Main Street Orion

Main Street Orion

Orion, IL

Why does Main Street matter? For a lifetime of memories. Main Street was two blocks from my childhood home. As a kid I walked uptown to deposit birthday and babysitting money, but not before somersaulting over a metal hitching post near the doctor's office. At the bank, tellers recorded deposits in my savings passbook in handwritten ink. Then I'd walk to the post office where sometimes the combination lock on our mailbox was troublesome and I would need help from our kindly postmaster. My siblings and I browsed the variety store for necessities, gifts, and candy, picked up groceries at the corner store, wandered into the hardware store - where they carried much more than hardware, dropped off payments to the electric utility located in a building filled with beautifully handcrafted woodwork, and spent summers reading Nancy Drew mysteries from the library. My childhood revolved around these places. As an adult and employee of the village of Orion, I know the financial impact of Main Street businesses. They provide services, products, and sales tax revenue. Main Street provides a sense of place, a business person to meet your needs and lend a friendly ear or offer sound advice, someone to connect with. The metal hitching post is still in place, the doctor's office moved two blocks north and village hall operates from the doc's old office. There are unique events: a community Eat in the Street and a business owner who hosts lunches several times a year, serving fish, bison, pheasant, and oyster soup at his tire alignment shop, story time at the library, Christmas and Halloween celebrations, concerts in the park's historic band shell. These are the things that hold a community together, giving youngsters memories, just like mine, to hold for a lifetime.