Historic Illinois

One-room schoolhouse and Japanese paintings discovered     Send a link to a friend

[NOV. 8, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- A restored one-room schoolhouse in rural Clark County, the home of poet and artist Vachel Lindsay, and a hidden treasure found in LaSalle's Hegeler-Carus Mansion are featured in the latest issue of Historic Illinois, a publication of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Although the one-room schoolhouse, once a common feature of the rural landscape, has all but disappeared, the lovingly restored Lincoln School in rural Clark County continues to be used for education. Students travel to the rural schoolhouse for field trips to learn what it was like to attend school a hundred years ago. Local preservationists restored the building in 1988, replacing desks and blackboards, and they found a coal-burning stove similar to the one that originally rested at the back of the classroom. The related article was written by Keith A. Sculle, head of research and education for Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site in Springfield is the subject of another article. Lindsay was and continues to be well-known throughout the world for his poetry and art, but he was dismissed as an eccentric by his fellow Springfield residents. While much of his fame was achieved away from Springfield, he always longed to return to the home at 603 S. Fifth St. where he was born. Lindsay did eventually return to the home and died there in 1931. This year Lindsay's 125th birthday is being celebrated at the fully restored home, where several original pieces of his art are displayed and where visitors may see the rather ordinary surroundings that nurtured his creative genius. The related article was written by Cynthia A. Fuener, publications editor for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

[Click here for information about a local program Thursday on the life and career of Vachel Lindsay.]

A Japanese jackpot discovered during the restoration of a LaSalle mansion is described in an article written by Hegeler-Carus Foundation consultant Christine Esposito. During the $12 million restoration of the Hegeler-Carus Mansion, caretaker Dan Irvin went to clean the attic and found two shipping crates containing 27 original Japanese silk paintings that had been stored there for 128 years. The paintings by artist Keichu Yamada were apparently done to illustrate a book written by Dr. Paul Carus.

[to top of second column in this article]

Carus and zinc magnate Edward Hegeler, who built the home, operated Open Court Publishing from the mansion. The publishing company produced works that encouraged open discussion about philosophy, science and religion. Carus committed himself to bridging Eastern and Western thought by popularizing Buddhism in the United States and wrote the 1894 book "The Gospel of Buddha According to Old Records."

Although Carus held Yamada's work in high regard, he apparently chose other illustrations for his book. Open Court Publishing has just issued its eighth edition of "The Gospel of Buddha," this one featuring Yamada's long-lost work.

Historic Illinois, a bimonthly publication of the Historic Preservation Agency, features historically significant sites in Illinois. "Historic Illinois showcases the state's marvelous variety of buildings, infrastructure and people," said Fuener, publications editor with the agency. "Readers get to know the old Illinois in new and fascinating ways."

Subscriptions are $10 per year, which includes six issues of Historic Illinois and a full-color "Historic Illinois" calendar.

For more information, call (217) 524-6045, visit www.Illinois-History.gov, or write to Historic Illinois, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 1 Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL 62701-1507

[Illinois Historic Preservation Agency news release]

< Tourism index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor