The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 27, 2012

Modes of travel

New postcard book now available

DANVILLE — Vermilion County always has been a transportation hub — from the trails used by Native Americans to a busy interstate highway system.

A new booklet published by the Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society takes a look at that history in its latest postcard book, “Plains, Trains and Other Wheels.”

This is the third book using old postcards to highlight unique aspects of Vermilion County.

Joann Shank, who used postcards from her collection and did the research, said of the book, “I’m happy with it. I think this area has a fantastic history.”

The spiral-bound book uses enlargements of 22 postcards, starting with the earliest form of transportation via the river systems and ending with a look at the area’s first aviators.

“Most people don’t realize the amount of aviation history (in the area),” Shank said.

There’s even a section on the Balloon Classic, which started in 1987 with 52 balloons and grew to become the first nationally sanctioned hot-air balloon event in Illinois.

Other postcards feature: a rural road near Potomac; a streetcar traveling on Vermilion Street; the Interurban station at Redden Square; a view of State Street in Georgetown at the turn of the century; Devil’s Backbone (a dirt road) in South Ross Township; a 1935 Ford touring sedan; and the Illini Swallow Lines.

The area’s rich railroad history is detailed, as well, in several postcards.

Cards show views of the Wabash Station at East Main and Washington streets; a railway post office; the Big Four Station on North Vermilion; a train wreck at Royal; the C&EI station on Kimball Street; the Illinois Central Railroad; and an electric rail car.

One card shows the Victorian elegance of a private railroad car owned by the very wealthy.

Older people in the county may remember the C&EI station, which was called the Fairchild Street Station when it was built in 1915, the same year that the nearby subway was built.

The station, which is still standing, but deteriorating, once was called “a thing of beauty and joy,” and was a bustling place.

Carolyn Livingston, president of the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society, remembers going to the station to pick up visitors. In fact, several postcards jog memories for the Danville native.

A friend who read the book said, “It’s a history of things we remember,” Livingston said, adding, “That’s what appeals to a great many people. It’s the way it used to be.”

Livingston also is pleased with the book. “Joann put an awful lot of effort into researching this,” she said. “The information wasn’t always available.”

Shank said doing the research was the most intense part of the project.

She has between 800 and 1,000 postcards in her collection featuring places and things from St. Joseph to Covington, Ind., and from Chrisman to Milford. However, she tries to keep her research tied to Vermilion County.

“I could do four or five more books and not repeat a card,” she said.

Shank already has a couple of ideas for next year’s book.

It’s important to keep the history alive, she said. “We’re losing that history — we need to get the young people interested. If we don’t get that information out there, a lot of things won’t be remembered.”

The last two postcard books have been printed in-house by the society, and more copies can be printed if there is a demand. The other books are “Welcome to Downtown Danville” and “Let Us Entertain You.”

The books are fundraisers for IGHS, which gets no government money; instead, it relies on membership fees, donations and fundraisers.

FYI

“Plains, Trains and Other Wheels” is available at the Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society, 215 W. North St. The office is closed until Jan. 3. After that, its hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; its number is 431-8733.

The book, which costs $20, also is available at the Fischer Theatre gift shop in downtown Danville, Charlotte’s restaurant, 402 N. Gilbert St., and the Vermilion County Museum.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Police, Fire Reports

    August 22, 2014

  • Donate tennis shoes Sunday

    August 22, 2014

  • Tilton board approves new TIF district

    Village trustees took the first step Thursday toward enticing more economic development in the village by approving an agreement with Moran Economic Development of Edwardsville to create a second tax increment funding district.

    August 22, 2014

  • New program to help Hoopeston Area students

    Karla Coon, the director of Danville Area Community College's Hoopeston site, and high school principal Larry Maynard presented a new idea to the Hoopeston School Board at Thursday's meeting.

    August 22, 2014

  • Man to face trial on battery charges DANVILLE — A local man will be held over for trial in connection with allegations he severely abused an infant last month.Benjamin K. Smith, 25, of Oakwood, appeared in Vermilion County Circuit Court for an afternoon preliminary hearing on charges of

    August 22, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleWednesdayA man arrested for disorderly conduct in the 1200 block of North Walnut Street.A man arrested for reckless driving in the 600 block of East Williams Street.Disorderly conduct in the 100 block of R

    August 22, 2014

  • Police step up traffic patrols around schools DANVILLE — Police are taking over the role of teachers beginning this week, using enforcement to remind drivers about the traffic laws around schools.It’s been almost three months since local students made the trek to school. With Danville District 1

    August 22, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Tuesday, 10:49-11 a.m. — A medical call in the 600 block of Plum Street.Tuesday, 1:55-3:02 p.m. — A gas leak reported at 2606 N. Vermilion St.Tuesday, 2:15-2:20 p.m. — A private alarm at the Village Mall,

    August 22, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    August 21, 2014

  • NWS-CN 08-21 Bomb photo Bomb scare empties city block

    DANVILLE — Emergency personnel shut down a city block and evacuated several businesses following a suspicious package found along North Walnut Street.Danville police were contacted a little after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after a black suitcase was discov

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
NDN Video
Battle of the Butts at the 2014 MTV VMAs! Four-Year-Old Reviews Exclusive Restaurant's $295 Fixed Price Menu Mariah Orders Nick Cannon to Stay Quiet About Divorce Details U.S. Military Strategy Against ISIS The London Zoo holds its annual animal weigh-in VIDEO: Goliath Grouper eats shark in one bite Rapper Almost Walks Off CNN Over Ferguson Coverage 2 American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital Whoa! Jimmy Fallon Shaves Jared Leto's Beard US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Amazing Encounter With Sea Otter Caught on Video Motorcyclist Sticks Landing Sicilian hilltop homes on sale for one euro Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Joel McHale Interviews Chelsea This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet
Must Read