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Best Things To Do At Giant City State Park In Illinois

If you have ever visited the state of Illinois, there is a place called Giant City State Park that you should visit. This is located in Union and Jackson counties, spread out over 4000 acres, and there is a visitor center and lodge that you will see when you first arrive. The lodge itself is actually where six cabins were originally built their back in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps using quarried sandstone and lumber. Although the original cabins were demolished and replaced with replicas, this area is now part of the National Register of Historic Places. Here are some of the best things that an auto accident attorney can do once you arrive at Giant City State Park.

What You Can Do At Giant City State Park

There are several things that you can do at this State Park which has the remnants of what used to be a fort constructed by American Indians over a thousand years ago. There was once a wall that was reconstructed in the early 1900s, using smaller blocks to mark where it once was. It was originally taken down by early settlers, but now it has been replaced and is well-kept by those that are in charge. You can hike on the Old Stone Fort Trail to get some exercise, and you can also walk through areas where there are enormous blocks of sandstone that form court orders as if moved by giants. Once you reach the top of the bluff after a short hike, you can see one of the forts, one of 10 that are found throughout southern Illinois.

Other Activities That You Can Do In The Area

Just outside of the park, you can do a zipline at the Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour which is just a few miles away. There is also the Blue Sky Venue just 4 miles from the park which has excellent wine that you can sample. However, if you are going to be spending most of your time at the park, be sure to spend time in the Giant City Lodge. There are plenty of places to also go fishing and boating, as well as horseback riding, all contained within the park itself. If you have never been to southern Illinois, below the city of St. Louis, you will definitely want to visit Giant City State Park to see this ancient marvel.

Here is a video describing some more things that Giant City State Park has to offer!

The Gateway Grizzlies of Southern Illinois

Take me out to the ballgame, indeed! The state of Illinois is a great place for the great American pastime. The Gateway Grizzlies, a pro-ball team based in Sauget, Illinois (or St. Louis, for you out of staters), but you may not have heard of them if you only watch Major League Baseball. The Grizzlies are associated with the Frontier League.

That doesn’t mean they’re any less talented than any other team, however! Since their inception in the year 2001, they’ve won 3 Division Titles, they’ve made 5 playoff appearances, and took home 1 championship. Not bad for a team that’s only been around for 16 years!

Of course, being such a young team means they’re a great starting place for rookies. So this coming year you’ll get to see such rookies as Brandon Schlichtig. He’s a right-hand hitter and thrower and played through college at Missouri Baptist University. In 2016, the man had a .313 batting average over 26 games. That’s an incredible batting average, and he hasn’t even hit his prime yet!

The team isn’t comprised entirely of rookies, however! There are plenty of experienced veterans, such as infielder Evan Rogers. You may remember him from the Philidelphia Phillies from the 2014 season. If you’ve been wondering where he went, he signed with the Gateway Grizzlies in 2015! With a .403 slugging percentage as well as a .242 batting average over a 40 game season, you know Rogers can deliver the kind of exciting baseball you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for some great baseball, you’re looking for GCS Ballpark, home of the Gateway Grizzlies. They’re as exciting as any other game you’re going to see, and it’s a great place to bring the family and engage in the great American pastime. Who knows, you might even head home with a foul ball, though if you get hit by one we recommend talking to a personal injury lawyer.

Here are some highlights from the Grizzlies’ 2016 season!

An Examination Of The Mississippian Culture

Mississippian culture refers to a Native American civilization that dominated a large portion of the Eastern United states between the years of 800 and 1600 CE. A vast network of Native American tribes, settlements, and villages were included within this civilization. They were primarily linked together via a trade network, which was responsible for spreading significant cultural influence.

Early Origins.

It is so called Mississippian culture because it originated from the Mississippi River valley. Similar traits were exhibited in the nearby Tennessee River Valley as well. The culture began to flourish in 800 CE. It remained dominant in the area until the exploration of Hernando de Soto. There are very few signs of Mississippian culture existing past 1540, which is around the time that Hernando was exploring that region of North America.

What Are Their Traits?

This particular culture can be identified by observing its cultural traits. Not every village or settlement would follow the exact same activities or exhibit the same traits, but you could always find some of these traits in each settlement.

