Local History and Genealogy Blog

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

Say Goodbye to Winter!

kids building a snow Fort, 1985

Kids build a snow fort, 1985

With the snow storm this past weekend, it may be easy to forget that winter is on its way out. Here is a look at some of my favorite Champaign County winter pictures for your enjoyment.

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Champaign’s gambling hotspots in 1937

Floor plan for the Turf Club located at 113 ½ & 115½ N. Market St., Champaign In 1937, an unnamed Evening Courier reporter made a survey of the gambling conditions in Champaign. His 9-part series appeared nightly in the Evening Courier beginning April 29, 1937 and ending May 9, 1937. He found that even though gambling houses were hidden behind ambiguously marked doors, steep staircases, and peepholes, they were an open secret available to anyone.  Read more about Champaign’s gambling hotspots in 1937

Scanning at the Archives

Epson 10000 flatbed scanner computer station

Scanning station with the flatbed Epson 10000 scanner attached to a computer. 


Here in the Archives we are often asked about our scanning capabilities. Below you will find some of our most asked questions and their answers:

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