Starting March 19, the museum, located at CityView in the Illinois Terminal Building, will be open daily. Weekdays you can visit from 4–8; Saturdays from 10–5; and Sundays from 1–5.
T.J. Blakeman, Chair of the Historical Committee shared some sneak peeks of what you will find when you visit. Among his favorites are a ball and chain from the original jail, a carefully preserved registry from the first horse drawn rail line between Champaign and Urbana, and some of the period clothing from each era. These, along with never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia, are displayed in 30-year segments at the museum.
Boys will thrill at the authentic badge collection from the police department, the display of fire helmets, and the full collection of WWI and WWII uniforms. Girls will delight in the cash register from Robeson’s Department store, historic pieces from the Rialto Theater, as well as a chronicle of old photographs detailing Champaign-Urbana’s changing hemlines and fashion history. All will appreciate a better sense of the journey through time that Champaign has taken. T.J. says, “Anyone wanting to experience the history of Champaign will enjoy this exhibit. The collection of photos and artifacts has either never or rarely been seen by the public.”
The average visitor can plan to spend about an hour in the museum, with more time needed for the true history buff. Storytelling is available every Monday at 6p.m. and every Saturday at 11:00a.m. For more information about the museum and other 150th events you can visit Champaign150.com.
The museum is free to the public and would be a great event to combine with a nice breakfast at Sam’s Café or a late-afternoon sweet treat. Saturday, March 20th from 3–4, Cakes on Walnut and chambanamoms are hosting a story hour. Purchase a cupcake and receive a free milk.
Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Instead of collecting seashells and sunburns during spring break, you and your family can, instead, collect historical facts and cherished memories right here in Chambana.