Category Archives: Parks

1910 Springfield Park Board election: ‘Shameful & disgraceful’

Political insiders went all-out to rig the 1910 Springfield Park Board election. “Spreading around the apparent victory (of incumbent park board members) lurks the shadow of the most amazing corruption of the elective franchise known in the history of Springfield,” … Continue reading

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Memorial Pool

On June 16, 1928, a crowd of about 750 people attended the grand opening of Soldiers’ and Sailors Memorial Pool on Springfield’s north end. The pool was named to honor all U.S. service personnel who perished in wars spanning the … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Local government, Parks, Public health, Social services, Sports and recreation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jerome Leland’s pigeons

In the early 20th century, Springfield hotel menus often included squab – breast of squab, “royal squab sur canape,” etc. But pigeons (the more common name for squab) made their way into the heart, not the stomach, of Jerome A. … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Animals, Buildings, Farming, Hotels & taverns, Parks, Prominent figures | 3 Comments

Comer Cox, Urban League leader

Comer Cox, the namesake of Comer Cox Park in Springfield, was an Alabama native and star athlete in his  youth who went on to lead the Springfield Urban League. Comer Lane Cox was born May 9, 1905, in Athens, Ala. … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Business, Parks, Prominent figures, Social services | 1 Comment

Springfield Sallies (professional women’s baseball)

The Springfield Sallies were one of the least successful, and also shortest-lived, teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league, whose memory was revived by the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own,” lasted from 1943 to 1954. … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Parks, Prominent figures, Sports and recreation, Women | 2 Comments

Women’s golf, 1899

“A crowd of young society women in 1899 shocked the conventions of the day by reckless indulgence in a game called golf,” the Illinois State Journal recalled in 1931. Most of that sentence was nonsense. There’s no evidence anyone was … Continue reading

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Rees Memorial Carillon

Before the Springfield Park Board could build a carillon in Washington Park, it had to answer two questions: how many bells would it hold, and what kind would they be? When newspaper publisher Thomas Rees died in 1933, he left … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Communications, Journalism, Local government, Parks, Prominent figures, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Cotton Hill

Cotton Hill was the only community wiped from the map by the construction of Lake Springfield in the 1930s. But there wasn’t much there to begin with. The Illinois State Journal explained the origin of Cotton Hill in an editorial … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Local government, Parks | 5 Comments

Iron Spring, Washington Park

The Iron Spring in Washington Park originally poured forth from a sandstone cave at the foot of a steep clay bluff. Cattle drank its water. But when Washington Park opened in 1901, the spring was one of its earliest attractions. … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Local government, Markers, Parks, Social life, Sports and recreation | Leave a comment

Founding of Douglas Park, 1921

The Springfield Park Board bought the property that became Douglas Park (later Duncan Park) in September 1920, but there was a problem with developing the new land: the neighborhood stank.* The park district paid $20,000 to buy the 26-acre “Enos … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Parks, Public health | 5 Comments