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Arcola, Illinois: Ben Franklin and Broom

Ben Franklin supposedly introduced broomcorn to the U.S. from France. A bronze statue of him leaning on a broom in the Broomcorn Capital of the World. Unveiled Aug. 13, 2022.

135 N. Oak St., Arcola, IL
Downtown, on the west side of N. Oak St., midway between E. Main and E. Jefferson Sts, in front of the old railroad depot.
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You Workin' There, Ben?

In front of the historic Illinois Central Train Depot (which also houses the Arcola Chamber of Commerce) stands a svelte statue of Benjamin Franklin leaning on a broom made of broomcorn. Legend has it that Ben brought a broom back with him from his travels in France and found broomcorn seeds within it. The rest is history and today Arcola proclaims itself to be "The Broomcorn Capital of the World," with Ben overlooking the city's downtown district.

[Joseph D. Kubal, 09/13/2022]

Ben Franklin's broom connection to Arcola is purely symbolic; he died 65 years before the town was founded.

Nearby Offbeat Places

One and Only Hippie MemorialOne and Only Hippie Memorial, Arcola, IL - < 1 mi.
Birthplace of the Creator of Raggedy AnnBirthplace of the Creator of Raggedy Ann, Arcola, IL - < 1 mi.
Grave of the Chesterville WitchGrave of the Chesterville Witch, Chesterville, IL - 4 mi.
In the region:
Restored 1920 Gas Station, Effingham, IL - 38 mi.

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