Category Archives: Parks

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

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Groves

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

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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

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John Hay Homes

The John Hay Homes was a 599-unit public housing complex built in 1940 in Springfield and demolished in 1997. When built, the Hay Homes replaced a slum neighhborhood known as the Badlands, and the townhouse-style complex was designed for middle-class … Continue reading

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Harriet Knudson (First Citizen)

Harriett Knudson (1883-1969) is best known as the driving force behind creation of the Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center at Lake Springfield. She also organized the Springfield Civic Garden Club (Knudson was the first person elected to honorary life … Continue reading

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Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center

Envisioned by Harriet Knudson in 1936, Lincoln Memorial Garden was created as a living memorial to Abraham Lincoln, representing “the landscape … Lincoln would have known growing up and living in the Midwest.” The 100-acre garden on the banks of … Continue reading

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Mildred Park (Bunn Park)

Mildred Park had rides, a swimming, boating and fishing lagoon with a suspension bridge and other attractions. The area is now Bunn Park. The suspension bridge was the site of a near-tragedy on Aug. 16,1905, when one of its cables … Continue reading

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Springfield Survey, 1914

The Springfield Survey was a massive study of local schools, prisons, and other institutions undertaken in 1914 by the Russell Sage Foundation with the help of hundreds of local volunteers. The survey was initiated by a group of Springfield citizens who were … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Children, Education, Law enforcement, Local government, Medicine, Parks, Photos and photosets, Public health, Resources, Schools and school districts, Social services, Springfield, Springfield Survey | Tagged | 4 Comments