09-12-09 Grafton, IL II

[Rick] As promised, we toured Grafton today. Some of you will recall that after the floods of 1993, most of Grafton was “bought out” by the US Government and the people moved to higher ground. The main street remains and the Grafton boaters see is a block wide and 15 blocks long. Today, the big draw is tourists. There are multiple restaurants, bars, and entertainment places. Live music was evident in at least 4 places as we walked along the street. The Grafton Marina is new, only 2 years old. It is very nice. All of it is floating; the pool, the office, the store, the gas pumps, the docks, all of it is floating. We learned that there is a company that specializes in building floating marinas.

Since 90% of the buildings on Main Street are shops and stores, the few private residences have a problem with people just walking in, thinking they are some specialty shop. We saw this sign on one of them.

On the day we were there, there was a motorcycle convention, and a local fundraiser of decorated bikes. Pictures of some of the bikes are at the end of the blog. There is pretty park, dedicated to all those that lost property and lives in the 1993 flood, that crested over 40 feet above flood stage. There is something going on in Grafton every weekend.

We needed some supplies and the local grocery store is also the hardware store. The co-owner of the marina let us use her car to go to the store. An interesting note: the car, a convertible with its top down, was locked when we walked out to it, so I locked it when we were through.

As is the case with all river towns, a lighthouse is present.

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