In central Illinois, 270 miles south of Chicago, 100 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri is the village of Sailor Springs. Once a thriving town, drawing people from all over the country to “take of the springs” as the locals said, now threatens to disappear. I, Mabel Rae, was born in Sailor Springs in 1937, across the road from the Christian Church. Two years later my sister, Nancy Lee, was born in a two story white house just outside of town. When our mother died at the age of 23 from tuberculosis and our father went on to start another life, I went with an aunt and uncle to Chicago while Nancy went with another aunt and uncle to Pekin, Illinois. Though we were raised separately, the family gave us two weeks together every summer, taking turns between Chicago and Pekin. When we were old enough to fend for ourselves, we spent that time in Sailor Springs with our great-grandmother, Nancy Marshall. We will always be grateful to the family for keeping us close, as we still are today. Grandma isn’t there anymore nor is her house, yet every summer Nancy & I talk about going somewhere new, knowing full well we’ll end up in Sailor Springs. It is and always will be our home sweet home.
Future postings will feature how my great-grandmother kept the family together. Though she still had 8 of her 9 children at home, she gladly took in the 3 young boys and a new born baby when their mother and father died.
Also, you’ll learn the history of Sailor Springs and what drew people from all over the country to “take of the springs.”
Email Mabel at: firstname.lastname@example.org