Monthly Archives: March 2013

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places includes more than 60 listings in Sangamon County. In addition to the linked list, more information on many of the sites is available on Other entries will be added periodically. Use SangamonLink’s Index or the Search … Continue reading

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Photosets: My Old Postcards (Randy Von Liski)

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The village of Chatham was laid out in October 1836 by Luther Ransom, who also built the first house in the community. Chatham got its first burst of growth following the building of the Alton & Sangamon Railroad (later the … Continue reading

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The village of Dawson is near an old Native American trail that ran from Clear Lake to Buffalo Hart. The village itself was incorporated in 1883, two years after the Wabash Coal & Mining Co. opened a mine shaft in the … Continue reading

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John L. Lewis

For 40 years the head of the biggest coal miners union in the U.S. in an era when the country depended almost entirely on coal for its energy needs, John Llewellyn Lewis (1880-1969) was a household name from the 1920s … Continue reading

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European settlers lived in the Williamsville area by the early 1820s, but the village itself wasn’t laid out until 1853. The community’s first house was built by Jacob Flagg in the fall of that year. Williamsville is named after Col. … Continue reading

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“Sangamon”: Origin of the name

Sangamon County was named after the Sangamon River, which winds through the county from the east to northwest. For its part, the river apparently got its name from an early French explorer, the Jesuit priest Father Pierre Charlevoix, who traveled … Continue reading

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Sangamon County, founding of

Sangamon County was created by an act of the Illinois General Assembly on Jan. 30, 1821. It was subdivided from Madison and Bond counties and at the time was one of only 33 counties in the state (there are now … Continue reading

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The Wigwam

In 1860, members of the Republican Party held conventions and party rallies in buildings they called “wigwams” all over the North. Illinois Republicans proposed Abraham Lincoln for president in the Decatur Wigwam, and the National Republican Convention nominated Lincoln in the … Continue reading

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Illinois State Arsenal (1855)

In 1855, the state of Illinois built an arsenal at 424-26 N. Fifth St., on the east side of Fifth Street between Mason and Carpenter streets. The smallish rectangular brick building, built in the Greek Revival style with a pediment on … Continue reading

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