#SmallTownSaturday – Galena, IL

View of the Galena River

*Originally posted on August 12, 2017*

This week we’re traveling to the hilly northwest corner of Illinois! Today’s #SmallTownSaturday is Galena, IL (population 3,255).

Although the official town of Galena was organized in 1826, Native American tribes had lived in the region for hundreds of years prior to the creation of the city, mining the natural lead found around the area. In fact, the town name stems from galena, the term for the natural form of lead sulphide.

As settlers came to the area to make their fortunes mining the natural minerals in and around Galena, the town attracted some important figures in U.S.… Read More

Illinois Bicentennial

200 - Illinois Bicentennial

*Originally posted on December 19, 2017*

In 2018, Illinois will celebrate 200 years of statehood! For the bicentennial, the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections will kick off a year-long celebration of the Prairie State’s fascinating history.

Starting in January, we will focus on a different theme in Illinois history each month. Themes will include: women in Illinois, stories of Civil War soldiers from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, LGBTQ+ history in Illinois, Illinois colleges, crime and criminals, sports, and others. Follow along on our social media platforms to learn more about these and other topics in Illinois history.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/illinoisIHLC/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/illinoisihlc/?hl=enRead More

#SmallTownSaturday – Lincoln, IL

Abraham Lincoln in 1857

We’re travelling to Lincoln, IL (pop. 13,969) for today’s #SmallTownSaturday feature. (It also happens to fit in with our Abraham Lincoln theme for January, what a coincidence!)

While there are many towns in the United States named after the 16th president, Lincoln, IL is the only town that was named after Abraham Lincoln before he was elected president in 1860.

Abraham Lincoln’s involvement in the area now known as Lincoln, IL (then named Postville, IL) goes back to his days as a lawyer in the 1830s and 1840s. At that time, Postville was located in Sangamon County, the same county as Springfield, IL, where Abraham Lincoln lived and worked.Read More

#SmallTownSaturday – Long Grove, IL

Mill Pond Shoppes, located in the historic downtown district of Long Grove.

*Originally posted on July 29, 2017*

Long Grove, Illinois (population 8,166), this week’s #SmallTownSaturday feature, stands out as the site of the state’s first historic district. Established in the 1840’s, Long Grove has evolved from a small settlement of German pioneers into a charming historic village less than 40 miles northwest of Chicago.

Virginia L. Park celebrates the village and its legacy in Long Grove Lore and Legend (1978) through a compilation of historical records, personal accounts, and photographs. In her book, Park records the history of one of Long Grove’s oldest establishments, the present-day Village Tavern, established by the Zimmer family in 1847 and lauded in its early days for “the high class of refreshments served and the good order at all times maintained,” as well as its “fine pool table…kept in the best possible condition.”Read More