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Columns

  • Metzger building has long, colorful history

    Several months ago I was contacted by the Tim Metzger family for information on the Metzger Hotel built by Tim’s great-grandfather, John Ulrich Metzger.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1989 – Fayette County farmers were busy harvesting wheat. In some areas, there was no wheat to harvest as a May hailstorm wiped out the crop.
    The Fayette County Health Department and S.A.F.E. (Sexual Assault and Family Emergencies) sponsored self-protection seminars for female county employees and the general public.
    Ashley Crabtree was named Little Miss at the Ramsey Daze celebration.
    Vandalia Jaycees sponsored a Fourth of July celebration with fireworks at the Vandalia Lake.

    30 Years Ago

  • A look at Vandalia businesses in 1924

    In 1989, I fell into the position as editor of the quarterly publication of the Fayette County Genealogical & Historical Society.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These four siblings were born and reared in Vandalia.

  • Jerauld wrote of life here in the 1850s

    In a letter dated April 9, 1914, Sarah McAfee Jerauld responded to a request by the editor of The Vandalia Union to write of her experiences for the anniversary issue of the newspaper.
    She wrote, “When I moved to Vandalia in March 1852, there was not a foot of brick pavement in town and only 10 brick houses.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1989 – Vandalia Chamber of Commerce was seeking volunteer greeters for the tourism center.
    Between 250 and 300 honored Jim Staff at a retirement reception. Staff served in the field of education for 38 years and was superintendent of schools for Fayette County since 1959. Effingham and Bond counties were later added to his region.
    Jane Eaton won the 11th annual St. Andrews Ladies Open Golf Tournament.

    30 Years Ago

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: Taken in 1937, this photo shows four children of a local minister who started the Vandalia Ministerial Alliance.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1989 – Jeanne Gustafson was named interim economic development director for the city of Vandalia.
    Dave Bell won the 10K run held in conjunction with the Grande Levée.

    30 Years Ago

    1984 – Jim Kelly and Anna Ruth Kains retired from the Fayette County Hospital Board of Directors. They were presented plaques by Chairman John Daniels. Marie Bristow of Vandalia and Elbert Finley Jr. of Ramsey replaced Kelly and Kains.

  • Hickman told about life in the 1860s

    In 1914, The Vandalia Union celebrated its 50th anniversary by inviting readers to write reminiscences for publication in an anniversary issue. Many people took the editor up on the invitation, including Cynthia Luster Hickman.

    Mrs. Hickman lived on the 400 block of North First Street, and her home stands today a beautiful representative of the Queen Anne style of architecture. Kyle Barker is the current owner.
    She remembered that after the gold rush, men did not carry pocket books; they carried sacks full of gold, William Lee and Jake Albert included.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This team of local athletes was the champion of the men's fastpitch softball league in 1988. All but one of them were reared in Fayette County.