Category Archives: Sports and recreation

Tri-City boys basketball, 1952-53

The Tri-City Tornadoes were kings of Sangamon County basketball in the 1952-53 season. Tri-City Community High School, located in Buffalo, was the first consolidated high school district in Illinois. The merger of formerly separate high schools in Buffalo, Dawson and … Continue reading

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The Oak Ridge Park pagoda

In the 19th century, the Oak Ridge Pagoda drew merrymakers, thrill-seekers, and sometimes street gangs to what now is Lincoln Park. But the building’s last users were a few pitiful victims of what might have been smallpox. Oak Ridge Park, … Continue reading

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“The Gay ’90s” in Springfield

In 1943, V.Y. Dallman, longtime editor and columnist for the Illinois State Register, published a three-part reminiscence of the “Gay ‘90s” – at least, as they were experienced by Springfield’s upper crust. The series was written by a certified member … Continue reading

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Dreamland Park/Amos Duncan

“To my way of thinking, the colored people should at least have a place where they can congregate for the purpose of holding picnics, celebrations and public gatherings,” Sangamon County Republican Party chairman George Fish told the Illinois State Journal … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Amusements, Business, Law enforcement, Parks, Prominent figures, Social services, Sports and recreation, Theaters | 1 Comment

Riverton High School boys basketball, 1949-50

Frank Santarelli assembled what turned out to be a great Riverton boys basketball team on a cold November afternoon in 1949. Santarelli, himself a Riverton alumnus, coached the Hawks from 1935 through 1942 and 1946 through 1957. The 1949-50 team … Continue reading

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Moose Club ‘athletic show,’ 1914 (Springfield Survey)

In March 1914, a couple of social survey experts attended a so-called “athletic show” put on by the Springfield Moose Club. The two – apparently Lee F. Hanmer and Clarence Arthur Perry of the New York-based Russell Sage Foundation – … 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

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Sun ‘n Fun Swimming Club

There was a time after World War II when swimming pools in the U.S. were built not just for recreation, but as investment opportunities. The Sun ‘n Fun Swimming Club was one such place in Springfield. Sun ‘n Fun opened … Continue reading

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Cathedral High School basketball champions, 1939

Springfield’s Cathedral Boys High School won its only Illinois Catholic Conference basketball tournament in 1939. The 16-team event was held at the Illinois State Armory Feb. 24-26. Cathedral’s 285 students (as the name suggests, the school was open only to … Continue reading

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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