Crow Capitol of the World: Lyndon, IL
In 1972, Lyndon held its first Crow Festival. The Village Trustees had proclaimed Lyndon as the “CROW CAPITAL OF THE WORLD”, when the local government started a movement for the removal or improvement of unsightly properties. Citizens began to think about Lyndon as “having something to crow about” and wanted to call attention to the Village. Lyndonites felt they had something to CROW about in this village.
Lyndon was once located in the “Crow Creek Precinct” and along with the untimely passing of the town pet “Rocky the Crow” it seemed a fitting title.
Lyndon was declared a “Crow Sanctuary”, meaning that no crows or other birds may be harmed within the village limits. The designation as a “Crow Sanctuary” does not seem to have increased the crow population measurably and there isn’t an unusual amount of crows in the town, but nevertheless Lyndon was declared the Crow Capitol of the World!
Letters were received from all 50 states, and from abroad as the story of the festival was picked up by larger newspapers and national wire services. Thus Lyndon began a series of annual Crow Festivals, with the 1985 festival celebrating Lyndon’s 150th anniversary.
The two-day event drew large crowds–estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 for the big parade on Sunday. Contests, Firemen’s Breakfast, Community Church Service on the lawn of the Methodist Church, charity ball game, and many other events all worked together–in spite of inclement weather–to make Lyndon’s debut as the “Crow Capital of the World” a success.
It is hoped that Lyndonites will continue to be proud of their town, and to proclaim that we still have “SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT” as we look forward to the coming years of our history, to celebrate the bicentennial. It will be left to those who are younger to carry on the tradition begun in 1972!
Rocky the Crow
For many years, “Rocky”, Lyndon’s town pet, was a familiar scene near Candy’s Crow Bar, and in the surrounding area. The crow went to school in the morning, riding on the heads and shoulders of the children. Rocky, named after the Rock River, of course, had a limited vocabulary, according to those who knew him.
Hi… Whatcha doin… No school today…. Goin to school today?
The pet was protected by the village ordinance which prohibited killing of crows, or other birds within city limits. He was known to strictly adhere to the boundaries south of the highway, north of the river, and the 6-8 block corridor in the village.
Unfortunately, one day Rocky road across the river on the handlebars of a bike ridden by a boy playmate. He flew loose from the bars, into one of the cornfields on the other side of the river. It was not long before he was dead from a blast of a 20 gauge shotgun, wielded by a farmer trying to protect his crop. A steel coffin covered with pool table felt was made for Rocky, and he was buried under the water tower with a headstone appropriately engraved “Here lies Rocky the Crow, Everybody’s Friend.” The stone remains there today under the water town, a tribute to the memory of Lyndon’s pet, Rocky.