Categories
Announcements

Reviews of Tales of Coles County Pouring In

Tales of Coles County has only been out for a few months and already it has many positive reviews on Amazon.com. Here are just a few:

“I grew up in Coles County, Illinois. This book brought back many memories and I learned some things that I didn’t know.”

Madonna J. Long

“Very insightful.”

Andrew Dowling

“Valuable reference book on the History of Coles County.”

Stephen F. Anderson

“Michael Kleen is so in depth in his research and delves deeply into each story. If you love small towns and the stories within them, you will adore this book. Check it out!”

Bobbie Jean Ashley
Categories
Announcements

Follow me on Instagram

For the most part, social media is a toxic mess. I don’t have Twitter and I only use Facebook for friends, family, and promoting Tales of Coles County. Instagram and Flickr are my go-to sites. It’s a good way to share my photography and my life with you. I love seeing other people’s photos as well. All in all, it’s a positive exchange. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s be Insta friends: www.instagram.com/ma_kleen/. I’m looking forward to exploring the world with you!

Categories
Announcements

Looking forward to 2021

2020, the worst year in recent memory, has come and gone, and no one can say they’re sad to see it go. Political strife, social upheaval, pandemic, lock downs, and more unpleasantness has roiled the U.S. for the past several months.

In my own little corner of the world, my ability to travel and visit new places for this blog was greatly curtailed. Museums shut down, travel restrictions were imposed, and plans got canceled (including my honeymoon, which I’m still upset about).

Despite all that, I’ve tried to keep this website going, continue writing, and bring you new and interesting articles to, at the very least, inform and entertain you during these dark times. But cheer up! I firmly believe 2021 will be a great year. There’s nowhere to go but up.

Categories
Announcements

Subscriptions are Now Active

Exciting news–premium monthly subscriptions to MichaelKleen.com are now active! That means you can get more of the content you love for $3.99 a month, barely the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Your subscription will help me continue writing, researching, and traveling to provide the unique content you love. You can sign up today by using the buttons below. This secure transaction is processed by Stripe.

Subscriptions are courtesy of WordPress, so when you subscribe, you are agreeing to create an account at WordPress.com (don’t worry, all funds minus a processing fee will go to support MichaelKleen.com). If you already have a WordPress account, all you have to do is subscribe with your current account!

You can also select an option to have premium posts delivered right to your email.

Does this mean everything on my website will get hidden behind a paywall? No! I hate paywalls, and I’m sure you do too. I plan to continue offering a lot of free content on this website. However, longer articles requiring extensive time to write and research will only be available to subscribers. Some of my archived posts will only be available to subscribers, and I plan to offer bonus content like videos and exclusive photos in the future.

As always, thank you for your support!

Categories
Announcements

Introducing Premium Membership

Dear readers, thank you for enjoying my blog, my writing, and my photography all these years. Since 2006, and perhaps even before that, you’ve followed my adventures through many changes. I have many interests, and over the years my content has constantly evolved and grown as my interests have grown, and I appreciate you sticking with me through it all.

Don’t worry, none of that is going away, but with all the changes in my life, my growing family and other obligations, I just don’t have the free time anymore to write so many articles and take so many photos just for the fun of it. The only way I can continue to travel, write, and bring you quality content on a weekly basis is to start earning money from it. Ads and book sales just aren’t cutting it anymore. Thankfully, WordPress has introduced a new subscription feature.

Will everything on my website get hidden behind a paywall? No! I hate paywalls, and I’m sure you do too. I plan to continue offering a lot of free content on this website. However, longer articles requiring extensive time to write and research will only be available to subscribers. Some of my archived posts will only be available to subscribers, and I plan to offer bonus content like videos and exclusive photos in the future.

How much will all this cost? Not much. $3.99 a month, barely the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But your subscription will help me continue writing, researching, and traveling to provide the unique content you love. You can sign up today by using the buttons below. This secure transaction is processed by Stripe.

Thank you for your continued patronage, readership, and support all these years. I look forward to continue writing about the subjects we all love for years to come.

Categories
Announcements Roadside America

Photo Included in the Fall Issue of the Society for Commercial Archeology Journal

It was an honor to have one of my photos included in the fall 2020 Society for Commercial Archeology Journal! It helped to illustrate an article on Flame Signs by Debra Jane Seltzer. (The neon sign is from Fire Equipment Headquarters, 64 Marshall Street in Rochester, New York)

Categories
Announcements

Where to Order Tales of Coles County

Legends live right outside your door!

The 6th and final edition of Tales of Coles County, Illinois is finally here! If you already own a previous edition, or are hearing about it for the first time, this is the one to buy! 232 pages of hidden history, ghost stories, legends, and lore from one of the most fascinating areas of the state!

Where to order:

Tales of Coles County, Illinois is divided into three parts: Tales, Legends and Lore, and Hidden History.

‘Tales’ takes an entertaining look at local history through vivid historical fiction. When four students from Eastern Illinois University are stranded during a violent storm, they seek shelter with an elderly couple who give them more than they bargain for. After one night, the four will never look at Coles County the same way. With each story, they learn more about the place they’ve come to call home. The Second Battle of the Ambraw, the Charleston Riot of 1864, the Coles County Poor Farm, events surrounding the Airtight Bridge Murder, and the Blair Hall Fire of 2004, all are told.

In ‘Legends and Lore’, Michael Kleen reveals over a dozen hidden stories from the from the area’s past and present, including ghost stories, folk tales, and other legends and lore. When did a poltergeist terrorize one rural family in Pleasant Grove Township? What is the real story behind the “Mad Gasser of Mattoon”? Why do they call one stretch of road “Dead Man’s Curve”? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this definitive volume.

‘Hidden History’ examines events some believe are better left unremembered. What is the history of Coles County’s ghost towns? What were some of its most infamous murders? What happened in the Tornado of 1917? Never-before published information about Mattoon’s battle with Prohibition and even a local chapter of the KKK is inside.