News & Promotions

  • Amazing Girls' Getaway Vacation
    2/13/2015
    Amazing Girls' Getaway Vacation
    Posted by admin
    Two years agao, we hosted our first ever Girls’ Getaway Weekend – complete with a wine tasting, gourmet meals, outdoor recreation, and indoor relaxation! The event was a smash hit with ladies from all over the Midwest joining in the fun! Whether you are l
  • Weekday Escape Perfect for Unwinding!!
    4/10/2013
    Weekday Escape Perfect for Unwinding!!
    Posted by admin
    Let’s face it. Life just gets crazy sometimes and we all need to unwind. Between work schedules, kids’ activities, and social commitments, our daily lives can be extremely hectic. And whether you are a young couple with children, empty nesters or retir
  • Gift Certifcates. A Great Gift Idea!
    12/10/2014
    Gift Certificates - A Great Gift Idea!
    Posted by admin
    Need a good idea? A gift certificate for a stay at Heartland Lodge is a perfect gift for that special someone! This unique gift will be one that they will never forget and will sure to be used. We have many different options available. You can purchas
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Resort Blog

  • July 4th Celebrations - 2015 Style!!
    6/8/2015
    July 4th Celebrations - 2015 Style!!
    Posted by admin
    I realized something today – it’s going to be a busy summer! My calendar is filling up rather quickly with things I WANT to do…and things I NEED to do. Luckily for me, sometimes both things are the same. We just announced the local fair schedule fo
  • Heartland Lodge to Open New OHV Park!!
    6/5/2015
    Heartland Lodge to Open New OHV Park!!
    Posted by admin
    ATV riding has always been a popular activity at Heartland Lodge in Nebo, IL. If you have been a guest of the lodge and have enjoyed the ATV trails at Heartland, then you will be super-excited to know that we will be opening a NEW Off Highway Vehicle (OHV
  • Announcing the 2015 Fair Schedule!!
    6/4/2015
    Announcing the 2015 Fair Schedule!!
    Posted by admin
    It’s already the first part of June…we’ve celebrated Memorial Day and two graduations (with more to go)! So let the summer begin! And what says summer more than all the county fairs surrounding Heartland Lodge? Even though summer truly doesn’t begi
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Testimonials

  • We absolutely loved the lodge, our suite, the property, and the views!  The staff was so sweet and pleasant.  We loved the horses and local fishing.  Overall it was a terrific experience.  We look forward to coming again, perhaps even having a family event there.  Well worth my 5 hour commute from Chicago! Thank you!
    - Jennifer Schroeder, Chicago, IL
  • Everything was wonderful.  The property was beautiful and well maintained--so peaceful!  The lodge itself was so comfortable and cozy.  The food was phenomenal!  Each meal was more delicious than the last and there was always plenty.  I enjoyed the family style dining.  The biscuits and gravy were delicious and I consider myself a biscuit and gravy snob because my grandma used to make them for me all the time. The staff was so friendly and accommodating at everything!
    - Sean and Corey Johnson
  • The Heartland Lodge experience was exactly what we needed for a couple days of getting away and relaxing! The staff was friendly, informative, and accommodating from planning our trip on the phone to the guides during our activities.  We loved seeing the deer on the grounds during the bonfire! We met some other great guests from Chicago as well! We will be visiting again!
    - Kerry and Carol Loughary. Rushville, IL
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New Philadelphia

New Philadelphia and Free Frank McWorter

 

Three miles east of the present site of Barry in Hadley Township lies a marker commemorating the frontier town of New Philadelphia, founded in 1836, and giving homage to its founder, Frank McWorter. But this is more than just a marker; here lies an important part of American and Illinois history. New Philadelphia was the first town established by a free African American before the Civil War, and it likely served as a stopping place for the “Underground Railroad” of enslaved African Americans fleeing northward from the oppression of southern plantations.

The story of Frank McWorter and New Philadelphia is one of daring and hard work, luck, and shrewd family leadership, according to the New Philadelphia Association, a not-for-profit organization formed by area residents who seek to preserve a substantial portion of the original town site.

Born a slave in South Carolina in 1777, Frank moved with his owner, George McWorter, to Kentucky in 1795. He married Lucy, a slave from a nearby farm in 1799. Frank was very industrious, and was permitted to hire out his own time in various enterprises. Most notably, he started a saltpeter mining and production operation. With earnings from these activities, Frank purchased freedom for Lucy in 1817 (for $800), and for himself in 1819 (also $800).

Shortly after gaining his freedom, Frank began to invest his earnings in land in a largely undeveloped area of Pike County, Illinois, in a region of hill country between the Mississippi and the Illinois Rivers. Frank and Lucy and four of their children left Kentucky for Illinois in 1830 and moved here. Frank recorded his legal name as McWorter, subdivided and sold tracts of the land he had purchased, and then platted and legally registered the town of New Philadelphia.

New Philadelphia flourished as a racially integrated town at an agricultural crossroad, with an active roadway carrying agricultural products and other goods to the Mississippi River, twenty miles to the west. The town size grew to 160 people, 29 households, and several craftspeople and merchants by 1865. Frank witnessed this growth until his death in 1854.

When the railroad connecting Naples, Illinois to Hannibal, Missouri was built in 1869, it bypassed New Philadelphia. Occupation of the town declined thereafter, and the legal status of the town was dissolved in 1885. But the story doesn’t end there.

The New Philadelphia Association (www.newphiladelphiail.org) is a group of citizens who wish to see New Philadelphia and Free Frank remembered for future generations. The site was named to the list of National Historic places in 2005, and in 2009 was designated as a National Historic Landmark, one of only 2,400 in the country. Efforts are underway to have the New Philadelphia site designated a National Park. NPA has developed a strategic plan for the site, and is working with a number of agencies to make New Philadelphia a major historical, educational, and visitor site.

*Source Pike County Illinois Visitors Guide