Season 6 - 2008
Season 6 starts as we take a trip to Arenzville, IL, Home of the World's Best Burgoo. What's burgoo? We'll tell you! We'll also discover the tradition behind the mysterious stew and why the town has stuck by its tradition for so long. Next we take a look at the historic Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, IL. The one-of-a-kind restaurant has stayed true to its historical roots and is said to possibly be the first restaurant established on historic Route 66. Finally, we'll give you a special look ahead at what's in store for the rest of Season 6.
This show will appeal to the adventurers. First up, we'll showcase the Gilles Family Conservation Farm near Peoria, Illinois. The farm features native prairie as far as the eye can see and promises exciting wildlife viewing as well as education along its trail tours. Next we descend to the underground to visit Indiana's Blue Spring Caverns. This spot is home to around a mile of navigable underground river. Along the way, tour guides tell us all about blindfish and other wildlife that inhabit the caves. And last, but not least is watercolor artist Dixie Petticrew. Her painting technique isn't conventional, but the finished product is enough to make any art enthusiast say "wow." Petticrew shows us some of her secrets at her home in near Wheeler, Illinois.
In this episode, a look at the Illinois Wheat Weavers Association is featured. The group prides themselves on keeping the folk art of wheat weaving alive as well as keeping the art and history of it alive. You'll be amazed at what they can do with wheat! Also, we visit a historic aircraft restoration museum near St. Louis, Missouri. This museum has one of the largest collections of historic planes in the country and features an original "Cub", the "Timm Collegiate" flown by Charles Lindbergh, and the first "Curtiss Air Sedan", which was made in St. Louis. Finally, metal artist John K. Reed from right in our backyard in Charleston, Illinois, shows us his collection of pieces made from scrap metal he picked up in his farm fields over the years. We'll also tell you about his inspiration for making his favorite ... airplanes!
The Ford County Museum in Paxton, Illinois, was developed in the town's old pump house station. The building, which sat vacant for many years, was recently renovated and now displays an abundance of the county's historical artifacts and stories. The museum's displays were designed and fabricated by Taylor Studios in Rantoul, our next story. At Taylor, viewers will see a wooly mammoth in the making as well as many other museum exhibits being produced for museums all over the nation. We'll also meet Robinson, Illinois, doll collector Sue Trimble in this episode. Trimble is no ordinary collector, either. She's added an entire wing on her home for her collection. This is one not to miss!
The mysterious practice of dousing, or witching, is examined in this episode with cemetery restoration expert John Heider. Dousing was originally used for the discovery of underground water, but Heider uses the two metal rods to help him discover gravesites to better restore fallen headstones in rural cemeteries. We'll also take a trip to the Illinois Oilfield Museum in Oblong where the history of Illinois oil is displayed through artifacts, models and personal accounts. It's a one-of-a-kind place! Finally, the history of the Illinois Blue Star Marker Memorial Program is featured. You see them at rest areas everywhere, but find out why those markers are there and who keeps them looking so nice!
If it has to do with a windmill, Paul Behrends does it. Behrends travels all over the country doing windmill restoration and repair and in this episode, he'll tell us all about the giant contraptions and what they're used for ... in the past and present! Next, the Hanebrink family from Ashmore, Illinois, will take viewers on a journey to the past with Pop Jack's root beer and Fizzes. Heartland Highways will get a glimpse of how the process works and why it tastes so good! The Historic Mansfield, Illinois, General Store is also featured. One the few of its kind remaining, walking into the Mansfield General Store is like stepping into a simpler time. Watch this episode and find out what makes this century-old store so special.
Artist Eric Carr will let viewers into the world of antler art in this episode, which takes a look at Crooked Creek Antler Art in rural Jasper County, Illinois. Lamps, chandeliers, furniture and art pieces made from all types of antlers are the norm at this shop in Hidalgo, Illinois. Also, Bret Hammond takes us on a high tech treasure hunt as he takes us into the interesting world of geocaching in Illinois. Finally, the American Superheroes Museum in Indianapolis is featured. What started as one man's collection has grown into the place that now houses a Batmobile, original Superman costumes and other types of superhero memorabilia.
Heartland Highways visits the oldest outdoor theater in the nation in this episode. The Muny Theater in St. Louis takes us on a tour as well as behind the scenes at this historical landmark in Forest Park. Next we travel to Farmer City, Illinois to meet a glass blower who specializes in Venetian glass blowing and American studio glass movement techniques. In this show we will also revisit an old favorite as we grab hamburgers in Moonshine, Illinois: population 2. Find out why so many people return time and time again for a moon burger.
This episode features the Illinois Old Tyme Fiddlers Association, which aims to preserve the fiddle music of the past. Come along as this group gets together to have an old-fashioned jam-session. We'll also meet ones of the authors of "Dear Old Illinois: Traditional Music of Downstate Illinois." The book presents some 750 items of traditional music from downstate Illinois, from the two most significant collections on the subject, the David S. McIntosh and Garry Harrison collections. And for the last story, we'll learn about the history of the Heath Candy bar, which started in the small community of Robinson, Illinois. We'll talk to a member of the Heath family as well as those who remember how the legendary candy began.
Leather artist Bruce Vetter's work is showcased in this episode. Vetter, whose shop is in Homer, Illinois, started leatherworking out of necessity early-on, but now he creates all kinds of original leather art pieces and items as more of a leisure activity. Also in this episode, we get a special look at a 1932 Ford Bus restored by Williams Street Rods in Cooks Mill, Illinois. We'll meet the team and learn more about the projects the business has done. Finally we'll take a look at Illinois's largest state park; Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois. The 8,000+ acre park is known for its fall colors and is home to bald eagles in the winter.
In the first story of this episode we'll visit the Robert Allerton Park and Conference Center. Find out all there is to discover in this over 1,500-acre park, nature center and conference center which draws nearly 100,000 people a year. Next we'll take a trip up to Woodstock, Illinois, to the Hooved Animal Humane Society where we'll get to see horses, pigs, goats and anything else hooved and learn all about the society's mission to help animals in need.
An amazing Austrian tradition is featured in this episode. The Advent Evensong in Wendelin, Illinois, features Christmas carols sung in German and some in English. The candlelight ceremony is something not to miss! And who doesn't love an old-fashioned candy cane? We find out how Vrinios old fashioned candy canes are made. We also travel to Newton, Illinois, to take in a different kind of art. We'll meet LulaAnn Cunefare who will show us what kinds of beautiful things can be done with an egg.
For our Season 6 finale we'll visit shuffle board maker Mike Lyons in Arcola, Illinois. Lyons makes tabletop shuffle boards at his shop in East Central Illinois. We also make our way to multifunctional Gordyville USA near Rantoul, Illinois, where many well-known horse shows and a large flea market are held regularly. The family-owned and operated business promises something for everyone. Finally, we'll update some past Heartland Highways stories to show viewers what's new since we visited last.