The building of large, earthen mounds is one of their most significant traits. The mounds may be used as the base for housing, for temples, or even burial sites. They were most often square in shape. Some were rectangular and very few had a circular shape. The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois has the largest of the remaining mound structures.

Other traits included extremely long trade routes that could reach as far north as the Great Lakes and as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. They institutionalized social inequality and developed a chiefdom system in their villages.

What Happened To It All?

There are still many Mississippian sites remaining in part in the United States. As for the people themselves, it is believed that many of the historic and modern era Native American tribes descended from these Mississippian people. This includes the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Apalachee.

Details Regarding The Cahokia Mounds State Historical Site

The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is located in Illinois in between the cities of Collinsville and East St. Louis. It was designated by the UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural heritage site in 1982. Prior to that, it was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1966. And even further back than that, it was listed as a U.S. National Historic Landmark on July 19 of 1964.

It’s Significance.

The mounds are the remnant of a Native American city that existed somewhere between the years of 600 and 1400 CE. It was believed to be the largest of all the settlements in the area. The mounds of the site are massive and said to be the largest archaeological site from that era that is north of Mexico.

Overall, it covers an area of 2,200 acres, which is roughly 3 and a half square miles. However, in its prime, it covered at least 6 square miles. There were at least 120 large mounds made by man at the time. Today, only 80 of those mounds still exist. The mounds are built in a variety of shapes and sizes. They served different functions as well, just like a criminal defense attorney. While it isn’t as large as it once was, it is still an extremely impressive sight.

A Brief History.

The area was settled sometime around 600 CE. This is referred to as the Late Woodland Period. The building of the mounds wouldn’t begin until around 800 CE, which marked the emergence of Mississippian culture.

The name that the settlement originally used is still unknown. The inhabitants did not leave behind any written words, symbols, or records aside from what was used decoratively on pottery, wood, and metal. Nonetheless, it is obvious that they were an advanced people who were rich in culture. Each year, visitors flock to the area for a glimpse of what it was like to live in America more than 1,400 years ago.

If you would like to learn more about Cahokia Mounds, this video does a great job showing giving in-depth info!

Discovering Southernmost Illinois

If you are an outdoor lover then Southernmost Illinois is a paradise. The Giant City State Park contains camping, horseback riding, rappelling and so much more. Take a stroll down the Giant City Streets and see huge bluffs of sandstone that were formed almost 12,000 years ago. At the visiting center, there are scheduled tours that talk about the local flora, fauna, and the history of the park. The camping site The Giant City Lodge has cabins, swimming pools, gift shop and a lounge. Don’t forget to check out the rock climbing and horseback riding.

For those who don’t prefer the outdoors, there’s a great night light with restaurant and cafes, wineries, orchards, museums, and a whole section dedicated to Superman! Did you know that the Superman museum was located in Illinois? I did not. I thought Smallville was in Kansas, so this is a true mystery as to why the Superman museum is in Illinois.

A Brief History of Southern Illinois University

When Southern Illinois University, centered in Carbondale, was founded in 1869, it was the state’s second teacher’s college with only 143 students, but already boasting 12 academic departments. Our school has become more vital as it has become more inclusive. We pride ourselves on our diverse staff and student body, our focus student-centered research programs, and the comprehensive nature of our academic offerings. SIU ranks in the top 5 percent of all U.S. higher education institutions for research. Our students are making an impact not only  in Southern Illinois, but worldwide.

Serving the Community

Among our recent achievements, we are especially honored to have earned the prestigious 2015 community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Being designated as a university with an ongoing commitment to serve the community as well as our students is important to us. As a matter of fact, in 2013 alone, we coordinated with more than 3,000 partners in the community to assist 237,000 residents of central and southern Illinois.

The Illinois Center for Autism is a prime example of our successful community efforts, providing extensive services for affected children and their families, while serving as a teaching facility for SIU’s eager and committed students. The center is also well-known for the important research it conducts, research that teaches our students scientific methodology while moving the world towards improved treatment plans and a possible prevention or cure for the condition.

