Monthly Archives: December 2023

Christmas at the Wonder Store, 1881

Frank Myers was no relation to Springfield’s later department store dynasty, the Myers Brothers, but he apparently had some of the same merchandising instincts – down to the monkeys both used as advertising gimmicks. From the 1870s to 1904, Myers’ … Continue reading

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Sangamon County and Springfield in Peck’s Gazetteer, 1837

John Mason Peck (1789-1858), traveled widely in Missouri and Illinois as a Baptist missionary. He helped establish more than 900 churches and was important in efforts to eliminate slavery in Illinois. He also “wrote prolifically,” Wikipedia says, “including on agriculture, … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Farming, Histories, Illinois capital, Maps, Sangamon County, Soil, Springfield, Transportation | 1 Comment

Early movie theaters in Springfield

Motion picture exhibition in Springfield began in earnest around 1905. That year, four local theaters were screening short silent films in addition to presenting live vaudeville acts. Nickelodeon theaters, where movies were the prime attraction instead of a sideshow, became popular … Continue reading

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First moving picture/first full-time movie theater

It’s impossible to know for sure when Springfield residents saw their first “moving picture,” but the likely dates are Jan. 1-2, 1897, when the Stephenson Post of the Grand Army of the Republic held a fundraiser at the Central Music … Continue reading

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