Pere Marquette Lodge was built during a time when 1/4th of the American population was out of work and the country was drowning in The Great Depression.  In 1932, the nation turned to Franklin D. Roosevelt for a solution. His plan? To plant some trees…

He recruited thousands of unemployed men and set them to ending the erosion of the nation’s natural resources. And it was during this time and by these young men that the Lodge was built. With its vaulted ceilings and massive wooden pillars, the Lodge is a masterpiece erected by young men with a new purpose. This inexperienced, $30-a-month labor force surpassed all expectations.  Today the Lodge stands as an impressive reminder of a challenging time in America’s history and the power of the human spirit.

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Much has changed at Pere Marquette Lodge over the last 75 years.  A new wing was added in the 1980’s with more rooms, a pool and a banquet center.  The Lodge also recently went through a complete renovation and now features updated guest rooms with comfortable furnishings and even flat screen TVs.  But the features that make the Lodge truly unique remain unchanged.  Such as the scenic terrace that looks out over the Illinois River, the restaurant where fried chicken dinners are served family style, the quaint stone cabins just a short distance from the front door, the massive stone fireplace made with stone quarried from Grafton, IL and the majestic Great Room with its original handmade furniture and chandeliers.

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It continues to be a popular tourist attraction and hosts hundreds of events every year to entice locals and vacationers to visit the landmark.  One extremely popular event is the Annual Hummingbird Festival that will be held on Sunday, June 7th from 11am to 3pm.

The Festival will have craft vendors, live music, activities for the kids, restaurant favorites and wine tasting.  Hummingbird expert, Cathie Hutcheson from Makanda, IL, will be giving visitors a chance to see these tiny creatures up close and personal as she catches and bands the birds from 11am to 1pm during the festival.   Hutcheson has banded over 20,000 hummingbirds and will be on hand for visitors to ask questions and learn more about the hummingbird.

The Lodge is hosting several more festivals throughout the year.  Those upcoming festivals include the Peach Festival August 9th, the Apple Festival September 13th, and the Wine Festival November 8th.  Other events at the historic Lodge include mystery dinner theaters, themed beer gardens, paranormal investigations, dinner events with an Elvis impersonator and other entertainers, wine pairing dinners, and even a Beatles Tribute Concert on August 7th

For more information concerning The Lodge, it’s history and events visit www.pmlodge.net or call 618-786-2331.

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