Saturday, June 14, 2008

Urban Frontier Exhibit

The second exhibition in the Farrell and Ann Gay Museum of Springfield History, lower level of the Iles House, is "Springfield as Urban Frontier, 1818-1836." About 75 persons attended the opening on May 29, 2008 and heard remarks by Farrell Gay, Linda Garvert, and Curtis Mann.

The exhibit displays photographs, documents, maps, tools, and household items. One outstanding item is a map of early Springfield, based on John Stuart’s description of the town upon his horseback arrival in 1828. The map was researched by Linda Garvert and painted by Sophia Lang.

The display presents Springfield life between 1818 and 1836, the pre-Lincoln period. Springfield began as an isolated log-cabin village, at the northern edge of Illinois settlement and the western edge of the American frontier. A town began to emerge with a post office, frame and brick residences, professionals, merchants and tradesmen. Roads brought trade goods and settlers, and by 1836, Springfield had access to many East Coast refinements.

Research: Curtis Mann and Linda Garvert of the Sangamon Valley Collection, Lincoln Library, the Illinois State Museum, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, the Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Floyd Mansberger of Fever River Research, and artist Sonia Lang.

Design: Edward Russo and Corrine Frisch of Sangamon Researchers.

Grant: Farrell and Ann Gay.

The Urban Frontier exhibit will run until October 1, 2008. The public may view it on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12-4 pm.

Pictures by Dick Hart