Arcola is a city in Douglas County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,652 at the 2000 census. The city was founded in 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad was built through the county. The railroad itself was responsible for surveying, platting and founding the town. Arcola is somewhat famous for the Lawn Rangers, a "precision lawn mower drill team" that marches in formation with brooms and lawn mowers while wearing cowboy hats. Every year since 1980, the Lawn Rangers have marched in the Arcola Broomcorn Festival Parade. The event, held the weekend after Labor Day, honors Arcola's position in the late nineteenth century as a center of broom corn production. This unique custom was publicized by humor columnist Dave Barry, who marched with the Lawn Rangers in 1995 and has written columns about them. Arcola was the birthplace in 1880 of John Barton Gruelle, or "Johnny" Gruelle, who is famous for creating Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, the loveable American dolls and storybook characters. Gruelle used artistic skills learned from his painter father Richard Buckner Gruelle combined with his self-taught writing skills to create stories expressing regional values and aesthetic images. His artistic granddaughter, Joni Gruelle Wannamaker, manages the Raggedy Ann Museum in Arcola. A nationally known tourist attraction, Rockome Gardens, which features large formal gardens, concrete fencing and architecture, buggy rides, and many special events from May through October is conveniently located just outside of the town of Arcola. Arcola is also known for housing the world's only Hippie Memorial, created by Bob Moomaw. He died in 1998. He worked as a railroad clerk and tax assessor, but did not like either job. As an eccentric, independent artist with strong beliefs, he was able to give voice to his feelings, passions and opinions through his art and the writing on the sides of his buildings. He created the 62 feet-long artwork starting in 1992 to say something about his life and the era during which he lived. A nearby marker gives an interpretation of his work. In the countryside near Arcola is a prominent community of Old Order Amish, the largest in Illinois. Arcola is home to the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center. This Old Order Amish Museum opened in 1996 and features exhibits on most aspects of Amish life, as well as an introductory video about the Central Illinois Amish. Through the museum, tours can be scheduled of the Amish countryside, Amish homes, farms, and businesses, and meals in Amish homes can be scheduled as well.