WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The Courthouse Square Project

Macomb, IL – The Western Illinois Museum would like to literally hear from the public regarding memories about the courthouse square in Macomb.

Lottie Phillips, museum intern and graduate student in History at Western Illinois University, is asking people with stories about the square to stop by and make a recording.

"What we're looking for is memories of the square, whether they be shopping there every Sunday, or if they were a store owner, what it was like to own a store on the square," says Phillips. "We're looking for those memories and social customs that were on the square."

Phillips says the audio recordings will be done every Wednesday during March. People can stop by the museum between noon and 2:00pm to make a recording. Those who cannot make it on a Wednesday can contact the museum to schedule an appointment for a different time.

The museum is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, just off the courthouse square.

"Time changes so much. Looking at what the square once was and what it is today - it's no longer the hub. People now go to the outskirts of town to do their shopping," says Phillips. "I think it's important to remember those (earlier) times and I think it's important for people to be educated about their local history."

She says people can also stop by to record their observations about the square today.

Phillips says portions of the recordings will be used as part of the upcoming exhibit The Courthouse Square Project: A History in the Making. She thinks the recordings will add character to the photographs and artifacts that will be displayed.

The exhibit will open on May 15 and close on September 30.

Phillips says the recordings will also be saved in the museum's archives.