Monday, June 29, 2009

Sept 14, 1894:

So now you know...

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash t he wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

Mill Creek 1906 Baptism:

they had to break the ice to do it...thought you might like to see how it used to be done...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunday Drive- Villa Grove:

train depot at Villa Grove
M.E. Church
and two vintage postcards are all the images I have on Villa Grove
Have a good weekend!

So now you know:

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

Weird but true:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Survey question:

For the ones who posted "other" on the survey of things they wanted to see- Could you leave a comment or email me and let me know what "other" you would like to see on the post?

If you would like to see a certain family tree, that would be helpful to me also. I have so many of them, you could be waiting a long time before yours comes up. You can also see some of them at City Hall. I still have some here and the original 50 settlers are being copied by Jeannie Rankins right now for the museum.

Also- you can use the search box in the upper left of the page and search this blog for a certain person or event and all posts on this blog will pop up for you on that subject, so you don't have to go back and search every single post.

Thanks to all of you who have been doing the surveys.

Articles on John A. Titus:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

John Skelton killed by train- May 25, 1900 article:

The article contains information that would not be printed today. All the newspapers of this time were this graphic.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stanley Cash Home, 1878-2007:

Stanley Cash home before renovations in the 1970's

post card of the Inn

old photo
the next pictures are of the inside of the Inn when it was open to the public

the following photos are of the fire taken by Janice Hunt

Historic Inn on the Square will be closing
By ROB STROUD, Staff Writer
OAKLAND -- A newspaper advertisement about a country inn that was for sale brought Gary and Linda Miller to Oakland in 1986.

As the Millers followed Illinois Route 133 into town, they got their first look at the two-story Colonial-style mansion on the north side of the square. It was love at first sight.

"We looked out and saw it and we knew that was it. We just knew we had to have it," Gary Miller said of their future Inn on the Square. The Millers befriended the inn's owners, Max and Caroline Coon, and ultimately purchased it from them in 1992.

After operating the Inn on the Square for nearly 13 years, the Millers are preparing to say farewell to their beloved bed and breakfast, and tea room. They plan to retire and move to the Quad-Cities area in northwest Illinois to be close to their family.

Today will be the last day that the tea room is open for lunch, the inn's last guests will stay Sunday evening, and an auction of much of the business' contents is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday. The building's new owners, a family, plan to use it as a private residence.

"It's going to be a hard day (today). It will probably take a little while for the shock to set in that it's the last day," Mrs. Miller said. "We have found some very good friends here. It's going to be a sad day when we walk out."

Mrs. Miller said the official announcement about the Inn on the Square's closure has prompted many customers to pay their final visits. She served more than 70 customers for lunch on Thursday, normally a quiet day, and expects a sizable turnout today during Oakland's Garden Faire.

Customers have been browsing through the inn's antique, clothing and gift shops for bargains; having a final lunch accompanied by orange spice tea; and taking poppy seed dressing and fruit bread to go.

"We make that by hand. It's homemade," Miller said of the inn's signature dressing and bread.

Mrs. Miller said one of the hardest things about retiring is knowing how many people are going to miss the inn.

The bed and breakfast has hosted a wide variety of guests, including some from as far away as France, Germany and Japan. The tea room has been the regular location of meetings for the Oakland Lions Club, Oakland Chamber of Commerce and other groups.

Chamber board President Kyle Phillips said as a small town, it is sad for Oakland to lose a business like the Inn on the Square. He added the inn has often hosted guests connected with Eastern Illinois University. He was hopeful another bed and breakfast will open in Oakland, which currently has no other commercial lodging business.

Phillips said the Millers have been active in Oakland and their presence will be missed. "We are sad to see them go. They have been a mainstay here in the community for many years now," Phillips said.

The house that is now the Inn on the Square was occupied from 1878 to 1958 by the Stanley M. Cash family and its descendants. Cash's great nephew, Rolla Foley, purchased the house in 1977 and remodeled it.

Max and Caroline Coon purchased the house in 1986 and opened it as a Country Inn and Tea Room. Before buying the inn, Miller had a background in hotel management and Mrs. Miller worked in bookkeeping.

Miller said the Coons established a good business at the inn and he and his wife have been proud to operate it.

"We have not been disappointed. The inn has been very good to us and so have the customers," he said.

Former Inn on the Square destroyed by Saturday blaze
By DAVE FOPAY, Staff Writer
OAKLAND -- Richard Puski looked up at the charred shell that had been his home and pondered his family’s future.

“We’d just put the house on the market,” he said Sunday morning, explaining his company had transferred him. “I don’t know what we’ll do now.”

Puski had little else to say about the fire that destroyed his house, which most Oakland residents still likely call the Inn on the Square. The historic building that last housed a bed and breakfast before Puski bought it for a residence was destroyed in a fire that started early Saturday afternoon.

