Stronghold Castle was the realized dream of Walter A. Strong. He had it built as a summer home for him and his family in 1928. The original housewarming took place on Thanksgiving in 1929. Mrs. Strong’s brother was Maurice Webster, who was the architect for the project. The castle consists of twenty-five rooms, sixteen of which are bedrooms and nine are bathrooms. It has a swimming pool, tennis court, and toboggan tower. Unfortunately, Walter was only able to enjoy his new home for one summer (in 1930). He died of a heart attack at the age of 47 in May of 1931. After the death of Mrs. Strong in 1961, the home was sold to the Presbyterian Camping Association.
For more information contact:
P.O. Box 199 Oregon, Illinois 61061
John Deere Home / Museum in Grand Detour
John Deere migrated to Grand Detour, Illinois, from his home state of Vermont in 1836. He was the first to successfully invent the “self polishing steel plow”, before that time plows were made of iron. What was so special about the steel plow was its ability to plow through sticky prairie soil without clinging. This was not only due to the steel share with sharp edge and highly polished mold board, but also to its particular shape, another innovative idea by John Deere. At the Smithsonian Institute there is an exhibit of an old plow, identified as having been made in Grand Detour in 1838 by John Deere.
The original home that has been restored and the replica blacksmith shop are open to the public for tours.