Monday, March 18, 2013

My Trip to Illinois

Photo Credit

Early Friday morning my dad and I drove 4 hours to the northeastern part of Missouri and western Illinois. A bee supply company by the name of Dadant, headquarters located in Hamilton, Illinois, celebrated their 150th anniversary and had tours of their facilities and a dinner and several guest speakers. Friday morning on the way to Hamilton we stopped in the little town of Kahoka, Missouri to tour their candle making facility. I was ready to take thousands of pictures to share with you all but of course they wouldn't allow pictures :( It was amazing to see how they make their candles. Most of their candles are either 100% bees wax or 51% bees wax. They make candles of all shapes  and sizes. Some of the coolest candles are these twisted candles that the workers make by hand every single one of them!! They also make religious candles some up to around 3 feet tall that cost from 300-600 dollars a piece.

The Spiral candles they hand twist!
Photo Credit
After we went to the candle factory we went on to the main facility in Hamilton Illinois to tour it. Again no pictures. At this company almost all of their equipment is made by them personally. From suits, to hive bodies, to metal equipment it is all made by them which is really cool how much pride they take in producing a good quality product. At this facility they put together the wooden ware products, bee suits, wax foundation, and they publish the American Bee Journal a national beekeeping publication. One of the coolest things in the building that they showed us was this room full of books related to beekeeping. They had one of the largest collections in the world.

Along with the tours they had several guest speakers who talked about a variety of subjects including selling your honey at farmers markets, verroa mites, queen rearing and making nucs, honey bee health, and why the drone bee is important. Some were more interesting than others but they were presented by some of the best beekeepers in the country so you knew what they said was important.

Along with the beekeeping stuff we thought we would take in some of the local history of the towns we were near. The town of Carthage Illinois was where our hotel was. Some interesting things that happened in Carthage were that Abraham Lincoln when he was still a lawyer made a speech in Carthage. Also Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saints Movement, was killed at the jail in Carthage. We got to tour a museum with stuff from their local history and we got to tour the Jail that Joseph Smith stayed in and was killed in.

This was the actual door frame that Abraham Lincoln Stood in front of while giving that speech. It was taken from the house and put into the museum.

Here Are some of the pictures I took:
The Museum

Some Medical Equipment
This was the embalming display
This is an old can of honey kind of cool since we were there for a beekeeping thing
A display Kitchen
A replica of Lincolns Tomb
The Prison
A little background information on who Joseph Smith is an why he was sent to the prison and then later killed. When Joseph was around 18 years old he was visited by an angel who told him of some ancient records dealing with the former inhabitants of the American Continent. He found those records and then began translating those words and writing what is called the Book of Mormon. A few years later he organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He then spent the rest of his life preaching this new form of religion to people all across the country. But along the way he and his people kept getting drove out of states such as Missouri and Ohio. But then the State of Illinois took them in. There were still people (non-Mormons)  who disagreed with what he was preaching and then imprisoned him and his brother Hyrum. While they were there they were both shot and killed.
This is the Jail Joseph smith was killed in
Jailors quarters
The original door from the "minimum Security room"
 The "Maximum Security Cell"
Some shackles they would have used

There were 2 of these tiny windows in the Maximum Security cell so the room was really dark

The door to the Cell
The Rock walls that were about 3 feet Thick

The Timbers for the celling that were extremely sturdy  
This is is the Jailors Bedroom. They held the prisoners in this room the night they were killed because they thought it would be safer for them rather than the other Cell.
When the angry people who came to kill the prisoners they first shot the lock off the door to try and get in.
They then shot through the door hitting Josephs brother Hyrum Smith in the Head and killing him instantly
The window in the bedroom that after being shot multiple times Joseph Smith jumped through and died instantly. It is on the second floor.
The outside view of the window he jumped from (the top one)


  1. wow, what cool pieces of history to see! This weekend we were in Goliad, TX and as far as Texas history goes even though it's a small town now it was one of the places where people fought right before the Alamo! There was a building across the road from the arena but we didn't have time to stop and check it out, I think it was one of the buildings either from or in tribute to the battle that took place there.

    1. That's Cool! I think that sometimes small towns have the best things and history to offer and a lot of people forget that or pass it by.

  2. What a great and fun trip! Thanks for sharing with us. Love little towns and the history they have.