Blog

  • October 11, 2017 1:31 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Quincy Public Library has just added three different coding toys to give children a head start with digital literacy. The toys are appropriate for different but overlapping age ranges. They may be checked out from the librarian in QPL’s Children’s Department, for use within the library building. 

    Code-a-pillar inspires children three years and older to combine segments to make the caterpillar move, while encouraging problem solving skills, planning, sequencing, and critical thinking.

    Ozobot is a robot for children ages six and up. Ozobot is controlled by planning and drawing colored lines. It features 20 games and activities.

    Dot and Dash are robots for children ages eight and up. Kids can learn to program both robots through the challenge apps available online to bring the robots to life.

    The coding toys were purchased through grants from the Quincy Noon Kiwanis and the Friends of Library.

    “Quincy Public Library is expanding resources available for early digital literacy as well as language literacy for children,” explained QPL’s Executive Director Nancy Dolan. “Coding skills can be learned at very young ages. These toys can engage children and encourage them to pursue computer programming or computer science.”

    Additional information is available at quincylibrary.org or by calling Quincy Public Library at 217-223-1309.

    The mission of the Quincy Public Library is to provide its patrons with materials, facilities and programs to meet lifelong learning, cultural and recreational needs.


  • October 05, 2017 3:46 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Do you ever find your self looking for something new, fun and interesting to do in town? Arts Quincy can help you with that! Especially this October as many of our Partner Organizations are having special events, celebrations, concerts and Halloween themed activities.

    In the latest issue of Arts Quincy Magazine, popular events are featured including Ghost Tours at Woodland Cemetery, Strassenfest at the Governor John Wood Mansion, the Art Crawl organized by Quincy Art Center, as well as many opportunities to attend concerts, gallery exhibitions, theater productions, visit a museum, take an art or acting class, and so much more! 

    Explore ALL the ARTS on our website. Under Partner Organizations you will find 55 nonprofits that bring you all the above activities and more. Under Events you will find a calendar full of things to do and current and upcoming exhibitions. You can also view the latest issue of the magazine for FREE, read blog posts, and also support Art-In-Education to more than 7,500 students.

    Arts Quincy if America's First Arts Council. It is our mission to increase access and awareness of all the areas of the fine arts including visual, theater, humanities, music and more to all Adams County residents. We are able to do this through the continued support and contributions from our members, funders, sponsors and donors. Thank you!

    By donating and becoming a member of Arts Quincy you support our mission and our programs. You will also receive the Arts Quincy magazine and  the Arts Blast Email that sends you of upcoming events right to your inbox! Click here to become a member.

    Arts Quincy is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. Of every dollar donated, 85 cents is put towards programming. View our BBB report/review by clicking here

  • October 03, 2017 1:43 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Every family has its own history, and these events, personalities and traditions make each family unique. Whether you’re new to genealogy, or have devoted a lifetime to it, there are many ways to investigate your past and celebrate National Family History Month this October!

    From making a family tree to creating a personal history book, Great River Genealogical Society (GRGS) members are devoted genealogists. They pour through collections of family group sheets, photographs, copies of census reports, notes and more. These are all building blocks of our past.

    Henry Pratt, GRGS President, has devoted three decades to his own family research and has written his own family history book entitled, Dusty Country Roads: Tracing the Footprints of the Pratt Clan.

    “There is something within a person which brings on the desire to go back to his roots,” Pratt says. “Perhaps it is the onset of ‘middle age,’ those years of maturation and acceptance of what life has dealt to us in happiness, joys and sorrows. An attempt to chronicle the years with some kind of historical perspective is both rewarding and stimulating.

    “Looking back on my life events and the loss of siblings and parents, my desire to write about my family as well as World War II deepened,” he says.

    Through his research he found a cousin who is a professional Genealogist and planted a seed for him to write his own book.

    “One of my siblings was also involved in writing what became a chapter in the book. I began to write details of our immediate family and as my research proceeded, I added to the information. I just wrote as time permitted over 30 years.”

    The book has chapters dedicated to Pratt's parents and siblings and to the setting for which they were born and raised in West Virginia. His efforts help to define some of the vague past of which none of him or his family knew very much about. The book delves into the family’s deeper roots, history, WWII legacy, and more. Chapters are also dedicated to his grandparents and their families. The book also includes newspaper clippings, photos, maps, handwritten letters, military documents, family group sheets and more.

    He says the GRGS members share tips, ideas and information that are a real help in one's genealogy search.

    “My involvement with GRGS has been beneficial in that I am in fellowship with others who are doing the same thing and ideas for research come forth."

