A couple of years ago, some buddies and I went out to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie for some hiking and general exploration. Midewin used to be the Joiliet Arsenal.
Back in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland, the US didn’t have very many munitions plants. So in the event of war, the US government decided it needed to build more than 50 munitions plants across the country and the Joliet Arsenal was one of them. It produced, stored, and transported munitions from 1941 through the seventies.
The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was established by federal law in 1996.
After a period of ecological restoration, part of the prairie opened to visitors in 2004.
Today, over 7,000 acres (2,800 ha) acres of the reserve are open, with public trails for non-motorized recreation.
We found this building being deconstructed at Midewin and I made this image.