Red Chair Travels to Blessings on State, Jacksonville, Illinois Part III – Our College Town

The Red Chair Makes Coast-to-Coast Journey

Move over Flat Stanley, the Red Chair is the newest travel icon

Jacksonville is home to three colleges. That’s right, three colleges! I think that’s pretty amazing. Illinois College, MacMurray College, and Lincoln Land Community College are all located “just down the street” from Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast. We often host guests from both IC and Mac. Football season’s starting soon, and as soon as the schedules are posted, we have guests competing to be first to book suites for home games. We can walk two blocks or drive a couple of miles and we’re ready for some football!

I thought it only right that Red visit our local colleges. I grew up visiting college campuses, including schools “up East,” like Cornell University and Slippery Rock State Teachers College. Mom was a Slippery Rock grad and we occasionally visited her alma mater. My maternal grandfather spent summers at Cornell and my dad, the beekeeper, spent time there one summer exploring the flight patterns of honeybees. Mom and I went back to Cornell just a few years ago during the time that I was working on my hospitality management certificate from their Hotel School. The campus had changed a lot, but we were still able to find the old entrance gates. Glenn, Val and I visited Harvard, neighbor George’s alma mater, last year. I remember each of these schools as wonderful historic campuses with old buildings and grand old trees, beautiful in every season, epitomizing my vision of New England type college campuses. Two of our local colleges, built in the 1800’s, offer that same sense of time and place. I enjoy being on our campuses in every season and it always makes me think of those great old colleges in the Eastern U.S. Our local colleges offer events throughout the year, from art shows at Lincoln Land, to concerts, athletic events and well-known public speakers at Illinois College and MacMurray College. Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast is a great place for families and friends to stay while visiting college students. Stay with us and you’ll have easy access to all our local colleges have to offer!

Abraham Lincoln Statue at Illinois College. Photo by Tiffany / Warmowski Photography

180-year-old Illinois College is said to be the first college in Illinois to conduct classes and grant a baccalaureate degree. Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mark Twain were lecturers during the early years of Illinois College. You may have heard of the first president of Illinois College – or his sister! Edward Beecher, the first Illinois College president, left his church in Boston and shared “New England traditions and academic foundations” with the newly-established Illinois College.The college was a center for the Abolitionist Movement in Illinois at one time. Edward Beecher’s sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, visited the campus. Beecher Hall, the first college building in Illinois, was built in 1829 and is still used today. The National Park Service has designated Beecher Hall a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. It also is a National Historic Landmark. This picture shows Red’s visit with the Abraham Lincoln statue on the Illinois College Campus. For more information about the history of Illinois College, their course offerings, sports, etc., please click here.

Lincoln Land Community College is just to Red’s left. Photo by Warmowski Photography

Lincoln Land Community College

Part of the Illinois Community College System, Lincoln Land is a two-year college that prepares students to seek employment or transfer their associate degree work to a college or university as a junior, with the same degree options as their four-year students. Offering more than 75 Associate degree programs and other certificates, Lincoln Land is a great option for our local students. The college is located on the northwest corner of Central Park in beautiful downtown Jacksonville. For more information, please click here.

Annie Merner Chapel at MacMurray College.  Photo by Tiffany / Warmowski Photography.

 

MacMurray College is a four year college. Maybe you’ve seen the commercials or followed the MacNation road trip on Facebook. Mac is back and they’re spreading the news! Last spring we were pleased to attend the ceremony where our friend Chaz Middlebrook was presented with the NCAA D-III award for having the highest rushing yards average in the nation. More recently, Mark Tierno, college president, spent a good bit of a summer traveling the country to rally alumni. The “Monster,” an easily-identified RV, carried him cross-country on the MacNation Tour. It was fun to watch their progress on Facebook. MacMurray College is a four-year liberal arts institute, founded in 1846 by Methodist clergy. The college provides an affordable degree program, with both online and blended courses. The campus is stunning, and when leaves are falling you can just imagine being on a leaf tour in Vermont. Our Red Chair Travels photographer, Tiffany, is a graduate, so it was only right that we make Mac a part of Red’s visit. For more information, please click here.

We love having three colleges in our adopted hometown. We enjoy hosting parents and friends and have enjoyed having several regular guests for the full four years their children were students. There’s nothing like spending a brisk fall day watching a fabulous D-III football game one of our local college campus. We’ve enjoyed many Jacksonville Symphony concerts in Rammelkamp Chapel on the Illinois College campus. Val and I took our guests to a great John Berry Christmas Concert at Annie Merner Chapel last year. Stay at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast and go to the big games, listen to the Symphony, or just stroll through our historic college campuses. We’ll be glad to share our events calendar and help you get tickets for special events.

Stories from the Red Chair’s travels have been chronicled on blogs at each stop throughout its journey. Look for tales of the Red Chair’s travels to Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast here on the blog and on our Facebook page.

Check in next week to see where else Red took our photographer Tiffany / Warmowski Photography.

For a compilation of Red Chair Travels blogs, visit http://www.redchairtravels.com/blog.html . For a complete view of Red Chair photos, visit http://www.redchairtravels.com and get ready to be inspired. To learn more about Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast visit www.BlessingsOnState.com or call 217.245.1013.

Photos: Tiffany/Warmowski Photography

About Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast
Experience a stay in our award-winning Bed & Breakfast located in a magnificently restored 130-year-old mansion in the heart of the historic district. Pampered luxury is our goal, to delight both business and leisure travelers. We offer two upscale guest suites, each with private sitting rooms and private baths. We provide multi-course gourmet breakfasts, 24/7 family-friendly hot and cold beverages and snacks, and cookies and milk at bedtime. Wi-Fi is available throughout our home and each suite has a digital satellite TV and all-season fireplace. We are located just steps away from Illinois College, the Governor Duncan Mansion and Illinois School for the Deaf and our neighborhood is highlighted on one of Jacksonville’s historic walking tours. Escape the standard hotel room and enjoy your own private suite in the finest Jacksonville area lodging.

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