March 2020

Welcome back, Murphysboro

Like many rural communities throughout Illinois, recent years and decades have not been kind to Murphysboro. Located about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis, Murphysboro has suffered from the shuttering of factories, a roller-coaster farm economy, declining enrollment at nearby Southern Illinois University and a graying population. Together, the result has been a shrinking population, […]


Issue Contents

Welcome back, Murphysboro

Like many rural communities throughout Illinois, recent years and decades have not been kind to Murphysboro. Located about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis, Murphysboro has suffered from the shuttering of factories, a roller-coaster farm economy, declining enrollment at nearby Southern Illinois University and a graying population. Together, the result has been a shrinking population, […]

An Enduring Performance

Conklin’s Dinner Theatre, a central Illinois fixture for almost 45 years, nearly saw its curtain come down one last time in 2015. A will to live has fueled its encore. Act I  • • • • • • • • Known today as The Barn III, the dinner theater and event venue has roots in […]