Local History and Genealogy Blog

Chanute’s Great Parachute Rescue

Parachute accident at Chanute Field, 1931

Shown above is Private Harold Osborne attempting his graduation jump for completing parachute training in 1931 at Chanute Field. Unfortunately, Osborne’s parachute caught in the tail assembly of the plane during the jump. The pilot, Lieutenant Charles H. Deerwester, was forced to circle above Rantoul for over an hour as Osborne hung by the cords of his trapped parachute. Read more about Chanute’s Great Parachute Rescue

The Snowiest Time of the Year

1977,1978 and 1979 were particularly snowy years in Champaign County.

1977 got off to a cold and snowy start. Throughout the month of January, record low temperatures closed schools across the county, and ice and snow drifts made many country roads impassable. By months end, fuel reserves throughout the state were depleted, prompting many to worry about remaining warm (Courier, January 27, 1977).  Read more about The Snowiest Time of the Year

Snow Days at Chanute

The Chanute Collection includes photographs of Chanuters finding creative ways to survive the snowy winters while stationed in Rantoul.

                                     Chanute snowmobile, 1917 Read more about Snow Days at Chanute

Using FamilySearch Records

FmailySearch logo

On January 6, 2011 the Champaign County Historical Archives (CCHA) became an Affiliate Library of FamilySearch’s Research and Library System. This allowed patrons to order microfilm from FamilySearch and have it sent to CCHA for viewing. 

FamilySearch discontinued its microfilm circulation services on September 7, 2017 and has replaced it with digital access. Over 1.5 million microfilm have been digitized by FamilySearch, with additional films being scanned at a rate of 1000 films per day. They hope to have the digitization completed by the end of 2020. Read more about Using FamilySearch Records