Kankakee Podcast
Episode 30: Riverview Historic District

Episode 30: Riverview Historic District

November 29, 2021

One of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the Kankakee County is without a doubt the Riverview Historic District in the city of Kankakee. This district is filled with unique custom built homes and many of them are over 100 years old. You want to see inside these homes, don't you? It just so happens that this Sunday, December 5th, 2021 is the Annual Riverview Holiday House Walk. Nina Piolatto, June Boisvert, and Joan Germano join me on this episode of Kankakee Podcast to tell us all about it. They were even kind enough to give me a ticket to the house walk this Sunday. Thank you all so much! I'm extremely flattered and can't wait to see you there. 

 

Click here to purchase your tickets to this year's Riverview Holiday House Walk.

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 29: Native American Heritage Day 2021 - Kankakee County Museum

Episode 29: Native American Heritage Day 2021 - Kankakee County Museum

November 26, 2021

Hey! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving filled with lots of love, food, family and friends. With today being the day after Thanksgiving, most of us are thinking about it being Black Friday. However, there is a more important civil holiday we should be celebrating today, Native American Heritage Day. Veronica Featherston of the Kankakee County Museum, presented me with the rare opportunity of hearing from two people who are educated on the Native Americans who once lived in our area. Adam Minton, the Conservation Education Representative for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at Kankakee River State Park and Koria Manning, a representative from The Anishinaabe Nation: Three Fires, also known as The Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi. Adam also brought along his little friend, Sprocket, who is a domesticated raccoon. Thank you for stopping by!

 

Learn more about The Kankakee County Museum and The French Heritage Museum at kankakeecountymuseum.com.

 

Follow them on social media:

Facebook.com/kankakeecountymuseum

Instagram.com/kankakeecountymuseum

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 28: Derek Grant - Apply Pressure

Episode 28: Derek Grant - Apply Pressure

November 22, 2021

Kankakee resident, Derek Grant, is a walking miracle. After hearing his life story on this episode of Kankakee Podcast, you'll be wondering how in the world is he still alive. If you ask Derek, he'll tell you that he's unbreakable and that it's all part of God's plan. That's where his apparel brand and life statement, Apply Pressure, comes from. 

 

Thank you Derek for sharing your life story with me. You've inspired me to do better and be more kind to others in my life. I'm thankful that you're still alive and sharing your powerful story with others.

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 27: Staci Wilken - Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Episode 27: Staci Wilken - Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau

November 15, 2021

Staci Wilken, Executive Director of the Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau just moved to a new location in downtown Kankakee. Not only that, Executive Director, Staci Wilken, has hired on a new team to launch the bureau into a new era. They are having a meet and greet at The Majestic on Schuyler Avenue in Kankakee this Wednesday, November 17th from 7:30am to 9:00am. Everyone is welcome to attend!

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 26: Steam Hollow Brewing Co. - Blane & Natalie White

Episode 26: Steam Hollow Brewing Co. - Blane & Natalie White

November 8, 2021

Blane & Natalie White of Steam Hollow Brewing Co. in Manteno, IL.

This Thursday, November 11th is Veterans Day. It presented the perfect opportunity to speak with two Navy veterans, Blane & Natalie White, who own and operate Steam Hollow Brewing Company in Manteno. The brewery also has a few special events planned to celebrate Veterans Day this week, including a Veterans Showcase this Saturday, November 13th. 

 

I want to personally thank all of our veterans for serving our country. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have the freedom to do what I love to do each and everyday. Like this podcast for instance. I hope you know how grateful I am for your service and sacrifice. Thank you!

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 25: Manteno St. Joseph Church with Josh LaMore

Episode 25: Manteno St. Joseph Church with Josh LaMore

November 1, 2021

St. Joseph's "Mammoth" Double Spired Church. It burned down July 29th, 1898.

Early Postcard of the Church's exterior with Our Lady Academy Administration building to the right. There are no known photos of the church before the Academy's construction in 1907. 

2_Interior_card00523_fr61dih.jpg

Early postcard of the Church's interior, when the church had gas lights.

Side view of the first Our Lady Academy building. 

