Historic Sites of Alton – The Green Lantern restaurant

Right down the street from the Grand Theatre is the former home of the Green Lantern restaurant. It began as the Green Lantern Sandwich Shoppe in the 1920s. George “Red” Walker bought the… Continue reading

Collecting Depression Glass

Depression glass is mass-produced clear or colored translucent glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around the time of the Great Depression. Popular colors included… Continue reading

Historic Sites of Alton – Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre was built in 1920 and was the largest theater in downtown Alton, with an original seating capacity of 1,400. In the 1920s it screened silent films and offered vaudeville acts.… Continue reading

Historic Sites of Alton – World’s Fair Building

Our most recent program at the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library was a talk by Wayne Hensley titled “Historical Sites of Alton.” Wayne’s presentation was excellent, and I am now embarking on… Continue reading

The Great Flood of 1993: Twenty years ago today

The Mississippi River crested at Alton at an all-time high of 42.72 feet on August 1, 1993. The National Weather Service’s Web site on the Great Flood of 1993 states that “[T]he size… Continue reading

Supreme Court rules on Voting Rights Act

This 2012–2013 session has been a historic one for the Supreme Court, and one of the most notable cases is Shelby County v. Holder (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-96_6k47.pdf), decided on June 25. Shelby County v. Holder… Continue reading

Clark Bridge: “stunningly beautiful and eminently practical”

When I moved to Alton, my uncle, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, told me he had been using a NOVA TV special on the construction of the Clark Bridge in… Continue reading

Prom as a Civil Rights issue

As a documentary fan, I recently watched Prom Night in Mississippi, which featured Academy Award–winning actor Morgan Freeman. The film follows a group of Charleston High School students in 2008 as they prepare… Continue reading

Artistic Portrayals of Lovejoy and Lincoln

I’ve searched the Internet for anything related to Elijah Lovejoy and came across this 23-page piece (I hesitate to call it a comic or graphic novel, so I’ll call it a graphic mini-novel),… Continue reading

Alton : Sesquicentennial Cook Book

The Genealogy & Local History Library possesses many cookbooks compiled locally. All are housed in the Illinois Room, and I plan to periodically feature a recipe from one of these cookbooks. Up first:… Continue reading