Although Boone County is one of the smallest counties in Illinois, it is rich in larger-than-life stories that grew from its prairies, forests, and streams. Its history includes a king of the hobos, a huge wheel of cheese, and a business leader who manufactured some of the best sewing machines and bicycles ever built in the United States. From the 1830s to the 1940s, Boone County rode booms and busts while steadily growing and attracting new residents with diverse backgrounds. To understand today's Boone County, it is necessary to look to the past. Images of America: Belvidere and Boone County focuses on the first 100 years of the community's history. Readers can learn about how the popular county fair got started, look at historic images of the county's first pioneers, and take a nostalgic trip back to the days of swimming at Marshall Beach.