Saturday, December 31, 2005

UIS Archives

As Springfield grows more active in preserving its heritage, local archives of historic material become increasingly important. In months to come we will feature some of these collections and the treasures they are safekeeping.

The Historical and Manuscript Collections at the University of Illinois at Springfield contain a wealth of papers and objects that document area and regional history.

From the collection home page, you may view a list of the items and then click through to use a finding aid or see an online exhibit.

One example is the collection of Robert Guymon, containing letters written by such eminences as Elijah Iles, Shelby Cullom, Jabez Capps, and Logan Hay. Included are a 1901 menu from the Leland Hotel, color snapshots of graves at Oak Ridge Cemetery, and a set of historic postcards of Springfield scenes, 1877-1911.

The card above depicts the Washington Park Pavilion, ca. 1906; below is downtown Fifth Street looking north, ca. 1905. The ironwork archway at Fifth and Washington is just visible at the rear, left of the old Illinois National Bank Building.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Winter Evenings

Iles House tours are becoming quite popular, with 300 to 500 guests turning out each weekend to admire the home by day or candle light, and also to see the holiday decorations.

On exhibit are rare items from the David Barringer Collection, described in an exhibition catalog prepared by Floyd Mansberger. The catalog is availble for sale at the House.

The house looks good by night or day, especially with a fresh coat of snow. Call (217) 492-5929 to inquire about tour hours.

All photos by Dulany Sriner and copyright 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

More Candlelight

In the spirit of the holidays, here are more candlelight pictures of Iles House interiors by Dulany Sriner. He now has a web site available to offer prints of his excellent photos.

Two local history sites have recently come online: Springfield Rewind by Russ Friedewald and New Springfield by Larry Stevens, a great-grandson of Latham and Lyna Souther, former owners of the Elijah Iles House. Russ features changes in town architecture and Larry's interests include genealogy and Vachel Lindsay.

I am including permanent links to their sites on the right and to my SHS '58 blog, which often includes items on Springfield history. It's great to see so much interest in preserving our town's long and lively past.