There Is Only One Maquon in the World and it can be found right here in Knox County, IL
The former Potawatomi Indian Village is located on the Spoon River, which the Native Americans called Amaquonsippi. Amaquon means mussel shell, which they used for dipping food, just like we use spoons today and sippi means river. The white settlers had trouble with the subtle, beautiful Native American sounds, so dropped all of the syllables except Maquon.
#1 Fruit Hill School
One popular location at this stop is the Fruit Hill School, one of seven rural school houses in the Maquon Township.
Fruit Hill School was built in 1882 on a hillside plot of ground purchased for $50 from Margaret McWilliams. The first teacher hired was a Mr. Trewit for $35 per month. Mrs. Hortense White was the last teacher at the school in 1949. After serving as an educational site for 68 years, the one-room building was used only for community events until it was abandoned in the 1950's. It was saved from demolition and moved to its current location in 1981.
Three years later, a basement was added to house a museum of artifacts from the Native American tribes and first white settlers in the area, but the basement wasn’t the best place to keep those artifacts. They are currently housed in the Knox County Historical Museum in Knoxville, IL.
The restoration project and maintenance of the school is financed by donations and volunteer labor. Sadly volunteers are in short supply; therefore, the school will not be open for tours this year.
#2 Wooden Footbridges
Near the park are two scenic wooden footbridges, the planks and railing of which were erected in 1898. The footbridges cannot be used, but can be viewed.
# 3 Maquon Village Park
Maquon offers one of the largest produce selections on the drive. Of course, there is shopping galore featuring a lot of flea market items in the park as well as crafts.
# 4 United Methodist Church
Between the footbridges and the Maquon Village Park is the United Methodist Church. One of the oldest church buildings in Knox County, this church was the first church built in Maquon in 1877 and it still stands today.
The frame structure with its striking stained glass windows will hold regular services at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
# 5 Maquon Cemetery
For genealogy fans, the Maquon Cemetery, located one mile northeast of town, has tombstones dating back to the 1830s. The wrought iron fence surrounding the first addition to the cemetery was constructed in 1877.
Just north of the Maquon Village Park
The Maquon United Methodist Church will be serving biscuits and sausage gravy inside the Maquon Fire Station from 7:00 - 10:30 a.m.
From 11:30 A.M. till 2:30 P.M. they will be serving Hot Dogs, Homemade Chili, Ham & Beans, and Corn Chowder Soup.
The church's Apple Dumpling Gang is back and will be serving their hot homemade apple dumplings with cinnamon sauce all day - both weekends.
# 6 Main Street
The Masonic Lodge will be serving their famous butterfly pork chop sandwiches and more in front of the Maquon Masonic Lodge on the eastside of Route 97 at the corner of Main & 3rd Streets – stop by and enjoy their delicious food and hospitality of indoor seating.
Spoon River Valley Mercantile - located at 314 Main Street is open. Their regular hours are: Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m and Saturday 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. Featuring firearms, ammunition, reloading supplies and knives; also selling Antiques, Himalayan Trading Post scented candles and Handmade soaps made with natural dyes and oils.
"Rust Bucket Resales" will be open on Main Street featuring many items: Primitives, Antiques, Flea Market and more.
# 7 The “First & Main Street”
Antiques & collectibles....woodworking & blacksmithing.