October 28, 2010

30th Christmas Candlelight Tours

The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County celebrates its 30th Christmas Candlelight Tours with “Vignettes of Christmas Past.” Decorations will sparkle in gold and silver, and candles will provide period atmosphere. Musicians Eric Steitz and Tony Blackford will provide music on the hammered dulcimer and flute, and the people of the Governor John Wood Mansion will be dressed in their best period attire. The Governor and Mrs. Wood will be at dinner with their guests.

This year’s theme will provide, in one vignette, a glimpse of the Wood family and friends at holiday dinner, and in another vignette, a look at the household staff as they prepare and serve the Governor and guests. Visitors will be gathered in small groups at the Visitor Center and escorted to the Mansion to eavesdrop on the family conversations, remaining at each venue for approximately five-minute intervals. This is a new opportunity for visitors to see the vignette format and experience first person interpretation in the Governor John Wood Mansion.

Free public and member tours will be offered December 10, 11, 12, and 26, 27. Tours will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each night. Quincy’s History Shop will be open each tour night from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and offers a wide selection gifts to please friends and family at Christmas and beyond.

The Governor John Wood Mansion is located at on the northeast corner of 12th and State Streets in Quincy. For further information please telephone 217-222-1835 Tuesday through Saturday, through December 22.

October 18, 2010

Memorial Bridge

Did You Know?

The Quincy Memorial Bridge was originally (& officially) called the Quincy Soldier's Memorial Bridge.

It was designed and built by the Strauss Engineering Company, the same company that designed and built the Golden Gate Bridge.

October 11, 2010

Mayor Wood

Did You Know?

John Wood was Mayor of Quincy three times. 1844-1848, 1852-1853, and 1856. Wood was elected to the Illinois state senate in 1850, and was elected Lt. Governor in 1856. In 1860, Wood took over the seat of Governor of Illinois after the death William Henry Bissell. Due to construction of a new home in Quincy, Wood petitioned that he be allowed to stay in Quincy during his term. Thus, the John Wood mansion temporarily became the Governor’s Mansion for the State of Illinois.

September 14, 2010

John Anderson Returns to Quincy

The Quincy Community Theater and The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County present “An Evening with John Anderson,” on Thursday, October 7th. John Anderson is a Quincy native, who appeared in the movie “Psycho,” on the television programs “Bonanza,” and “Gunsmoke,’” and on stage. With over 500 acting credits John is well remembered for his fine character portrayals including Abraham Lincoln. Filmed entirely in Quincy, “A House Divided,” will be shown for the first time in 40 years. This gala event will commence at 6:00 p.m. with refreshments and hors d’oeuvres in the theater lobby.

At 7:30pm, ticket holders will assemble in the theater and reacquaint themselves with John. Dr. Tim Jacobs of the Historical Society Board of Directors will present a retrospective on John’s acting career, his many ties to Quincy, and the filming, in Quincy, of “A House Divided.” This film was lost for a number of years and has just been found. The film was made with a cast of local “extras” in several locations around the city. The challenge will be in finding familiar faces in the crowd and recognizing where various scenes were filmed. Following the screening of “A House Divided” Dr. Jacobs will host a lively John Anderson discussion. This is an all-Quincy event, not to be missed. Make reservations early! Many surprises are in store!

All seating is reserved. Tickets at $20 include the pre-event social, the program, movie, and other surprises. Tickets may be obtained by phone at 217-222-3209, in person at the Quincy Community Theater box office, or at For further information telephone the Quincy Community Theater 217-222-3209 or the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County 217-222-1835, Tuesday through Friday 10:00am to 2pm.

September 11, 2010

Politsch Receipt Books

Receipt books from Poltisch Hardware, 835-838 South 8th in Quincy, and bank deposit bag for South Side Bank of Quincy.

These receipt books were acquired by Brian Inman...

"I think the year was 2005 and Mr. Politsch, the younger, had offered some items to the Quincy Community Theatre. I went to the old Politsch hardware to meet him and pick up the items. Mr. Politsch rolled up in his wheel chair to the front door of the old hardware store. He opened up the front door and it was like stepping back in time. I don’t know what year the hardware store closed but it looked like one day they just decided to lock the doors. There everything sat, shelves still full with new old merchandise. Old wooden and glass display cases. You could tell that they were very meticulous people.

Anyway, he showed me around and told me some stories. One story in particular about the hardware store being a very busy place for fur trappers and hunters. Folks would bring in their furs and the old man would give them cash on the spot. Here are some of the receipt books from those transactions."

39 skunk furs will net you nearly $86 in 1926.

