Season 12 - 2014
1201 - Jan. 10, 2014
Season 12 kicks off with a group of rural East Central Illinoisans who restore cemeteries. Taking care to preserve history one stone at a time, these volunteers clean and fix everything from old, to tilted and broken markers. Then, it’s over to Casey, Illinois, the home of multiple world records! Ever seen the World’s Largest Windchime or Golf Tee? You can see them right here on Heartland Highways. And finally, she gets a lot of attention and is always dressed for the occasion. Meet the Charleston area’s Gracie the Shark. Swimming the prairie-filled seas of Pat and Valerie Goodwin’s home, Gracie has a story all her own!
1202 - Jan. 17, 2014
Birds, pool cues and clydesdales can all be found in this episode. We first meet Loren Hughes, well-known in Edgar County, Illinois, as the “Bluebird Man.” Covering and logging what he finds on miles of trails everyday, his dedication to the little, blue feathered ones has made Edgar County the premiere producer of bluebirds statewide! Our second story takes us to Sullivan, Illinois, where 7th generation farmer Mike Durbin makes hand-made pool cues with intricate inlays. Our last story in this episode features Farrell Farms. This clydesdale farm has been in the family for generations.
1203 - Jan. 24, 2014
This episode is all about the Indiana town of New Harmony. This community started as an experiment and evolved into a haven for international scientists, scholars, and educators who sought equality in communal living. Today, New Harmony is known for its history, labyrinths, spiritual opportunities and quaint, small-town feel.
1204 - Jan. 31, 2014
At the intersection of two major interstates in Effingham, Illinois, is a landmark you can’t miss. The Cross at the Crossroads has been seen by many, but in this episode we’ll share the story behind the big symbol. Then, you’ve probably seen and maybe even used their work and not even known it. We’re talking about the Mueller Family and we’ll take you inside their museum in Decatur, Illinois. Started by Hieronymus Mueller, a German immigrant, in the late 1800s, the Mueller Company became famous for fire hydrants, butterfly valves and much more. But the story behind the man and his family is one you won’t want to miss. Our final story in this episode takes us to Carlyle Lake. This 26,000-acre lake is the largest man-made lake in the state.
1205 - Feb. 7, 2014
Did you know one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of band uniforms is right here in Illinois? How the Demoulin Company got from their beginnings to that is really the story, though. In this episode we’ll show you not only how the uniforms are made, but the museum the houses the unique history of the company too. We’ll also meet a teapot collector from Effingham, Illinois. Audrey Garby got her first teapot as a wedding gift. Later in life she started collecting them and today they are proudly displayed throughout her home.
1206 - Feb. 14, 2014
Eclectic is a great word to describe Season 12’s Episode 6! We start by meeting John Conrad from Eugene, Indiana. John’s passion for restoring military vehicles, preserving them and portraying living history comes through in his home museum that he has deemed “Grandpa John’s Little Museum.” Next, we go back to Illinois where we visit Mattoon resident Wally Taylor. Wally’s what you call a “stover.” He collects and restores unique and beautiful woodstoves from years gone by. We also visit the Hippie Memorial in Arcola! The only one of its kind, the memorial was created by Bob Moomaw. The final story of this episode features a repurposer from Charleston named Jim Standerfer. Unique an original are the theme of this episode so don’t miss it!
Nostalgia, history and recreation can be found in this episode of Heartland Highways! First, it’s off to the Vermillion County War Museum in Danville. Housed in the city’s original public library building, the museum displays memorabilia and artifacts from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The next stop features scenic views. Merom, Indiana’s, Bluff Park overlooks the Wabash River and Illinois farm fields. The town itself is also home to several historic places we’ll tell you more about in the show. Finally, the Museum of Miniature Houses in Carmel, Indiana, features over 600 miniatures! The eye-catching details are a must-see!
I-L-L, I-N-I! Paul Stone of Sullivan, Illinois, starts this episode off with his extensive collection of University of Illinois memorabilia. From souvenir cups to historic pieces, he’s got it all! Then, hop on over for nostalgia at its best as we take you to the small town of Flat Rock, Illinois, for the annual frog jumping contest. The episode closes out with a look at a historic Danville theater group called the Red Mask Players that has seen actors like Dick Van Dyke and others grace its stage throughout the years.
Flowers, flowers, and more flowers are on the agenda for this show! Oh, and we’ll throw in a little bit of radio theater too! First, the crew takes an updated look at the Wesley Whiteside Gardens just outside of Charleston, Illinois. Mr. Whiteside, a former Eastern Illinois University professor, started his 5-acre garden back in 1962. The hundreds of native plants and species from all over the world are now making their transition to a research hub for EIU students. Speaking of plants, our next story is all about daylilies! The 5 Acre Daylily Farm near Tolono, Illinois, contains extensive varieties of the flower, including some cultivated by Wes Whiteside from our first story. Our final story takes us to Clark County, Illinois, where one group is on a mission to bring nostalgia to the masses via old time radio. Old Time Radio Theater performs famous radio shows just like the days of old, but with some new technology.
Some people really love their flowers and in this show we’ll meet just such a group called The Prairie Iris Society. This Central Illinois group cultivates, shares and shows their irises. They’ll tell us all about the beauties in this episode. Then it’s batter up as we take on two baseball-themed stories. First, we revisit the Danville Dans in their historic stadium. Then, Laker Stadium in Paris, Illinois, has a history in baseball, but it’s all about community effort that’s kept it going over the years.
In this episode we take a look back at a tragic event in the history of the region. The 1949 St. Anthony Hospital fire took the lives of 77 people and changed the community of Effingham. We also visit the University of Illinois Pollinatarium. Don’t know what that is? The Pollinatarium is a one-of-a-kind place dedicated to educating people about bees. Our final story has us meeting up with a group that collects what they call breweriana; or anything related to beer.
Heartland Highways has been a lot of places and in this episode we might’ve met our match. Photographer Bruce Wicks has taken pictures in over 1,000 area towns and often goes back several times to catalog how small-town America and its landscape changes. Next, we revisit the antique fishing lure collection of Dave Boyer from Strasburg, Illinois. And if you’ve ever wondered how a Heartland Highways story goes from idea to television screen, our final story in this episode from guest contributor Cameron Craig will show you!
Season 12 wraps up with a show about the small town of Pontiac, Illinois. Situated on Route 66, the city is named after a Native American Chief and not the automobile, but it still plays home to the Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum. The city is also home to several Walldog murals and the only Walldog Mural Museum. Other points of interest include art cars, a Route 66 Museum, Livingston County War Museum and more.