Tag Archives: Oral history

Bates Experimental Road

The Bates Experimental Road of 1922-23  was, literally and figuratively, a groundbreaking study. In the early 1920s, the Illinois Division of Highways was preparing to embark on a major road construction program to accommodate the rapidly growing population of automobiles. … Continue reading

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The Bunn family

Grocer Jacob Bunn Sr. (1814-97) and his younger brother John Whitfield Bunn (1831-1920) began a family whose energy and initiative have helped mold Springfield for more than 150 years.  Their business interests have ranged from the original Springfield Marine Bank … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Early residents, First Citizens, Historic Sites, Lincoln, Abraham, Prominent figures | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Illinois State Fairgrounds Dome Building

The Dome Building, which was on the Illinois State Fairgrounds from 1895 to 1917, originally was built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The glass dome, 222 feet in diameter, was the world’s second-largest unsupported dome. Following the … Continue reading

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Ice harvesting

Before artificial refrigeration was invented, ice was cut from rivers, ponds, and lakes during the winter and sent to storehouses, businesses, and homes. Bigger customers included produce shippers, grocery stores, and breweries, which needed huge quantities of ice. Springfield’s old … 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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Myers Brothers Department Store

“The Store That Quality Built” began with Morris Myers, an immigrant from Germany who opened a general store in Athens in 1858. Myers moved his store to Springfield in 1865. Morris Myers died in 1873, leaving sons Albert, Louis and … Continue reading

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Marine Bank (original)

Springfield Marine Bank, originally chartered as the Springfield Marine & Fire Insurance Co. in 1851 and now part of JPMorgan Chase, is the oldest banking institution in Illinois. Abraham Lincoln banked at Marine. Original stockholders included Jacob Bunn Sr., Robert Irwin, John Williams, Stephen T. … Continue reading

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