Metropolis in Massac County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
J.C. Blair is credited as the "Father of the Illinois State Park System" for his role in establishing Illinois' first state park at Fort Massac. After a trip on horseback through Southern Illinois in the summer of 1896, Blair returned to Urbana, Illinois to begin his first semester as a professor of horticulture at the University of Illinois. He had been struck by the beauty and historical importance of Fort Massac, and the photographs he took became part of lectures to students, civic and community groups about preserving the Fort Massac site as a state park. Members of the Bloomington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution were impressed by his ideas and took it upon themselves to help Blair create the first state park in Illinois. In 1903, DAR members Julia Scott and Letitia Green Stevenson promoted a bill drafted by Blair to members of the Illinois Legislature. It passed unanimously, and in 1908, Fort Massac State Park
Blair went on to become a proponent of parks and green spaces both statewide and in his own community. He was a driving force in establishing the Urbana Park District in 1907 and served as a commissioner for more than 40 years. He helped beautify Urbana and the University of Illinois by planting more than 6,000 trees. He was the first president of the Illinois Association of Park Districts in 1928, and he served as dean of the College of Agriculture in 1938-39.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Education • Parks & Recreational Areas.
Location. 37° 8.631′ N, 88° 42.726′ W. Marker is in Metropolis, Illinois, in Massac County. Marker can be reached from 7th Street east of U.S. 45. Marker is located at Fort Massac State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1308 5th Street, Metropolis IL 62960, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Four Flags Over Fort Massac (a few steps from this marker); Illinois in the American Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); They Passed This Way (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lewis and Clark in Illinois (about 500 feet away); Drouillard Creek Drouillard Trail (about 500 feet away); Historical (about 500 feet away); In Memory of George Rogers Clark (about 600 feet away); Hope Light (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Metropolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 51 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 16, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.