Category Archives: Transportation

First automobile in Springfield

The first automobile in Springfield was a Duryea purchased by shoe shop owners J.F. Miller and E.E. Staley. It hit Springfield streets in about 1899. Miller described the car in a story printed in the Illinois State Journal’s “Annual Motor … Continue reading

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Springfield street name changes

One might think that names chosen for streets would remain the same indefinitely unless the name causes confusion or the street was physically removed.  Both circumstances have occurred over the years in Springfield. While the city of Springfield generally discouraged … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Springfield, Transportation | 2 Comments

Zoo Park

Zoo Park was an ambitious, but short-lived amusement park set on nearly 200 acres of land off Eighth Street Road north of the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Early ideas for the park included not only a zoo, but also a mile-long … Continue reading

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Riddle Hill

Riddle Hill got its name in 1899, when farmers and other residents west of Springfield expected a proposed Springfield-to-Jacksonville electric railway to boost land prices in the area. The Illinois State Journal announced the creation of a new Riddle Hill … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Prominent figures, Transportation | 2 Comments

The Extraordinary Ordinary — 113 W. Mulberry St., Chatham

Note: This entry has been revised, thanks to information provided by Chatham-area Facebook users. Buildings customarily gain historic reputations from their age or because of their connections to a prominent person or event.  We also like them decorated in an … Continue reading

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Covered bridges (Genealogy Trails information)

At least 30 covered bridge sites have been identified in Sangamon County, more than anywhere else in Illinois, according to an article posted on a family history web site, Genealogy Trails. The writer – Genealogy Trails contributors appear to all … Continue reading

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Spring Creek Covered Bridge fire, 1977

A covered bridge spanning Spring Creek west of Springfield was destroyed in what was thought to be an arson fire on Dec. 26, 1977. The bridge – known as the Spring Creek Covered Bridge, the Riddle Hill Bridge or the … Continue reading

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Tuxhorn garage and towing

John Tuxhorn Sr. (1885-1953) opened his Tuxhorn Garage at 1158 N. Sixth St. in 1919, but it wasn’t until the early 1940s that John Jr. added towing service – and, a decade later, began painting his tow trucks bright pink. … Continue reading

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Sangamon Ordnance Plant

Dozens of seemingly out-of-place structures dot farm fields west of Illiopolis, the last reminders of what once was one of the U.S.’s largest producers of World War II artillery ammunition. From 1942 to 1945, the Sangamon Ordnance Plant produced 24 … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Agriculture, Buildings, Communities, Disasters, Industry, Military, Transportation, Women | 17 Comments

‘Diamond Special’ train hijacking, 1913

Two audacious robbers hijacked the Illinois Central Railroad’s “Diamond Special” train near Glenarm on June 18, 1913. The northbound train, which ran between St. Louis and Chicago, was due in Springfield from the south, bearing 150 passengers and an American … Continue reading

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