    Membership in GRGS exposes a person to a wide array of interesting programs. Members also receive quarterly issues of the organization’s publication The Yellow Jacket, according to Pratt. 

    Have you been curious about your family tree but just aren’t sure where to start? Members of the GRGS are available every Tuesday to assist in ancestor research at Quincy Public Library (QPL), 526 Jersey Street, from 10 am – 12 pm in the Illinois Room. The volunteers can show you how to use local history material and point out additional options for researching your family. No appointment is needed. QPL also offers free online resources to library card holders. For more information, to become a GRGS member or to sign up for The Yellow Jacket, visit gr-gs.org.

    Historical records and materials are also available from the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County. The organization maintains a collection of more than 20,000 items documenting the community’s architectural and social history from the formation of the county in 1825 to the present. The collection contains photographic images, maps, prints, drawings, diaries, books and even physical objects.

    Research hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am – 2 pm at the John Wood Mansion’s Visitor’s Center and Library at 425 S. 12th Street. To make an appointment call 217-222-1835.


  • October 03, 2017 10:36 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Over 60,000 souls are interred at historic Woodland Cemetery (5th and Jefferson) on more than 40 pristine, rolling acres of Quincy’s river bluffs. This fall, thanks to the Friends of the Woodland Cemetery and the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, the public has a special opportunity to step back in time and see the real ghosts of Quincy come to life. 

    This popular event features three unique presentations that uncover the stories of the people laid to rest at Woodland. Tours are $15 per person. Reserve your tour by calling 217-222-1835 or visiting hsqac.org.

    Tales from the Crypt Mausoleum Tours: Saturday, Oct. 7 at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 pm and features stories of people interred inside the Woodland Cemetery Mausoleum. The tour will acquaint you with stories told, visions seen and the culture of the unknown. Kae Blecha will be your psychic interpreter as you are transported to a time when mystery and intrigue reign. The 45 minute tour is completely housed within the main Mausoleum (four stairs to enter, no additional walking) and features three to four vignettes with actors.

    Gone Too Soon: Saturday, Oct. 14 at 6, 7, and 8 pm. In the late 19th century, it was not uncommon for young people to succumb to illness or injury. This walking tour of the cemetery explores the stories of those that were gone too soon. The 45 minute tour led by Kae Blecha includes several vignettes and features child actors at the main fountain.

    Spirits and Scoundrels: Saturday, Oct. 21 and 28. See the gravestones, hear the stories and perhaps meet the phantoms that make up the diverse people laid to rest at historic Woodland Cemetery. Character portrayals will raise the dead for mystifying and fascinating tales of the early years of Quincy.

    Halloween Ghost Tour: Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 6, 7 and 8 pm. Docents lead this 45 minute walking tour on the spookiest night of the year! A combination of the Spirits and Scoundrels themes and the Gone Too Soon stories, this is sure to be a haunted and historic experience for all.


  • September 21, 2017 9:24 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The Governor John Wood Mansion, one of the oldest and most iconic homes in Illinois, is undergoing significant renovations this fall. The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County (HSQAC) has planned more than $31,000 in painting projects, HVAC upgrades, building repairs and restoration projects. Both the John Wood Mansion and History Museum at 4th and Maine are part of these improvements. 

    The beautiful wrap-around porch at the founder’s home is getting a major overhaul with several rotted floorboards, balusters, stairs and railings being either repaired or replaced. Included in the restoration efforts are extensive painting projects with the north side of the Mansion, the wrap-around porch, several shutters and doors, and the entire picket fence at the edge of the property being power washed and painted.  Work is being done by Paul Womack (painting), Daniel Nutt (carpentry) and Freiburg Construction (restoration.)

    The Historical Society believes maintaining the John Wood Mansion and History Museum are critical to the mission of the organization. HSQAC Board Member Chuck Radel emphasized the importance of restoring the mansion when he said, “I think it’s probably a crown jewel of Quincy and something that the entire community can be proud of. Our job as a Historical Society is to preserve, educate and make people aware of their past. And this is a period-appropriate restoration, so people can literally walk through the past year and understand their history that much better.”

    The Historical Society depends on the community and its members to continue to preserve and protect our iconic buildings. The HSQAC would like to thank Quincy Preserves for a $7,500 grant to help pay for the porch repairs. The Society would also like to thank the 86 Builder level ($100) members. All the proceeds from the Builder memberships go directly to preserving the Mansion and the History Museum. If you would like to upgrade your membership to Builder level, please call the HSQAC offices at 217-222-1835.


