Next town on our path was Savanna. No, not Savannah, Georgia, but Savanna, Illinois. Notice that there is a slight difference between the spelling of the two. But just as I mentioned in my Atlanta post, we seem to have a shortage of names in this country.
The entry to the town has this huge sign with all that this place has to offer tourists and its residents, which according to the 2019 census consisted of 2,977 inhabitants.
The region was once part of the vast hunting grounds of different native American tribes, including the Sauk. Following the Treaty of St. Louis (1804) and a number of additional treaties, land in Illinois along the Eastern bank of the Mississippi River was opened to settlement by farmers. Towns such as Savanna grew their commerce by using the river for efficient transport. Savanna's earliest settlers experienced some repercussions during the Black Hawk War in 1832.
Driving through the area nothing, grabbed my attention, causing me to want to stop and get out of the car. So I chose to do most of my clicking through the car window.
Shops in Savanna aren’t as abundant as in Galena, but they tend to be less crowded. They include an antiques store, a wellness center and one that draws fans of the History channel’s “American Pickers.” Frank Fritz Finds, features a funky collection of antiques and curiosities curated by Fritz, the famous “picker” who co-hosts the TV show.
Savanna has long been synonymous with bikers. But Mayor Chris Lain, a Democrat in a county in which Republicans outnumber their opponents 2-1, is working hard to attract outdoor enthusiasts. He points to bicycling, hiking, kayaking and tubing opportunities — all with the backdrop of the Mighty Mississippi River.
“We’re really starting to see a huge influx, primarily from larger cities, of people who are looking to decompress and enjoy the outdoors,” the mayor, a transplant from Chicago, said. “Walking Main Street during the summer, you see such an eclectic group in Savanna.”
Obviously, not much of an attraction for tourists in this little town. According to the mayor, approximately 400,000 tourists come through Savanna which compared to Galena's yearly 1.5 to 2 million is a drop in a bucket.
Hence, we drove on.
I don't know about you, but drive by shooting has become one of my favorite pastimes/entertainments when someone else is doing the driving and there is nothing else to do as a passenger. It's always a challenge for me to see if I can capture something worth capturing within the allotted time, which is usually just a matter of seconds.
The next few photos were all done as drive by's.
There is a distinct difference between this part of Illinois and the part where I live. Because of its vicinity to the Mississippi River, the terrain becomes much more hillocky and of course greener, as compared to down south where it is flat, flat, and then even more flat.
All the way into Galena, there was some squally weather. Which of course would be very apropos considering one is on holiday 😉.