Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores

George Hirst

A Linear Park October 13, 2006

History takes on meaning when its past use takes on a modern day use. The
Rock Island Trail, and its way station at the Rock Island Train station in
Wyoming, once was a path for trains to carry freight and passengers to
destinations. Today that roadway provides a walk way of beauty for people to
use for health purposes and appreciation of the beauties of nature. The
building, once a stopping place for freight and passengers to come and go in
the life of that time, now is a resting place for hikers as well as a place
to be reminded of the history of the Rock Island Railroad.

The Rock Island Trail begins in Toulon, travels through Wyoming by Stark
(and Wady Petra) and ends 24.7 miles later at Alta in Peoria County. The
Trail and Jublilee State Park is called a Complex park according by The
Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Trail is a linear park and is
maintained under the direction of Grant McCauley, Site Technician. Tom Hintz
is Site Administrator for the Compex of parks. Seasonal workers help
maintain the park from mid-May till the end of August with mowers and other
equipment to prune, mow, keep the weeds down and repair damages by rain and
wind to the rock trail.There are four rest room sites, Toulon, Wyoming,Alta
and the campground. Tent Camping is available at the cost of six dollars per
day. A traffic counter at the Alta campground counted 150,000 visitors to
the park in 2004.Two thirds of the persons used the southern end of the
park. The count at the northern is estimated.

Grant McCauley is a native of Stark County. He is third generation in his
family. His wife,Tiffany Fuchs McCauley is also a native and is third
generation in her family. They live in Osceolo township on the Faith Bible
Camp Road. They have two children, Katie and Matthew. Grant is a graduate of
Stark County High School and graduated from Illinois State University,
Normal with a degree in agriculture. He is a part time farmer. He and his
father, Don Mccauley own land together which includes the Grant farm, owned
by his maternal grandfather. He farms part time in a working relationship
with his father-in-law, Albert Fuchs.

During college he worked as a seasonal worker on the trail in the summers of
1994 - 1997. In 1999, the site technician position came open, he took the
tests, passed the interviews and was hired in 2000 as the full time employee
of the Trail. Grant said that he really likes his job and where he lives. He
and Tiffany, who is a registered nurse at the Bradford Grade School, feel
that they are in a great place to live and raise a family.

Part of Grant's work at the trail is to care for the grounds and building of
the Rock Island Depot. The Weekend openings of the depot is under the
supervision of The Economic Development Group, Dee Dee Rice Director and
Dennis Rewarts. A team of volunteers work in pairs to meet people and share

Grant said that he meets people from all over the nation on the trail, one
of his memories is a person who was riding a bike from Los Angeles, CA to
Boston, MA He said people call all the time inquiring about the trail, the
facilities and the park and hotels and motels. The bulk of the calls come
from the Chicago area.

The community of Stark in this way offers its life and ways to others.

Created by KKris. Last Modification: Monday 23 of October, 2006 08:44:44 EDT by KKris.