How difficult would it be to fit an elephant into any living room within Marengo’s city limits? I’ll venture to answer, “impossible”! Likewise, our elected city officials had a similar situation with the huge McGill industrial building located within a Central Business District which rightfully did not allow industrial use. But the officials have approved an acceptable use for the building which has created a fair degree of original, historical appearance for which its new owners must be applauded!

So, if by chance you have recently been in the 100 block area of East Prairie Street, you will have noticed the rebirth of the original building and the remaining additions that were added over the years. The first significant addition occurred during the winter of 1951 under the direction of local contractor, Ralph Deneen, which added about 1500 feet of additional factory area.

The original two-story McGill building was built in the 1890’s by George Crego to house his livery stable business which he was moving from Coral Township. Eventual individual owners were early car dealers, Charles Dietz, Pete Jobe and Ralph Joslyn. The company came into existence in 1878 in Chicago, engaged solely in the manufacture of ticket punches for the railroads and other traction systems. In 1922 the company developed a highspeed money changer which was a boon for conductors of railroads and street car lines. The buildings name sake, George McGill, brought his business to Marengo in 1924, later building a beautiful brick home at 104 West Street in the mid 1930’s. In 1932 he added the manufacture of mouse traps which brought a fair degree of notoriety to Marengo. It’s new use in 2018 will be that of a shooting range for our local and out of town gun enthusiasts, complementing, our local Marengo Guns business on E. Grant Highway.

During my younger years, I recall b-b guns or rifles being brought to school, on the school bus, by close friends planning to go hunting together after school. The men of the family were taught early in their lives the proper and safe use of a gun. Targets were often set up for target practice in an open field area. The rules were set and accepted. Duck, goose, and pheasant hunting brought some mighty delicious meat to our table. But as we all know, times change. Subdivisions have sprung up in the open field areas. Our residents needed a contained and safe location for their target practice. This new business will serve our current police officers and likely, those in our neighboring communities. It will bring people to our local businesses, especially our many truly good restaurants and those making and / or selling baked goods



News

Marengo News Briefs

Marengo News Briefs

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Trivia Night at Trio Grille

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