Local History and Genealogy Blog

A Bicycle Friendly Community

Bicycle sign drawing, City of Urbana Public Works Dept. Records

Today, both Champaign and Urbana are recognized as Bicycle Friendly Communities by the League of American Bicyclists. According to the organization’s website, ‘A Bicycle Friendly Community’ welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life.’

Read more about A Bicycle Friendly Community

Parks in Urbana, Illinois

The city of Urbana has grown and changed a lot over the years. There always seems to be something new and different. One thing that hasn’t changed is that Urbana has a lot of parks with fun activities for families and individuals to enjoy. Read more about Parks in Urbana, Illinois

Party with the Library

This Saturday, July 7, 2018, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Library’s landmark building, which opened to the public in July 1918. It was designed by Joseph W. Royer, with a $35,000 gift from Mary E. Busey, as a memorial to her husband, Samuel T. Busey. We will have exhibits, music, special remarks, cake and specialty drinks from the Café, games and activities from the early 1900s, and more. Read more about Party with the Library

Kmart in Champaign-Urbana

The cities of Champaign and Urbana have had countless big-box store closings over the years. One such loss was Kmart. The location of the original Kmart store in Champaign-Urbana was at 800 Bloomington Road where the current Home Depot is located. Read more about Kmart in Champaign-Urbana

Boating at Crystal Lake Park

Beginning today, Saturday, May 5th, you can go to Crystal Lake Park and rent a boat on the weekends. Perhaps you might be interested in what this same activity looked like over a hundred years ago. I’ve compiled some photos of people boating on Crystal Lake over the past century. Read more about Boating at Crystal Lake Park