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Columns

  • Zent Drive was home of Jeremiah Zent

    Have you ever wondered why, when they got around to naming the roads near Vandalia Lake, the main road snaking over what locals refer to as “Thrill Hill” was named Zent Drive?
    As with many of Vandalia’s streets, it was named for a family whose settlement here was important to the area. But unlike other street designations, Jeremiah Zent settled near the road that would later bear his name.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Shane Graumenz and Susan Koonce were crowned king and queen at the Vandalia Community High School prom.
    Acting on a request from the Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District, the South Central School District was initiating participation in the Outdoor Classroom program. Members of the Science Club and Future Farmers of America were planting grasses and trees on land west of Interstate 57.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two sisters, pictured about 38 years ago, now work in businesses in Vandalia. One is a bookkeeper for a local business and one works for a local doctor. One is celebrating a birthday this week.

  • Eight couples celebrate 50th anniversaries

    I was among those who eagerly awaited the publication of Brenda Protz’s "Images of America" pictorial history book of Vandalia several years ago. Many of the pictures in the book were just what Brenda had hoped for – one-of-a-kind, unpublished photographs.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These four siblings grew up in Shafter Township north of  Vandalia.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Chicago native Ron Neibert, who had been economic development coordinator at Columbia for the past two years, was hired as the city of Vandalia's first city administrator.
    Alta Rush, formerly of Brownstown, celebrated her 90th birthday.
    Yolanda Richardson and Nick Krueger were crowned queen and king at the South Central High School prom.
    The Illinois Drug Education Alliance honored the city of St. Elmo for its anti-drug campaign efforts and 9-year-old Heather Mills for her computer graphic poster.

  • Ramsey's Joe Brewer took historic photos

    The capture of a German U-boat, U-234, on May 14, 1945, by destroyer escort USS Sutton, has been described as one of the most dramatic and intriguing incidents of World War II.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken in about 1954, shows six kids who grew up on West Main Street in Vandalia.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Dan Meyer, superintendent of the St. Elmo School District from 1989-91, returned to that position during a St. Elmo School Board meeting.
    Edgar Hunter and Jamie Luster were crowned king and queen at the Brownstown High School prom.
    Robert D. “Junior” Ritter Jr., 47, was fatally electrocuted while setting up a radio display at the model show at Mulberry Grove High School.
    Donald and Beulah Logue of St. Elmo were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

  • Printery is Vandalia's oldest building

    Perched on the hill above the NAPA store on Jefferson Street stands the oldest building in Vandalia.
    Few who pass by the dwelling, built about 1824 for Robert Blackwell, have any idea of the history of the building or the importance it played in Illinois’ history.