil unrest between the east side and the west side, and ultimately, as the power figures changed, Fairbury became a town that seemed to be constantly on fire. All of that is well in the past now and the town has become a very balanced and comfortable place to live and work but, oh what a history it has from back “in the day”!
The Fairbury Echoes Museum is going to give us a chance to hear a lot of fun historical facts about Fairbury’s downtown history by putting some historically educated “Talkers” on the block corners of Main Street (Locust Street) in the downtown section. There will be six “Talkers” talking about the different historical places and people that make up our colorful history and the public is welcome to stand in and give a listen. On the first Saturday of three consecutive months, June 4th, July 2nd, and August 6th, from 9 am to 10 am everyone can stop and hear the facts of the past as each one of these well rehearsed purveyors of “the way it was” identifies the glory of days gone by for the section upon which they stand. It will be fun, informative, and will probably arouse some interest to maybe dig a little further, for some of us, just to see more about the dark secrets that our town heritage has within its life span. Go on up to the downtown section on those selected Saturdays and find out about the “way it was” and then you can compare it to the “way it is”. Take the family, have some fun, and really get to know the historical town of Fairbury.