The Rochelle Railroad Park is located in Rochelle, IL. From the Roadside America website: "Rochelle, IL is the home of the Rochelle Railroad Park. The Park sits in front of the country's only Quad Diamond rail intersection where the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Sante Fe Rail Lines intersect. On any given day over 150 trains cross this intersection. The park is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and features a pavilion with radio traffic of both lines pumped in on speakers so you can hear what train is next to come flying through this busy intersection. The pavilion is elevated so that when sitting on the picnic tables in the pavilion you are at eye level with the engineers running the trains as they go by. The park also features a Hobo Fire Pit that you can build fires in at night and watch trains go by."
|This is what makes the tracks unique. See how trains can come in any direction?|
The folks then headed to Dixon, IL to see Ronald Reagan's boyhood home. He lived in Dixon from the age of 9 to 18. He lived in this house from the age of 9 to age 12, but these were his formative years or that is what they claim. Ronald Reagan did consider Dixon his hometown.
The house was completely restored for President Reagan's birthday in 1984. He visited the house with Nancy and his brother Neil. He commented that if the house had looked that good when he lived there, he would have never left. The furniture in the house was not original as that furniture is said to have been burned in a fire at a storage facility. The President and his brother had looked through a catalog before their visit and picked out items that they remembered from the house and those items are now in the house.
|Ronald Reagan's boyhood home.|
|This is where Ronald Reagan hid his pennies. It is a loose tile by the fireplace. When he saved 5, he would take them and go to the movies.|
|The top photo shows Mr. Reagan putting pennies in his hiding place when he visited in 1984. Those pennies are in the frame with his photo.|
|Curling irons were heated with lanterns.|
|Neil and Ronald's room.|
|Ronald, Nancy and Neil sitting on bed in the boys' room.|
|Statue of Mr. Reagan|
|Does it look like him?|
After leaving the house, visitors are encouraged to drive by the church and high school that Mr. Reagan attended. At the riverfront, there is a nice statue of Mr. Reagan. He rode a horse in a parade when he visited Dixon once and that is where the idea for this sculpture came from.
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