Oakland Fire Department Chief John Henry estimated 100,000 gallons of water were poured on the fire from the time departments arrived about 1 p.m. Saturday until they left the scene about 2 a.m. Sunday.

“It’s one of the biggest fire’s Oakland’s had,” he said. “It’s just a shame.”

Henry said an explosion in the building’s basement caused the fire. It blew out the windows of the home’s basement and kitchen and “was felt blocks away,” he said.

An inspector with the State Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire until early Sunday morning, Henry added, but the amount of water in the basement and the extent of the damage prevented a cause from being determined.

Henry also said one of Puski’s sons was burned in the fire, but was treated for the injury and was back in Oakland shortly afterward.

The house was engulfed by the time fire crews arrived, so work concentrated on preventing the flames from damaging neighboring buildings, Henry said. The Oakland Christian Church, “not more than 10 feet away” to the building’s west, ended up with only a few roof shingles missing, he noted.

“That was pretty amazing,” Henry said. “It was our main goal: no further damage to any of the buildings around.”

The Oakland department was aided by crews from Charleston, Kansas, Ashmore, Brocton, Newman and Hindsboro. Henry said the city’s water tower was drained within an hour and trucks then went to other towns and to Lake Oakland for water.

“Those guys were priceless,” Henry said of the assisting departments. “Without them, we couldn’t have done it.”

Several people were still mingling around the scene late Sunday morning, looking at the damage to the building that had been a part of Oakland’s city square for more than 100 years.

The bed and breakfast in the building closed in June 2005 after owners Gary and Linda Miller sold it. It first opened as an inn and tea room in 1986.

The house was also a private residence from 1878 to 1958, occupied by the Stanley Cash family and its descendants. A Cash family member bought the house in 1977 and remodeled it.
Published on Sunday, March 25, 2007 10:09 PM CDT
Copyright © 2009 Journal Gazette and Times-Courier, divisions of Lee Enterprises.
No portion of this site may be published or broadcast without the newspapers' permission.

Inn on the Square: Traveler Reviews

“Wonderful Stay” Apr 29, 2005 - ZuzuMax

Inn on the Square
ZuzuMax 6 contributions
Apr 29, 2005
2/3 found this review helpful
We spent one night at the Inn on the Square and it was great. The room was huge and the rate ($65) was very good. Our room had two double beds and they were very comfortable. Everything was very clean and comfortable. There is a "library" that has a small tv and a few chairs. We spent a lot of time in that room and it was just fine. There is an antique store, a clothing store, and a little gift store (mostly candles) on site. The best part of the stay was the breakfast. It is made by the owner and it was absolutely delicious! We loved the simple touches she added to make it very homey. When we arrived downstairs for breakfast, there was orange juice, honeydew melon, and nut bread waiting for us. The breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese mixed in, delicious potatoes, and raisin bread. It was all wonderful. The Inn also hosts a brunch on Sundays for the public. Oakland is a very, very small town so there isn't much to do, but that's the beauty of it. You can browse around antique stores and visit the Amish communities, but it is also nice just to relax and read a book in the library or walk around the square. I would definitely stay there again.
• Date of Stay: April 2005
• Member since: March 08, 2005
• I recommend this hotel for: Young singles, Older travelers, Families with teenagers
Oakland Illinois Bed and Breakfast near Museum of Christian Heritage
Inn on the Square
3 Montgomery Street
Oakland, Illinois 61943
United States
FAX: 217-346-2005

(Calculated from a total of 5 ratings)
Rate this Inn
Check this Inn's Availability

Welcome to Inn on the Square . . . offering a potpourri of the village experience, we specialize in fine food and a friendly atmosphere. Best of all is the return of bed and breakfast tourism, blending the old with the new, we offer you warm hospitality and simple country pleasures, as well as historical sites, recreational activities, shopping excursions, and plain old 'sittin' and 'rockin.'

Our guest rooms are colonial style and comfortable. Relax in the library with a good book, jig-saw puzzle or the evening news. Wander the village shops around the town square or sit on the large colonial porch of the Inn. Antiques, gifts, flowers, crafts and ladies apparel shops will pique your curiosity, while our tea room offers simple but elegant luncheons and dinners for you and your friends. Open 11 AM- 2 PM, Monday through Saturday and Sunday 11am - 2pm for our Prime Rib Buffet.

The University of Illinois is a short 45 miles north, Eastern Illinois University is a short 20 miles west and Indiana State Univeristy is a short 45 miles east, also an Amish settlement is 15 miles west.

