It was the day after my birthday, and I was off work and in the mood for adventure. I decided on Freeport, site of the second Lincoln-Douglas Debate. But as much of a fan of history as I am, looking at a spot where two guys argued 152 years ago didn’t seem like much of an adventure in and of itself. I searched on the Internet to see what else of interest the city had to offer. There wasn’t much — another Lincoln statue, a Civil War monument …
I discovered that Freeport claims the title of Pretzel City, USA after the Billerbeck Bakery which made pretzels there beginning in 1869. The local high-school teams are known as the Freeport Pretzels, and every June the city hosts the Pretzel City Festival. I could find nothing on the Billerbeck Bakery, but I did see a reference to Mrs. Mike’s Potato Chips which claimed to make “Freeport pretzels.”
Still not much to go on, but I decided to head west and wing it. It was a bright, sunny day in the mid 50’s, and as I drove along the U.S. Grant Memorial Highway (Route 20), I was in the mood for almost anything.
I didn’t have time to read the details on the barn in the center photo above, but I was able to enlarge the picture on my camera and see what it said. I wasn’t even in Freeport yet, and I already had something else to see!
I spotted a church with a “write-your-own-message” sign out front. At first glance, I thought the second line said “ringworm.”
As soon as I arrived in downtown Freeport, I spotted the Civil War monument. I’m sure it was originally built on a spacious lawn in front of a courthouse, but it is now crammed onto a tight corner between a busy intersection and an ugly cement building.
I parked and took some photos because that’s just the kind of day this was.