Local history

Local history

Happy Thanksgiving from Local History and Genealogy!

In honor of Thanksgiving, here are some historical facts about to share at your dinner table. We hope you have a wonderful holiday, and we'll see you back at the Archives on Friday. 

  • This mayoral proclamation appeared in the Champaign Gazette and Union on November 18, 1868:

Champaign Gazette and Union, 18 November 1868, p. 1

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Walter C. Glines: Business Owner, Circus Performer

Walter C. Glines, ca. 1910, in a contorted position atop a stool

Walter C. Glines was the well-known proprietor of Gline’s Penny Store in Champaign, which he opened during World War I and managed until his retirement in 1956. However, before moving to Champaign and becoming a business owner, Mr. Glines had a successful career as a circus performer.

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Local Information—For Your Convenience

You may visit us for our books, computer lab, programs or genealogical resources, but The Urbana Free Library can also be your go-to source for local information. We can help make your life easier by providing one convenient place to obtain many different handouts or snippets of news or to take care of daily tasks.

Our cultural and community information bulletin boards are packed with posters announcing performances, meetings, official announcements, and local activities. Read more about Local Information—For Your Convenience

The Benefits of Fresh Air in Education

The open air school movement was based on the concept that fresh air, proper ventilation, and exposure to the outside contributed to good health. Originating in Europe, the United States model was quickly adopted as a way to provide care and education for children who were anemic, malnourished, or who had been exposed to tuberculosis. The first open air school in the United States was located in Providence, Rhode Island (1908).

While in Europe, the schools were usually conducted in forests or rural compounds, the open air schools in the United States were often placed in unused school buildings, ferryboats, roofs, porches, or tents [1]. The Chicago Tuberculosis Institute conducted the first open air school in Chicago in cooperation with the school board during the summer of 1909. It was so successful that a year-round school was opened on the Mary Crane Nursery roof in Chicago’s city center [2]. In addition to the benefits of fresh air, hygiene and nutrition were also emphasized. Students were fed a morning snack, a hot dinner, and a glass of milk if possible [3].

Open Air School #1 and #2 - On roof of Mary Crane Nursery, Chicago, IL

Open Air School #1 and #2 - On roof of Mary Crane Nursery, Courtesy of The Library of Congress

 

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Pinning Down Your Family History: How Pinterest can help you display, organize, and share your family and community history

Want to learn creative ways to make your family history more accessible? Interested in participating in a local community online “pinboard?” This program will give you the skills you need to confidently use Pinterest to compliment your family history and local history research. Participants will learn the basics of Pinterest, as well as how to effectively share and organize family photos, memories, and documents. Read more about Pinning Down Your Family History: How Pinterest can help you display, organize, and share your family and community history