The 34 acres that make up The Country Experience are a historic farmstead in Jo Daviess County, the northwest most corner of Illinois. The farmhouse was built in 1913, and while it’s fully modern inside, it’s foundation was here before any of us were. The barn is constructed without nails, pinned together with wooden pegs, and it still stands true and straight. Chicken coops sit in a neat row, home to happy flocks who’ve produced omelettes for generations.
Here, the icebergs that flattened most of the state and it’s neighbors, spared beautiful crests and valleys of the “driftless area,” providing contours and views that simply do not exist in most the MIdwest. Our small town is home to 5 museums, a historical Blackhawk Indian-war era fort, centuries of rich agriculture, and a kind, hard-working culture. Nearby Galena is home to Ulysses S. Grant, and during the 1850s was the nation’s more prosperous city.
A week’s stay on the farm will include experiences that share a sense of “place,” the uniqueness of the area that goes into making the Country Experience the special farm it is. Whether it’s a visit and mock battle at the Apple River Fort, stories from life-long residents of Elizabeth, or a rare look at the dark sky, made possible by the lack of city lights and the real rocket-scientists of the Planetary Studies Foundation, it’s vital that campers realize that the farm is not an island but instead is part of a community and culture.