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Local History and Genealogy Blog

Living in Stadium Terrace: Housing the University of Illinois’ G.I. Students

Student Housing, G.I. Bill, University of Illinois

At the end of World War II, the United States created an assitance program for returning veterans to help with the return to civilian life. This was known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, commonly identified as the G.I. Bill. One of the most visible benefits in the Champaign-Urbana area was the low-cost student housing situated across the street from Memorial Stadium: Stadium Terrace. 

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New Database - MyHeritage

MyHeritage Library Edition is the latest addition to the Champaign County Historical Archives’ array of resources to aid in the research of local history and genealogy. It’s a global genealogy database that provides access to records from all over the world-including birth, death, military, and immigration. Coverage starts from the 16th century and includes the US and UK federal census, historical photographs, wills, government records, yearbooks and passenger lists, among other resources.

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The Era of Railroads

The Archives received a new donation this week. A beautiful map depicting the railroad lines in Illinois as they existed in 1892. Officially tilted “Railroad map of Illinois, 1892 prepared under the direction of and presented by, John R. Wheeler, Isaac N. Phillips, and J.C. Willis, Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners” the map was presented as part of the Illinois Railroad and Warehouse Commission’s 21st annual report in 1891.

1892 Railroad Map Legend

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At UIUC, Before There Was "Unofficial", There Was...Halloween!

This article "Officials ponder putting hex on UI Halloween" was printed in the October 15, 1989 News-Gazette. In a pumpkin shell, the article states that the celebration of Halloween on campus started about 1975 "with crowds spilling into the streets and challenging police in impromptu drunken revelry. Police responded with riot gear and dogs."

Ban on UIUC Halloween?, News Gazette, October 15, 1989

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The Old Homer Park

It is always nice to visit local parks!  Homer Park (now park of Homer Lake Forest Preserve) was a popular 14-acre destination park located on the Salt Fork River during the first half of the twentieth century. The park was popular for parties, reunions, weddings, and July 4th celebrations. 

Homer Park Bridge, 1907

 Above is the Homer Park Pedestrian Bridge/Illinois Traction System Railroad Bridge, photographed in 1907, with onlookers observing a water chute rider. 

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