  • September 01, 2017 4:10 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Quincy Public Library will host a kick-off party for the NEA Big Read, to engage community members of all ages, on September 14 from 4 to 6 pm at Upper Moorman Park.  Pick up a free book; enjoy some light refreshments, music, and exciting children’s activities.  Alderman Tom Ernst will give the welcome, followed by an insightful talk about the Big Read book choice, Five Skies by Ron Carlson, by Dr. Mark Mossman from Western Illinois University.

    The NEA Big Read selection and the corresponding Little Read selections are all about pushing the boundaries – setting a high goal – and extending oneself beyond what’s thought possible – and in small and large ways learning more about oneself and one’s capacity for work and adventure.  Readers may choose to receive one free copy of Five Skies by Ron Carlson, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, or Flat Stanley Goes Camping by Jeff Brown and Macky Pamintuan.

    Books and refreshments will be available on a first come basis, as long as supplies last.

    In the month following the kick off, readers of all ages can participate in special Big Read events.  Adult Monday movies will feature exciting films highlighting experiences similar to the story in Five Skies.  Special events include a visit with the Harley Owner’s Group, to learn about motorcycles and motorcycle touring; a talk and photos showing the landscape and wildlife of the Mark Twain National Forest; and a Skype discussion with Five Skies author Ron Carlson. 

    Quincy Art Center will join in the NEA Big Read, through September 30, with the Big Scapes exhibit, artwork from Quincy Art Center’s collection that highlights wide open spaces, similar to that found in Five Skies.

     Teen readers are invited to participate in book discussions, a survivalist cooking workshop, and a Western round-up.

    The concurrent Little Read allows the youngest readers to learn about adventure and the great outdoors in exciting story times and lively family programs, including Big Trucks, a chance to cozy up to a dump truck and back hoe; and an opportunity to pet turtles, crawdads and fish with a presentation from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    Book discussions create opportunities for a community to explore together the common themes and current issues that are relevant in our lives.  Quincy’s Big Read will host many book discussions, including one with the author of Five Skies, Ron Carlson.

    To see a full list of NEA Big Read and Little Read events and book discussions, visit quincylibrary.org.

    The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of the world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspective, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery.

    The NEA grant brings federal funds to the Quincy area.  Local support for Quincy’s Big Read is provided by the Friends of the Quincy Public Library, Blessing Health System, the Regional office of Education, Knapheide Manufacturing, and additional business and individual donors. This program was also made possible in part by a grant from the Paul H and Anne B Gardner Memorial Fund through the Community Foundation.

    Additional information is available online at quincylibrary.org or at neabigread.org, or by calling Quincy Public Library at 217-223-1309.

    The mission of the Quincy Public Library is to provide its patrons with materials, facilities and programs to meet lifelong learning, cultural and recreational needs. 


  • August 29, 2017 9:19 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The familiar first notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony will launch a 5k run/walk benefiting youth music programs through Encore!, the volunteer council for Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association. 

    Come join the race on Saturday, September 16 at 8 am at the Wavering Park baseball diamond. The race is professionally chip-timed and medals will be awarded to men’s and women’s top 3 finishers plus everyone who beats the time 28 minutes 29 seconds (the performing time for the 5th Symphony).  

    A free t-shirt will be available to those who register by September 1. The cost is $30 for individuals and $90 for families of 4 residing at the same address.  

    Encore! supports not only the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, but also many youth music initiatives in Quincy and surrounding communities including:
    Summer Music Camp Scholarships (Quincy and Regional Students)
    Quincy Public Schools Music Departments
    Quincy Parochial Schools Music Departments
    Quincy Area Youth Chorus
    Quincy Area Youth Orchestra
    Kinderchoir (Children's Chorus)
    Annual Young Artists Competition & Concert
    Stipends for students playing with the Symphony Orchestra
    Annual Young People's Concert for Area Third - Sixth grade students

    For more information about this event and more, visit www.beatbeethovenquincy.com.


  • August 11, 2017 9:40 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum Honored by True West Magazine

    Hundreds of museums celebrate the American West (including more than a few east of the Mississippi).  ButTrue West magazine says The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum is one of the best.

    The entire list of best museums is in True West's September 2017 issue, on newsstands now.  

    "Mark Twain is one of the most important chronicler of the development of the West," says True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell. "The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum does a great job of showing his life and his work.  It's truly a great Western museum."

    Two-time Spur Award-winning writer Candy Moulton and the editors of True West selected the winners for this annual award based on extensive travels, research and firsthand experiences in visiting dozens of Western museums each year.

    Moulton cited the museum for its size and scope, including five buildings and two museums that display personal items from Twain's life as well as a number of exhibits of his times and works.

