Category Archives: Parks

Zoo Park

Zoo Park was an ambitious, but short-lived amusement park set on nearly 200 acres of land off Eighth Street Road north of the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Early ideas for the park included not only a zoo, but also a mile-long … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Business, Parks, Social life, Sports and recreation, Transportation | 2 Comments

Irwin’s Park (‘Irwin’s Grove’)

Irwin’s Park, two miles north of Auburn off Illinois 4, is probably the oldest public meeting place in Sangamon County. For many years, it was also one of the most popular. Today, the property, operated by Auburn Township and the … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Celebrations, Coal mines and mining, Historic Sites, Markers, Parks, Sports and recreation | 9 Comments

Gehrmann Park

The development of Gehrmann Park in 1946 caused the destruction of what then probably was Springfield’s oldest building – a log cabin built by one of the Kellys, the city’s first European settlers. The three-acre park between Third and Fourth … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Early residents, Parks, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Lincoln Home neighborhood in 1971 (Nelson Howarth)

Nelson Howarth, with only a week to go in his third and final term as mayor of Springfield, testified in April 1971 before the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation in support of designating the Lincoln Home neighborhood … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Historic Sites, Lincoln Home, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Museums, National Register, Parks, Presidents, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

The Pasfield family (1830s to 1930)

Three men named George Pasfield — father, son and grandson, usually distinguished as “the first George Pasfield,” “Dr. George Pasfield” and “George Pasfield Jr.” — played major roles in the growth of Springfield over nearly a century. 1830s George Pasfield … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Early residents, First Citizens, Historic Sites, Hotels & taverns, Illinois capital, Industry, Local government, Parks, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Clear Lake

When most Sangamon County residents hear the name “Clear Lake,” they think of the avenue or township. However, the body of water that gave these places their names has a rich history all its own. Clear Lake itself is about … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Communities, Local government, Military, Parks, Sangamon River, Sports and recreation | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Wheeland Haven, Riverton

In the early 1900s, in the midst of coal mines and cornfields east of Riverton, was a 17-acre oasis of beauty — Wheeland Haven, the home of Olive Black Wheeland and her husband Cyrus. Cyrus Wheeland was a farmer, grain … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Architecture, Buildings, Historic Sites, National Register, Parks, Prominent figures, Women | 15 Comments

Rev. John Bergen (1828 pioneers)

Rev. John Bergen (1790-1872) was the first full-time pastor of Springfield’s original Presbyterian church, which was founded in 1828. He, his wife Margretta (1793-1853) and their family moved to Springfield in late 1828 from New Jersey, where John Bergen had … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Early residents, Parks, Prominent figures, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment


Groves of mature hardwood trees figured frequently in the history of Sangamon County. Robert Pulliam, considered the first European inhabitant of  the county, set up his first encampment in a grove of sugar maples on what became known as Sugar … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Early residents, Historic Sites, Illinois capital, Parks, Prehistory, Soil | Leave a comment

Elijah Iles (1828 pioneers)

Elijah Iles (1796-1883) was Springfield’s first merchant and perhaps its most dynamic founder. Iles built a log store near the settlement of the John Kelly family shortly after arriving in central Illinois. Iles described his move to Sangamon County and … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Early residents, Historic Sites, Illinois capital, Native Americans, Parks, Prominent figures, Springfield | Leave a comment