'Horse Not Dead' sign along Route 47 sparks curiosity

  • A sign in a field along Route 47 in Sugar Grove has sparked some curiosity.

    A sign in a field along Route 47 in Sugar Grove has sparked some curiosity. Courtesy of Dudley Burgess

Updated 11/13/2020 7:49 AM

With all of the tension and insanity surrounding election results, it felt right to go with something simple and humorous to lead off today's column.

And this is what I came up with.


A sign sits out prominently on a farmer's field, and the message is pretty clear. It's attached to a piece of farm equipment and reads "Horse Not Dead" in the middle of the field at 9S208 Route 47, just south of the Jericho Road intersection.

A friend informed me about the sign and passed along some second- and third-hand information. The story goes that the farmer got tired of people stopping by his home to inform him that one of his horses might be dead. So he created the sign.

The horse apparently enjoyed lying in the field to rest for long periods. People driving past this field likely aren't used to seeing a horse take a siesta out in the open, thinking maybe these beautiful animals sleep only in their stables.

But it was a little tricky, given the pandemic, to find out exactly who put up the sign. Thinking that maybe everybody knows everybody in the Sugar Grove area like they did when I was a reporter in that area in the late 1970s, I checked with the township and assessor's offices. I discovered the sign has been up for a couple of years -- but no one really knew for sure who owned that property. It is currently listed under Resource Bank Trust in township assessor records.

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On my trip to that area to determine the correct address, I was tempted to stop in and tell the owner I thought his horse might be dead -- just to get a laugh and maybe hear the sign story firsthand.

Then this thought crossed my mind: Does anyone want some stranger wearing a mask to just show up out of nowhere at the front door during the coronavirus pandemic to ask about his sign?

I talked myself out of it, but share this info about the sign now before the winter sets in, and the idea of seeing a horse taking an outdoor nap becomes less likely.

It does have a bit of notoriety, though, in that the Reddit website, one that encourages followers to post funny signs, had it posted last year for some laughs.


If anyone wants to fill me in on who owns the farm and shed any other light on the sign, please send a note to my email address at the end of the column.

A different 'Walk':

Trying to stay safe during the pandemic hasn't created a major shift in what my wife and I normally do. We've just made the small sacrifices to this point.

We've had to skip the occasional night out for dinner or a movie, we've stayed away from crowded areas, and we haven't seen our first grandchild as much as we'd like. We didn't have gatherings with friends or family on our deck this summer, and we had to live without our favorite community festivals.

We've kept our jobs and have spent plenty of time walking our dog.

But the holiday season is creeping up on the calendar, and it will be hard to skip those events in our area. Depending on the weather, the one with the most people in one place at one time has always been Geneva's Christmas Walk, with St. Charles' Electric Christmas Parade being right behind.

It was apparent the Geneva Chamber of Commerce wasn't going to host the Christmas Walk in the same manner as the past, so it is spreading it out over three "Christmas Walk Weekends" for the three weekends before Christmas.

Each weekend will have a different holiday theme. You can get information and register for different events -- including letting your kids speak to Santa outside from a distance -- on the chamber website.

We know the coronavirus isn't going to take a holiday break, so we encourage everyone to enjoy the area's holiday events but to do so while following safety guidelines.

We all need this holiday season as much or more than any in the recent past. But we have to realize it is going to be different.

The need for Knead:

Anthony Gargano posted on his Facebook page that he's opening Knead, calling it an "urban eatery." He says the restaurant, at 131 S. First St., St. Charles, should be open in a few weeks. Knead will fill a spot that formerly housed Isacco Kitchen.

Gargano is touting a December 2020 opening. Let's hope that this restaurant can open, and others can find a way to operate as this pandemic picks up steam and apparently has no intention of leaving us alone until the much-anticipated vaccine is in place.

Curbside turkey raffle:

The Geneva American Legion hopes to be a busy place on Saturday, Nov. 21 -- or at least busy outside of the Legion hall at 22 S. Second St.

Legion veterans will host a curbside event for its annual turkey raffle, starting at noon and ending when all turkeys and other prizes have been raffled off.

Those participating in the raffle will do so from the safety of their cars. They can purchase a $10 raffle ticket and have a local community or business leader spin the prize wheel for them.

In addition, Craft Urban restaurant will be selling pulled pork sandwiches and chili, while Gun Barrel Coffee will sell pounds of coffee.

This event has always been crowded at the Legion Hall, but the challenge of the pandemic is forcing a different look this year.

All funds raised go to veterans in need.

Fingers keep freezing:

The pandemic has limited so many activities. There is one I don't want to give up just because the winter will soon set in. I want to keep taking long, daily walks.

But there's an issue I haven't been able to resolve for decades.

The next time I wear a pair of gloves that actually keep my fingers warm, it will mark the first time. No matter what brand or type of gloves, my fingers always end up freezing. Hand warmers work when I plan to be out for long periods, but they are not really practical for daily walks.


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