Home Town Hideaways in the Tri-States: Paloma
When you come upon Paloma, Illinois, it doesn't take too long to drive through it.
The around 100 people in Paloma could tell you that you don't need a big city to feel at home.
Larry Wilkey has lived in Paloma his entire life.
"Well, it's just home. You know, it's just a friendly neighborhood to stay in and the community is active, it's just a nice place to be. It's people that are special there, they're all friendly and they all look out for one another and the neighborhood. They're trustworthy, and we feel safe here," Wilkey said.
Originally named Pickleville for all the pickles produced there, Paloma was founded in 1857.
The town still uses the old grain elevator which is used for local crops.
The Paloma Diner has been a staple in the community since the 1900s.
Being there for one another is one way David Dickhut says Paloma has lasted so long.
"It's a very unique little town. When I was growing up, everybody used to know each other. You make a lot of friends, and mostly your friends you keep for life. In this little town, you do that, you keep your friends for life here," Dickhut said.
While other establishments have come and gone in Paloma, the heart of the community is something that Wilkey and Dickhut think will never leave.
"You'd be surprised. They'll be gone 10, 15, 20 years, and they come back to live in this area because they remember their childhood memories," Dickhut said.
"Well, I think roots is one thing. I think everybody here has families that were here for over a hundred years. It's just home," Wilkey said.