Category Archives: Museums

Chatham railroad history

In the early 1800s, like many other places on what was then “the frontier,” lack of reliable transportation was an impediment to the growth of Sangamon County. The Sangamon River was an outlet to the Illinois River, but was too … Continue reading

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Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum began, unlikely as it seems, in New Harmony, Ind. Former museum director R. Bruce McMillan described the quandary that faced Illinois’ first state geologist in his article on the museum’s centennial , “The First Century,” published … Continue reading

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The Payne Stone Age Collection

Edward W. Payne (1857-1932), a Springfield banker and property investor, amassed a huge collection of stone relics — most, though not all, from pre-Columbian America — with the intention of building a museum to house them. At his death, however, … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum controversies

Design and construction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum took years and involved a variety of political squabbles and maneuvering. If politics could have been put aside, the facility would have been completed much sooner. Of course, since … Continue reading

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Destruction of the Lincoln Tomb sarcophagus

How did the marble sarcophagus that covered the coffin of Abraham Lincoln in the early years of the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site come to be broken?  Was it a workmen’s accident? Or was it done on purpose by souvenir … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library site (Fever River)

The site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential  Library and Museum is one of five areas of Springfield that Fever River Research has studied exhaustively.  The resulting reports  are extraordinarily informative historical and archaeological analyses. Fever River Research says it “specializes … Continue reading

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Culver Marble and Stone Co.

The Culver Marble and Stone Co. and its offshoots, headed by Col. James S. Culver (1852-1911), were among the Springfield area’s most prominent builders from the early 1870s until 1912. As a contractor, the Culver firm was given credit for … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Graham (First Citizen)

Elizabeth Graham (1892-1982), though a Springfield High School English teacher and department head for nearly 40 years, is best known for her unswerving dedication to the poetry and memory of Vachel Lindsay. Graham. born in Galena, attended a Lindsay recitation … Continue reading

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Elijah Iles House

The house pioneer merchant Elijah Iles is thought to have had built for his family near Sixth and Cook streets in the 1830s* now is a museum and display place for exhibits focused on Springfield history. Both Abraham Lincoln and … Continue reading

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Illinois State Arsenal (1903)

President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the new Illinois State Arsenal  at Second and Monroe streets on June 4, 1903. The structure, designed by Bullard & Bullard architects and built at a cost of $150,000 by the Culver Stone and Marble Co., … Continue reading

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