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CARDIFF - You have until early next month to help commemorate the once-thriving coal mining town of Cardiff by buying an engraved brick.

A May 1 deadline was extended until July 2 so more people could purchase white granite blocks (bricks) that will be part of a Cardiff memorial, said Jim Ridings.

"We didn't want to cut it off too soon because there are always those who haven't heard of it," Ridings said.

Ridings is a member of the Herscher Area Historical Society, which is working with the state. The project should be finished by August.

Herscher is about 10 miles east of Cardiff.

The memorial project includes a marker commemorating the town, white granite block (brick) patio and benches.

The value of the large cast-aluminum marker is about $3,000, but the total project will cost about $7,000, Ridings said. There are 400 such markers in Illinois, but this would be only the second in Livingston County.

You can purchase the engraved bricks for $75 or $100, depending on how many lines you want inscribed, Ridings said.

The town in northeastern Livingston County, near Campus, has a significant history but essentially has become a ghost town. It had 16 saloons and 2,500 people during its coal-mining heyday, Ridings said.

Ridings, who has written a 300-page book, "Cardiff: Ghost Town on the Prairie," said 18 people died working in the mines.

The memorial will be located at East 3400 Road, just north of North 2900 Road, on land donated by Gary Romanetto.

How to help

Donations or brick payments can be mailed to the Herscher Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 403, Herscher, IL 60941.


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