Owner(s): Gary & Linda Miller
Open Since: 1986
We Accept: Visa, Mastercard and Checks
Price Range: US$65 - 65 (US Dollars)
No. of Rooms with Private Bath: 3
Dates Closed, if Any: none

Location: In small town

Amenities: Restaurant on site, In-room or on-deck coffee/tea service, Suites available, Meeting rooms/facilities, Crib available, Children possible, No smoking, Gift shop on site, Private porch, Banquet facilities, Box lunches, Full breakfast, Sitting room/library, Antiques, Television in parlor and Air conditioning

Winter Sports: Snowshoeing, Ice fishing and Cross-country skiing

Sight - Seeing: Amusement park, Historical village/park, Amish community, Historical site/district and Museum

Water Sports: Fishing, Paddleboat rentals and Swimming

Other Sports: Golf

Out In The Town: Crafts and Antique shops/malls

Out In Nature: Hiking trails
Memberships: (* = organization inspected the inn, + = organization is PAAAC approved)
* + Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association

Area Attractions:
Illinois' largest Amish community , Landmark's Museum Complex, Museum of Christian Heritage, Rockome Gardens Amusement Park(Apr-Dec)

These recreational facilities and attractions are all within 20 miles of Inn on the Square.


Oakland 1899

11th- Death- Robert Miller Black- born 1845- married to Mary E Hutchings & Laura Catherine Moore
16th-Birth- Eva Mae Tague – married to Harlan Frederick Daugherty

7th- Birth- Mary Margarite Goble to George Washington Goble & Arletta Ann Geyer
9th- Death- Walter Stewart born 1885 to Marion Francis Stewart & Josephine Villani Humphrey
15th- Marriage- Leonard L Swinford & Amanda Elisabeth Allen

1st- Marriage- Charles K Miller & Lucinda Swinford

5th- Marriage- William T Swinford & Mary Sutlon
18th- Death- Hohn Mitchel Parker born 1861 to John “Jack” Parker & Susan Emmaline McAllister

12th- Marriage- Charles L Coyle & Bessie A Sublett
26th- Marriage- John B Swinford & Kate A Ealy
Sherman Swinford & Belle Shafer

2nd- Birth- Elsie Marie Ward to William Mitchell Ward & Rosa Zetta Good
10th- Marriage- George W Mencan & Mrs Carrie Brown Curtis

Birth- Alpha J Sutton to James A Sutton & Avarilla Swinford

22nd- Death- Anna Marie Cox born 1841, married to Capt Levi Calvin Thornton

17th- Marriage- William Hite & Rachel Swinford

Death- James William Ashmore born 1850, married to Sara Ellen Campbell
Death- William Decatur Busby born 1820, married to Letitia Black & Margaret Amanda Newman

Monday, June 22, 2009

1941 Eastern Star scrapbook:

This is the last 3 pages of the scrapbook.

Oakland Community Memorial Library:

the library today

Saturday, June 20, 2009


This is the only thing I could find on Isabel- sorry...If anyone has vintage photos of this little town- please share them!

Don't forget Father's Day this weekend:

Just a few vintage Father's Day items...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oakland 1900:

4th- Marriage- Arthur N Gordy & Grace L Curtis
10th- Marriage- William Milburn & Minnie J Swinford

20th- Death- Letitia “Lettie” Allen Stokes- born 1810- wife of John Stokes
28th- Marriage- W H Swinford & Flora Lenora Oman

3rd- Birth- Howard Earl Swinford to George Riley Swinford & Martha Evangeline McKnight

30th- Death- Dr Hiram Rutherford- born 1815- husband of Lucinda Bowman & Harriett Hutcherson

20th- Marriage- Clyde Swinford & Cora A Harvey

14th- Death- George F Hackett- born 1827- husband of Edna Angeline Pemberton
18th- Birth- Roy Franics “Bee” Snoddy to John Francis Snoddy & Mary Ruth Shulse

19th- Death- John William Reeds born 1817- husband of Elizabeth Lamb, Mary J Ashmore, & Louisa C Moffett

15th- Birth- Don Delores Allison to William Allison & Martha Viola Hodge

9th- Marriage- Louie L Hallock & Olive Moody
30th- Marriage- Charles Swinford & Lizzie May Hite

Oakland's Early Drug Store on Main Street:

These old cabinets are still in the building... the front right cabinet contains cigars and is different from the others- perhaps and humidor- there would have been a tray in the back you filled with water to keep the tobacco from drying out.
ca late 1800's- early 1900's
a closer view of the items in the back of the store...this building is next to Martha's
Notice that they used mirrors to reflect the light- the back of the store would have been very dark with the lighting options they had.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Oakland House- Hotel:

Do you know where this was?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lysbeth Anne Sanderson- early Oakland business woman:

Cora Turner- 1941
Gladys Gilbert Rutherford- 1941

She took a lot of photos of area residents, their children and the town. If you have a family that has been in Oakland a long time, I'm sure you have a Sanderson photo.