click to enlarge Grants preserve local history
Vachel Lindsay’s poem, Lincoln, was the inspiration for this three-foot-tall hat, by Springfield artist Felicia Olin.

The Sangamon County Historical Society recently awarded four grants for special projects that help preserve and promote local history.

Friends of the Original Leland Farm House Inc. – $1,000 to restore the 1860s Farm House Summer Kitchen which was moved from its original site in Leland Grove to Washington Park. Funds will be used to reinstall a staircase, door and windows and a brick walkway outside the historic building. The summer kitchen will house displays about the Leland family and original farmhouse.

Illinois State Museum Society – $900 to restore Vachel Lindsay's Lincoln Top Hat at the entrance to the Illinois State Museum. The three-foot-tall fiberglass version of Lincoln's stovepipe hat was painted by artist Felicia Olin in 2009 as part of the city's "Hats Off to Lincoln" project celebrating the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.

Oak Ridge Cemetery – $1,000 to create a brochure and map which will identify and celebrate distinguished individuals of color buried at the cemetery. The booklet will assist descendants, historians and others in locating burial markers of African Americans interred at the cemetery.

Preservation Inc. – $1,000 to repair the damaged ceiling and walls in practice rooms around the stage of the 1908 music conservatory on the former Ursuline Academy campus.

All projects are to be completed between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. To learn more about local history and the Sangamon County Historical Society, go to or call 217-525-1961. 

About The Author

Karen Ackerman Witter

Karen Ackerman Witter started freelance writing after a 35-year career in state government holding various senior leadership positions. Prior to retiring she was associate director of the Illinois State Museum for 14 years. She is the past president of the Kidzeum Board of Directors and is an active volunteer...

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