Inside Out | This just in: Three new collections

By Chicago 4 Min Read

An archivist’s work is never truly done. Here at the Champaign County Historical Archives, my fellow archivists and I have been hard at work processing new collections. The following are brand new and available to be perused.

Collection 357: The Rev. Melvin C. Blobaum

A Lutheran pastor with ties to many churches in the area, the Rev. Melvin C. Blobaum grew up in Michigan and Illinois. He would spend summers with his grandparents August and Marie Blobaum on their Champaign County farm. From them, he learned how to speak the Low German language, also known as Plattdeutsch.

Blobaum helped form the Ostfriesian Heritage Society of East Central Illinois. The society is still active today and meets once a month. Its goal is to keep local Plattdeutsch dialects and cultural traditions alive.

The materials in the collection take many forms and are from a variety of the churches and organizations he served. This includes the Ostriesian letters that were written by the family of Johann H. Schluter, who was originally from Holtrop, Ostfriesland, Germany.

Schulter never received these letters in the mail; rather, they were sent to him by way of other immigrants. Luckily for us, these letters were translated by members of the Schluter and Buenting families.

Collection 362: Windsor Swim Club

Founded by Harold Lopeman, the Windsor Swim Club opened in 1966. Located on the north side of Windsor Road, the club featured three heated pools, a clubhouse and a sundeck. At the time, the club was advertised as the only swim club in the area with heated outdoor pools. Unfortunately, the pool closed in 2009 due to the rising costs of running a swimming facility.

Consisting of mostly photographs, there are shots of various club members. These pictures feature swimmers both in and out of the pool. Also included are newspaper clippings that document the opening of the pool, its closure 43 years later and the death of the pool’s founder, Lopeman.

Collection 367: Donald Dyer Scrapbook

Donald Dyer and Ove Uggerby founded the architecture firm Dyer & Uggerby in 1960. Later in its history, two more partners were added and the name was changed to Smith, Dyer, Uggerby & LeGrande.

The firm worked on many local residential and commercial projects, a sample of which includes the Beaumont Small Animal Clinic, the Sunnycrest Shopping Center, numerous area IGA stores and the Springfield Electric Lighting Center. They also worked on the project for the previously mentioned Windsor Swim Club.

In this collection, you can find materials related to the projects undertaken by the firm. The scrapbook contains floor plans, newspaper articles, architectural renderings and photographs.

As always, we welcome you to come in and check out these collections and others. However, the collections are located in our annex building, so we ask that you give us at least 48 hours advance notice.

As always, if you have any questions, Champaign County Historical Archives staff is more that happy to answer them!

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