Thursday, June 17, 2010

Written 3 Sept 1814:

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Francis Scott Key's original manuscript
the actual flag he wrote about

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Main Street, north side of the square:

dirt street
from Merna Combs

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Landmark's Presents:

"Olde Barn Tour"
June 13th
Noon - 4PM
Tickets and maps available at:
Dr. Rutherford's House
Pike Street
Oakland, Il
The tour consists of 20 old barns and 2 surprises!
$15.00 a carload
call 346-2653 for more information

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward (1844-1911)

Was there ever message sweeter
Than that one from Malvern Hill,
From a grim old fellow,-you remember?
Dying in the dark at Malvern Hill.
With his rough face turned a little,
On, a heap of scarlet sand,
They found him, just within the thicket,
With a picture in his hand,
With a stained and crumpled picture
Of a woman's aged face;
Yet there seemed to leap a wild entreaty,
Young and living-tender-from the face
When they flashed the lantern on it,
Gilding all the purple shade,
And stooped to raise him softly,
That's my mother, sir," he said.

"Tell her"-but he wandered, slipping
Into tangled words and cries,
Something about Mac and Hooker,
Something dropping through the cries
About the kitten by the fire,
And mother's cranberry-pies; and there
The words fell, and an utter
Silence brooded in the air.

just as he was drifting from them,
Out into the dark, alone
(Poor old mother, waiting for your message,
Waiting with the kitten, all alone!),
Through the hush his voice broke, Tell her
Thank you, Doctor-when you can,
Tell her that I kissed her picture,
And wished I'd been a better man."

Ah, I wonder if the red feet
Of departed battle-hours
May not leave for us their searching
Message from those distant hours.
Sisters, daughters, mothers, think you,
Would your heroes now or then,
Dying, kiss your pictured faces,
Wishing they'd been better men?
The Blue And The Gray
Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907)

By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray

These in the robings of glory,
Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day
Under the laurel, the Blue,
Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe;
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray.

So with an equal splendor,
The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Broidered with gold, the Blue,
Mellowed with gold, the Gray.

So, when the summer calleth,
On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment -day,
Wet with the rain, the Blue
Wet with the rain, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done,
In the storm of the years that are fading
No braver battle was won:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the blossoms, the Blue,
Under the garlands, the Gray

No more shall the war cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day,
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Please check out this link:

To: Teresa Dennis,

Thank you for your info on the two historic markers there in Oakland.

My wife and I stopped there to photograph them - - and found a few other items. The following
gives a full review of our efforts.

Hope you enjoy them. Feel free to pass on this link..

If you are inclined, feel free to add any other information or photos you may wish.


The Editor is desiring any info about the World War I Memorial downtown Oakland. Indeed it is an unusual memorial in its concept and materials used. ANY and ALL information would be appreciated.

Thank you -and- Have a Great Day ! !

Al Wolf, cpcu, clu

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life was much simpler back then:

all you had to do to get out of a ticket was show a little ankle

My new find on eBay...

I found this on eBay and bid on it.   I won it late last night so will post a better photo of it when I get it in.
I love the "No Clinkers" part.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Berry Cemetery:

Kathy Pardi sent this to me today.  It is out of the Landmarks blue book sold at the Rutherford House.
The poem is by her grandma Coartney.
Click on the image to enlarge.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day:

the stone of Anna Jarvis- founded Mother's Day in America on May 10th, 1908

If you want to learn more about Mother's Day and how it came about in America and other countries, this is the site.

Vintage Mother's postcard:

another vintage image

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Looking for:

Vintage local photos of kids playing.
Would love to do a series on this for the summer.

The Coartney Barrel Horse:

I love this photo...
the Coartney kids:
Martha ( in the barrel), Ronald and Jimmy (on the horse), and Mary and Janice (pulling the tail)
This looks like a lot more fun than video games.
* photo submitted by Kathy Pardi and Martha Hawkins
Thank you, ladies, for sharing with everyone!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vintage postcard:

don't forget mom this coming weekend...

Coartney's mules:

Harvey Wayne Coartney and his mules...and dog...
* photo provided by Kathy Pardi and Martha Hawkins

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Down on the farm- ca 1939-1940

Harvey Wayne Coartney and sheep.
*photo provided by Kathy Pardi and Martha Hawkins

Friday, April 30, 2010

Harvey Wayne and Mary Jane Coartney:

Back row: Mary Jane and Harvey Wayne Coartney
Their children- front row: Ronald, Janice, Jimmy, Martha & Mary Wanda
Harvey Wayne Coartney
born: 21 Dec 1910 @ Ashmore Twp, Coles Co, Il
his parents were Alvin Sylvester Coartney & Cleta Edna Blake
he married on 31 Dec 1931 to
Mary Jane Wright
born: 20 Jun 1913 @ Coles Co, Il
her parents were Paul Wells Wright & Mary Gertrude Brooks
* photo provided by Kathy Pardi and Martha Hawkins

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coartney family photo:

Alvin Sylvester Coartney and Cleta Edna Blake Coartney
with their grandchildren
standing in front:
Martha, Ronald, Alvin, Janice,Evlyn,Mary Wanda
one of the babies is Jimmy
Alvin Sylvester Coartney
born 1 Dec 1882 @ Ashmore, Coles Co, Il
died 1961 in Coles Co, Il
his parents were Isaac G Coartney and Martha Ann Woodyard
he married
Cleta Edna Blake
born 14 Sept 1885 in Hutton Twp, Coles Co, Il
died 13 Apr 1974 in Charleston, Coles Co, Il
her parents were James Blake and Sarah Belle Davis
The children of Alvin Sylvester and Cleta Edna Blake Coartney were:
1) Cyril Coartney
2) Harvey Wayne Coartney
3) Carlos Coartney
* photo provided by Kathy Pardi and Martha Hawkins

Monday, April 26, 2010

Still looking:

I need more items to post...

