A February 2003 trip
to Lebanon by Coach Bear
Quote: The heritage of many small towns can often be more than the apparent fields of corn and soy beans. My wife and I frequent the town of Lebanon to see the various historical sites.
I will never forget the first time that I brought my wife to town. She could not believe seeing the corn growing up to the property limits of the homes on the outside of the town. She was aghast at seeing the corn surrounding everything as we approached. However, Lebanon is much more than the farming community. It pervades one's very soul. It becomes a part of your very being. Live the life, visit Lebanon.
You will want to wear comfortable shoes as you walk from one shop to another. The older sidewalks can often bring blisters to the feet of those not properly attired. However, all will be well when you visit areas travelled by Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Charles Dickens.
Hotel | "The Landmark on Madison Bed & Breakfast Inn"
We entered the foyer and immediately saw the charm of crystal chandeliers, solid brass hardware, hardwood floors and marble fireplaces. There are many such places in this country, but this was our first experience. We noticed that the inn was decorated in rich colors and an eclectic mix of antique and traditional furnishings. In fact, the inn is elegant, yet cozy with every door and hallway leading to new and delightful surprises. We were encouraged to explore the fineries of this inn, and were delighted by the richness and warmth of the interior of the building.
All of the guests were encouraged to help themselves to refreshments and goodies in The Magnolia Room. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cold drinks were on hand at all times. The evening was one that reminded me of visiting my grandmother when I was a child. We were able to relax in the parlor with some of the other guests. We played board games (which also reminded me of my family) until 11:00, then went to our room and relaxed in the elaborate 4-poster bed. This was a special treat for my wife. The next morning we went strolling through the town and enjoyed shopping in the antique shops and other small establishments that still exist along the historic West St. Louis Street.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 25, 2003
The Landmark on Madison Bed & Breakfast Inn
118 S. Madison
Restaurant | "Dr. Jazz Soda Fountain & Grill"
The establishment is located in the historic district, situated among all of the antique shops and tourist attractions. As soon as I entered Dr. Jazz I was taken back to my first job. There was an old-fashioned soda fountain with all of the traditional favorites (plus a few new ones). The food at the restaurant ranges from Chicago-style hot-dogs and Italian roast beef to quarter-pound hand-formed burgers and grilled chicken Caesar salads. But, there are twelve flavors of ice cream and phosphates, ice cream sodas, malts and other delights that are served. This really reminded me of that Rexall drugstore where I worked.
Last, I didn’t want to forget the two juke boxes that spew out jazz tunes. One can hear swing music from Glenn Miller as well. I cannot wait to bring my wife to the restaurant, as she will love the music. And so will you!
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 13, 2003
Dr Jazz Soda Fountain & Grille
230 W Saint Louis Street
Lebanon, Illinois 62254
Another famous visitor to the inn was Abraham Lincoln. The story is told that Lincoln made his mark in Lebanon during his first Lebanon visit. Lincoln, known to be a slow eater, was very clever about arranging so that he had enough time and food to eat. While in Lebanon, he missed his departing stagecoach because he had not yet finished eating his dinner. After the stage left without him, Lincoln commented to the owner of the Mermaid House and local law-enforcement, Lyman Adams, that the silverware was missing from the dining room. He implied that someone on the stagecoach might have taken the silver, sending Adams in pursuit of the stagecoach. When Adams escorted the stagecoach back to town, Lincoln had finished his meal so he boarded the stage and told Adams that his silverware could be found in the coffeepot.
As you vist the site today, you can arrange a tour of the building. There is no cost to see the Mermaid House nor is there a major problem in arranging the visit. Do not expect to walk in without prior arrangements, though. We spent about 45 minutes walking around the building, noting the stories of famous people who had visited the location, and thinking of the location as it might have existed over 150 years ago. I know that you will enjoy seeing this wonderful site from our recent past.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 13, 2003
East St. Louis Street
Attraction | "Mom & Me LTD"
Well, it's not all that bad. Seriously, I was surprised at the large amount of inventory and supplies that could be found at Mom & Me. Plus, I don't have to travel 100 or more miles to look for something (then not find it). Almost everything you'd want for the hobby can be found in the store. We even found a computer program that will take our travel photos and make them into cross stitch patterns. This is enough material to keep the wife happy with her hobby while I watch ball games for years to come. (Ha, ha).
The store seems to be open from 9:00-5:00, Monday through Saturday. I found the ladies inside to be helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. I know that my wife will be happy for a long time now that we have found this store.
Mom & Me Ltd
200 W Saint Louis Street
Lebanon, Illinois 62254
As Illinois' oldest college, McKendree has several buildings of historical significance. The buildings are a blend of the traditional, such as Old Main and Bothwell Chapel, and state-of-the-art facilities (like the new fitness center and the new Marion K. Piper Academic Center, housing classrooms, faculty offices, the admissions center and the computer lab).
The athletic program at this institution is extremely competetive for a facility of its size, with programs in football, basketball, and track and field ranked in the top 5 of the nation for colleges of its size.
The college sits in a residential area of the town reminiscent of bygone days... taking the visitor back in time to the mid 1800's. Visitors can walk the campus to see the living history, or tours of the campus can be arranged by appointment. Every time that I go to my classes, I feel an excitement that can only come from knowing that I am a part of the finest in small colleges in this country. No trip to Lebanon would be complete without a visit to this historic campus.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2003
701 College Road
Lebanon, Illinois 62254