Thanks to its location at the crossroads of major railroads, Rochelle, Illinois is nicknamed “Hub City.” Incorporated in 1853 and situated 75 miles west of Chicago, this small town is home to around 9,500 and takes pride in its railroad heritage and preserving examples of its history. The annual Railroad Days festival, for example, delights all ages with truck and locomotive displays as well as shows and activities for kids all center around things related to railroads.
Two major rail lines cross through Rochelle, bringing in, on average, 80 trains per day through the city as well as attracting a throng of locomotive lovers. In response to the locomotive fanfare, the city set aside land to create the Rochelle Railroad Park, where watchers can view the spectacle of trains that chug through the city. Rochelle was also once the site of large so-called hobo jungles where train hitchhikers camped out and gathered together before catching rides on passing trains. In commemoration of this past history, the Railroad Park includes a tribute in the form of a mockup hobo jungle and numerous hobo themed signs.
Other historical landmarks in town include the Flagg Township Museum and the 1918 Standard Oil Filling Station. The Roberts Armory displays World War II era armored conveyances and even stages live re-enactments of battles several times a year. Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy four miles of bike paths (with bike rentals available at city parks), fishing and canoeing at Lake Sule, disc golfing at Skare Park, or attend free concerts at the band shell in Atwood Park.