By Bruce Carlson

The movers have left and we are in New Athens. We’re getting settled into our new home. We’re also starting to get out and explore the town of New Athens and the surrounding area. New Athens is a small community. One of those little towns that sprung up as people started moving west. It has an interesting history. We are also near Freeburg which is a large, yet still small town.

We did a little research on the area and the information is below. Continue to read on and learn something about the area we now live in. We’ll continue to explore the area and share the stories and news as we come across things. There may be a test at the end.

The town of New Athens

New Athens, Illinois, is a charming village that is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. In this article, you will learn about the history, culture, attractions, and events of this wonderful place. You will discover why New Athens is a great destination for nature lovers, sports fans, history buffs, and music enthusiasts. You will also find out how you can join the festivities and have a memorable time. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you will surely enjoy reading this article and learning more about New Athens.

New Athens has a long and fascinating history that dates back to 1836 when it was founded by settlers who came from the East. It was originally called Athens, after the ancient Greek city, but it changed its name to New Athens in 1868 when it was discovered that there was already another town with the same name in Illinois. New Athens was incorporated as a village in 1866 and has grown and prospered ever since.

When we first saw the house, we met several neighbors. Of course, we asked about New Athens and were quickly informed that it was New Aaathens. Since the town changed its name the Athens portion is said with a long “A” sound “Aaaa”. You don’t say Athens you say Aaathens. It’s become a light-hearted routine when we tell family and friends where we live.

New Athens is located on the banks of the Kaskaskia River, which is one of the largest tributaries of the Mississippi River in Illinois. I found this interesting since the Illinois and Rock Rivers also flow into the Mississippi. The river provides many opportunities for water sports recreation, such as boating, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. Every year, New Athens hosts a boat race and a fishing derby that attract many participants and spectators. The village is also home to the Peabody River King Conservation Area, a 2,000-acre wildlife refuge and hunting ground that features wetlands, forests, prairies, and lakes.

Whitey Herzog

New Athens is a village that loves baseball. It has produced several professional baseball players who have made their mark in Major League Baseball. The most famous of them is Whitey Herzog, who was born and raised in New Athens. Herzog was an outfielder who played for several teams, including the Kansas City Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Detroit Tigers. He later became a manager who led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title in 1982. Other notable players from New Athens include Larry Stahl, Mickey Haefner, Warren Hacker, and Rich Hacker.

New Athens is a village that respects its religious diversity. It has five churches of different denominations that serve the spiritual needs of the community. The oldest of them is St. Agatha Catholic Church, which was established in 1843 and is still active today. Karen and I are parishioners at St. Agatha. The other churches are St. John United Church of Christ, St. Paul Lutheran Church, The United Methodist Church of New Athens, and First Baptist Church. All of them welcome visitors and offer various services and activities.

New Athens is a village that knows how to celebrate. It is planning a series of events to commemorate its 150th anniversary, culminating in a grand celebration on July 4th. The events will include a parade, a carnival, a historical exhibit, a fireworks show, and a concert featuring local bands and musicians. The celebration will be a chance for the villagers to showcase their pride and gratitude for their village, as well as to invite guests from near and far to join them in the festivities.

Restaurants in town

In New Athens, we have several restaurants, Bulldogs, Machete Mexican Cuisine, Village Pizza, and the Nail. We had lunch at Bulldogs while we were moving in. It’s a typical small-town bar and restaurant. I ordered the chicken wings for lunch. Normally 10 wings are easy for me to eat.

I don’t know where they found those chickens, but it was some of the largest wings I’ve ever eaten. I was full then I finished eating. The sauce was pretty good also. I was very impressed with my order. We’ll have to go back sometime and see if the wings measure up to this lunch.

## Biggest Takeaway

New Athens, Illinois, is a small village with a big name and a bigger heart. It has a rich history and culture and a vibrant and diverse community. It is proud of its achievements and traditions, and eager to share them with the world. It is a place where people can enjoy nature, sports, music, and history. It is a place where people can celebrate.

We take a look at Freeburg in a future article. We drive through the town almost any time we need to get anything. If we need anything quickly we can normally find it there. Also, our parish, St Agatha is a mission church to St. Joseph in Freeburg.

If we can’t make Mass in New Athens we can always run up to Freeburg. Fr. Von is assigned to both parishes so we’re getting to know him quite well. All in all, we are quite pleased to be in New Athens. The neighbors are friendly and life is a little slower. I will retired life is still quite busy and being in a slower lifestyle does make life a little nicer.

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we move through the process of selling our house, buying a new house (to become our home), and the adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, Bruce & Karen.