Fulton's Folly  LbNA # 13468

Placed DateDec 1 2004
LocationFulton, IL
Last Found Apr 14 2010
Hike Distance?

Although Robert Fulton and his steamboat were mocked at first, he was ultimately successful and he achieved something previously thought of as improbable, if not impossible. You may feel the same way about this adventure, but don't give up. Your success is assured if you stay the course. Best wishes for smooth sailing.

Begin your journey at the intersection of Highways 84 and 136 near Fulton, Illinois. You should be able to see a large shell to determine that you are on the right course. Turn west to the Mississippi River where the steamboats still run and wave at the giant shell as you pass it on your right.

If you have correctly navigated your way you will soon see a giant cross above you, a symbol of hope and help from above. Continue to the first traffic lights and your first look at the bridge that crosses the Mighty Mississippi. Check your bearings and head north until you can locate the timepiece so conveniently provided. It should take no time at all. From your start only a few minutes should have passed.

By now you might feel youíre at your witís end, but thatís not likely so quickly. So turn at this corner towards the Mississippi River and view the bridge once more. At the next corner you need to turn again and continue as you slowly pass the old depot that has no railroad. Turn to the river again at the corner and see the bridge once more, but not the Mississippi. Unfortunately, the river is on the other side of the Dutch constructed dike. If youíre wondering, you are not making another Fultonís Folly.

The little park ahead is a place to rest. Park in the spaces by the public bathrooms. Walk along the parking towards the Dutch windmill that was transported from the Netherlands and reconstructed in Fulton where real Dutch millers still grind grain. Turn at the small entrance to the Den Besten Park. They founded the DRIVES business right behind you. It makes chain conveyors and drives. And, just like a link in a chain leads to the next one on a conveyor, so does each direction in this search convey you onward to your destination.

Therefore, take the sidewalk that leads up the dike to an asphalt path where you can see the Mississippi River. If you need a rest, have a seat on the bench at the top. Now you can see the bridge and the river. If you look down river under the bridge you may be able to see an actual riverboat.

Look around some more to spot the two sets of twin steeples across the water. Turn in that direction on the path and continue to the windmill. Stop at the middle bench by the windmill and notice the memorial bricks on both sides of the path. There are many and they are diverse. They are very interesting and remember the history of Fulton and its Dutch population. Find a brick to stand on where you can be on a tailor, a quilter, a librarian, a tree surgeon, or with a Hudson Taylor missionary to China. They all make good company.

Then face the place the birds call home. Sight across the river until you see a shelter on the levee by the shoreline. Is anyone looking back at you. Smile and wave if they are. Just as Fultonís Folly had to move upstream so must you. Turn towards the north in the direction of the shelter and walk on the path upon the dike.

When you are near the second lamppost and can see the Fulton water tower line up the tower and the lamppost and then turn to face the rocky side of the path. See if you can spot anything helpful to your mission. Donít get blue unless you donít get blue. Now align the correct rock and the shelter you saw over the River. Carefully climb down the dike on the rocks until you can see the giant gray finger pointing at the dike.

If you line up the pointer with the Dutch windmill and the blue spot with the shelter you will be so close to your goal it will be easy to find. You may have to be like the little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the hole in the dike, but you wonít have to leave without success. Today there will not be a Fultonís Folly for you.