Local History and Genealogy Blog

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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What a Picture Can Tell You…

Horse-drawn dairy wagon, with young teenage male standing in wagon door  Reverse of dairy wagon photograph

E.N. Kirby Dairy was owned by Eugene N. Kirby. He was born in Edwardsville, IL in 1871. By the late 1890s, according to the city directories, he was working for Charles A. Haines a dairyman in Champaign. In 1903, Kirby married Haines’ daughter Carrie Amelia Haines, and eventually opened a diary under his own name. Both the Haines farm and the Kirby residence were on the border of sections 13 and 24 in Champaign Township the current location of Kirby Avenue by Hessel Park. Read more about What a Picture Can Tell You…

Magnavox Company, Urbana

 Magnavox company, Urbana, Illinois

Recently, the community has been discussing the property of the Dart/Solo Cup plant located on the corner of Washington Street and Lierman Avenue in Urbana, former home to Urbana’s Magnavox plant. Check out the links below to Tom’s Mailbag from the News-Gazette to learn more about the conversation:

Read more about Magnavox Company, Urbana

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