Monthly Archives: October 2021

First burial of a Japanese

Johei “Joe” Okuhara probably was the first ethnic Japanese to be buried in Springfield, and his also may have been the first Muslim funeral. However, his friends wanted the city to know, he did not live – or die – … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Ethnic groups, Japanese, Media, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Sweet gum trees

Springfield folklore says the city’s population of sweet gum trees (and their annoying, spiky “gum ball” seed pods) dates from the great elm tree die-off of the late 1940s. And sweet gums indeed were one of the main tree species … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Prominent figures, Science | 4 Comments

Auburn Brick Road

An empty stretch of highway near Auburn might be Sangamon County’s most obscure historic site. The Auburn Brick Road, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, draws what few visitors it does because it was … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Historic Sites, National Register, Transportation | Leave a comment

Poston Brick & Concrete Co.

Brickyards sprouted in Springfield almost as soon as European settlers reached Sangamon County, but the longest-lived was Poston Brick & Concrete Co., which operated on South Grand Avenue for almost 60 years. “Nature was in a most generous mood when … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Industry, Soil, Uncategorized | Leave a comment