Preserving Local History

Macomb, IL – It's not always cheap or easy to preserve local history. But some grant money might help a bit in McDonough County.

The $250 awards were given by the Promoting Local History Task Force. The panel was part of the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.

Task Force Chairperson Marla Vizdal says in a struggling economy, people are focused on the present and future. As a result, they don't always put what's needed into preserving the past. "But that's our heritage," says Vizdal. "That's what's important to us. We need to preserve that so that's why we're funding it."

Vizdal believes this region is rich in local history. She says her task force's mission was to raise awareness of that rich history.

The preservation grants were given to five organizations:

The Bushnell Historical Society for preservation efforts of the Bushnell Record

Moses King Brick and Tile Works for preservation efforts at the Brickyard near Colchester

The West Central Illinois Arts Center for preservation efforts on its building in Macomb

The McDonough County Historical Society for its County Cemetery Marking Project

Tri States Public Radio for the project Cemeteries of McDonough County - An Audiovisual Diary

The awards were given during a ceremony at the West Central Illinois Arts Center. The grant money was raised by selling remastered DVD copies of the documentary The Macomb Story.

Vizdal says her task force is being disbanded, in part because so many other groups are now working to preserve local history. She says extra copies of the DVD were given to the Western Illinois Museum, which can use them for fundraising.