Ashland, Illinois

by Camellia Staab April. 06, 2021 730 views

Population 1,191 as of the 2019 census.

Number of males living in Ashland 585.

Number of females 606.

The town, occupies a 0.73 sq mi (1,90 km²) area. A main thoroughfare runs through the town, with some side streets leading to residential areas.

In reality there isn't much happening in this little town.

It has a few churches, a restaurant, a police department with one employed policeman, and a volunteer fire department.

It is small town America. One of many found along route 125.

Today's temperature was in the 80's (~27 C) with the sun shinning bright. A perfect day to blast the tunes and take a drive, with camera in tow.

Ashland became the destination.

A mere 28 miles (45km) from our house.

Once in Ashland, I had a specific place I wanted to visit but before heading to my destination I thought I would drive around and take some photos of anything that caught my eye.

First place was the cemetery. This monument grabbed my attention. It was the tallest in the entire graveyard.

Right next to it was this little cherub.

Nothing else around the area was an eye catcher for me, hence I rolled into the residential areas. Mind you, that was like the next street over.

Up and down several of the streets and this church attracted my attention. Stained glass needed to be captured.

And next to it a bell which didn't seem like it had been rung for a while.

Down the street from the church was downtown Ashland. The one restaurant that was open but didn't seem to have any customers, since the parking lot was empty.

Across the street from the restaurant was the shopping district. Or rather what once was a shopping district.

The library is also located in the downtown area. As are some other demolished or closed down buildings.

And finally, the location that had been my primary reason for taking this road trip.

The Jones Boys Market 201 W. Editor St.

There was a delivery truck parked in front of the store, obviously delivering products. So I waited for a while in hopes that the truck would leave and I could grab a nice photo of the front of the store.

But it sure didn't seem like this truck was going to move anytime soon. I realized why when I entered the store. Like any small town, there is no rush in doing anything. The driver was busy chit chatting with the owner and they were having a jolly good time.

I ended up taking a picture with the truck in front.

You wonder...what's the big deal with this store?

Jones Boys is one of the oldest grocery stores in the area. It is one of those ma and pa stores that has a little bit of everything, including posters and signs that date back to "back then" . Just two aisle with several shelves of miscellaneous products, and not all the shelves were filled.

The store opened up in 1932 as the G. Blank Grocery & Meat Market, by the present owner's great aunt.

During World War II Jones’ uncle, Russ, had served as a supply sergeant in Britain, working with meats, and his father, Buzz, had been a cook. When they returned home, they put to use the expertise they’d acquired in wartime, taking over the business and renaming it.
They weren’t the ones who started making sausages, though. Jones was lucky to have been drafted for service in South Korea instead of Vietnam; even so, in 1971, when his tour of duty was over, he was more than happy to return to Ashland and his beloved store. When a customer told Jones that he should try making his own breakfast links, he began reading about sausages. He got a cookbook with sausage recipes and began to experiment, adjusting the spices and flavorings.

And so the store is famous for their freshly made sausages. Every couple of weeks a new batch of sausages are made from every flavor one can imagine.

Needless to say I bought few pounds of their English Bangers, Steakhouse Brats and Andouille Sausage. I am not as brave as Russell to make Andouille and have to rely on someone else's expertise. In this case I rely on the Jones Boys.


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Olga Helys 2 weeks ago

Wonderful story 
Thanks Camellia

2 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Olga Helys 1 week, 5 days ago

Thank you Olga smile

1 week, 5 days ago Edited
Sabine Phb 2 weeks ago

As I was searching for a photoblog site, for my hometown photos, I saw your blog this morning and thought it was a great document. I just signed up myself. So you inspired one person with your blog today smile 
The photo’s are wonderful especialy #7 #16 and #21. It is a melancholic story, but wonderful.

2 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Sabine Phb 2 weeks ago

I am so happy to have chosen Photoblog as a location to post your hometown photos. This is really a wonderful community and I have no doubt you will enjoy being part of this place as I have. Thank you for your comments and looking forward to seeing/reading your posts smile

2 weeks ago Edited
Leon Linder 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Excellent, just excellent. You told the story of small town America so well you can just feel it. Thank You!smile

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Leon Linder 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Thank you Leon. With the weather getting warmer, road trips are in the horizon smile

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
John Durham 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Nice - reminds me of most of rural Tennessee.

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to John Durham 2 weeks, 1 day ago

There definitely is a lot of resemblance between the rurals across this county.

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
-- Lyency 2 weeks, 1 day ago

great report with excellent images - i like the gnome, i used to have one in our garden in memphis, tn smile

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to -- Lyency 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed it smile

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Russell Smith 2 weeks, 1 day ago

That seems like such a cute and quint little town. I did not make it to the sausage making yesterday but one day within the next week or so.

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Russell Smith 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Too rural for me smile

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Typical small American town. It was totally empty or it's just the pictures?

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Antonio Gil 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I saw a few people in their yards and or sitting on their porches, but that was it. Downtown was bare, except when leaving the store a group of high school students and a teacher walked by, on some sort of field trip....fresh air field trip? grinning

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Nice to see this side of America. Gonna try to capture some small villages here in Belgium. First it has to be a bit better

2 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Berckmans Peter 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Looking forward to your captures....we can then compare smile

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Craig Casterline 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Quite the expose. I really find #2 both beautiful and sad at the same time. I like all the shots but that one really stood out.

2 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Craig Casterline 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I can totally relate. I believe it evoked the same type of feeling in me hence why I felt the need to capture it.

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited