Some of the folks I met, and conversations I had, at Old Settlers' Day deserve their own blog post.
As I mentioned in "Story Musings" I had the pleasure of hearing Richard Hart discussing his pamphlet about the Underground Railroad in Springfield. This is available through the Sangamon County Historical Society (http://www.sancohis.org/). In the course of the short lecture Mr Hart talked about William K Donnegan's activities as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and as a friend of Abraham Lincoln. He also was brutally murdered during the 1908 Race Riot. His death was one of the major catalysts for the NAACP.
As I listened to Mr Hart explained where various individuals lived I began to realize that my grandparents had lived near a lot of history. And with my grandfather, Walter A. Townsend, being a newspaper editor that he would have known much of the pulse of the city. And I remembered that for a vital moment he entered history - he was one of the few that was a witness for the prosecution against the men who murdered Mr. Donnegan.
I also had pleasure of meeting one of the founders of the African American History Foundation (http://www.spiaahf.org/). He told me a little bit about the oral history program they are working on, and about the efforts for a dedicated museum.
Another historical group represented was the 114th Infantry Illinois Volunteers (http://www.114thillinois.com/). They had set up a display of a Civil War Field hospital, but due to the earlier threat of storm they had been established on the second floor the Strawbridge-Shepherd House. And really it looked rather realistic; the room was stark, and probably very similar to the many rooms, in the many houses, where such hospitals had been established after a battle.
The combination of historical interests offered a very enriching overview of what is offered in Springfield, and in Illinois.
I am a Springfield, IL based storyteller with a fascination for how folklore travels, and for history.