The Restoration of the Cattle Bank:
The act of restoration of the Cattle Bank and its return to a productive existence is a lengthy story which we won’t try to tell in full here. Many persons in Champaign County played some role in the process, and we would surely omit too many worthy participants were we to try. Our heartfelt thanks goes to all of them. We note that the Champaign County Historical Museum did play an active role in assembling community support for the effort.
We will acknowledge the efforts of Bruce Hannon, Gregory Hargus, and William Schmidt, who, in 1983, prepared a slide-tape presentation on the history of the Cattle Bank and the restoration progress. It is from this presentation that we have borrowed illustrations and some history to create the brief pictorial display you are about to view. The original presentation was funded by the Illinois Arts Council, whose interest we very much appreciate, for without it we would have lost much of the record of this project. We also thank the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA), which has maintained the program over the years, and generously made it available to us.
Current Restoration Efforts:
The Champaign County Historical Museum is currently being updated by high school students from University Laboratory High School and St. Thomas More. About 25 students teamed up to redo exhibits starting 2009, add exhibits, and restore the Museum, and about 10 students still regularly volunteer at the Museum. As of now, we have four rooms completed, with one room under construction. The website has been completely updated, with a modern look and technology.
This past fall, we began work on updating our labels for our existing rooms, and working to build exhibits in a new room, and we will continue those efforts in the first few months of 2013. We are also focusing on publicizing the Museum so that more people know of our existence and mission.
If you want to see the students at work, come on Sundays from 1 – 4 pm.