Illinois Central Railroad’s (ICR) history began in the 1830s with a series of federal land grant programs for economic improvement across the state of Illinois. The programs were supposed to expand the market for Illinois agricultural produce, but in reality, the state was left nearly bankrupt. One of these programs, the Land Grant Act of 1850, led to Illinois Central Railroad’s charter in February 1851. The original goal for ICR was to build a north-south rail line from Chicago to Cairo, Illinois with a total of 704 miles of track. After the initial railway was completed in 1856, the railroad’s expansion continued through 1882, at which time ICR provided a direct route from Chicago to New Orleans and was dubbed the “Main Line of Mid-America.” Read more about Illinois Central Railroad Employment Cards
Local History and Genealogy Blog
In previous blog posts Interesting Ordinances from Urbana, 1916 and Interesting Orinances from Urbana, 1956 Urbana's city codes have been in the spotlight. Now, it is time for Champaign to have its share of the limelight. Please enjoy a selection of city codes that may be worded strangely, are oddly specific, or just seem like plain common sense. Any codes that still exist will have their current equivalent listed from Municode. Read more about Interesting Ordinances from Champaign, 1975
On May 30, 1946, fourteen-year-old Donald O. Weckhorst (1932-2015) attended his first Memorial Day celebration in his hometown of Appleton, Minnesota. The little town of Appleton was a proud and patriotic community. Read more about Greetings from Chanute!: Thank You Donald O. Weckhorst
Our Photographs Collection contains over one million photographs of local people and locations, dating from the mid-19th century to the present. So, how does one go about finding a specific photograph in a collection so vast? Here are some tips.Read more about Finding Photographs
Seven collections of women’s groups have recently been processed by Archives staff and are now available for researchers.
Part 3 highlights Fortnightly Club Records and Carley Friendship Club Records.
On May 9th, 1971, an Indiana man visited the Vermillion River Observatory operated by the University of Illinois in Danville to view the dish antenna. He arrived a little before 10pm and brought a set of binoculars with him to see a detailed view of the structure. As he investigated the antenna, he noticed an object in the sky that quickly approached from the southwest. He immediately set down the binoculars and grabbed his Polaroid camera, hoping to get a photograph of the approaching object. As he snapped a photo, the object silently moved nearer to the observatory in the quiet night. The craft moved overhead and the quiet eerily transformed into a loud humming noise. The man looked into the sky and saw an object “as black as the Ace of Spades – like burned metal,” with no lights emanating from its surface. The object was larger than the antenna and spun like a top. The man fumbled his camera in an attempt to take another photograph and the object quickly disappeared into the night, leaving him in shock and disbelief. Read more about Greetings from Chanute!: Unidentified Flying Objects and Chanute Air Force Base
Part 2 highlights the National Council of Negro Women and the Medra Club.
Part 1 introduced W.I.R.E. Records, Daughters of Union Veterans Records, and the Near O’Kin Bridge Group.
The next and final part will feature Fortnightly Club Records and Carley Friendship Club Records. Read more about Recently Processed Women's Groups (Part 2)
“Roses are red, violets are blue;
A peek onto Main Street,
Will provide a story for you.”
- The Heart of Urbana Gremlin
The Morning Courier awoke to that mysterious greeting on their doorstep, February 14, 1979. Looking down the street, Courier reporters discovered that parking meters and store and office doors in the downtown Urbana area were festooned with Valentine’s greetings of red ribbon apparently the work of Urbana’s ‘Gremlin.’ Read more about Heart of Urbana Gremlin
Seven collections of women’s groups have recently been processed by Archives staff and are now available for researchers.Part 1 highlights W.I.R.E. Read more about Recently Processed Women's Groups (Part 1)
Christopher Brian Bridges, son of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges, was born in Champaign, Illinois on September 11th, 1977. Christopher spent his early years in the Champaign-Urbana area. At nine years old, Christopher moved to Chicago with his mother after his parents divorced. In Chicago, he attended Oak Park & River Forest High School. Christopher and his mother then relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where he finished high school and attended Georgia State University studying music management. Read more about Famous People from C-U: The Time Has Come