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Mendota in LaSalle County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Railroads and the Founding of Mendota

 
 
Railroads and the Founding of Mendota Marker image. Click for full size.
*Hajee via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), May 24, 2021
1. Railroads and the Founding of Mendota Marker
Inscription.  In 1853 two railroads met near this spot and the community of Mendota was born. Mendota is an Indian word said to mean "crossing of the trails." The Chicago & Aurora Railroad planned to expand southwest from Aurora to meet the Illinois Central Railroad. Meanwhile, the IC was building northward up the middle of the state. Its charter called for its main line to proceed northward from Cairo to the western end of the Illinois & Michigan Canal at LaSalle. From there it was to turn northwest toward the Galena mining district. During a chance meeting of several railroad officers in early 1852 in Boston, the lines agreed to have the C&A and the Central Military Tract Railroad, which would connect Mendota and Galesburg, meet the Illinois Central at the point closest to Aurora. In June of that year, the Illinois legislature authorized extension of the C&A "to a point not less than 15 miles north" of the canal. Thus the curve of the IC toward Galena was moved to a point just north of this marker. In 1856 the C&A and the Central Military Tract railroads merged and became the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. That line through recent
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mergers has become the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, The Illinois Central, meanwhile, abandoned its line through Mendota in 1985.
 
Erected 2002 by Mendota Museum and Historical Society • Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1853.
 
Location. 41° 33.004′ N, 89° 7.076′ W. Marker is in Mendota, Illinois, in LaSalle County. Marker is at the intersection of 8th Street and Main Street, on the left when traveling east on 8th Street. Marker is in front of the Breaking the Prairie Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 684 8th St, Mendota IL 61342, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Troy Grove Township Veterans Memorial (approx. 6 miles away); James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok (approx. 6.1 miles away); Wild Bill Hickok (approx. 6.1 miles away); Civil War Memorial (approx. 6.1 miles away); Cherry Mine Disaster (approx. 9.7 miles away); Old Chicago Trail (approx. 11.8 miles away); Homes of Chief Waubonsie and Madeline Ogee (approx. 11.8 miles away); Isam W. Seaton (1823-1903) and James H. Seaton (1828-1913) (approx. 15.2 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Mendota, IL (MDT).
Railroads and the Founding of Mendota Marker image. Click for full size.
*Hajee via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), May 24, 2021
2. Railroads and the Founding of Mendota Marker
The city remains connected to the railroad, with the 1888 Union Depot still serving as an passenger station (now for Amtrak). It also houses a museum with a model railroad layout of the town as it appeared in the 1930s. (The Great American Stations project) (Submitted on February 22, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 22, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 222 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on February 21, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   2. submitted on February 22, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Apr. 24, 2024