Here's a question for you . . . .
Suppose you were to recreate Sherlock Holmes's existence, finding yourself some second-floor rooms for yourself and your closest companion on a sort-of Baker Street. You would fill the flat with 221B furnishings, set yourself up as a just-for-fun consulting detective, and live a completely Sherlock-ish life, free of the burdens and cares of your normal everyday. This imagine-if story problem would come with ample funding, of course, but only if one condition were met: You had to remain in the state in which you currently live.
Where would you set up your own personal 221B, given that sole condition?
For me, I think I would choose the town of 3,249 where I spent the past weekend, Galena, Illinois.
Being a small town Illinois lad at heart, the size is quite amenable to me. And it meets several requirements of a faux London here in the heartland of America.
River running through its center? Check.
Architecture of the 1800s? Check.
Narrow-ish street lined with multi-story buildings on both sides with no space between them? Check.
Occasional clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages? Check.
And from city limit to city limit, its historically protected, so Galena is probably going to stay the way it is for quite a long time. It has a rich history all its own, featuring a U.S. president, Civil War generals, and frontier beginnings, but for a Sherlockian who wanted to squint just a little and imagine a bit of Baker Street without leaving Illinois, I think it would serve quite nicely. And trust me, in this state, that's not the easiest thing to find.