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A covered bridge and dam at Olmstead’s mill, three miles north of town, overlooked the site of an alleged “picnic“ that shocked the Victorian sensibilities of conservative Monmouth in the summer of 1886.

Monmouth’s picnic scandal of 1886

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Was this mansion built as retribution for a husband’s indecent behavior? Considered by many the finest home in Monmouth, the J.H. Pattee residence, at 304 South Main, was constructed the summer after the Cedar Creek affair. The first Pattee house, which originally stood on the site, can be seen in the background.

Written by

Editor and historian for Monmouth College. Avid researcher of western Illinois history for 40 years. FB and Twitter. jrankin@monmouthcollege.edu

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