The circa 1929 photo (#A745) of the St. Mary School, Church and Rectory on Washington Avenue, between Locust and Kenton streets, was taken looking south across Washington Avenue. Property adjoining the church was acquired and a new school opened in 1908. After several alterations and remodeling, the building was used as both a high school and elementary school.
The 2019 photo of the same location shows that the old church is gone. The rectory and school building remain, but the last high school class graduated in 1958. The elementary continued until recent years. St. Mary Church is now located across from the rectory on Washington Avenue.
The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story.
The circa 1905 “Then” photo (#A2118) of the southeast corner of Monument Square, Urbana, shows bicycles and bicyclists in front of Harmstead & Holding, purveyor of harnesses, buggies and bicycles. Some of the bicycles may be motorized. Presumably, this is a biking event, probably sponsored by Harmstead & Holding. The Home Bakery next to Harmstead & Holding is now the location of Cafe Paradiso.
The 2020 “Now” photo is of the same location. Businesses shown are Cafe Paradiso and Oxner’s General Store.
Looking Back at Champaign County
The Champaign County Historical Society strives to highlight historical people, places and events throughout Champaign County. If you have photos of historical significance that you believe would be of interest to Champaign Countians, please Contact Us.