Farming in Oakland...

Rebecca Coon sent these to me. They are of the Coon family farming just out of Oakland many years ago.
*photo provided by Rebecca Coon

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Paving the streets of Oakland:

Could this be East Main Street?

Oakland Library:

Can you identify the people in the photo?
the first man I do not know- Elizabeth Zimmerman, Harriett Crawford and Jug Campbell
This is the dedication of the library- April 8th, 1960

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oakland in the early 1900's:

here is another photo of the early days of Oakland during the horse and colt show events...
I didn't have this view before...
Rebecca Coon emailed it to me this morning...from a previous email they received from Max Miller some time ago...
Thank you Rebecca and Max for the photo!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Vintage tire ad:


Friday, April 16, 2010

Would you like to share your old photos?

Looking for old Oakland and Oakland area photos, ads, calendars, etc...
You can email them to me at

Another Ad:

Vintage ad- did anyone ever have one of these?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Memories of Oakland in the 80s & 90s:

It was not that many years ago that I packed my bags in the two-story house that I had called home for eighteen years. That home held many memories from growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. Pike Street in Oakland was known for holding water after a big summer rain. My friends, siblings and I would put our mothers to work with Tide after muddying our clothes in the newly discovered Pike Street creek. If we only knew what was in that water maybe we would have thought twice. Then again, we likely would have not cared. Playing outdoors was great fun. Nintendo was just getting popular so most summer days were still spent outside with pogo ball, big wheelers, bikes, and scooters. My best friend, Susan, and I would get stiff necks riding bikes for hours. Sometimes we relaxed in her big pool and paying the price with nasty sunburns for a few weeks.
I have all kinds of random warm memories from being a child in Oakland during the 80’s and 90’s. When I was really small, I would pick dandelions in my front yard. Bruno would walk by on his way to the post office. He would stop and talk to me. I was fascinated by his accent. He kindly gave me the nickname “dandelion.” I remember Doris Buckler always having huge lollipops and Doris Boyer running a nice shop on the square. June Johnson led a ceramics class there once. I enjoyed that very much. I remember my happy neighbor Mr. Kerns. He still often has a whistle on his lips! My other neighbors were dear to my heart as well. Mildred Gwinn and Orville Gilbert were pleasant neighbors and are missed. I remember seeing Roger Ashmore go by my home as well as an ice cream truck and the dreaded town bug sprayer. As kids, we thought we had been poisoned to death.
I loved the Cornbread and Bean Festival, of course, and a couple circuses made their way to Oakland. My grandpa would tell me and my three siblings to go play on the railroad tracks. We took him up on it. I still love the sound of the trains in Oakland and the fire alarm at noon.
Grandparents were a special part of my life. I really miss my great grandmother, Flossie Ziegler. When I got my name on the board my first day of kindergarten it was her lap I crawled into and cried. My grandpa Bob helped me have my first and only sighting of the Northern Lights. My grandma Peggy helped me get a job with her at Rockhome and my grandma Judy affectionately called us children “turkeys”.
When I would get angry with my parents or siblings, I would run away to the water- fountain lion on the square. You could see that from my front yard. Sometimes, instead, I would go to the cannon. It was on a different corner of the square then.
Oakland is where I grew up and found morals and values. While it has changed, it is still years beyond some bigger cities in friendliness. There are things about this little town that are forever gone. I miss Tom Hudson’s pictures during ball games. We will likely never see the Bean festival again. We won’t taste another pizza made by Shirley Pisani in her store or buy gas from Bob McConkey. We won’t have ice cream at Reigel’s drug store but we will continue to find a warm smile and helping hands. A few people come to mind, but I fear leaving many out so I won’t list them here. So, what about you? What decades did you see in Oakland and what memories do they hold for you? I would love to read them!
Written By Tabitha (Clapp) Sill
Used with her permission. If you would like to write down your times in Oakland, I would love to post them here.

1920 Ad:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

1918 ads-

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Over 30...

If you are 30, or older, you might think this is hilarious!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning....Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways… yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of stuff like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a Utopia!
And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our butt! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn't have fancy stuff like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a darn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY GOSH !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were out of luck when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!

The Over 30 Crowd

Got this in an email- this is coming from my kids' generation now...not mine...hilarious...I always told them it would happen. I knew if I waited long enough, I would get even for all the stories I told them and how they used to roll their eyes at me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vintage transportation-

not from the area...but fun...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Barn raising...

these images are not from around here...but this shows you how they used to do it...
barns had character...

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I guess one of the drawbacks in owning one of these contraptions was that they were too heavy for the bridges of their day.
Now how do you think they got those out of there?
How long did it take them?
How long to rebuild the bridge back?
And how far did you have to go out of your way until all that happened just to get to the other side?
If you think you are having a bad day, just remember, it could be worse.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More steam tractors of the past...

These tractors were so huge, for the time.
They are not from our area.
If you would like to see a short film of old footage of these tractors working, click on the link below.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tractors 1910's:

steam powered with metal wheels...not from this area, but typical farming scenes...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Breaking sod- around 1900:

this is not of this area, but typical of how they used to get things done

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On eBay:

This is listed on eBay now. Check it out.

Vintage Easter...

rubber face stuffed toy bunny
real photo postcard of girl with Easter basket
musical tin egg made by Mattel in the 1950's and 1960's
Easter greeting card
real photo postcard
Happy Easter