The images below are from the exhibition produced by the Historical Administration program's class of 1996-7. A Railroad Runs Through It: The Architectural History of Six Towns in Central Illinois was a collaborative effort with the staff of the Early American Museum in Mahomet, Illinois, and was made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council.
The exhibit examines six towns in central Illinois during the 1850s when communities sprang up almost overnight as the Illinois Central and other railroads brought new opportunities to the sparsely populated region. Each of the towns featured in the exhibit: Mattoon, Tuscola, Tolono, Champaign, Rantoul and Paxton, explores a different topic linking it to the Illinois Central Railroad and architecture, such as, city planning, agriculture, commerce and education.
It opened on May 2, 1997 and will run through the end of the year after which time it will travel to the six towns represented in the exhibit through 1998. For more information about the traveling exhibit's schedule, please contact Tim Talbott, Early American Museum, 217-586-2612.
The Early American Museum will also be the site of the exhibit produced by the class of 1997-8. Well into the planning stages, Pastimes: The Changing Role of Leisure, 1830-1960, will also have a traveling component thanks to a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. Scheduled to open the first week in May, you can check this web site in early spring for an update on the progress of this exhibit.
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