Local History and Genealogy Blog
It might be hard to believe – but for the first 67 years of it's history, Urbana did not have a fire department.
That changed in 1900, when William H. Roughton organized a volunteer fire department, the town’s first.
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
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
In 1975, William Elliot Dye became Champaign’s first black Chief of Police. Dye’s appointment was an important moment in the city’s history, as officials struggled to bring diversity and fairness to local government. Read more about William Dye: A Local Trailblazer
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.Read more about Say Goodbye to Winter!