Increasing Our Diversity

SIU has moved forward with American society as diversity has become more and more significant and relevant to education and personal integrity. We’ve come a long way from the days of our birth. While our first graduating class of 143 included only two African-American students, our current student body is composed of 29 percent minority students. During recent times, SIU Carbondale continues to rank high among the nation’s top colleges and universities in the number of degrees awarded to students in ethnic and racial minority groups. We are also intensely aware of gender equality. Our student population is divided almost equally between male and female students.

Natural Beauty Provides a Wonderful Backdrop for Deep Thought

Many students and faculty members, originally drawn to SIU for its intellectual prowess, end up transfixed by its natural beauty, much like lemon law PA. Not far from the memorable joining of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, our campus is also close to two glorious state parks, four shimmering lakes, and the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. When you come to Southern Illinois University, your mind will not only be challenged and informed but refreshed by the natural beauty that surrounds you.

If you are interested in seeing SIU’s campus, we have just the video for you:

The History of Scott Air Force Base

Originally established as an Air Service training camp after the United States entered World War I in 1917, Scott Air Force Base is now a United States Air Force base. Located in St. Clair County, Illinois, near Belleville (20 miles from St. Louis), the base currently employs 13,000 people — 5,100 civilians, 5,500 active-duty Air Force personnel, and 2,400 members of the Air National Guard and Reservists. The base is also home to three, soon to be five, cybersecurity squadrons. In addition, the airfield is used by  Allegiant Air for some civilian aircraft during which time it is referred to as MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.

The Beginning of Scott Field

In 1917, Secretary of War Newton Baker, coordinated with an aerial expert, the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, and directors of the Greater Belleville Board of Trade to lease 624 acres of land on which the Air Service training camp could be created. From then on, since the need was immediate, everything moved at breathtaking speed. The government gave construction company 60 days to erect approximately 60 buildings, lay a mile-long railroad spur, and to level off an airfield with a 1,600 foot landing circle! Construction was already underway when the government announced that the base would be named to honor Corporal Frank S. Scott, the first enlisted service member to be killed in an aviation crash.

The Period Between World Wars

The field’s future looked uncertain after the end of World War I. It briefly functioned as a storage site for demobilized equipment, but then, in 1919, the War Department purchased Scott Field for $119,285, enticed by its central location and irresistible price. In 1921, Scott Field became a lighter-than-air (LTA) station as it accepted the transfer of an Army Balloon and Airship School from Texas to its acreage, building a new airship hangar to accommodate the transferred aircraft. The new hangar, three blocks long, one block wide and 15 stories high, was believed capable of holding 100,000 men — at the time practically the number of men in the entire U.S. Army!

Scott Field After the Outbreak of World War II

With the opening of its Radio School in 1940, Scott Field returned to its former role as a training installation. Its primary purpose during the Second World War was to train radio operators to become, as its slogan boasted, “the best damned radio operators in the world!” Known as “the Eyes and Ears of the Army Air Force,” Scott’s graduates flew aircraft and operated command posts wherever U.S. troops were fighting. In 1947, well after the end of the war, the Army Air Force was renamed the United States Air Force so, in 1948, Scott Field officially became Scott Air Force Base.

Southern Illinois: a Wine Lovers Paradise?

More and more people are finding that wonderful wine can be found right here in southern Illinois. Shawnee Hills Wine Trail vineyards is fast becoming the Napa Valley of America’s Heartland. Beautiful at all times of the year, during harvest season the vines are fragrant with ripe grapes and soon the wine trails blaze with color. Visitors flock to the region for the wide variety of attractions that pull them toward the middle of the country.

Our Wines

The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail vineyards are not only full of fruit, but of crews rushing to gather  the small ripe treasures at their peak, while the presses squeeze the maximum sweetness from each little globe. The resulting wines are plentiful and varied. The grapes that produce the whites — like Niagara, Vidal and Seyval — ripen first; then the reds fully ripen to present the rich flavors of Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, and Norton.