My oldest brother, Josh LaMore, just released a new book about St. Joseph Church in Manteno entitled, Coming Home: The Story of Manteno Saint Joseph Church and Our Lady Academy. Not only will you hear Josh talk about how he wrote the book, you'll also hear clips of conversations I had with five of the church's parishioners. In 2019, I helped Josh record oral histories from Richard Balgeman, Franklin & Anna Weber, Elmira Wilkey, and Pete Henrisey. Each one of them has a unique view point of the parish's history. Richard Balgeman passed away early this year in February. It's especially bittersweet to hear his voice on this episode. Josh's book focuses more on the history surrounding the church rather than the Catholic faith. So no matter what your beliefs are, I think you'll find Coming Home to be a very fascinating read. 

 

Purchase a copy of, Coming Home: The Story of Manteno Saint Joseph Church and Our Lady Academy, by clicking the image below.

 

Josh LaMore

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 24: Jenny Schoenwetter of Harbor House

Episode 24: Jenny Schoenwetter of Harbor House

October 25, 2021

Jenny Schoenwetter, Executive Director of Harbor House.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Since the pandemic began, the amount of domestic abuse cases seen in the Kankakee County Courthouse have increased dramatically. With that being said, I thought this would be the perfect time to sit down with, Jenny Schoenwetter, who is the executive director of Harbor House. The nonprofit organization exists to empower individuals, families and communities by providing domestic violence programs, advocacy and prevention. 

 

I learned a lot about domestic violence through this episode and I enjoyed learning a little about Jenny's life. Thank you for all the incredible work you do for our county, Jenny! 

 

To learn more about Harbor House, visit harborhousedv.org

 

If you would like to make a donation to Harbor House, click here.

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 23: Radeke Brewery

Episode 23: Radeke Brewery

October 18, 2021

Radeke Brewery, west side of Dearborn Avenue, south of River Street Photoengraving from 1900 pictorial booklet, Souvenir of Kankakee by Irvin W. Powell.

Hey! I hope you've been enjoying the fall like weather we've been having lately here in Kankakee County. Before we dive into this week's episode, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came by and said hello at the Kankakee Podcast booth this past Sunday at Halloween Downtown. I had such a great time catching up with old acquaintances while making new friends. Also, thank you to Amy Laws of Rotary 609 for allowing me to have a vendor space at the fest! 

 

Long before the days of Brickstone Brewery in Bourbonnais, Kankakee County was home to another successful beer brewing company, Radeke Brewery. It was located on the west side of Dearborn Avenue, south of River Street in Kankakee, from 1873 until 1922. Jack Klasey and Veronica Featherston of the Kankakee County Museum were kind enough to walk us through the entire history of The F.D. Radeke Brewing Company. The museum has a wonderful exhibit of the brewery that I highly suggest checking out. 

 

Kankakee County Museum Website: www.kankakeecountymusuem.com

Facebook.com/kankakeecountymuseum

Instagram.com/kankakeecountymuseum

Read Jack Klasey's articles in The Daily Journal here: https://muckrack.com/jack-klasey/articles

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 22: Bill Yohnka

Episode 22: Bill Yohnka

October 11, 2021

Bill Yohnka. Photo by, Scott Dombrowski.

Bill Yohnka has become such an intricate part of the greater Kankakee area. It’s not because he’s an incredible morning radio host on X-Country 106.5 FM or the announcer at the Kankakee County Motor Speedway. It’s because of his never ending love for the city of Kankakee and the people in it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone as passionate about Kankakee as much as Bill is. This why I and several other people in the area have dubbed him, “Mr. Kankakee”. There are so many things Bill is involved in that we didn’t even come close to covering everything on this episode. So he will definitely back for round two down the road! This is without a doubt one of my favorite conversations I’ve had on the podcast so far. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did. 

Bill, thank you for everything you do and the kind words! 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 21: Todd Hazelrigg

Episode 21: Todd Hazelrigg

October 4, 2021

Todd Hazelrigg

Kankakee County is home to so many incredibly talented singer-songwriters. I was lucky enough to get one of them, Lupe Carroll, to write the theme song for Kankakee Podcast. If Lupe turned me down or for some reason wasn't an option, I would have asked, Todd Hazelrigg, in a heartbeat. Thankfully, Todd isn't sore at me for not asking him first and was happy to be a guest on the podcast to share his story. It turns out Todd was born in Wilmington, but credits the Kankakee area for crafting his musical style. His original song, "Kankakee", proves that. Todd actually performs the song for us on this episode. Please enjoy! 

 

Thanks for being on, Todd!

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

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