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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.
Read more about The Era of Railroads
We’ve added 3 new albums to our digital collections. They feature the Illinois Central Railroad, African American Community leaders, and churches throughout Champaign County.
The Illinois Central Railroad Company, incorporated in 1851, took advantage of an 1850 charter that allowed using public land for railroads. Its first railroad would run diagonally northwest with a branch to Chicago. In Champaign, a Power House was built on Wabash with barns for housing and repairing trains nearby, the freight house was located off Neil, the tower was put east of the freight house and along the Belt Line and the station was on University St. In Urbana, the depot was on Broadway with its powerhouse off Main.
Read more about New Digital Collections in the Archives
Railroads have been a large part of the Illinois landscape for nearly two centuries. They have reshaped the terrain, commerce and even towns and cities. One such location completely transformed by railroads was the city of Champaign. Read more about How a Railroad Company Helped Create a City
As we wind down another contentious campaign season, it's worth remembering that Champaign and Urbana served as campaign stops for several candidates battling for the White House over the years. Here then are just a few images from Champaign-Urbana's political past.