The Sangamon County Historical Society is devoted to preserving and promoting the history of central Illinois. Since 1961, society members have maintained that mission through donations to the Sangamon Valley Collection of Springfield's Lincoln Library, by organizing regular programs, tours, and special projects, and producing a regular newsletter and special publications on area subjects.
The Society has supported the restoration of the Old State Capitol, the Executive Mansion, and the Elijah Iles House in Springfield. In addition, Society members collaborate with other historical organizations to showcase and preserve historic sites and materials.
Speakers present topics that have included early area settlers, African American experiences, and prominent industries. County and local experts frequently provide updates on preservation issues.
The Society has co-sponsored programs with other organizations over the years; including the Illinois State Historical Society's Symposium, the Lincoln Colloquium, the Iles House Foundation and Oak Ridge Cemetery.
The Society offers guided bus tours of Sangamon County and beyond. On recent trips, members and guests have re-visited the Sugar Creek area featured in John Mack Faragher's books of the same name in which he reported on the culture of the early settlers. Underground Railroad locations in Quincy and Jacksonville as well as historic sites in Divernon and Illiopolis, Illinois, and Hermann, Missouri have also been visited.
For twelve years the society sponsored an annual autumn "Echoes of Yesteryear" Cemetery Walk in conjunction with Oak Ridge Cemetery. At this popular event, actors portrayed men and women, who influenced area history. Currently the Society sponsors an Art in History celebration featuring art of Sangamon County created in the last year. Also several picnics, dinners and events such as re-enactments of Old Settler's Day have been held over the years.
Pokorski Publication Fund
The Society's publications program honors author and State Journal-Register reporter Douglas Pokorski, who died in 2004, during his term as Society President. The program memorializes Doug's interest in local history and writing.
The Society's selection of booklets on area subjects ranges from early settlers to society changing events, all authored by Society members.