Muskrat love

Happy New Year 1926.

Ace Power of Lima brought in the most muskrats from 1926-27.

Deposit Bag from the South Side Bank of Quincy.

September 9, 2010

Quincy Cubs 1973 Official Souvenir Program

Check out every page of this 1973 Midwest League Quincy Cubs Official Souvenir Game Program. Special thanks to Brian Inman for finding this Quincy "gem"...

September 2, 2010

First Saturday Walking Tours

The Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design's popular First Saturday Walking Tours program takes place the first Saturday of every month May through October. It takes place in a variety of neighborhoods in Quincy and features a variety of architectural styles and historical information. This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

There are only two dates left in this season's tour program. This Saturday morning, September 4th, at 10am... Meeting at 7th and Adams, St. Mary’s Church.

The last tour is October 2nd at 10am. 20th and Vermont, Bungalow District. More information to come regarding that.

The fee for the tour is $5 per person. Gardner Museum members are free. Participants are encouraged to wear good walking shoes and have the ability to climb stairs as occasionally a homeowner will invite everyone in for a tour.

September 1, 2010

The Saga of Lincoln's Huge Ear, a story by Gary Justis.

Stephen Douglas presented Abraham Lincoln with a six foot sculpture of an ear of corn. Right here in Quincy in 1858.


Read all about "Lincoln's Lost Ear" from Gary Justis of Bloomington.

(Remember folks, it's just a spoof.)

August 29, 2010

Tornado of April 1945

On Thursday, April 12, 1945, at 10:20pm just hours after residents learned of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a tornado struck Quincy without warning. Nineteen people were reported injured but no one died.

The storm had touched down in Palmyra, Missouri, before striking Quincy. It then continued on to Mendon, Plymouth, and Industry, Illinois.

Mayor Edward Schneidman declared a state of emergency. Governor Dwight Green activated the state militia, and nearly 175 state police officers were sent to Quincy. On Friday, sightseers were so thick that the militia has to fix bayonets to clear people from the streets.

Losses from the tornado were estimated at about $1 million.

A second serious storm hit the city on July 2. This storm destroyed many of the trees in the city, damaged numerous buildings, and cut CIPS transmission lines that interrupted services to all Adams County.

These two photos of the Adams County Court House looking at the East Wing from Vermont Street (facing north), the photo at the top of this post is from the Broadway Street side. All photographs are donated by the Historical Society of Quincy & Adams County and Arlene Middendorf. (you can click each image for a large version)...

Alley between 5th & 6th, on Hampshire next to the Hotel Quincy

East side of 4th Street, between Jersey & York

Rear of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Meyer-Schutter Grocery at 120 South 8th Street

Jefferson-Johnson Motors, 323 Maine Street

7th & Hampshire, south side of street next to Musselman Building

Hampshire Street between 5th & 6th Streets

Belasco Theater, 6th & Hampshire

Richardson Lubricating Company, Front Street

Consolidated Oil Building, Front Street

Hampshire between 6th & 7th, taken from rear of building

St. Peter's Catholic Church, 8th & Maine

South side of Hampshire, between 5th & 6th

Hampshire Street, between 5th & 6th, looking west

Rescue of two residents, rear of Werneth's Market, between 6th & 7th on Hampshire

St. Peter's Catholic Church

Stern Building, northwest corner of 5th & Hampshire

Chatten Implement Company, 10th & Broadway

Rear of St. Peter's Catholic Church, 8th & Maine

Between 5th & 6th, looking east down Hampshire

Between 6th & 7th, looking west down Hampshire

August 8, 2010

Quincy Buds Defeat the Chicago Cubs

While on a barnstorming tour two weeks before the 1907 World Series, the Chicago Cubs made a stop in Quincy. The Buds were part of the I-I League (the "Illinois-Iowa" League), and were a .500 team. The Cubs were just coming off a 116-36 season in 1906, and a 107-45 season in 1907. The 116 wins in the 1906 season was only matched by the 2001 Seattle Mariners (116-46), and the '06 Cubs 116-36 record still stands as the all-time best. The 1907 Cubs were considered one of the greatest baseball clubs ever assembled, with the legendary Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance combo patrolling the infield, and the most dominating pitching staff in the league with multiple 20 game winners. They would go on to sweep the Detroit Tigers in the World Series two weeks after the game in Quincy. That same Cubs team would also repeat as World Champs in 1908. As for this game against the Buds, on that September day in Quincy, the mighty Chicago Cubs lost, 5-2. Had it not been for 2 costly Quincy errors, the Cubs could have been shut out.