Straw Fest Day, Saturday, August 24th
Celebrating 'Fine Art in Straw' on the Campus
• Food Trucks, 11:30 – 8:00 pm, Campus
• Village Antique Mercantile, Noon – 7:00 pm, behind the Bandshell
• Blacksmith demo, Noon – 4:00 pm, Campus
• Wild Bulls, mechanical bull riding, Noon – 4:00 pm, Campus
• Harold Harrison and Lowell Harp on the Straw Jam Stage, 12:30-2:00 pm
• Old Sandstone Gallery open 2-5:00 pm; 'The Airbrush, A Place In History'
• Vehicle Airbrush show, Celebrating the Airbrush patented by Mt. Morrisʼ Liberty Walkup in 1883
• Straw Bale Races, 2:00 pm, 2 person teams, Wesley Avenue
• Straw Sculpture ʻPeopleʼs Choiceʼ voting ends at 4:00 pm
• Square Dance, with caller Bob Asp, experienced and inexperienced welcome, 4 – 6:00 pm, Wesley Avenue
• US National Straw Sculpture awards, 6:00 pm, Bandshell
• Illinois Rail (Bluegrass), 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Bandshell
Sunday, August 25th
• Disciples United Methodist Church, on the corner of West Hitt and Maple Streets, will honor the historic seminary during its 9:30-10:30 am service
• Commemoration Service will be held on the north side of Old Sandstone on the campus, 12:30-1:00pm
• Mt. Morris History by Wagon (mule drawn wagon rides), 1-4:00 pm
• Denny Jacobs on the Straw Jam Stage, 1-2:00 pm
• Old Sandstone Gallery open 1-3:30 pm; 'The Airbrush, A Place In History'
• Dan Phelps, blues guitar on the Straw Jam Stage, 2-3:00 pm
• Acoustic Axis on the Straw Jam Stage, 3-4:00 pm
• US National Straw Competition Sculptures on display all day
The campus is home of the former Rock River Seminary, founded by the Methodists in 1839. Disciples United Methodist Church, on the corner of West Hitt and Maple Streets, will honor the historic seminary during its 9:30-10:30 am Sunday service on Aug. 25th. It will feature special guests from our past. A short outdoor Commemoration Service will be held on the north side of Old Sandstone on campus at 12:30 pm Sunday, Aug. 25th. Both services are open to all.
The Rock River Seminary was a co-educational institution of higher education, offered courses in theology and the liberal arts, and remained the only institution of its kind in northern Illinois until Northwestern University opened in 1855. The Church of the Brethren founded Mt. Morris College after the seminary closed in 1878. The college remained in Mt. Morris until a disastrous fire in 1931. It later merged with Manchester College in Indiana.
Founded during the Antebellum or Pre-Civil War Era, the Rock River Seminary includes among its alumni eight Civil War generals, two governors, and several U.S. congressmen, senators, and state legislators. Graduates also became businessmen, educators, farmers, musicians, artists, scientists, ministers, publishers, editors, attorneys, and judges.
Congressman Robert Roberts Hitt of Mt. Morris attended and later owned Rock River Seminary. A close friend of Abraham Lincoln, he recorded all seven of the famed Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Hitt was later appointed Assistant Secretary of State, elected to the U.S. Congress in 1882, and served as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for seven congressional terms. His uncle Samuel Hitt started Rock River Seminary in 1839.
Together as a Community
We Built a Giant Straw Bison!
You can see it on Hwy 64, behind the Union Savings Bank
in Mt. Morris, IL 61054
What is Encore!
What is Encore! Mt. Morris? Volunteers committed to developing Mt. Morris, IL into a unique, thriving rural and cultural arts destination in northwest Illinois. Encore! Mt. Morris has the full cooperation and support of the Mt. Morris Village Board and Economic Development Group and complements other local economic development activities.