    True West Magazine's Top 10 Western Museums includes:

    10. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, Hannibal, MO
    9.   Cultural Heritage Center, Pierre, SD
    8.   Silver City Museum, Silver City, NM
    7.   Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, Tombstone, AZ
    6.   Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, TX
    5.   Old Cowtown, Wichita, KS
    4.   The Brinton Museum, Big Horn, WY
    3.   Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West, Scottsdale, AZ
    2.   The Witte Museum, San Antonio, TX
    1.   The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, WY

    The True West museum feature lists other institutions of note--including regional standouts--and the "Best Western Art Museums," led by the Sid Richardson Museum in Fort Worth, TX.  

    True West magazine is in its 65th year of leading the way in presenting the true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation. 


    Museum Nominated by USA Today 

    USA Today 10Best announced The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum as one of the twenty candidates selected as nominees in their USA Today 10Best Attractions in Missouri award.  

    Online voting, by the public, will determine the Top 10Best Missouri attractions by USA Today's travel edition. Visitors on the 10Best website can cast one vote per attraction per day.

    The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum is in some good company with other attractions from around the Show-Me State including the Gateway Arch and City Museum in Saint Louis, Branson's Entertainment District, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and Meramec Caverns.

    The Best Missouri Attraction contest writers note, "One of the most populated states in the Great Plains, Missouri has it all - big city attractions in St. Louis and Kansas City and wild, open places like the rolling Ozark Mountains."

    Voting ends at noon, Monday, Aug. 28.

    10best.com/awards/travel/best-missouri-attraction/


  • August 07, 2017 8:18 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Friends of the Log Cabins are raising funds to restore and rebuild the Fraser Log Cabin on a new foundation, which will be above the 100 year flood level. The cabin is a former stagecoach stop. Your help is needed to reach the goal of $40,000.

    Gift cards and baskets will be raffled off in a drawing for prizes on Saturday, September 9 at the end of Frontier Settlement Day at the Log Cabin Village. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six or $5. Download the raffle ticket here. Tickets and donation can be mailed to: Friends of the Log Cabins, P.O. Box 3122, Quincy, IL 62305 or can be dropped off Saturday, Sept. 9 during Frontier Settlement Day. You do not need to be present to win.

    During the Friends of the Log Cabins 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting in May, 2017, Terry Mitten was named Volunteer of the Year. Mitten is a board member and consistently volunteers for work days and events at the Village as well as donates souvenirs he has made out of wood and brings new ideas to promote the village.

    Upcoming workdays in the village are scheduled for August 19 and September 2. Plans are to finish the work on the Fraser Log Cabin Foundation and continue work on the Log Corn Crib in August. September 2 will be a clean-up day to prepare the village for Frontier Settlement Day on September 9.

    For any of the three workdays, no previous experience is necessary, just a willingness to help restore these unique historic structures. No need to call ahead, just show up ready to help.

    The Lincoln-era Log Cabin Village is located on Quinsippi Island, accessed via All America Park.

    For those interested in seeing these historic structures, the Village is open to view every day from dawn to dusk. For more information on tours and events email logcabinvillagequincyil@gmail.com.


  • July 31, 2017 10:01 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    In the past, Quincy’s position as a river and rail town, bursting with hard workers and frequent riverboat or railroad visitors, resulted in a small metropolis offering the proverbial “tavern on every corner.”  The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County will indulge history lovers in saloon and tavern lore during its final Summer City Trolley Tour on Saturday, August 5. 

    From approximately Twelfth Street, west to the river, there are signs of current or former neighborhood taverns on many, many corners. Saloons were as much an important element of the neighborhood as the church and grocery store. The downtown area was not lacking saloons, although some of these doubled as ‘hotels,’ offering overnight stays for 12 cents. Others were adjacent to entertainment sites or resorts. One downtown tavern is purported to have been visited by Abraham Lincoln and plenty were “men only” establishments.

    Many of these taverns were housed in buildings indistinguishable from the neighboring houses, except for possible signage. Saloon keepers often lived behind the tavern or upstairs and their children worked at the family business at a young age. In many instances, Quincy and Adams County taverns were owned and operated by the same family for generations.

    Quincy tavern history and lore can be divided into four time periods:  1800s until Prohibition, Prohibition, post-Prohibition to World War II, and after World War II.  The tour will visit sites from each time period. At multiple sites on the trolley excursion, tour-goers can “belly up to the bar,” with an option to order their favorite beverage on their own dime.  All tour-goers must be at least 21 years of age.

    Seating for this popular event is limited. Tickets are $25 each for the approximately three hour tour. The tour departs at 1 pm from the History Museum. Prior trolley events have sold out, so call the History Museum at 217-222-1835 for availability.


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