Monday, May 5, 2014

Sherlock town.

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.


  1. yes, but is there enough MURDER? ;-)

  2. 45% of the time, it would be just fine without a single murder. Here's a write-up of the stats:

  3. Remaining in my state would be no problem - excluding a few excursions down to Northern Illinois I have not left Wisconsin since 1979. As Holmes was a metro man I would have to stay in Milwaukee - it is our cesspool where all the idler's and loungers congregate. River(s) running through it? Check. Architecture of the 1800's? Check. Some of the old alleys made of brick still exist, too. Horses? Those tourist carriages and police mounts fill the bill. Presidents? Honest Abe campaigned here, and Teddy Roosevelt was shot downtown in 1912 (No need for Sherlock to investigate - he was nabbed at the scene) PLUS Arthur Conan Doyle stayed at the Pfister Hotel - still in business) And if I feel the need to experience the olden days I can stroll the 'Streets of Old Milwaukee' in the Milwaukee Museum. Oh, Yes, Culture and Crime we have aplenty!