Monthly Archives: May 2018

Springfield fire protection, 1850s-’70s

Fires that demolished swaths of the downtown square in the 1850s led – eventually – to Springfield creating a full-time fire department. But city fathers first had to remedy another problem that plagued local firefighting efforts: a water shortage. An “incendiary” – … Continue reading

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Fallout shelters in Sangamon County

On April 5, 1964, about 150 people moved into the sleek, white-tiled tunnels below the State Office Building. They were to remain there for 25 hours, drinking purified water and munching biscuits, while loudspeakers blared warnings and audio recordings simulated … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Communications, Illinois capital, Local government, Maps, Public health | 9 Comments

Delmonico Restaurant (photo)

  The Delmonico Restaurant operated from about 1898 to 1905 at 126 N. Fifth St. in Springfield. Although the name didn’t change over the period, the operators did. The Delmonico’s first owner apparently was William A. Stone, who ran the … Continue reading

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Robert Brown (Washington Street Mission)

Robert Brown and his daughter and son-in-law, Mary Louisa Brown Miller and Robert Miller, led the Washington Street Mission for more than 60 years. See Washington Hall.

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Washington Hall, 1922-26

In the 1920s, the Washington Street Mission operated a rehabilitation center for young prostitutes in what now (2018) is the Chesapeake Seafood House. The facility closed in 1926, with no publicity and no explanation. Fifty years later, however, the mission’s … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Prominent figures, Social services, Women | Leave a comment

Hogs and Springfield’s civic spirit

It took years for the city of Springfield to finally ban hogs from roaming downtown streets. To historian Paul M. Angle, however, the fact that the debate even took place  demonstrated that Springfield, at long last, was developing a civic spirit. … Continue reading

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