South Side Square - 1883

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Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.

(Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Wilbur O. Hale)
As nearly as we can ascertain, the planked pavements laid around the Square in the 1850's were in use until sometime in the early 1880's, when they were superseded by wood-block paving, which older residents of Springfield remember very well. Today we take you back to the Springfield of 1883 when the south side of the Square was receiving this improvement. We fix that date by the ragged appearance of the trees in the Court House grounds, reflecting the havoc of the great Sleet Storm of Feb., 1883. Note the piles of cedar blocks along Adams Street and the workmen busily engaged in laying them over the planked pavement. The setting is a familiar one, the view being to the east, with the noted clocktower Baptist Church in the distance at 7th Street. Bressmer's dry goods store then occupied the southeast corner of 6th and Adams, where Roland's now stands. Across the street, on the site of the Illinois Building, was Hall & Herrick's clothing store, with the Furlong and Reisch & Thoma dry goods establishments and Simmons book store north of it. Note the elevated roof on two of those store buildings - on the third floor of that frontage was the famous Cook's Hall, long linked with musical and literary events of Old Springfield.

Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.