Thursday, March 6, 2014

State historical society moving to historic home on UIS campus

It seems only fitting that the Illinois State Historical Society be housed in a historic building.

The society on Thursday is moving its headquarters from what its director calls an “invisible” location downtown to the Strawbridge-Shepherd House on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

The Strawbridge-Shepherd House, built in the 1840s, was scheduled for demolition in 2006 when the Elijah Iles House Foundation and UIS joined forces to stop demolition and begin restoring the house, which had been purchased in 1970 but was never used by then-Sangamon State University.

UIS owns the house on the south end of its campus, but leases it to the Iles House Foundation, which is subleasing it to the ISHS, said society executive director Bill Furry.

UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said the historical society moving to the house brings to fruition a dream of Robert Spencer, the first president of the university.

She said Spencer, in 1971, wrote to Robert Howard, president of the Sangamon County Historical Society, proposing that the Strawbridge-Shepherd House be preserved and suggesting it could be used by organizations with interests in historical preservation, history and community service.

The story was published in The State Journal-Register on March 6, 2014.

Read the article online