Tales and Trails of Illinois
Awards and Recognition:
Recipient of an Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society, 2003.
An accessible, entertaining collection of fifty-two vignettes of Illinois history
Based on a collection of fifty-two vignettes of Illinois history originally published as weekly columns in newspapers and revised for publication in book form, Tales and Trails of Illinois presents little-known episodes and adds perspective to tales of the state’s varied past. Pairing readable commentary with striking description and detail, the book is a useful compendium of Illinois heritage in an accessible and entertaining format.
Stu Fliege highlights historical events, such as the Herrin Massacre and Chicago’s Iroquois Theatre fire, and covers the diverse terrain of Illinois’s natural and constructed wonders, from Lusk Creek Canyon to Robert Allerton Park. Readers will meet a colorful cast of characters including pioneers, squatters, miners, gangsters, and utopian leaders. They’ll travel back in time to when salt production was the state’s main industry and learn of the Illinois ingenuity that spawned inventions including barbed wire, the steel plow, and the Ferris wheel. From Oquawka’s elephant memorial to Murphysboro’s mysterious mud monster, the book also offers quirky facts and spooky stories that aren’t found in the average history book.
Liberally illustrated and clearly written, Tales and Trails of Illinois is a helpful learning tool for Illinoisans of all ages, perfect for families, history buffs, libraries, and the classroom.
“Tales and Trails of Illinois is well written and the vignettes are interesting and varied in content. The book will appeal to a wide readership who enjoy popular history. Also, teachers need more worthwhile publications to aid in presenting Illinois history to their students. Stu Fliege’s account does just that.”--Rand Burnette, president of the Illinois State Historical Society
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Photographs by Gary Cialdella