Not by Wine Alone

Travelers, including an employment attorney or two, come from all over the country to taste our wines and to experience the many other pleasures the Shawnee Wine Trail offers. The trail is now dotted with charming Bed and Breakfasts, lovely restaurants, specialty shops, art galleries, spas offering relaxing massages, and a nearly endless array of paths for hiking, climbing, and biking. During the autumn, weekend concerts abound. We hold many special events. This summer (2017), there were special festivities planned for those who visited around the time of the full solar eclipse.

Our History

During the summer of 1995, the first three wineries in Southern Illinois — Alto Vineyards, Owl Creek Vineyard, and Pomona Winery — came to an important decision: there was a potential for extensive tourism right in their midst. They joined forces with the Carbondale Convention & Tourism Bureau and the Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau to create the first wine trail in the state of Illinois: the now famous Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Just over two decades later, our B&Bs are filled to capacity year-round — individuals and groups making their reservations long in advance. Our current 11 wineries and participating associate members are proud of the excitement, relaxation, and delight we provide for our guests and of our recent designation as the new American Viticultural Area (AVA).

How Our Wines Are Made

In order to make quality wines, you must have high quality, well-cultivated grapes that are harvested just as they become perfectly ripened. Our grapes are picked by hand, put through a machine that de-stems them and crushes them. Yeasts are added to the resulting juice to begin the process of fermentation. The grapes’ natural sugar, which has been converted into alcohol and CO2 by the yeasts, must ferment at carefully controlled temperatures for about 3 weeks. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is aged either in oak barrels, or steel tanks. The wines stored in oak barrels will slowly absorb smoky, vanilla, and fruity characteristics; those stored in steel tanks have their natural flavors enhanced. Once wine has been fined (had its bitterness removed) and perfectly filtered, it is bottled and left to age. Depending on the type of wine, aging can take from 6 months to 2 years.

The Proof Is in the Pudding

When you visit the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, remember to fully enjoy the main attraction by savoring our remarkable wines. First swirl the wine in your glass to release its aroma, then sniff its intoxicating aroma. Finally sip a small amount to make subtle contact with your taste buds. We guarantee you’ll remember what drew you here in the first place.

If you would like to learn how to make wine like they do in the wine capital of the world (Southern Illinois) then please watch this video!

What Is the Belleville Philharmonic Society?

Belleville, Illinois is very proud of its Philharmonic Society and has every right to be. Founded by a musical group of local citizens in 1866, The Belleville Philharmonic Society is the second oldest continuously performing orchestra in the United States. In addition to its longevity, the Philharmonic Society boasts of its three ensembles: an orchestra, a chorale, and a youth orchestra. The current conductors are Robert Hart Baker for the orchestra and chorale, and Leon Burke III for the youth orchestra. The first conductor of The Belleville Philharmonic Society was Theodore Decker, who directed a group of gifted veterans, many of whom had been classically trained as musicians in Germany.

Keeping Culture Alive in the Community

Since its inception, The Philharmonic Society of Belleville has supported the arts in a number of ways, often partnering with the city in which it makes its home, the Belleville Chamber of Commerce, and a devoted group known as Belleville Main Street. The Philharmonic Society of Belleville is a not-for-profit organization. Having committed itself to supporting the arts in the greater Belleville community, it provides delight to audiences and musicians alike.

Performing regularly during its September to April season, The Philharmonic has an important place in the town’s heart — both as a creative outlet and a source of elegant entertainment. During the century and a half of its active existence, The Belleville Philharmonic Society has established a strong bond not only with the city of Belleville, but with all of St. Clair County, regularly performing for civic events and for the requisite Christmas holiday concerts, including, of course, a command performance of “The Nutcracker Suite.”

Competitive as well as Charming

Far from being only a quaint, nostalgic continuation of Midwestern history, the Belleville Philharmonic Society keeps its population on its musical toes by hosting two concerto competitions each spring for young musicians throughout the area.

Young people up to college age are eligible to participate in the “Stars of Tomorrow” contest. The winners of this contest earn the honor of performing with the Belleville Philharmonic during its October concert. In addition, the Youth Orchestra runs its own contest, The Tuerck Memorial Concerto Competition, named in honor of George Tuerck, the Youth Orchestra’s founder. The Tuerck competition is open to those who are high school juniors or younger; the winners receive honorary scholarships and get to play with the Youth Orchestra during its winter concert.