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Mulberry Grove in Bond County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Mulberry Grove

The Shake Rag Stop

 
 
Mulberry Grove Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, January 3, 2020
1. Mulberry Grove Marker
Inscription.  In the 1820s, not far from where you stand, passengers could board a stagecoach traveling west to Alton, Ill., or east to the Illinois Capitol at Vandalia.

According to local lore, if passengers at the town tavern were waiting for a coach, the proprietor would send a child to keep watch at the roadside. As the coach rolled into view, the child would shake a rag, signaling the driver to stop.

By the time coachman Francis Gill platted Mulberry Grove in 1841, the National Road was etched into America's soil, its route resolute. Passengers, raw materials, merchandise and mail traveled cross-country on a highway that connected Maryland to the Mississippi river, via the Shake Rag stop.

Hard Road to Chicken Bristle

Until the early 1900s, roads were little more than dirt tracks through timber, marsh, and prairie. Many rural residents were reluctant to make the long trip to town. Eager to peddle their wares, Mulberry Grove merchants stocked wagons with goods and visited these remote farms and households.

Some merchants made two trips per week. They passed through areas with names like Hog
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Back, Chicken Bristle, Cracker's Neck, and Lost Nation. In spring, wagon wheels became mired. In summer, they churned dust. The journey was difficult and travel could be treacherous----even on the National Road.

Photo captions:

With a wagonload of goods, J. Francis Wright prepares to set off on his peddling route. String harnesses were used to repel insects that annoyed the horses.

Sidewalks along Mulberry Grove's Main Street (top center and background photo) protected shoppers from National Road mud.

Visitors who rode the St. Louis, Vandalia and Terre Haute Railroad to Mulberry Grove could hire a horse and buggy at the livery, then call on friends who lived outside town.

A photo of the Folger and Baldwin Lumber Yard shows a well-stocked shop ready to serve an area primed for growth.

(aside:)

A Road of Dirt, Rock, And Dreams

In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation to provide federal funding for a National Road. Surveyed from Cumberland, Md., to the Mississippi River, the National Road was a highway for pioneers eager to settle the West.

Today, as US 40, the National Road in Illinois spans 164 miles. From Indiana to East St. Louis, you can still see how the ambitions and accomplishments of early Illinois immigrants shaped our communities. You'll
Mulberry Grove Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, January 3, 2020
2. Mulberry Grove Marker
Off of Route 140
find their influence in our art and architecture, our industry and agriculture, and in our way of life. Enjoy your time on the Road.
 
Erected 2015 by National Road Association of Illinois.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the The Historic National Road series list.
 
Location. 38° 55.641′ N, 89° 16.103′ W. Marker is in Mulberry Grove, Illinois, in Bond County. Marker is on West Main Street (Illinois Route 140) just east of North Maple Street (Illinois Route 140), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 West Main Street, Mulberry Grove IL 62262, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Smithboro (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Defense of Hill's Fort (approx. 6.9 miles away); Hill's Fort (approx. 6.9 miles away); Wells Judd Tire Sales (approx. 8.1 miles away); F. P. Joy & Company (approx. 8.1 miles away); Bulkley-Buie Store (approx. 8.1 miles away); Ronald Reagan (approx. 8.1 miles away); Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Bond County (approx. 8.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
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 Mulberry Grove and Smithboro. From the Illinois National Road's YouTube channel, this is a short video that talks about the two villages in Bond County, the first part is about Mulberry Grove.


(Submitted on January 5, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 4, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 591 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 4, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.   2. submitted on January 5, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 23, 2024