Category Archives: Communities

Harvard Park

The person who named Harvard Park, one of Springfield’s largest early subdivisions, won $100 in a contest sponsored by the Springfield Improvement Association. He or she – the winner, one of 570 entrants, asked to remain anonymous – promptly donated … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Industry | 7 Comments

Springfield in 1939, according to the Federal Writers Project

Editor: This entry, originally published in 2014, has been revised and expanded. Illinois: A Descriptive and Historical Guide was part of the American Guide series, which profiled each of the then-existing 48 states during the 1930s. The American Guides were … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Communities, Depression, Historic Sites, Histories, Illinois capital, Lincoln, Abraham, Maps, Markers, Springfield, Transportation | Leave a comment

‘Fossil Boulder,’ Auburn Township Park

Fossil Boulder is the most notable feature of Auburn Township Park southeast of Auburn. The boulder was unearthed in the mid-1980s in Auburn itself, according to a sign at the park. Information on the sign was researched by Marilyn “’lyn” … Continue reading

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Wimmer Cemetery, Auburn

Wimmer Cemetery, an inactive but by no means abandoned graveyard east of Auburn, is one of Sangamon County’s oldest burying places. No one has been buried at Wimmer since 1934, and by 1999, the site was overgrown, dilapidated and vandalized. … Continue reading

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Buffalo Hart tornado deaths, 1927

Three people, including two children from one family, died when a tornado destroyed Buffalo Hart the afternoon of April 19, 1927. “Until yesterday this town was a quiet and contented village,” the Illinois State Journal reported in a story written … Continue reading

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Pensacola

“Pensacola” was the name given to a tiny, unincorporated community in Cotton Hill Township, southeast of Springfield, in the 1800s. The area is designated for inundation if and when Hunter Lake is ever created as a backup water source for … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Early residents, Historic Sites, Hotels & taverns, Mills, Politics, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Rural mail delivery begins, 1896

The first rural mail deliveries in Sangamon County – in fact, in all of Illinois – took place in the Auburn area on Dec. 10, 1896. Rural Free Delivery, as it became known, started as a nationwide experiment, one many … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Politics, Prominent figures | 9 Comments

The Battle of Virden (1898)

The 1898 “Battle of Virden,” a 10-minute gunfight that killed 13 men and had lasting significance for Illinois coal mining, was fought in Macoupin County, just south of the Sangamon County line. However, the Virden confrontation also led to turmoil … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Business, Coal mines and mining, Communities, Industry, Labor unions, Markers, State government | Leave a comment

Italian immigration

More than 1,000 people paraded through downtown Springfield on Oct. 12, 1920, to celebrate Columbus Day. Floats depicted the Statue of Liberty, Christopher Columbus himself and Columbus’ flagship, the Santa Maria. Italian fraternal societies from Springfield, Virden and Decatur turned … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Coal mines and mining, Communities, Ethnic groups, Italians, Prominent figures | 12 Comments

‘Wigwam tree’ and sulfur spring, Loami

The “wigwam tree” was a hollow sycamore near Loami that, according to John Carroll Power in History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County (1876), was once measured at 18 feet in diameter. Power wrote that the tree stood “a … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Early residents, Native Americans, Prehistory | 4 Comments