Today I ran 4.65 miles to reach a specific spot on my virtual trip across Illinois: the Quincy & Warsaw Railroad. Or at least, the trace of it you can see in the landscape, since it’s been abandoned for years. Note the diagonal line on the eastern edge of the map. If you zoom in on Mendon, the town at the southern edge of the image, you’ll see that even though the railroad itself is long gone, Railroad Street remains, as does its trace through the town and the fields.
I really couldn’t find much about the Quincy & Warsaw Railroad online (Warsaw is another river town to the north; apparently the best way to connect them by rail was to avoid the floodplain and move inland). But I did find a story about Mendon that made me think of current events, as well as my other hobby. A resident recently found a pile of her mother’s autographed quilt blocks and figured out they were from the winter when she had scarlet fever and the whole family was quarantined for half the school year. Friends and teachers signed the blocks for her, but it wasn’t until her daughters found them in the 2010s that they made them into a finished quilt.
I couldn’t find a picture of the quilt (which apparently lives at the Adams County Fairgrounds), but this is what a classic signature quilt looks like (photo from the International Quilt Museum):