Category Archives: Communities

Old Stone House, Rochester

The Old Stone House, a project of the Rochester Historical Preservation Society, is an 1830s dwelling moved from its original site east of town to near Rochester Community Park. It is open periodically as a living history demonstration. The house … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Communities, Historic Sites, Lincoln, Abraham, Markers, Museums | 1 Comment

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

Pawnee High School fire, 1958

Pawnee High School was demolished by a fire on Feb. 24, 1958, that was ignited by a student attempting to break into the school’s vault. Frank Carlos Ewing Jr., 15, admitted to Sangamon County sheriff’s investigators that he broke into … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Communities, Crime and vice, Disasters, Education, Law enforcement | 13 Comments

Divernon school photos, 1920s

The above photos of Divernon school students were provided by John Faber. Students’ identifications (except for a few relatives of Mr. Faber) are not available. Divernon opened its first school in 1887, but school enrollment began to jump after the … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Communities, Education, Photos and photosets, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment

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 | 31 Comments

Ridgely village

The village of Ridgely, which ran from about Fifth Street to 15th Street between Ridgely and Sangamon avenues, was among suburbs that sprang up as residential developments expanded beyond the “Grand avenues,” the traditional city limits of Springfield. Ridgely, incorporated … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Local government, Prominent figures, Springfield | 2 Comments

Fire devastates east side of Auburn square, 1910

A fire that destroyed the entire east side of the Auburn town square early on March 16, 1910, was described in the March 18 edition of the Auburn Citizen. Here is the Citizen’s story.  Auburn has costly fire At about … Continue reading

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‘How We Come to School’ — Pleasant Plains High School, 1924

Page 68 of The Anchor, the yearbook of Pleasant Plains Township High School’s class of 1924, suggested most students commuted to school via horseback or buggy, though a few groups posed with automobiles. The class will, below, suggests high school … Continue reading

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Sangamon County in 1837

The following description of Sangamon County is taken from Illinois in 1837: A Sketch by H.L. Ellsworth (Philadelphia, 1837); spelling and punctuation from the original. Note that, two years after this was written, the Illinois General Assembly reduced Sangamon County … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Histories, Maps, Resources, Sangamon County, Sangamon River, Soil, Transportation | Leave a comment

Chatham railroad history

In the early 1800s, like many other places on what was then “the frontier,” lack of reliable transportation was an impediment to the growth of Sangamon County. The Sangamon River was an outlet to the Illinois River, but was too … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Communities, Historic Sites, Museums, Railroads, Transportation | Tagged | 4 Comments