My hometown is a tiny little blip on the map. If you blink you will miss it. If you are familiar with country western music, this is your typical small town that is mentioned in there. We have one bank, one stop light, one grocery store, one car dealership, and the more churches than restaurants. The biggest disagreements and fights started over Miller Light vs Bud Light, Cardinals vs Cubs, or Ford vs Chevrolet. A big truck with a loud exhaust was a status symbol for most young men.
Greenup, Illinois USA or “Village of the Porches” is located in East-Central Illinois in the country of Cumberland and has a population of around 1600 people. It is far from a wealthy town. The median income for a household in the village was $29,375, and the median income for a family was $36,902 according to the last census.
Illinois has a total of 102 counties and has the most forms of administrative government in the United States of America with over 8,000. The Illinois Constitution of 1970 , created for the first time in Illinois, a type of “home rule” that allows localities to govern themselves to a certain extent. Each county is broken down into townships with an elected board that makes local decisions.
Greenup received its name from National Road surveyor William C. Greenup, who platted the town in 1834. He was one of the supervisors hired to oversee construction of the National Road in Illinois.
The little town has one dark bit of history. It used to have something called a “Sundown Law” that required all African Americans to be out of town before the sun went down.
This sad part of my town’s history was mentioned in the book ” Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension Of American Racism” by James W. Loewe.
The times have changed and Greenup has turned into a great place to raise a little family or spend your retirement in a safe little place where everyone knows everyone. Growing up in a tiny little community has made me a kinder and more friendly person. It wasn’t uncommon for me to wave at every single car that drove past me or to say “hi” to the majority of people that you bump into at the grocery store.
I went to school at Cumberland High School which is located a few miles outside of Greenup, IL. Some of the best times of my life happened in the halls of this little high school. We were known as the “Pirates” and had some really good basketball and baseball teams during my tenure. I was a very loud and obnoxious hooligan at basketball games. A total of five schools banned me from their gymnasiums for being loud and disrespectful. One school, Kansas High School, even sent a letter to my parents telling them that I was banned for life from all sporting events in Kansas. Dad decided to bring out the belt after receiving that letter. :P
The community has also been crucial in the two large donations of sporting equipment that we pulled together for Serbia. I was interviewed in our most popular newspaper about my time in Serbia and had many schools, people and businesses contact me to help. We pulled together all of this American football gear that was delivered last winter. The local teams really appreciated it and had a dinner in my honor in Zrenjanin. We also shipped over a big donation of baseball equipment the year before. The people in Greenup love to help those that might need a bit of help. We have another big donation that Ervin Equipment and Arcola Youth Football pulled together a few months ago. It will be brought over soon!
If you ever find yourself in East-Central Illinois, swing by “The Village of the Porches”. I took many of these beautiful pictures of my hometown from Jim Grey’s blog. He was kind enough to allow me permission to use them. Jenny Stewart from Greenup, Illinois was also kind enough to allow me to use the picture of her nephew.
Shot of downtown Greenup. There are tons of antique stores and very little else. You can see why they call it “Village of the Porches”
another close up of the porches.
This used to be the old bank. It was common for old banks to have the entrance on the corner.
This is the “American Legion” that is one of the few drinking establishments in town. This town used to be “dry” on Sunday. That means no alcohol could be purchased. That changed about 10 years ago.
This is the old train depot that has been relocated into the downtown strip.
Museum located beside the old depot.
They claim our town is historic. :) I know that Abe Lincoln supposedly helped dig a well in Greenup. He was raised about 20 miles from Greenup at the historic site of ” Lincoln Log Cabin”
This is our pride and joy. These covered bridges were very common in Illinois, Indiana and other places in the Midwest.
Beautiful shot of the entrance of the bridge.
The Cumberland County Fair is held every August and features lots of horse racing and a Saturday night demolition derby.
We should all be proud of our roots. I am no exception to that rule!