Friday, August 26, 2005


These last several days I have been trying to paint a picture of a small town in northern Illinois. Spring Valley is a place that time seems to be leaving behind. Take this sign, for example. There were many vacant store fronts on this town's main street, and you would think this establishment was defunct as well. But it's not. And yet the sign is derelict. I was told this town was in a worse depression back in the 1980's and early 1990's. It's difficult for me to picture something worse than what I saw. Before you begin to think that all small towns are like this, you only have to travel 6 miles down the road to La Salle, and you see a downtown that, while still struggling, is doing its level best to bring itself into the new century. A new performance theater, and an upscale restaurant stand testiment to a local leadership that knows where the focus needs to be: getting people downtown.

2 astute observations :

  1. stuffle said...

    One of the greatest success stories (IMHO) when it comes to revitalizing a depressed town is just from a few counties north of there in Galena. Very nice little town. If you haven't been there yet, I would suggest a trip there sometime.

    When we lived in Platteville, we used to head down there all the time.

  2. Marpla-Barcelonauta said...

    It´s sad, but it happens everywhere. Here in my country, small towns vanish int thin air. During the 90s, many railways were closed. As the train was the main way of contact with the rest of the country, many towns are just diying a slow death, as their young migrate to the cities