The Knox County Scenic Drive, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers whose purpose is to perpetuate the historical landmarks and points of interest of Knox County, Illinois and to further preserve and restore any buildings of particular areas that are of historical value to the local residents and the residents of the State of Illinois.
A Less Formal Description
Every year, during the first two full weekends in October, folks gather to celebrate their rural heritage. For thousands, the drive is an autumn tradition, a trip through a countryside ablaze with a riot of fall colors. There's homemade food aplenty and homegrown delights that celebrate the harvest in Western Illinois. Sleepy towns and villages come alive, transformed for two weekends a year into tourist meccas.
Interested in rural heritage? Two renovated one-room schools, a log cabin built in 1832, an old jail, a restored 1865 barn and the Old Knox County Courthouse will be open for tours. Churches, chapels, and other buildings constructed over 100 years ago may also be viewed along with several museums featuring a glimpse into a world that would otherwise be forgotten. Relive days gone by through demonstrations on rug weaving, broom making, basket weaving, blacksmiths, butter making, spinning, and pumpkin carving, just to name a few. Ride on ponies, donkey carts, horse-drawn wagons, and antique tractors to rest your feet during the day. Then get going again to see antique cars and farm equipment, and maybe take in a few demonstrations of how our ancestors split logs, thrashed grain, and sawed wood.
Bring your appetite to sample the gourmet delights. Local specialties include onion rings, elephant ears, funnel cakes, chippers, and shake-ups. Rib eye steak and butterfly pork chop sandwiches are always a favorite, along with brats and turkey tenderloins. For the heartier appetites, local churches and civic groups serve full meals, including chicken and noodles, ham and beans, stone soup, and chili, all followed by homemade pies and cakes. It's country cooking at its best.
If all that isn't enough to entertain you, there'll be old time and modern entertainment in the form of musical saws, autoharps, even a South American band. Traditional Native American music and dances will be performed at several of the stops.
Money burning a hole in your pocket? Crafts, antiques, and collectibles of an astonishing variety will be for sale at each location. Make some purchases, or just spend some time browsing through the wares and visiting with these friendly country folk.
Thank-you to The Knox County Scenic Drive Board Members
for their work to continually promote and improve the scenic drive.