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The Blade – PC English Class Drafts Historical Brochures of Fairbury

Recently, the Honors English I Class at Prairie Central High School created some Fairbury brochures which have been added to the Fairbury Echoes Museums holdings. These are available for viewing at the Museum at 126 W. Locust St., Fairbury during their normal hours. Their winter hours are 9am – 11:30am on Saturday mornings.

“Honors English I is a class for students on track to go to college after high school and students who like to read and write at a higher level or a faster pace,” says Danielle Bedeker, their English teacher. “They are a group of extremely hard workers and creative minds.”

In class, they read the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder, about small towns in America at the turn of the 20th century. It is a fictional re-creation of the normal daily activities found in early 1900’s. During their reading of the play, the class visited the Fairbury Echoes Museum to find out a bit more about historic Fairbury.

“We wanted to know what Fairbury was like at the turn of the 20th century and after our visit the students created brochures from the voice of someone at that time. Their mission was to highlight opportunities, current businesses, employment, etc. that folks might have experienced if they lived in or moved to Fairbury,” says Ms. Bedeker. “The goal was really to connect to the play and encourage a sense of community pride.”

The promotional brochures designed by the class cover train travel, coal mining, the opera house, and the Fair, among other attractions. Here is what some of the students have to say about their experience:
Wyatt Steidinger says, “The museum I explored brought further knowledge to my work in school, and sparked my interest in the history of Fairbury.”

Jeremy Steffen comments, “The trip to the Echoes Museum was truly an eye opener. It showed me a lot of Fairbury’s history, and gave me a new respect for my town.”

“My recent outing to the Echoes Museum was a very unique experience. It gave me some insight on life in Fairbury at the turn of the 20th century,” Matthew Huisman

Be sure to stop by Fairbury Echoes Museum to take a look at what these students created! The Museum also currently has a mini-exhibit, “The Passage of Time” which displays interesting snippets from the 1918-1919 diary of a local resident , plus many other items, including clocks, watches, and local advertising calendars. The diaries are also available for reading at the museum if you wish to take a trip back in time.

The exhibit also acknowledges milestones, honoring local Centennial Farms and Fairburians who have reached the age of 100. Anyone can add a local Centenarian’s name to the exhibit! There is no admission charge. Group visits can be scheduled by calling (815) 692-2191.

“The Echoes Museum is a valuable asset to our community,” says Bobbi McKeon, owner of Heart’s Desire and coordinator of the Specialty Shops group. “Keeping our history is very important for all of us, and I highly suggest you taking the time to visit periodically as they change their displays on a regular basis, and there is no way you can see everything in just one visit!”

As always, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics to write for our community.