The Great Freeport of Yesterday, Today and Forever Is Alive and Well

Freeport, Illinois — Something that I have always found disheartening about Freeport folks is that while yes, we all remember its once booming manufacturing era, we don’t celebrate it.

At least, not as much as the world around us celebrates it.

More often, people use this valuable asset of the city of Freeport and turn it into a negative. Talk of what we used to be and how we “don’t” anymore and how we need to put Freeport on the map.

Freeport is on the map.

Freeport is famous. It’s famous around the world. This entire region we live in is filled with world famous monuments, buildings, products and people. You know who forgets their value?

We do.

The rest of the world hasn’t.

Sure, ole WT isn’t picking up the telephone to make a business call anymore but the conversations of Freeport are alive and so are its products.  The legendary world famous Freeport is still in the marketplace today, yesterday and probably will be forever.

Everything from records, to pictures, to toys, automobiles, books and even coffee grinders are discussed by, and bought and sold by, people all over the world.

“I found this coffee grinder sitting on the pantry counter and wondered what its story might be, a woman named Denise asks Antiques and Fine Art appraiser John Sewell on

Denise says she’s been looking after affairs of a dear friend. “It seems to be cast iron with a wooden handle on the crank and has a glass reservoir with a tin lid. The iron is embossed with “Arcade Crystal No. 1.” It fastens to the wall and is 30 cm tall (12 inches).”

And the Freeport story continues.

Sewell proceeds to tell Denise that what she has in her hands came from Freeport, Illinois.

“Your “Crystal No. 1″ coffee grinder was made by the Arcade Manufacturing Company, which was formed in 1885 in Freeport, Illinois, and operated into the 1930s. They made many cast-iron items, including coffee mills, stove dampers, cork extractors and toys”, he replied.

He went on to say that a complete original coffee mill would easily be worth $175.  In other words, that what she’s holding in her hand came from Freeport, Illinois and it has value.

Our history isn’t the end of us no more than our present or future defines us.

Zealous Tattoo and Elliot Graphix New Location Freeport, Illinois
Zealous Tattoo and Elliot Graphix New Location Freeport, Illinois

Flowers bloom and flowers whither but flowers never change from being a flower.

Freeport is heard of, discussed and bought and sold all over the world. We manufacture potato chips, vending machines, products for NASA, auto companies and offer a long list of other products, services and business dealings in our world today.

We have a hundred years of products that still can be found in the marketplace and in conversation and we have famous people, buildings, movies stars, the first black billionaire, famous sports players and not to far to the east we have world famous rock stars.

We are rich in value, land and history.  We are rich in creativity, rich in re-inventiveness, in people and all of it together; the past, the present and the future of Freeport is our complete story.

A complete story that continues to tell itself all over the world and a story everyone who has ever been from Freeport, Illinois should be proud to tell.

For Freeport is great.

It wasn’t just great a time ago and it’s not just great today. Freeport, Illinois is great now, past and present and not a day goes by that someone, somewhere isn’t talking about the city that has its own tie to us all.

Be proud you’re from Freeport. Be proud when people talk about it and whether it’s of yesterday or today, join in the conversation and tell them yes.

Yes, I am from that Freeport you’re talking about. That’s my city alright and then stand tall.

Someone’s talking good about you behind your back and that, certainly has to make you feel pretty good inside about this pretty cool city of Freeport, Illinois.


One thought on “The Great Freeport of Yesterday, Today and Forever Is Alive and Well

  • July 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you very much for the editorial about Freeport-my hometown-so surprised & sorry that no one has commented. I was born & raised in Freeport, as were my parents, grandparents & great-grandparents. My great-great grandfather was the first elected coroner in the new town, back in 1850’s. His son has his name on the Civil War Monument in front of Court House. My grandfather was a city fireman his whole working life, starting when they drove horse-drawn fire wagons. I went to school, married & started my family in Freeport-so although I haven’t lived in Freeport for over 40 years, it will always be my home & I will always tell people about it-“Once a Pretzel, Always A Pretzel”! Sandy Lee Shoemaker

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